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The fate of the Donnellys still echoes today. We were even told by a modern source that  "The Donnelly's got what was coming to them!"

Mr. J. Robert Salts now owns the original property and runs tours of the area in which the Donnellys met their end.

Strange phenomena does occur. The first notable occurrence was a feeling of heaviness felt by Linda Salts, J. Robert's wife. Although Mr. Salts is a trance clairvoyant, they figured the best "cure" for this was to have a Catholic priest come in and put the spirits at peace. The priest arrived and although exorcism is not really done without approval from Rome, he blessed the house and gave last rights to those whose spirits may have lingered.

Inside of the Donnelly Barn

During the ceremony, the feeling of heaviness mixed with a sadness was felt bringing tears to Mr. Salts eyes but then, the heaviness lifted and the depression dissipated. Even the priest seemed relieved after the service.

That has not kept the phenomena completely at bay though...

In my youth, I was probably the last Toronto kid to even HEAR of the "Black Donnellys" and was told a fanciful tale of the original obelisk tombstone revolving on the anniversary night of the murders. This is complete bupkiss but it made a good spooky story at Junior High.

There is also a tale of a ghostly lady on horseback riding up the Roman Line towards the homestead on the anniversary but again, unsubstantiated.

Real events happening to the Salts include objects that go missing only to turn up in an odd or obvious spot, footsteps are heard periodically in the home, a man occasionally watches visitors from the barn and many other incidents. A visit and the purchase of Mr. Salts book, "You Are Never Alone - Our Life on the Donnelly Homestead" is definitely recommended. The book is available on the site.

One must remember that the homestead is now the Salts' home and they live in relative peace. If you wish to go and visit, PLEASE contact them first! It is not a historic site by government standards nor is it a park. It is someone's house. How would you feel if someone came to your home at 3am demanding to see the ghosts or hordes of tourists popped by unexpectedly because some historic event happened in your backyard?

To contact the Salts, please visit their website at and send them an e-mail WELL in advance to your arrival.

Also, The Official Donnelly Home Page now has an excellent site dealing with the ghostly occurances at the homestead. It can be reached at the following URL... and also on this amazing site is a sort-of rebuttal to the legend from one of "Grouchy" Ryder's descendants which is well worth reading. It can be found at

PLEASE REMEMBER to be courteous is planning a trip to Lucan and visiting the Salt's. This is their home and PLEASE contact them ahead of your visit. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is the e-mail address.