You are here: And So It Begins.... Ghosts & Hauntings Buck Hill - Ottawa Valley Ghost Lights
Buck Hill is located in the Ottawa Valley approximately 90 km from Pembroke and nearby to Algonquin Park. It is the location of many reports of ‘spooklight’ activity (see below for an example), which is attributed by some to a ghost story.
During the depression and a particularly harsh winter storm a logger returned to his home and family. He cautioned his wife and young daughter to remain indoors while he went out to fetch some firewood. Upon his return his wife told him that their pet dog had gotten out of the house and the girl had ran out in order to call him back and had not yet returned. The anxious father grabbed his lantern and began to search for his missing child. The family lived on Buck Hill road and the distraught parent searched up and down it to no avail. The young girl had simply vanished into the stormy night never to be seen again. As legend has it the logger who went mad with grief never gave up his search, and would comb the area nightly with his lantern until his death. Some locals in the area believe his search continues to this very day and refuse to go near this isolated, logging road.
At this time we have no corroborative historical facts that would support the ghost story. However, people have reported seeing balls of light, some at very close range at this location. The ‘lights’ are described to be either white, amber or green and approximately the size of a baseball. Occasionally these lights are bright enough to light up the forested area and will flare up as if increasing in size and luminosity before eventually disappearing.
The following is an eyewitness account:
“I went up there on a Friday night, and saw some things I would never think could happen. It was around midnight we saw these weird images. We “Me, and 2 other buddies" were sitting there in a truck facing down the hill, and all of a sudden we saw an eerie green glow from the valley down below. We all sat there in shock as to what we were seeing. Its was a green light walking down the road, and then out of no where it would accelerate to huge speeds, 100mph, then hit a dead stop, and go back to its high speed in a flash! It was very spooky, then as another car came from the valley way below, the light wandered off into the bushes. There was another fellow lad, who had his girlfriend with him, looking for the ghost, but he has seen it many times. We talked for a bit, and then saw it come out again in the valley below. We watched it for about 30 seconds as the strange eerie light went from a green to an orange or amber light and wandered off. I don’t know what this thing is, but it scared us pretty good. But me being so serious looked it up on the web and found you guys. Well we went back the next night, Saturday "last night" to see it again, but there were a lot of people up there looking for the ghost, but they were there to drink and play music so we waited it out, until they left, and sure enough we caught a 10 second glimpse of it until one of the vehicles came back for a little while longer. There was a ghost hunter with them, who was very well prepared for an encounter, but it just didn’t want to show up.“
*Witness’ name withheld from publication - the above account has been slightly edited for publication*
Our thanks to the witness for their report.
As with other more famous ‘spooklight’ locations the area attracts a fair amount of visitors and is a known party spot for teens as is alluded to in the eyewitness account above.
We received a report from Krystal S. in May 2004 which was accompanied by the photograph seen above. This is Krystal’s report in regards to strange lights witnessed at this location: “The light to the north was about the size of a grapefruit. It was about 500 meters away the first time we saw it and the second time it was closer. This is just a guess as it was pitch black out at the time and we could not see any land marks. As for sounds... I heard a rumbling when it appeared the last time, no one else in the car heard anything.”
Our thanks go out to Krystal for her report and the use of her photograph.
Update: November 2005
"This is a small piece of wrote for some friends of mine after visiting Buck Hill recently. Everything written actually happened that night:
This weekend we finally got around to making the trip to Buck Hill. We left for Buck Hill Friday evening at around 8:30; the trip was good. We made it to Round Lake Centre at around 9:45 and our journey began. Zac claimed to know where exactly Buck Hill was because he had been there. So unsuspectingly, I followed his shotty directions. We ended up on Simpson Pit Road, the road that Buck Hill was supposed to be on. But we couldn't actually find "Buck Hill Road" on the street. Zac recalled seeing a scenic road, so we decided it was wise to get onto that road; ultimately, this was our mistake. For the next two hours, we drove aimlessly through the woods, with no incline as to where we were going. We stopped at a house that looked like a scene from Jeeper's Creeper's and asked a friendly older fellow for directions. His directions eventually proved to be completely accurate, but we being morons decided to disregard them and find our own way. We ended up in the town of Wilno, home of the infamous Wilno Tavern. We drove through Wilno and eventually ended up in Barry's Bay; the only town in that area with cell phone coverage. We stopped at a local Pizza Hut so everybody could eat and stretch their legs, after that we headed back.
We quickly got back onto Simpson Pit Road and while driving, we recalled the old man's directions. We went with our guts and turned onto a road with no sign, just the foggy mental image of what the man had described to us. As we made our way through the woods, up the solitary winding, dirt road, Zac began to recognize things. It turned out he had in fact been there previously, but it was during the day. We began an accent up a long, tree-surrounded incline and when we reached the top, Zac exclaimed that we had found Buck Hill. Excited, I turned the van around, facing the steep descending hill. We had heard rumours that to see the ghost, I virgin needed to shout "Daddy" three times, and then you had to flash the high-beems three times as well. Our only virgin was too scared to do it, so Chantal did. We waited, and a few of the girls even said that they could see something coming up the hill, but I saw nothing. We were all slightly nervous in suspense when a car came flying up the road behind us, flashing its high-beams and honking the horn. Needless to say, they scared the crap out of us. They pulled up along side us and it was just a bunch of kids looking to see the ghost. They hung out for a while and eventually they left. In the comfort of their presence, we had made our way outside and were just casually standing next to the van; now that they were gone we decided to get back in and try again.
Zac began shouting "daddy" and laughing loudly. I advised him against this but he persisted. His fun was broken when we witnessed a small white light bolting violently through the woods ahead of us. It started on the horizon and rapidly made its way down to the bottom of the hill within seconds. At this point I was reaching for the keys and getting ready to go. Then suddenly, a car pulled out from an intersecting path and the light disappeared. Terrified, we started the engine and proceeded to drive down the hill. We began our decent and three quarters of the way down we heard a loud noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. It started as a bang and continued as a deep pounding sound. The girls we terrified and began to scream; we pulled over and calmed everybody down.
Zac and I got out to inspect the source of the noise. We were shocked to find a six inch piece of sharpened steal, deep inside of the rear right tire of the van. With great effort we pulled it out and the listened as the air quickly escpaed from the tire. So here we were, stranded on Buck Hill at 1:00 AM after just seeing what could have been a ghost. We had a spare tire but no jack to change it, or any clue how to get the spare tire out from under the van. I had just purchased a CAA card, but unfortunately there was no cell phone coverage until Barry's Bay or Pembroke, whichever is closer. We waited for about twenty minutes before a car showed up and two guys from Pembroke let us use their jack and tools. We pried the spare tire out from under the van and promptly installed it. We thanked the guys for their help and slowly drove back to Pembroke. The drive back was a very quiet one; everybody was just too scared to say anything. Especially as the girls had concluded that the six inch sharpened piece of steal in the tire was the doing of some kind of angry spirit... I told Zac it was a bad idea to yell "Daddy".
An hour later we got back to Petawawa, dropped everybody off and went to bed. We decided not to go to Buck Hill the next day."
Our thanks to the witness for the above information and report.
Update April 2006
About 5 1/2 yrs ago, Being a sceptic that there was a ghost at Buck Hill, I still went up anyway. I have had many sightings in the past with ghosts, It was a Friday night, got to the top of the hill turn the car around and turned the car off, I was told that I should flash my high beams 3 times, as I was sitting in the vehicle joking with my friends saying that nothing was going to happen, as a light appeared at the bottom of the hill in a ball shape. I automatically stopped joking around with friends. as the light was coming up the hill about 1/2 way IT VANISHED.. then it reappeared as a black figure of a tall, husky man, But we were able to see through it standing in front of the car. all of a sudden it started to walk from the front of the car to the drives side of the vehicle. As it approached the door the interior of the car turned ICE COLD. It was so cold we could see our breath. It kept gliding until it past the drivers door, then vanished once again.. After that encounter we started the car and GOT OUTA THERE!!!!.. That was my first encounter.. I have had many, many more sightings..
About 3-4 yrs ago, I brought my girlfriend up to Buck Hill, this was her first time at Buck Hill.. She was a sceptic at the time, It was around 11pm when we got there it was raining lightly, we got to the top of the hill turn the car off and waited. We were agreeing that we might not see the *ghost* because of the rain. When all of a sudden we seen a light in the distance. I have been there before and seen that type of light in the distance, thinking it was a car coming up the road, we continued talking. Around midnight, we were making a choice to go home.. When out of no where a light appeared on the passengers side about 2 feet away that caught our attention, we gazed at it and it seemed to be facing the vehicle, but what looked to be a light was very hazed. My girlfriend said *let's get out of here*. Then all of a sudden the light lit up the woods and gave a transparent look of a man holding the lantern. It stayed like that for a couple of seconds, then turned back to face the vehicle and lit up the entire car. We got a cold chill, and my girlfriend yelled *start the car*.. We proceeded down the hill. and on our way out of the winding road, the car managed to stall 3 times. We finally made it home. And every summer we return with more to collect, and bring along more people.. Summer of 2006 we are taking camera's and audio devices and we shall see what happens..
Our thanks to the witness for the above information and report.
We would like to visit this location and would appreciate hearing from others whom have seen these ‘lights’. As of 2008 we do not have any definite plans for an investigation of this location.
Update July 2012
"Me and my gf went to Buck Hill the other night while we were camping at round lake. We ended up going far down buck hill road passed where everyone lives in the middle of no where.
There is a spot where it looks like people turn around on the road and it faces the forest. We thought that might be the spot where things happen so we parked.
About 10 seconds after parking we heard unmistakable screams come from the forest of a young girl.
It was 2 screams about a second and a half each scream and about 3 seconds apart. Me and my gf both looked at each other in shock both saying did you hear that?
When she told me she heard the screaming I almost ran out of the car to try and help who ever was in the woods but she didn't want me to leave the car.
The voice did not say any words it was just screaming in despair. We ended up listening for another 8-10 minutes to hear nothing else n left. I'll never forgot those screams. Thought you'd wanna hear that."
Update August 2014
"Thought you might be interested in knowing that I have witnessed the lights at Buck Hill near Killaloe, Ontario.
My first encounter was over 20 years ago. A few friends and I went up to Buck Hill at the spur of the moment. I’m not from the area and when my friends suggested going to see the ghost of Buck Hill, I was sceptical. Well, after what we experienced up there, I’m a true believer that there is definitely “something” there. Not sure what though. Perhaps a ghost.
We arrived at Buck Hill around 2 a.m. We drove the car to the highest point of Buck Hill, turned around, and turned off the engine. We waited approximately 10 minutes and then a bright light appeared in the sky far away. It looked like a headlight but far brighter. It proceeded to come closer. It disappeared for an instant when my friend turned the key in the ignition to check the time on the clock. Then, when it reappeared, it was about 200 feet away. That was close enough for us! We turned the car on and beat it out of there fast. Weird thing was, when we turned the lights on on the car, it lit up the canopy of the treeline across the road. We couldn’t explain how we could see the light so clearly so far away when there were so many tree limbs in front of us.
Our latest encounter was just this past long weekend, Aug 3, 2014. There were 8 of us in total in 2 cars. We parked in the same place. This time one of the cars flashed it’s headlights 3 times. Not sure if it makes a difference, but we read that’s what you’re supposed to do. We waited about 45 minutes before seeing flashes of a bright light in the sky in the distance. It flashed 3 x’s, then disappeared for a bit. Then it flashed 3 more times and disappeared again. I didn’t see it, but another person saw the light hovering in the forest in front of us to the left. Then I saw a faint orange light about half the original distance in front of us. It was lower in the treeline this time. Then it disappeared. After that, a green light appeared much closer and hovered about 6 ft above the road in front of us. Then it disappeared and a flash of light went over our car. I didn’t see it behind us so I’m thinking it was hovering over our car. At that point, we got too scared and left.
Four people in the car beside us saw the first flashes of light in the sky but 3 people didn’t see the rest. One person saw it all. Can’t explain that??? Maybe the trees blocked some of it? Who knows.
The last weird thing that happened on the way out of Buck Hill Road was that one of the cars’ tail lights went out as we turned off the road. The car was recently bought (used) and had a safety that week. Everything was working. The light came back on shortly after leaving Buck Hill. Coincidence? Again, who knows, but interesting nonetheless.
Anyway, I just thought you’d be interested in hearing more stories from Buck Hill.
P.S. Thought I should mention that I don’t drink or do drugs. I was sober on both occasions."
Our thanks goes out to the witnesses for sharing these experiences with us.