|U of T - Ivan Reznikoff|
The photo to the above was taken May 27 2000, at The Tower, University Of Toronto, downtown campus, Ontario Canada using a Canon Sure Shot 35mm, and 800 ASA film. Two of our members were on A Taste Of The World tour which is hosted by Shirley Lum when one snapped this shot. This photo has not been manipulated in any way and shows what may in fact be an anomaly, which also appears on the negative. Please note that no other anomalies were captured in any of the rolls of film taken that day. Please read below for the history of the location this photo was taken in.....and the ghost story........
As of 2008 we now know that the above photo orb is in fact light from the flash reflecting off of an air borne particle in this case a rain drop. This in no way takes away from the ghost story of this historic site.The year was 1856 when native Russian Ivan Reznikoff emigrated to Toronto Canada. He immediately found employment as a stonemason for the ambitious project that was to become the University of Toronto. Ivan settled into early Toronto life quickly, and soon was engaged to a fair haired beauty by the name of Susie. Yep things were looking good for the Russian until another stonemason by the name of Paul Diablos came on the scene. Paul who worked side by side with Ivan became quite smitten with Susie, and apparently the feeling was mutual. It was during this period of clandestine meetings between Paul and Susie, that Diablos (meaning devil in Spanish) carved a laughing gargoyle into The Tower's outer wall, supposedly to mock poor Ivan. Well it wasn't long before Ivan caught on to what his co-worker and fiancée were up to. When he caught them together in a nearby parkette, he chased Diablos in a jealous rage with an axe towards The Tower. As the two men reached The Tower's door Ivan swung the axe, narrowly missing Diablos, and hit the door. The original door is still there, and I was able to see the scar left by Ivan's axe so long ago. In fact the the door is just behind by maybe 3ft and to the left of where the blue orb appears in the above photo. Returning to the events of long ago; Diablos ran into The Tower followed by Ivan. Atop the stairs a struggle ensued, with Diablos pushing Ivan over the edge. Ivan was probably killed instantly, and with The Tower still under construction, Diablos was able to hide his body within The Tower's walls. Paul Diablos and Susie were married soon after....and presumably went on to lead a happy life together. On Valentine's Day (irony) 1890 a young man carrying kerosene slipped on The Tower's stairs. This set off a fire that resulted in alot of extensive repair work to the interior of The Tower. It was during this period of reconstruction that a badly mangled skeleton, and a belt buckle were found....yes it was proven to be that of Ivan Reznikoff.
The sightings of Ivan's ghost began as early as 1866 with a report being made by an academic by the name of Falconbridge. However even after Ivan's body was discovered the sightngs of his ghost continued. Allan Aylesworth a student at the university in the late 1800's is probably the most famous person to have seen Ivan's ghost at The Tower. Sir Allan Aylesworth went on to a distinguished career as a Canadian Member of Parliament, and was also knighted.
The Tower (as is most of the campus) is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. On any given weekend in the summer it serves as a backdrop for wedding pictures. Beautiful brides, happy couples, probably completely unaware of the location's grisly past. I find this very ironic......
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