The Flashing Lights of Hastens (Update) – New Footage!

Last summer, in a Haunted Walk first, two of our tour guides recorded potential paranormal activity at one of our story locations. Standing just outside the Hästens mattress store in Toronto’s Distillery District, the guides watched the store lights flicker and dance, as if on command.

Watch the footage from 2015:

As we frequently tell a story at that location, we knew this kind of strange activity from the lights was uncommon. What adds to the strangeness, is that it seemed to happen most frequently when one of our guides, Claire, was in the vicinity of the store. It is her voice you hear in the recording. Given the unusual nature of the phenomenon, we decided to do a full investigation to see if we could find a simple, non-paranormal explanation. We outlined our findings in Episode 6 of Haunted Talks podcast, which includes interviews with the eye-witnesses, our Toronto manager, an electrician and a veteran employee of Hästens.

You can listen to the full episode here:

Given that a store employee and an electrician were both equally baffled about what we had recorded, our investigation left us with more questions than answers. The mystery seemed destined to remain unsolved. Since that time, only a select few of our hundreds of tours groups have been lucky enough to witness the lights first-hand. Then, almost a year later, it happened again!

On the evening of July 19th, 2016, on our Ghosts and Spirits of the Distillery tour, the following footage was recorded:

While the clip is much shorter, it strongly resembles the activity captured in 2015. Our tour guide, Shannon, reported that shortly after arriving at the location, the group noticed the store lights were flashing. The display continued after the group left. There was nothing unusual reported the following evening, or in the days since.

Strangely, Shannon experienced significant and unusual difficulties with her phone while trying to record the phenomenon:

“When I was trying to film the lights, my first attempts all failed. My phone acted up, even with the help of Noah, the teenage son of the family in my group, someone who seemed quite comfortable with technology. I’ve used this app many, many times, but all it could manage in the presence of the flashing lights was to take a few blurry photos instead of film a short video. It was so odd and frustrating! Finally I switched to the more basic video function that came with my phone, and was able to record the short, poor-quality video you see.”

There is a certain amount of coincidence connected to this new footage. Though she has led many tours for The Haunted Walk in Toronto, this was the first time Shannon had given our Ghosts and Spirits of the Distillery tour:

“When I saw the lights, I was, frankly, stunned and quite excited; I had secretly hoped to see the lights flicker, but I didn’t expect anything to happen, especially not on my first tour! Most of my group was pretty excited, too, especially a large family visiting from Virginia. People looked through various windows, trying to get a better idea of what could be happening.”

We have reached out to our friends at Toronto Electrical Experts, who reviewed the initial footage, to see if any new conclusions or insights could be drawn from this new video. We will update soon.

For now, the flashing lights of Hästens seem to remain a mystery. If you join us for a tour in the Distillery District this Fall, be sure to keep your camera ready. Who knows, you could be part of the next lucky group to witness the flashing lights of Hästens.

Do you have a theory on the lights? Share it with us on Twitter (@hauntedwalk) using #lightsofhastens.

Header Photo Credit: Benson Kua