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. 


Find the full schedule of events here




 The Great Amherst Street Party 

Join us for our Great Amherst Street Party on October 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.!

There will be live music, food, bounce castles, petting zoo, wagon rides and more. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Community Costume SwapHalloween_Costume_Swap_1_-_web.jpg

Drop off a gently used costume you no longer need and/or pick up a new one for Halloween! Thursday, Oct. 20 6 - 8 p.m., West Highlands School, 17 Maltby Ct.

Early drop off begins Monday, Oct. 17 at West Highlands School.







Amherst After Dark Amherst After Dark web

The team at ParaSight will take you through a thrilling session at Dayle's Grand Market and the Cumberland County Museum to see if ghosts really exist!

Oct. 27 & 28. Registration required. *All spots are now full*







Haunted History Ghost Tour Ghost Tours web

Tour the town with Charlie Rhindress and hear about Amherst's haunted history.

Oct. 18, 20, 25 & 27. Registration required. *All spots are now full*







Big Block Ghost Walk Big block ghost walk web

Follow the Big Block Walk route around downtown to find all the ghosts. Solve the clues and email your answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a chance to win an Esther Fest prize pack!

The Big Block Walk loop is Victoria St. to Havelock St. to Prince Arthur St. to Church St.


@town_of_amherst Can you answer the ghosts riddles in #amherstns ? Stroll the big block walk and find them all! Send the answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for your chance to win some #estherfest2022 ♬ original sound - Town of Amherst


Spooky Skate Spooky Skate web

Join us for a spooky skate on Oct. 30 from 5:15 - 6:15 p.m.! Family friendly costumes encouraged. Skates and helmets required on the ice. Skates and helmets available for loan for free. 


@town_of_amherst Estherfest returns to #AmherstNS from Oct 17 - 31! Find out more at #Estherfest2022 ♬ Amityville Horror - Scary Halloween Sound Effects - Halloween Sound Effects