Esther Fest

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Esther Fest, a celebration of the paranormal and horror, inspired by Esther Cox and her story, which takes place annually in Amherst during October.

In 1878, Amherst, Nova Scotia, made international headlines when Esther Cox, an 18-year-old resident of the town, reportedly found herself at the centre of a bizarre series of events that became known as The Great Amherst Mystery.

Strange rappings and bangings were heard throughout her home. Objects flew through the air. Esther writhed in pain and swelled to twice her normal size. Countless people watched as fires were started and an unknown hand scratched into the wall above Esther's bed: “Esther Cox You Are Mine To Kill.”


The story has become known in paranormal literature as one of the best documented cases of poltergeist activity on record. The New York Sun said it was, “ all probability the greatest (tale) of its kind in this or any age.” MacLean’s magazine called it, “Canada’s most famous ghost story and a classic Poltergeist case.”

The story has been featured in a number of books and television programs about the supernatural.


You can find The Great Amherst Mystery mural and others paying tribute to our history throughout downtown Amherst.  See if you can find them all!


 2021 Esther Fest: October 22-31

 Schedule of Events


Note: Clicking on the image will automatically open a PDF, which you can print. 


Haunted History Ghost TourHaunted History Ghost Tour

Join Charlie Rhindress, local author, actor and playwright, for a "spirited" walking tour of downtown Amherst. We invite you to take a step back in time to appreciate one of the most magnificent collections of sandstone buildings in Canada, many more than a centure old with sordid stories to tell. Even if your tastes run more toward the enjoyment of the architecture and quaint shops alongthe way, don't be surprised if you find yourself covered in goosebumps, feeling watched and questioning whether or not you believe in ghosts.

October 7, 14, 21, 28 and 30 at 6:30 p.m.  Meet at Victoria Square

Register by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Registration is now FULL

 Night at the Museum: Ghost HuntNightMuseum FBPost Web

ParaSight, local paranormal investigators, will explore the Cumberland County Museum and Archives. The museum is located on Church Street in Grove Cottage (c 1838), which was the family home of Senator R.B. Dickey, one of the Fathers of Confederation. During the day the hallways and rooms are alive with Cumberland County history, but what lingers when the sun goes down? 

Discover what lurks in the darkness as you follow along with the ParaSight team as they attempt to record Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP’s) and Electromagnetic Field (EMF) spikes that indicate a ghostly presence.

Registration is now FULL.


EscapeEthersRoom webEscape Esther's Room Virtual Game

You are trapped in Esther's room.
Can you find the clues and solve the code to escape?

Don't forget to enter your email address for a chance to win an Esther Fest prize. Good luck and have fun!

The link to play this virtual game is

It can also be found via our Facebook page.

 Note: This game does not work on a mobile phone.



Merchant Mystery Grab BagsMerchantMysteryGrabBags web

Do you love a good mystery?

Participating merchants have Mystery Grab Bags available. What’s inside? You’ll have to purchase one to find out! Be on the look out for Esther Fest bags with super secret and mysterious deals lurking inside.

For a limited time only! 22-31 October at participating locations.





Esther Fest Scavenger HuntEsther scavenber c

Can you solve the mystery?

Click on the image to the left to open a PDF of the image. Print a copy of the PDF or save a picture of the PDF to your mobile device, then search these Amherst locations – Dickey Park, Amherst Lions Park, Rotary Centennial Park and the Marsh trail – for pink cards displaying the icons.

Each pink card contains an icon and a code. Write the code in the blank space provided underneath the corresponding icon on your printout. The codes, placed in the order of the icons, will reveal the co-ordinates of a secret location in the Town of Amherst.

Input the co-ordinates to find the secret location. Email the secret location to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop off a printed copy at  Amherst Town Hall by Nov. 1 for the chance to win a fabulous prize!



Big Block Ghost Walk 

Oct. 22 -31 Walk the Big Block Walk.

Find all 13 ghosts. Solve the riddles and email your answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for your chance to win an Esther Fest Swag Bag. BigBlockGhostWalk FBPost Final