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Welcome to the forty-seventh installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 300 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month! This service is free and you can sign up to our mailing list (top, right-hand corner) if you wish to receive it every month on the 13th!

We are also pleased to announce that all of our ghost tours are now operating and tickets are on sale! These include Haunted Mountain, Haunted Griffintown, Haunted Downtown and the new Haunted Pub Crawl!

Our July blog examines the Haunted Statue of Jacques Cartier in Saint-Henri, a colonial relic of the past that is said to sometimes disturb people with its paranormal antics.

HAUNTED RESEARCH

Towering over Saint-Henri Park is a statue of Jacques Cartier perched atop a fountain that is rumoured to be haunted. Striking a victorious pose over a fountain adorned with four decapitated Indigenous heads, the monument has been described by community activists as colonial and racist. While some local citizens want the statue removed because it celebrates genocide, others want it gone because it is allegedly haunted. Reports exists of the statue’s eyes following people. Others have heard it cackling maniacally at night and a group of tourists was shocked when the beheaded Indigenous decorations began spewing out what appeared to be blood.

In Montreal, statues are the responsibility of the Public Art Bureau. Established in 1989, the tax-payer funded organization is responsible for managing the municipal collection of public art and this includes acquisitions, maintenance, restoration and promotion. Today, the collection includes more than 320 artworks integrated into public spaces and municipal buildings, such as statues, monuments, murals, fountains and sculptures.

Concerning the statue of Jacques Cartier in Saint-Henri Park, the Public Art Bureau’s website describes it in a way that seems uncritical and casually racist:

“The focal point of Parc Saint-Henri, the monument-fountain is situated in the centre of a pool and stands on an octagonal base decorated with bulrushes. On the base sit four large basins alternating with four small columns topped with cups with fountain jets. In the centre, four beavers hug the base of the pedestal. The top part of the monument has three sections. The bottom one is adorned with foliage branches knotted together with a ribbon and heads of Aboriginals. The middle one bears inscriptions relating episodes in Cartier’s career. The top one is pierced with an opening for the mouth of a large fountain jet. On top of the monument is the sculpture of Cartier, portrayed as a valiant explorer, wearing a cap and the cape and baggy knickers that were in style during the reign of Francis I. His right hand rests on his sword belt and his raised left arm points west. At his feet is a tree stump, the symbol of a country to be cleared.“

Saint-Henri Park was originally called Jacques Cartier Square when it was created in 1890. Town of Saint-Henri mayor, Eugène Guay, purchased the land to create a public square for the enjoyment of the sector’s business elite. Inspired by 16th-century Italian gardens, the original square was landscaped with grass and trees and fitted with a dozen benches to promote relaxation.

For a focal point, the mayor took up a collection to hire Joseph-Arthur Vincent to create a Second Empire-style cast iron fountain surmounted by a statue of Jacques Cartier. Vincent carved the statue out of wood and surrounded it with copper plating, a less expensive way to create impressive-looking monuments. The work was intended to celebrate French-Canadian history by demonstrating the dominance of explorer and colonizer Jacques Cartier. When it was first unveiled in 1893, ten thousand residents attended the ceremony, attesting to the popularity of the “Monument to Jacques Cartier” at the time.

At the turn of the 20th century, upper middle-class homes were built around the square in stone, including one for Mayor Guay himself.

When the Georges Etienne Cartier Park was created in 1910, Jacques Cartier Square renamed Saint Henri Park to avoid confusion.

In 1957, the City of Montreal announced its intention to move the statue to Mount Royal, prompting a citizen backlash.

While the locals managed to save the monument, in the 1960s, the upper middle class citizens gradually began moving away from the area.

Time was taking its toll on the park. By 1963, water had infiltrated the interior of the fragile monument and it began to crumble. In 1979, it was replaced by a copy made of epoxy resin.

In 1990, local residents founded Comité Statue-ta-Fête, a committee to enhance and improve the monument. The original statue was restored and placed in Saint Henri metro station in 2001, whereas a new version, cast in bronze, was prepared to stand atop the fountain in the park.

In 2012, the new statue was unveiled in the park by the Public Art Bureau for 477th anniversary of Jacque Cartier’s visit to the island at a cost of $83,000. Comité Statue-ta-Fête was awarded an Orange Prize in heritage preservation for its lobbying.

Some Montrealers were surprised that so much money and effort went into restoring a statue that celebrates colonialism, domination and even genocide, whereas others whispered that the City should have removed it for good due to persistent rumours that it was haunted.

While rare, haunted statues are known to exist and disturb people throughout the world, as described on the Youtube video “10 HAUNTED STATUES Caught On Tape“. Like the others, Montreal’s statue of Jacques Cartier is also known to upset people through its paranormal antics.

In the 1970s, Marie-Josée (not her real name as she prefers to remain anonymous) was a single mother. She met a local man who had a steady job and soon married him to provide her daughter with a more stable upbringing. After the wedding, the family moved into one of the stately homes bordering Saint-Henri Park on Rue Agnès. She reported that after she had moved in with her husband and young daughter, she began experiencing problems with the statue of Jacques Cartier in Saint-Henri Park.

The first night in their new home was like a dream come true. Marie-Josée and her new husband were thrilled to be in such a beautiful old house overlooking a Victorian park, with plenty of space to raise her daughter.

That first night the family ordered in Chinese take-out as they began the arduous task of unpacking all of their belongings from numerous boxes scattered throughout the house.

At around 9 pm, Marie-Josée was putting her daughter to bed when she heard what sounded like laughter coming from outside. She opened the window to see if there were rowdy teenagers in the neighborhood, but could not see anyone on the street or in the park across the street. While she could not place the laughter, she recognized the voice as male. The laughter got louder, and soon transformed into a mixture of snickering, giggling and cackling. Unimpressed, Marie-Josée closed the window and secured its latch. Unfortunately, she could still hear the deranged laughter, albeit more muffled.

“Maman, why is someone laughing outside?” asked Marie-Josée’s daughter, stating “I’m scared”.

Marie-Josée had to sleep with her daughter that night, and the evil laughter continued on an off throughout the night.

The next morning she went outside and crossed the street into Saint Henri Square to see if she could find any clues as to what had happened the previous night. She saw people feeding pigeons from benches and squirrels darting through the trees. In the center of the park she noticed a big fountain with water pouring down. On the top of it was a triumphant man with a sword standing on a tree stump.

She read the writing on the base and soon realized that this was none other than Jacques Cartier, a man she had learned about in high school when studying History. She recalled that in the 1500s he had discovered Canada and claimed the land for the King of France.

She looked up at the statue and was studying it when something caught her eye. It was the eyes of the statue. It appeared as though they were staring directly at her. She began moving, keeping her gaze locked, and began to feel troubled when it appeared as though his eyes were following hers. It was almost as though he was giving her a cork-eye or a dirty look.

Marie-Josée was even more shocked when it appeared that the statue was smirking at her. Was she imagining all of this? She slowly backed away, but was pretty certain the statue’s eyes were following her. She broke eye-contact with the ominous statue and turned around to return home. That’s when she heard the snickering sound again, which seemed to be coming from the statue itself.

That evening, when her husband came home from work, Marie-Josée informed him about the disturbing, seemingly paranormal statue and its irritating antics.

“So what?”, asked the husband, explaining “He’s the founder of Canada and has every right to do what he wants.”

“Yes,” said Marie-Josée, “But he’s a statue.”

Her husband shrugged, let out a sigh and asked her to bring him a cold beer, before turning on the television to watch sports.

Over the next several days, Marie-Josée and her daughter continued to be unnerved by the malicious cackling and laughter seemingly coming from the haunted statue. It was becoming more and more unbearable.

Marie-Josée invited a friend over, who was a medium, and told her about her problems with the statue. The medium investigated and informed her that the statue was indeed haunted. She explained that the colonial explorer did a lot of bad things and was essentially a very arrogant man. The laughter coming from the statue was a reflection of his misdeeds.

Marie-Josée informed her husband of the news and again he shrugged and turned on the television. Marie-Josée was becoming more and exasperated and told her husband that she and her daughter could not continue to live under such unbearable conditions. She wanted to move somewhere else.

“But chérie,” said the husband, “We just moved in to this wonderful house! We signed a lease for a year. Now let me watch my sports in peace.”

“Yes,” said Marie-Josée, “But that cursed statue is driving us crazy! We want to live somewhere else where it is more peaceful.”

A heated argument evolved and before long there was screaming and shouting echoing throughout the house. Marie-Josée’s daughter started bawling.

Realizing that she was in an impossible situation and angry with her new, insensitive husband, Marie-Josée decided to leave him that very night, with her weeping daughter in tow.

Even though they tried to patch things up over the next several months, the relationship ultimately ended in divorce.

More recently, in 2014, a group of Korean tourists was visiting Montreal, and Saint-Henri Park was on their tour bus agenda because of its colonial statue.

The guide, licensed by the City of Montreal and a member of the tour guiding monopoly, wanted to teach the tourists about Jacques Cartier, the “Father of Modern Canada”. He had been taught about the importance of Jacques Cartier in his high school History course and at the mandatory tour guiding program at the ITHQ, which markets itself as Canada’s best tourism school.

When they arrived in the square, the guide proudly pointed out the sculpture-fountain and all its distinct features. He gushed as he pointed out that Jacques Cartier had claimed all this land for the King of France, and that the statue symbolized European domination over the aboriginals, animals and plants in the New World. The guide was about to explain how Jacques Cartier’s discovery led to a modern Canada, when suddenly one of the female Korean tourists pointed at the statue, shrieked and then fainted on the spot!

The guide rushed to her assistance, and began splashing water from the fountain on her face to try and revive her. When she came to, she began screaming in Korean, before picking herself up and running off.

The guide was shocked and he asked the Korean tourists what the problem was.

“She saw blood,” said one of the tourists, “Coming out from the mouths of the decapitated aboriginal heads.”

The guide scoffed at the time, but has been haunted by the experience ever since. When he is drunk, sometimes he tells the story, still in utter disbelief.

One burning question about racist statues is what to do with them in the 21st Century Age of Truth and Reconciliation. Recognizing that Montreal has some of the most racist statues and commemorations in Canada, Nakuset, executive director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal is critical of the colonial monuments, stating: “I don’t think in any other culture you can kill, you can do a genocide and then celebrate it…It’s very disturbing.”

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued a report with 94 Calls to Action, and Call to Action 79 ii deals with heritage and commemoration:

“We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. This would include, but not be limited to:

Revising the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical Commemoration to integrate Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.”

The problem is that the wheels of change are very slow, and Montreal’s citizens are becoming impatient with all the racist monuments littering the city and driving away progressive tourists.

Racist statues, such as Sir John A. MacDonald and Queen Victoria, have been repeatedly painted by anti-colonial activists, who are demanding that they be retired to a museum or archive as “relics of the past”. However, instead of removing the racist monuments, the Public Art Bureau spends thousands of dollars each time re-editing them back to their racist versions by removing the paint and re-waxing them.

Montrealers are beginning to question this waste of taxpayer dollars and ask why the City isn’t doing anything about the postcolonial scandal.

Anishinaabeg visual artist Scott Benesiinaabandan believes: “If a group of Indigenous Canadians decided to go and protest in front of statues, then they would become controversial and people would start talking about it. But for the moment, nothing is happening.”

Perhaps the City of Montreal simply doesn’t know what to do with so many racist statues, plaques and monuments scattered all over the metropolis.

It would be wise for municipal authorities to study progressive artistic solutions that have been tried in other lands that are also in the process of decolonizing. This artistic idea of Reflectionism is appealing: it seems both creative and reasonable. Cities such as Asunción, Hamburg, Budapest and Odessa have all invited artists to rework and recontextualise statues with troubling legacies, with interesting and even powerful results.

Solution 1: Leave the paint on them

This is certainly the easiest solution in the short term, as it requires no expense and causes onlookers to question why the statue was been “vandalized”. This creates a fun sort of game where people will Google what is so bad about the statue, improving education and critical thinking in the general population.

Solution 2:  Interpretive Panels

Another solution, albeit not a very strong one, is to surround each racist statue or monument with interpretive panels explaining why it is racist and why it is still on display in a City of Reconciliation. The only problem with this approach is that there is no guarantee it will stop activists from painting the statues – and maybe even the panels!

Solution 3: Put them in a museum or archive

In order to preserve and reinterpret racist statues and monuments, museums and archives are ideal places for them. Not only are they protected from paint editing, but they can be put behind glass or stored as colonial relics of the past. This is the preferred solution for a group called the “Delhi-Dublin Anti-Colonial Solidarity Brigade”, who have claimed responsibility for editing racist statues with paint on many occasions, such as before the Mass Demonstration Against Racism and Xenophobia on March 24, 2019. Furthermore, museums can also digitally preserve the racist statues in their present locations with the use of virtual reality. That way, die-hards and anti-racism researchers can still experience the racist statues in their original locations, albeit via a VR interface.

Solution 4: Create an open-air museum by putting them all in one park

Memento Park displays more than 40 Communist-era statues in Budapest, Hungary. With the fall of Communism in 1989, Budapest was left with many undesirable public works of art that celebrated the oppressive era. Four years later, the city government decided to save the statues and the idea for the Memento Park was born. Today, the park is visited by 40,000 people annually, making it a popular tourist attraction for the city.

Solution 5: Responding by installing an In situ anti-racist statue or work of public art

It is possible to subvert a racist statue by placing another statue or work of public art in the same vicinity to trigger reflection on it. For example, in 1701 an exceptional Indigenous diplomat named Kondiaronk was able to persuade old enemies to sign The Great Peace of Montreal, effectively ending warfare in the region. Kondiaronk died during these negotiations, and was buried under Place d’Armes. Sadly, the genocidal Maisonneuve Monument was erected in 1895 in the center of the square with no dedication to Kondiaronk. To correct the problem, the City could erect a giant statue of peace-maker Kondiaronk, In situ, that towers over the racist Maisonneuve Monument in Place d’Armes.

It would signify that peace and inclusion is more important in Montreal than racism and genocide, and would restore Kondiaronk to his rightful place in the city’s history.

Solution 6: Physically alter the statue to subvert its original meaning.

Modern technology makes it easy to edit old statues by adding new elements that subvert their authority. For example, there are creatures from Kanien’kehá:ka and Haudenosaunee lore known as Kanontsistonties, or Flying Heads. These horrifying undead creatures are described as giant, disembodied heads the size of a human with bat-like wings, and a mouth packed full of fangs. Flying Heads were renowned to have an insatiable hunger for flesh and blood, which could never be satisfied because the creatures have no body. By adding hungry Kanontsistonties to racist statues, whereby the Flying Heads are presented as devouring the colonial figureheads such as Sir John A. MacDonald, Sieur de Maisonneuve, James McGill, Queen Victoria and Jacques Cartier, a playful new interpretation would be possible for delighted tourists. Indeed, a whole tourist circuit could be created to visit all of the hungry Kanontsistonties additions to racist statues.

Solution 7: Deconstruct them

Deconstruction involves breaking the statues apart in order to rebuild them in ways that subvert their authority. Following dictator General Alfredo Stroessner’s ouster from..

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Welcome to the forty-sixth installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 250 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month! This service is free and you can sign up to our mailing list (top, right-hand corner) if you wish to receive it!

Firstly, Haunted Montreal is extremely proud to announce that we have won the prestigious Travel & Hospitality Award in the category of “Unique Experience of the Year 2019 in Quebec”!

To have won in Quebec, a nation that prides itself on its uniqueness, this is a very high honour indeed!

Quebec has a lot of interesting tourist experiences to offer, although many organizations are falling behind the international expectations of next-generation tourists. Recently, some of the older tourism structures have been identified as outdated and colonial and unable to cope with change in the 21st Century age of Truth and Reconciliation. One example that comes to mind is Montreal’s tour guiding cartel/monopoly, which has recently been identified as systemically racist and mis-representative of both the city’s population demographic and of Indigenous history and perspectives as well.

Haunted Montreal aims to stay ahead of the curve to offer our clients unadulterated history, authentic experiences, unforgettable excursions and opportunities to help shape Montreal’s Tourism Industry to be more inclusive, authentic and diverse. We are very proud that our work is being recognized at the highest levels of authority.

Travel and Hospitality Awards are “a recognition of the hard work and accomplishments across the travel industry. Recognizing hotels, tour companies, travel buyers and influencers across six continents, it is a stamp of recognition for long-standing customer satisfaction.”

Haunted Montreal is also pleased to announce that all of our ghost tours are in full operation and tickets are on sale! These include Haunted Mountain, Haunted Griffintown, Haunted Downtown and the new Haunted Pub Crawl!

This month, Haunted Montreal is extremely excited to report a very special event. Canada’s most haunted city, Montreal, is nervously awaiting its most infamous ghost. Prostitute Mary Gallagher was brutally murdered and beheaded in a filthy Griffintown tenement on June 27, 1879 on the corner of William and Murray streets. The case shocked Montrealers, especially when Mary’s best friend, Suzy Kennedy, was sentenced to hang for the gruesome crime. Since then, Mary’s headless ghost is said to return every 7 years on the anniversary of her death, still searching for her head.

Mary Gallagher’s next scheduled appearance is on June 27, 2019, the 140th  anniversary of her murder. Professional actors and storytellers from the Haunted Griffintown Ghost Walk will tell the infamous ghost story, every half hour from 7- 10 pm free of charge, on the corner of William and Murray Streets. The story will be told in both French and English every 30 minutes on the hour. Tips for the actors are appreciated.

Haunted Research

The spooky corner of William and Murray Streets in Griffintown is without a doubt Montreal’s most haunted crossroads. Today the area is undergoing rapid gentrification and the site of Mary Gallagher’s brutal murder in 1879, once a ramshackle tenement house on the south-east corner, is now a vacant lot.

When the Griff was Canada’s most notorious shantytown, the corner was very much feared due to rampant reports that Mary Gallagher’s ghost would return every 7 years on the anniversary of her murder. In 1999, the late renowned Griffintown storyteller Denis Delaney told CBC’s Anna Asimakopulous that “children used to take her candy and little bags of treats, and things like that, and we’d leave them for her and then run away so she wouldn’t harm us.”

Parents would use the ghost story as a way of keeping their children obedient, warning that “Headless Mary” would get them if they didn’t eat their cabbage, do their homework, or return home on time.

In 2005, author and journalist Alan Hustak released The ghost of Griffintown: the true story of the murder of Mary Gallagher, the most detailed account of the murder and tormented spirit to date. Sadly, this book is out-of-print and publishers Véhicule Press were unable to re-publish it for the 140th anniversary of Mary Gallagher’s gruesome death, either in print or as an e-book.

Griffintown has seen a lot of tragic history and is the ideal location for Montreal’s most infamous ghost story. The area where the Griff exists has always suffered hardship.

Montreal exists today on the un-ceded Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) territory of Tio’tia:ke in northern Kanien’keh, also known as the Land of the Flint. Originally this was the location of a back-breaking portage trail used by various First Nations around the ancient island of Tiotà:ke’s rapids.

Geographically, today’s Montreal Island is the end of the line for any vessels coming down the St. Lawrence River because of the dangerous waters. For thousands of years, those wishing to continue had to unpack their canoes and carry everything for 13 kilometers over difficult terrain.

When the French colonized the island in 1642, they built the settlement of Ville-Marie in what is now Old Montreal. This triggered an all out and brutal war between the French colonists and the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) First Nation, who tried to reclaim their ancestral territory.

In 1654, Jeanne Mance, foundress of the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, was granted 112 arpents of land by the leader, the Sieur de Maisonneuve. This area was named the Nazareth Fief, but due to the intermittent warfare, the colonists often huddled inside their fortifications for fear of being attacked.

Once a treaty called the Great Peace of Montreal was signed in 1701, the French began cutting down and uprooting the ancient and old-growth oak forest, which was converted into farmland.

The nuns called it Le Grange des Pauvres, or the “Barn of the Poor”, because the proceeds were used to feed the sick and the destitute at the Hôtel-Dieu hospital.  

In 1760, this area saw action again. 2,000 British redcoats, under the command of General Amherst, marched from Lachine through the Nazareth Fief to capture Ville-Marie. The city surrendered without so much as a fight because authorities knew that the “New France” colonial project was effectively over.

Under the British administration, things changed very quickly. The nuns leased the land to businessman Thomas McCord in 1791. With talk of building the Lachine Canal, the land increased in value. In 1796, McCord went away on business in the United Kingdom. In his absence, an unscrupulous business associate named Patrick Langan sold his land in 1803 to Mrs. Mary Griffin. As the wife of Robert Griffin, a soap factory owner, Mary Griffin, a shrewd business-woman, saw the opportunity to build homes in the area.

She immediately hired a draughtsman and surveyor named Louis Charland to create an urban plan to subdivide the area into streets, squares and building lots where houses could be constructed. Mary Griffin named a major thoroughfare “Griffin Street” and also named the neighborhood after her family.

When Thomas McCord returned, he found that his land now hosted a small community. He was furious and took immediate legal action. After winning his land back in court in 1810, McCord tried to erase everything named after the Griffin family. For example, he renamed Griffin Street to “Wellington Street”. However, much to the chagrin of Thomas McCord, the name Griffintown stuck in the public parlance.

The area changed again in 1847, when tens of thousands of dying Irish refugees, fleeing An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger), poured into the city after dangerous Atlantic crossings in Coffin Ships.

Approximately 50% of the survivors were totally impoverished and could not afford to continue westward. Thousands of Irish Famine refugees moved into the Griff and before long this area was transformed into Canada’s most notorious shantytown.

For over a century, the run-down, ramshackle neighborhood was characterized by grinding poverty, severe overcrowding, filth, alcohol, tragedy and violence.

With no running water and people using privies, the Griff was a breeding ground for deadly epidemics – cholera, typhus, typhoid, diphtheria, small pox and Spanish Flu – which killed off thousands of residents. The area has also witnessed countless floods, fires, industrial accidents, murder – and far, far worse!

However, despite these many adversities, it was a  tight-knit Irish neighborhood that that stood the test of time and supported its own.

Sadly, in 1963, with the stroke of a pen, the neighborhood suffered a final death-knell when it was rezoned by Mayor Jean Drapeau as a “light industrial zone”. Whole blocks of houses were torn down and residents were displaced. The neighborhood’s population dropped from a height of 70,000 people to less than 1,000 in just a few short years. The Griff was practically transformed into a ghost town! In 1970, St. Ann’s Church, the hub of the community since 1854, was unceremoniously demolished, despite pleas from the Irish community to at least spare the Presbytery.

Today, the ruins of the church can be seen in St. Ann’s Park.

Today, gentrification is transforming the old neighborhood as luxury condos go up in what was once one of the city’s most derelict areas. New residents, who usually drop a few hundred thousand dollars for a condo in Griffintown, are quickly learning that they may have bought more than they bargained for. While Mayor Drapeau may have displaced the residents of an entire neighborhood, the ghosts of the shantytown still remain.

Many of the new residents report feelings of general unease, as though they are not welcome in the Griff. Some report feelings of being watched by unseen beings, whereas other report the sounds of phantom footsteps following them down the streets, not to mention the appearance of mysterious shadow creatures. Phantom church bells toll and rumours abound about the Ghost of Mary Gallagher. The sale of curtains is up, as many new residents feel as though someone or something is peeping through their windows at night.

The origins of the Mary Gallagher ghost story all started on the 24th of June, 1879. The city was bursting at the seams because it was St. Jean Baptiste Day, a huge religious celebration in Montreal.

That day, two ladies, best of friends, were out bar-hopping near today’s Place Jacques Cartier in what is now Old Montreal. The square bustled with economic activity because it was located beside the Montreal Harbour. Here you would find sailors, dockworkers, merchants, stevedores, citizens and immigrants, along with all of the riff-raff of the society – beggars, pickpockets, prostitutes, street urchins – you name it!

The ladies were Mary Gallagher, aged 38, and Susie Kennedy, aged 26. They were Griffintown-based prostitutes and they were trolling for clients, which is why they were bar-hopping. At first they visited Joe Beef’s Tavern, a real dive of a bar, but it was slim pickings. All of the men were either too poor or too ugly.

They continued on their way and while crossing today’s Place Jacques Cartier, they bumped into a strapping young lad! Michael Flanagan, aged 32 years old, was a handsome and muscular dockworker from the Lachine Canal.

He was looking for company.

The ladies led him into a tavern and before long the three of them were drinking the afternoon away, with both ladies flirting with Michael Flanagan, each of them trying to secure him as a client for the night.

It appeared as though Michael Flanagan was becoming more and more interested in Mary Gallagher, despite the fact that she was a dozen years older than Suzy and had graying hair.

Mary was successful in seducing Michael Flanagan and brought him to a dingy flophouse, leaving Suzy to go home all alone, empty-handed to her 2nd floor tenement on the south-east corner of William and Murray Streets. According to the legend, Suzy was both angry and jealous at the fact that Flanagan chose Mary Gallagher over her.

After two days of debauchery, Mary brought Michael Flanagan to Suzy’s flat at 242 William Street, around 6 a.m. on June 27th.

Suzy lived above a widow named Mrs. Troy and her 10-year old son. Mary brought Michael Flanagan up the back stairway with several bottles of whiskey in their possession. Suzy wasn’t exactly thrilled to see them, but nevertheless joined them in downing three bottles of whisky before the 12 bells of noon.

At around noon, the woman living downstairs, Mrs. Troy, heard a loud bang that shook the whole house and cracked the plaster in the ceiling in two different places. Then she heard what sounded like a sort of a chopping noise. Whack! Whack! Whack! It lasted a full 15 minutes.

As Mrs. Troy pondered what was going on upstairs, she began to feel something dripping in to her hair. Thinking that it was not raining, Mrs. Troy reached into her hair and felt something warm and sticky. She quickly realized that this was blood dripping through her ceiling!

Mrs. Troy decided to send her 10-year old boy upstairs to see what the problem was. He came back down after about 30 seconds, as white as a sheet. Shaking, he blurted out: “Mummy, there’s a lady up there with her head off!”

That’s when Mrs. Troy decided to go for the police. However, the officer in charge that day explained that the police force didn’t have enough resources to investigate every disturbance in the Griff. This may be why it took the police a full 10 hours to arrive on the crime scene.

When they arrived, the first thing they noticed, lying next to the stove, was the mutilated corpse of Mary Gallagher. She had been hacked apart – 14 brutal blows to the body. Her right hand was severed at the wrist. Mary had also suffered a decapitation: her head was located in the ash bucket next to the stove, its eyes still open, staring up at the ceiling.

As for Suzy, she was found lying in her bed, covered in blood – it was all over her hands, clothing and the bed sheets. A bloody axe was found in a box next to the bed.

The police immediately arrested her.

Michael Flanagan was picked up by the police at a tavern on Nazareth Street later that evening. He claimed to have no recollection of the day on account of all the alcohol.

Needless to say, when it came time to try them in a court of law, Suzy was found guilty of murder and sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead on December 5th of the same year. This cruel sentence was proclaimed despite the fact that the jury had recommended mercy.

Michael Flanagan, on the other hand, walked scot free because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him. Many of the citizens were shocked that a woman could commit such a violent crime, especially against a member of her own gender. Women in the Victorian era were often seen as delicate and defenseless creatures.

It is also important to remember that during the Victorian era it was considered very unpopular to execute women. One had been executed a few years earlier, and it did not gone down very well in the public opinion. Also, Suzy was clearly more than just a little bit mentally unstable, which is why the Prime Minister of the era, Sir John A. MacDonald, decided to commute her sentence from capital punishment to a lifetime of incarceration in the Kingston Penitentiary, in Ontario.

One ironic fact about the story is that on December 5th, 1879, the day Suzy Kennedy was originally to hang, Michael Flanagan perished after falling through the ice while working on the Wellington Basin. At the time, many Griffintowners speculated that Mary Gallagher’s vengeful spirit had pushed him off the dock and his drowning was the result of her ghost’s intervention.

Whatever the case, when Suzy arrived at the Kingston Penitentiary, the first thing the warden did was replace her name with a number, as they did with all the prisoners. Her number was 9677. The guards deployed 9677 to the dungeons, where they found a cell for her measuring two feet wide by five feet long.

She spent the next 11 years in solitary confinement in that jail cell, knitting and sewing things on behalf of the prison, like uniforms for the North West Mounted Police. Living in such dank conditions, Suzy contracted pulmonary tuberculosis, or consumption, and died in July, 1890. These things can happen when you live under the ground.

Suzy Kennedy’s body was almost certainly donated to the Queen’s University Medical Faculty, where the young students would have learned a thing or two during the autopsy and dissection.

As for Mary Gallagher, and this really is the most interesting part of the story, it is said that she returns, every 7 years, to the corner of William and Murray Streets. It is said that she returns for one reason and one reason only – because she is still searching for her head!

Her next scheduled appearance will be the 27 of June, 2019, and Haunted Montreal is busy preparing for her reception! Haunted Montreal is very proud to engage with the tradition of commemorating the anniversary of Mary Gallagher’s murder and ghost sightings every seven years.

The first known sighting of Mary Gallagher’s ghost occurred just seven years after her murder. A local Griffintown hunchback, known only as Johnson, spotted her ghost on the corner of William and Murray Streets and proceeded to bolt to the Young Street Police Station. The officers on duty suspected the old hunchback was drunk and did not pursue an investigation.

According to journalist Alan Hustak, another sighting occurred in 1900, but the details are very slim.

On October 27, 1928 the now-defunct Montreal Star launched a sensational story with its the following headline: “Griffintown Claims Ghost of Murdered Woman Has Returned to Look for Head.”

The journalist reported that “a bona-fide headless ghost, in the form of a woman, is said to have been seen by half a dozen different people on as many nights.” The Montreal Star continued: “Although reports of the first appearance of the phantom are conflicting, it seems that one night last week a woman rushed screaming into the police station on Young Street. She was pale and distraught and evidently bordering on collapse. ‘A ghost,’ she cried, ‘Up on William Street, Oh!’ Police searched the neighborhood with no results. That was the first time they had searched. It wasn’t the last. Hardly a night goes by without a wild and wearisome chase for the elusive phantom. The police are inclined to be incredulous. Not so the inhabitants of the place.”

According to The Montreal Star, “seven years after the crime, and every seven years since, the headless ghost is said to have returned to the spot of the murder and with low and awesome moans paced the streets at midnight supposedly searching for its head. This is one of the ‘seventh’ years.”

The reporter continued: “Partick Murphy, grocer, told The Star last night of the stories he had heard about the ghost. The grocery store is sort of a meeting place for the neighbourhood and all the tales are..

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Welcome to the forty-fifth installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 250 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month! This service is free and you can sign up to our mailing list (top, right-hand corner) if you wish to receive it every month on the 13th!

We are also pleased to announce that all of our ghost tours are now operating and tickets are on sale! These include Haunted Mountain, Haunted Griffintown, Haunted Downtown and the new Haunted Pub Crawl!

Our May blog examines “The Savannah Ghost”, a very personal ghost story by yours truly, Donovan King, the founder of Haunted Montreal. It is the true tale of how I may have picked up something paranormal in “America’s Most Haunted City” and brought it back to Montreal where it would wreak havoc on my life for several months until an Irish priest was able to expel whatever it was that was haunting me.

HAUNTED RESEARCH

The Savannah Ghost is a personal ghost story and it is difficult to tell. However, telling it is certainly better than leaving it buried.

One of the challenges of running a tour company in Montreal is the long and brutal winters, which are far too unpleasant to conduct regular walking tours.

Not wanting our actors to suffer through long periods of storytelling isolation, for years I have been seeking a winter solution. I had heard of haunted pub crawls existing in Deep South American cities such as Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans.

I decided that I needed to learn more first hand, so in December of 2017 I visited both Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia, “America’s Most Haunted City” to research haunted pub crawls.

Savannah has a bloody, oppressive and somber history. From the settling of Savannah by British colonists in 1733 until the start of the Civil War, Georgia’s first city was heavily dependent on slave labor and the bustling port played an integral role in the oppressive Atlantic slave trade. It has also witnessed pirates, brutal battles during the Civil War, deadly waves of yellow fever and other epidemics, devastating fires and hurricanes, lynchings and deranged murders.

With much of Savannah being built on burial grounds, including shallow and unmarked slave cemeteries, there can be no denying that it has an extremely haunted feel about it. The moss-draped oak trees and beautiful, nineteenth century Antebellum mansions are the perfect background for the numerous haunted activities, including ghost walks, pub crawls, bus tours and hearse rides! 

This being a haunted research trip, I booked a room in one of the most haunted lodgings in historic Savannah, the 17Hundred90 Inn, for approximately a week. My room was in a large and stately building behind the main hotel, and was airy, comfortable and luxurious. It included a King-sized bed, antique furniture, tasteful artwork and even a Jacuzzi hot tub.

According to the inn’s website, there are at least three ghosts who are believed to haunt the inn: the spirit of a boy named Thaddeus, the ghost of a young lady named Anna, and a nasty, voodoo-practicing kitchen worker’s apparition.

The first spirit, that of a boy named Thaddeus, is sometimes seen on the ground floor in the restaurant and pub. According to the website: “Thaddeus leaves shiny pennies lying on the tables, bar and the desk.  He too is a friendly spirit who is sometimes experienced as a warm unexplainable presence.”

The second ghost is the most well-known at the inn. Known only as Anna, the spirit of this young woman is said to haunt Room 204. This ghost is so popular that the inn actually charges more per night to stay in the haunted room.

According to the inn’s promotional materials:  “Guests staying in room 204 frequently report strange happenings such as jewelry or clothing being mysteriously moved from one place to the other.  Some have experienced being nudged or having bed covers moved. She always seems to be a friendly spirit yet always wanting to make her presence known.”

According to folklore, in the early 1800s, Anna was a bride of an arranged marriage. Her elderly husband made her life a misery. As a businessman, he ran the inn and was also involved in Savannah’s shipping business.

Not only would Anna have to clean the inn and serve its clients, but she also had to be at the port every morning at sunrise to fill out important paperwork related to her husband’s import and export business.

As the story goes, one fine morning she met a handsome sailor in the port and they fell immediately in love. The sailor invited her to elope with him aboard the ship, which was departing the following day and she excitedly agreed.

Unfortunately, that evening her husband overheard some drunken sailors speaking about the plan. Enraged, he vowed that his young bride would never carry out her disloyal scheme.

Just before sunrise the next morning, Anna is said to have thrown herself to her own death from a third floor window onto the brick courtyard below. Rumours circulated that she had jumped because her husband forbade her to go to the port that morning because he knew of her plan to abandon him.

Others whispered that she had probably been pushed out the window by her jealous husband. While the details of the story have blurred with time, what everyone can agree on is that Anna died after tumbling from the third story window. The innkeepers actually placed a life-size doll of her behind the curtains on the third floor to promote the inn as a haunted destination.


Anna’s ghost seems to enjoy messing with people and their belongings. Guests staying in Room 204 frequently report strange happenings such as jewelry or clothing being mysteriously moved from one place to the other. People have also said they feel the presence of Anna while staying in the room. Sometimes after turning off the lights, guests hear the sobs of a woman emanating from the corners of Room 204.

In 2009, actress/singer Miley Cyrus Tweeted about her encounter with Anna’s ghost. The celebrity and her mother stayed in Room 204 while Cyrus was shooting The Last Song on nearby Tybee Island. Anna reportedly left a hand print on Miley’s boot.

In addition, there are dozens of confirmed ghostly encounters with Anna written in the inn’s guestbook and on travel websites such as Tripadvisor. For example, one guest wrote:

“I stayed in the room haunted by Anna and boy was it an experience. Shadows and footsteps were frequent. The tv glitched up. My partner’s computer stopped working while there and worked as soon as we left. Bangs outside the room. Something got into bed with us and this is probably the creepiest thing. I sleep on the end of the bed at home but while here I kept feeling like something was pushing me to get into bed. Then it felt like I was being touched and my partner felt something grab their foot. Amazing experience that you can read about in the guest book on June 25!”

Needless to say, Room 204 is very popular with those daring visitors who come to Savannah hoping for a ghostly encounter. The innkeepers were kind enough to give me a personal tour of the infamous room when they heard about my research.

The third and final ghost reported at the 17Hundred90 is said to be a Voodoo practitioner who seems to haunt the inn’s kitchen. This ghost is much more sinister in nature than the other two. There are reports of kitchen staff suddenly hearing the clinking sound of metal bracelets, which is often followed by pots and pans being tossed about or spice jars being thrown at unsuspecting kitchen workers.

In addition to the pots being thrown, people have been pushed or touched by invisible hands, and pranks have been pulled on staff who are working in or around the kitchen. Staff members working late at night in the area of the bar or kitchen have had many unnerving things happen to them.

The staff believes this is the ghost of a servant who used to serve the inn. The woman in question was believed to be a practitioner of Voodoo, and the clanging bracelets are believed to be connected to her rituals. 

Many Savannah ghost stories are covered on the Haunted History TV program and in many other videos, podcasts, and media.

Returning to my purpose of visiting Savannah, to learn about the concept of haunted pub crawls in order to create one for Montreal’s winter months, I had the great pleasure of attending several different ghostly bar hops.

I was particularly thrilled when Gregory Proffitt, creator of the haunted pub crawl concept, agreed to meet with me at his favourite watering hole, the Six Pence Pub.

Gregory regaled me with stories from his life in the coast guard and then as a horse and carriage guide in Savannah. Realizing he could make extra money at night from his carriage clients, he began inviting them to hear ghost stories in local pubs in the evening. Seeing the potential to expand the concept, Gregory Proffit went on to found the Creepy Crawl in Savannah over a decade ago.

Haunted pub crawls are becoming more and more popular throughout the world as a great way to combine two popular activities – ghost tours and pub crawls, and now exist in dozens of cities across the planet.

While Dublin City, Ireland has around 15 haunted pubs and Savannah, Georgia, has around 25 paranormal bars, Montreal is clearly the best metropolis to mix booze with creepy ghost stories. With over 40 haunted pubs and other drinking establishments, Montreal is an ideal city to pour back some libations while pondering the paranormal.

Knowing that the haunted pub crawl concept would be an ideal fit for Montreal’s long winter months, I set to work studying the dynamics and logistics behind these curious activities. I attended four different haunted pub crawls, two ghost walks, a hearse tour and a haunted bus tour. I had the pleasure of hearing some local ghost stories from my good friend Victor Boyle, who has a home in Savannah.

My usual routine was to sit by the inn’s fireplace and do some research and writing during the day, whereas at night I would attend a haunted event. I got to know the inn’s staff quite well and they told me to make myself at home and to help myself to coffee from the kitchen whenever I wanted some. It was a comfortable and personal office and an ideal place to work in cozy quietude.

One afternoon, I went into the kitchen to refill my coffee cup. Standing there alone, pouring hot java into my mug, I had an intense feeling that someone – or something – was starting at my back. When I spun around, nobody was present. Suddenly I heard a loud clanging noise and I nearly jumped out of my skin!

I whirled around and saw that three metal pots, which had been on the kitchen counter waiting to be used to prepare the evening meal, were rolling around on the floor, creating a metallic echo throughout in the kitchen.

I suddenly felt a burning flash in my brain, like the rapid onset of a bad headache.

I quickly left the kitchen with my coffee and returned to my table by the fireplace. While shaken, I was soon immersed again in my work, feeling quite disturbed.

As the days passed carrying out my research, including the pub crawls and the ghosts haunting the 17Hundred90 Inn, I began to feel more and more uneasy. Some nights, I had trouble sleeping, despite my luxurious room. I was utterly stunned one day when it actually snowed in Savannah, effectively shutting down the whole city.

The inn’s staff jokingly blamed me for bringing the weather with me from Quebec.

There was something both sad and beautiful seeing Savannah draped in a layer of white snow, and I spent the day taking photographs of this unusual occurrence.

I passed the New Year in good company at an Irish pub, but there was a lingering feeling inside me, a negative and alienating feeling of being alone even though I was surrounded by excited revelers.

When it was time to return to the snowy depths of Montreal in early January, these foreboding feelings followed me onto the plane and continued haunting me in Montreal. Sleepless nights. Lingering anxiety. A deep sense that something was very, very wrong. I began to suspect that I had brought something paranormal back with me from Savannah.

It was the beginning of a downward spiral, a descent into a dark pit of depression and anxiety. By February, I had reached out to family and medical professionals to explain my situation and seek help.

In March, just after St. Patrick’s Day, I reached a point so low that I could no longer continue working as a teacher, historian, businessperson or tour guide. I shuttered Haunted Montreal right before the start of the season. I had been transformed into what author Tim Lott describes as a “Half-living ghost“:

“For a start, it can produce symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s – forgetfulness, confusion and disorientation. Making even the smallest decisions can be agonizing. It can affect not just the mind but also the body – I start to stumble when I walk, or become unable to walk in a straight line. I am more clumsy and accident-prone. In depression you become, in your head, two-dimensional – like a drawing rather than a living, breathing creature. You cannot conjure your actual personality, which you can remember only vaguely, in a theoretical sense. You live in, or close to, a state of perpetual fear, although you are not sure what it is you are afraid of.”

The author, himself a victim of the illness on occasion, continues:

“Inside, there is a dark storm. Sometimes you may have the overwhelming desire to stand in the street and scream at the top of your voice, for no particular reason (the writer Andrew Solomon described it as “like wanting to vomit but not having a mouth”).”

This dark and horrifying experience would completely derail my life for several months.

With the devoted support of family, friends and medical professionals, by the month of June I was able to start plotting my escape from the Pit of Hell I had fallen into. Then living with very supportive family members, one of the very best therapies for recovery was building a rock garden on my mother’s property in Malone, New York.

By early July, while still shaky, I was able to return to Montreal. My incredible business partner, Caitie Moynan, rebooted Haunted Montreal on Friday, the 13th of July, 2018, to great fanfare. Even though I still couldn’t work at that time, Caitie arranged other actors to lead the haunted tours so I could continue my recovery.

On July 26, 2018, Caitie and I attended the annual Mass in Saint Ann’s Park as part of our work with Irish Montreal Excursions, our sister company devoted to the history of the Irish in Montreal. Set on the site of the ruins of Griffintown’s once bustling Saint Ann’s Church, the event is held once a year on the Feast of Saint Ann. It is a reunion, as all of the old parishioners who are still living celebrate Catholic Mass and remember the old days before their neighbourhood was destroyed by Mayor Jean Drapeau.

In 1963, Mayor Drapeau re-zoned the Griff from residential to industrial and city workers began tearing down dwellings. Over 70,000 Griffintowners departed their beloved ‘hood until less than 1,000 remained, in just the span of a few short years. Saint Ann’s Church was demolished in 1970 after the neighborhood could no longer support a parish.

Led by the venerable Father McCrory of Saint Gabriel’s Parish, in Pointe Saint Charles, the elderly parishioners attended the service within the ruins of their glorious old church. It was at this sacred location where for decades Griffintowners had attended religious services, community meetings, lively weddings, somber funerals and confessed their deepest sins within the church’s confessional booths.

Following the service, I approached the good Father and asked him for a blessing, explaining my unfortunate situation. Father McCrory appeared very concerned and worked his skills. Miraculously, he was somehow able to expel whatever it was that was haunting me.

Indeed, immediately after his blessing, I felt back to my normal self, after half a year of pure anguish.

Looking back on the situation now, I often wonder what paranormal entity might have placed this curse on me or followed me home from Savannah. Reviewing all the ghosts I had studied in that most haunted of cities, my best guess is that it was the ghost of the Voodoo-practicing kitchen worker at the haunted 17Hundred90 Inn. Simply put, I should never have entered that cursed kitchen knowing full well that a dangerous spirit inhabited the place. And to think it was all for a cup of coffee.

In any case, since this disturbing episode, I am happy to report that everything is back to normal in my life. Haunted Montreal is open for business. I returned to teaching my students, and I got to work creating the Haunted Montreal Pub Crawl, based on all my research in Savannah.

In January, I launched Montreal’s first-ever haunted pub crawl, and it has been selling out almost every week since! Inspired by Gregory Proffit’s Guide to the Haunted Pubs of Savannah, I also blogged a list and short description of many of Montreal’s haunted watering holes, where guests can enjoy some spirits – with a spirit!

Even though this ghost story has a not unhappy ending, reflecting upon it I have three important observations.

Firstly, when visiting haunted locations it is a good idea to take precautions, such as visiting with an experienced guide, avoiding cursed places and bringing as much spiritual protection as possible.

Secondly, it is extremely important to reach out for help when in a state of mental distress. These terrifying states will eventually pass, especially with the right approaches and treatments.

And last but not least, there is a terrible stigma surrounding mental health issues, even though the medical profession agrees that both physical and mental illnesses are normal and treatable. While a patient suffering from cancer will often be surrounded by flowers and family members, those suffering from mental illnesses rarely receive such support. This is why it is important to break the stigma, which would help enormously in the recovery process.

Mental health issues haunt a large percentage of the Canadian population. In any given year, 1 in 5 people will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. By age 40, about 50% of the population will have experienced a mental illness. The results are both devastating personally and do extreme damage to the economy. The cost to Canada is at least a staggering $50 billion per year. By breaking the stigma, all of these grim statistics could be considerably lowered.

During my crisis, I was especially reassured when a loyal Haunted Montreal client reached out to me in empathy and said: “You are not alone.” When another friend sent me flowers on my return to Montreal, it really brightened my mood.

Since this terrifying episode, I have decided to become a mental health advocate to help break the stigma. I believe that we can improve general conditions for recovering sufferers to help deal with whatever demons are haunting their minds.

Where to get help:

Canada Suicide Prevention..

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Welcome to the forty-fourth installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 250 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month! This service is free and you can sign up to our mailing list (top, right-hand corner) if you wish to receive it every month on the 13th!

We are also pleased to announce that all of our ghost tours are now operating and tickets are on sale! These include Haunted Mountain, Haunted Griffintown, Haunted Downtown and the new Haunted Pub Crawl!

Our April blog explores the Dawson Site, an archaeological dig in 1859 by McGill geologist William Dawson that revealed the remnants of an ancient Indigenous city, including burial grounds. To this day, road workers discover evidence of this mysterious and ancestral place when digging in the downtown area south of McGill University, leading many who are in the know to speculate that the area is haunted by its troubled past.

Haunted Research

For those familiar with horror novels and movies, there is a common trope that it is never a good idea to build upon ancient Indigenous burial grounds. Unfortunately for the City of Montreal, a large section of its Downtown core exists on the site of a former Indigenous city and cemetery, resulting in all sorts of speculation that the modern city is haunted.

Furthermore, since remnants of the Indigenous city were unearthed in 1859 on the corner of today’s Metcalfe and de Maisonneuve streets, a debate has raged on among scholars of European ancestry about whether or not it is the site of the fabled lost city of “Hochelaga” visited by French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1535.  

While white historians and archaeologists have long argued about the meaning and significance of this lost, invisible city, Indigenous Elders and historians from the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) First Nation have a much clearer picture. Their understanding of the remnants of the ancient civilization that lurks just beneath Downtown Montreal is based on thousands of years of history in their ancestral territory of Tio’tia:ke, after all.

European-ancestry scholars have long been known to obsess over historical records about Jacques Cartier’s visit as the starting point in their research.

Jacques Cartier’s description of his visit to the island is documented in the wordily titled Brief recit & fuccincte narration, de la nauigation faicte es yiles de Canada, Hochelage & Saguenay & autres, auec particulieres meurs, langaige, & cerimonies des habitans d’icelles: fort delectable â veoir (loosely translated as Short and succinct narrative of navigation to the islands of Canada, Hochelaga & Saguenay & others, including particular customs, languages & ceremonies of the islanders: very delightful to see).

In the text, Cartier documents his visit to today’s Montreal Island. Cartier was exploring the Kaniatarowanenneh (“St. Lawrence”) River and arrived on the island on October 2, 1535. Cartier writes of an Indigenous city, which he calls “Hochelaga,” with thousands of residents, surrounded by expansive cornfields at the base of a large mountain. The fortified city contained at least fifty bark-covered longhouses and was surrounded by three rows of wooden palisades.

Cartier and his men were met by the city’s residents at a fire near the wood’s edge where they exchanged gifts, before proceeding to a welcome ceremony inside the city itself.

During the welcome ceremony, Cartier was introduced to the chief of the Indigenous city. Cartier handed out gifts of axes, knives, rings, and rosaries to the city’s inhabitants, while they offered the Europeans fish, soup, beans, corn bread, and, during the ceremony, tobacco. Cartier’s logbook, likely written by a companion rather than Cartier himself, describes this encounter as such:

“During this interval, we came across on the way many of the people of the country, who brought us fish and other provisions, at the same time dancing and showing great joy at our coming. And in order to win and keep their friendship, the Captain [Cartier] made them a present of some knives, beads, and other small trifles, whereat they were greatly pleased. And on reaching Hochelaga, there came to meet us more than a thousand persons, men, women, and children, who gave us as good a welcome as ever father gave to his son, making great signs of joy…”

The following day, Cartier was provided with local guides and ascended the mountain, which he labelled “Mount Royal” in honour of his patron, French King Francois I. Cartier never bothered to ask the local inhabitants what the real name of the mountain was (Otsirà:ke), or if he did, it was never recorded.

After his brief visit, lasting a little over a day, Cartier and his men began the journey back up river on October 4th, worried about the upcoming winter.

Cartier’s visit to “Hochelaga” is seen as important to the establishment of settler colonialism in what is now called Canada. It is important to recognize that the widespread acknowledgement of the existence of “Hochelaga” is based on Cartier’s journals. Because his logbooks adhere to settler society’s methods of recording history and because he is a celebrated figure in Western history, Cartier’s account of “Hochelaga” is generally accepted to be reliable by Settler-ancestry scholars. Meanwhile, Indigenous histories not recorded by settlers have often been dismissed by Euro-centric thinkers as unverifiable.

In addition, the account must be questioned because Jacques Cartier was also notoriously dishonest. He told one of his most infamous lies to the residents of Stadacona (today’s Quebec City). In May of 1536, he kidnapped six Indigenous residents, including the city’s  leader, and brought them to France, where they all died.

When he returned to Stadacona, he explained that all of his victims were successfully thriving in France, when in fact they had died. If Cartier would tell such dastardly lies to Indigenous people, it is quite likely he would also do so in the writings about his voyage. 

Furthermore, Euro-centric reports of this type were often exaggerated as a means to impress Royalty in order to secure funding and resources for future expeditions and many early accounts of “Hochelaga” are adulterated by colonial fantasies

For example, a map of “Hochelaga” was drawn a few years later by Giacomo Gastaldi and printed in the work of the Venetian Battista Ramusio, titled Delle Navigationi and viaggi (Of Navigation and Travel).

The map looks nothing like a traditional Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) city and is modelled on European cities, such as the presence of a central square place and the symmetrical layout of the houses. The map reflects the European perspective on urban planning during the Italian Renaissance and is yet another example of early colonial misrepresentation.

In any case, when the French returned to the island some years later, the Indigenous city Cartier had called “Hochelaga” was no longer there. According to Mohawk Elders, the city’s residents had retreated south to the Mohawk Valley to reorganize due to epidemic diseases and warfare brought on by French colonization.

In 1642, “The Society of Notre-Dame of Montreal for the Conversion of Savages of New France” founded the French colony of Ville-Marie on the island, despite warnings from the governor in Quebec City that it was “Iroquois” (Kanien’kehá:ka) territory. In response, the leader, Sieur de Maisonneuve, stated: “It is an honour to accomplish my mission; even if all the trees of the island of Montreal should change into as many Iroquois.”

Needless to say, the following year when the Kanien’kehá:ka First Nation learned that their territory had been colonized by Europeans, a brutal and lengthy war erupted. When the French colonists began to lose, the Carignan-Salières Regiment was brought in from France to launch genocidal scorched earth campaigns whereby they located and burned down several Kanien’kehá:ka villages. The brutal war lasted, on and off, until 1701, when the Great Peace of Montreal was signed.

With peace secured, the colony of Ville-Marie was able to continue growing on un-ceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory. When the British took over the city in 1760, they chose “Montreal” as its official name.

Under the British Regime, the French colony was transformed into a booming city, business hub and financial center. It began to expand very quickly.

In 1859, construction workers began building houses in a sandy area on the corner of Metcalfe and Burnside (today’s de Maisonneuve) Streets. As they worked, they began unearthing remnants of skeletons, fire pits, tools, pottery, longhouse posts, and other evidence that an Indigenous city was formerly located on the site. One particularly famous artifact is called the “Hochelaga Skull”, an Indigenous cranium that was studied by Euro-centric scientists and reported in books such as Prehistoric Man: Researches Into the Origin of Civilisation in the Old and the New World, Volume 2.

At this time, William Dawson, a scientist and geologist was the director of McGill College. Dawson examined the sandy area, located between Sherbrooke and Burnside (today’s De Maisonneuve) Streets and Metcalf and Mansfield Streets, and concluded that it once hosted the village of Hochelaga. In 1860, near this same spot, two workers, digging for sand to be used as landfill, uncovered 20 Indigenous skeletons and numerous stunning artefacts from the famous lost city. 

Dawson published his findings and many were quick to pronounce his conclusions correct so as to satisfy the intrigue surrounding Hochelaga’s mysterious disappearance. The area has since been known as the “Dawson Site”, Montreal’s first archaeological dig.

In 1920, a commemorative plaque was erected on a boulder christened the Hochelaga Stone near the main entrance of McGill University.

Since those days, Indigenous artifacts have continued to appear during road work. For example, during work from 2016-2017, a discovery was made at Sherbrooke and Peel streets, well outside the area of the original Dawson Site. Archaeologists found thousands of artifacts and evidence of the lost city, including pottery, the tooth of a beluga whale and the grave of young adult.

Based on various archaeological findings, amateur historians Ian Barrett and Robert J. Galbraith believe the lost city “extended at least from University Street on the east to Mount Royal on the north, south to corn fields covering Dominion Square, and west to Fort Street and maybe even beyond.”

However, due to the forces of urbanization that have disturbed so much of the original city’s remnants, nobody really knows how large the lost city lying under Downtown Montreal actually is.

There is another current of thought by white academics that “Hochelaga” was not located where the downtown core exists today. The theory suggests Jacques Cartier went around the other side of the island, thus placing “Hochelaga” anywhere from Outremont to Lafontaine Park to Laval. For the City of Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the Hochelaga Project was launched at the University of Montreal to search for the mystical village.

In addition to the strange idea that the lost city is still undiscovered, despite there being ample evidence is was located where the downtown core is today, another very important point of contention is who the original inhabitants were.

White scholars with European ancestry such as James F. Pendergast, Bruce G. Trigger, and Roland Tremblay have long argued that a distinct group of Indigenous people called the “St. Lawrence Iroquoians” existed in the river valley and then suddenly vanished without explanation.­­

In 2006, the Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex hosted an exhibition about the “lost” tribe of “St. Lawrence Iroqouians”, complete with pottery shards, dog bones and other artefacts. Based on white scholarship and entitled “The St. Lawrence Iroquoians – Corn People”, the exhibition posited that a the “St. Lawrence Iroquoians” existed on Montreal island at the time of Jacques Cartier’s visit in 1535, but mysteriously disappeared shortly thereafter, at some point before the arrival of Samuel de Champlain in 1603.

Needless to say, historians, Elders and activists of the Kanien’kehá:ka First Nation disagree with this bizarre theory and argue that it was created to justify the colonization of their traditional ancestral territory. 

Kahentinetha Horn of Mohawk Nation News decided to visit the “Corn People” exhibition.

In her article “Disappearing Iroquois Myth “Busted””, she wrote:

“At the last minute on Tuesday, November 7, we Iroquois found out there was an exhibit opening at the Calliere Museum in Old Montreal. It was on the “Mysterious Disappearance of the St. Lawrence Valley Iroquois”. They wish! Four of us from Kahnawake, Kanehsatake and Tyendinaga decided to go and look it over. We were curious as to how they got the idea that we had “disappeared” or that there was any mystery to be solved.”

They toured the exhibition and were left feeling offended. Horn wrote:

“We complained to the guide that we had not disappeared, that he was not staring at ghosts, that this whole exhibit was misleading and that we are definitely still here. In other words, we were unconvinced by the story of our death. Excited and anxious, security was summoned. We were followed around for a bit. Then a short little women sergeant appeared and told us that the museum would refund our money.”

In conclusion, Horn suggested:

“We’d prefer they shut down this travesty. Or if the public sees it, they should be told it’s a fictional representation meant to mislead the public and justify colonization.”

There has long been an argument that French settlers were justified in colonizing the Montreal Island because the land was seen as empty. Terra nullius is a Latin expression meaning “nobody’s land”, and European colonizers adhered to this concept, which is to say the ancient and inhabited land was theirs for the taking. Terra nullius is based on 15th century Catholic decrees that formed the European legal basis for colonialism around the planet.

However, Mohawk Elders and historians disagree that Terra nullius is a legitimate concept because their ancestors were never included in discussions about the religious decrees that “legitimated” the occupation and colonization of their ancestral territory. Furthermore, the Eurocentric documents are inherently racist because they position Europeans as superior to all other races to the point of being allowed to colonize their lands.

According to former Kanien’kehá:ka chief Christine Zachary-Deom: “We’ve been  located throughout Montreal for centuries, and for actually 10,000 years, and when you walk on the Island of Montreal you’re really walking on Mohawk Nation territory.”

Mohawk academics agree.

According to Queens University: “Dr. Michael Doxtater is an award-winning documentarian and scholar of international stature. A member of the Haudenosaunee Nation, and fluent in Kanyen’keha (Mohawk), Dr. Doxtater has both a deeply-rooted understanding of traditional oral knowledge.” According to Dr. Michael Doxtater, the name “Hochelaga” is not even correct.

Jacques Cartier had a very high error-rate when attempting to transcribe Indigenous languages and the real name of the Indigenous city he visited, according to Dr. Doxtater, is Hotsirà:ken, which means “place of the fire” and is where the name Hochelaga stems from.

According to Doxtater: “Hotsirà:ken is an ancient ancestral place, an Indigenous place. It was a Mohawk village of around 5,000 people on the island. The island was what I would call a metropolitan trade centre. The Algonquin people would come down the Ottawa River, [people] would come down from the Innu territories up the St. Lawrence and then there would be the various Iroquois linguistic groups that would converge and that was a major, major trade centre.”

Unfortunately, some European-ancestry historians and journalists are in denial and persist that Tio’tia:ke is not a Mohawk territory. Questionable articles have appeared in French in Le Devoir and La Presse that can only be described as Euro-centric historical revisionism.

To refute these disingenuous and Euro-centric opinions about the ancestral Mohawk territory being empty and therefore ripe for the taking by French colonists in the 1600s, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke set up an Answer Back web page to set the record straight.

So frustrated is the Mohawk First Nation by this ongoing denial, that Kahnawake Mohawk Kenneth Deer, a representative of the Haudenosaunee External Relations Committee, which represents the Iroquois Confederacy Council on international matters, visited the Vatican with a delegation in 2016. The delegation asked that the Pope rescind the racist doctrine of Terra nullius, explaining in a press release they were seeking revocation of three papal bulls because:

“They were the ‘blueprint’ for conquest of the New World; they provided moral justification for the enslavement and conquest of Indigenous peoples worldwide; they are an ongoing violation of contemporary human rights legislation; and other communities currently struggling to save their lands are threatened by modern-day ideologies of inequality anchored in the papal bulls.”

The leaders of the delegation were determined to tell Pope Francis that it was “time for the Vatican to own up to its responsibility for legitimizing a genocide committed against Indigenous peoples and to show its good faith by revoking three Papal Bulls of Discovery: Dum Diversas (1452), Romanus Pontifex (1455) and Inter Caetera (1493), still in force today.”

While the Pope did meet briefly with Kenneth Deer, all the pontiff could muster up was “I will pray for you,” before giving him a little red box with a set of rosaries.

After meeting with other Vatican officials, Deer said: “The process of working towards the goal of getting rid of the roots of the colonial era has commenced.”

Returning to the lost Indigenous city lurking beneath Downtown Montreal, there are also theories that the site is paranormal. In Macabre Montreal, authors Mark Leslie and Shayna Krishnasamy devote a whole chapter to the Dawson Site called “The Missing Village of Hochelaga” (pages 146 – 148). After examining all the theories put forward by white academics with Euro-centric perspectives, the authors hypothesize that Hochelaga may have never existed at all as a real village. They speculate that it may have been a “ghost village even when Cartier landed there, already long-destroyed, inhabited by spectres so convincingly real that Cartier could not tell the difference.”

“Did explorer feast with the dead on a fateful voyage in 1535?” ask the authors, concluding “we may never truly know.”

To add to the creepy factor, there is a chiselled stone skull that stares down from the façade of the abandoned University Club on Mansfield Street. Its hollow sockets seem to stare directly onto the site of the buried Indigenous city.

The University Club of Montreal was founded in 1906 as a private old boys club for a group of the professional and academic elite. In 1913, the organization had its clubhouse built on..

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Welcome to the forty-third instalment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 250 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month! This service is free and you can sign up to our mailing list (top, right-hand corner) if you wish to receive it every month on the 13th!

Our March blog explores The Grey Man of St. Urbain Street and various other paranormal activities that unfolded in a haunted house during the 1950s.

While Haunted Montreal is in winter mode and will not offer any more public ghost tours until April, 2019, we are pleased to announce our Haunted Pub Crawl is now open for business! Running every Sunday of the year, the tour in English starts at 3 pm and the tour in French is at 4 pm.

Please see our new Haunted Pub Crawl webpage for more details, the full schedule and to buy tickets.

For those seeking ghost walks during our off-season, Haunted Montreal is still offering private tours for company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and other gatherings of all types. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour for your group. These ghost tours require very warm clothing during the winter months and the Haunted Mountain tour is not offered once there is snow on the ground due to dangerous and icy conditions on Mount Royal / Otsirà:ke. The haunted pub crawl is also available as a private tour.

Haunted Research

Mile End has had its share of hauntings over the years, from the spirits of 19th Century quarrymen to the ghost of a Parisian gendarme. There are surely many more to be uncovered in this old Montreal neighbourhood. One of the most documented ghosts in the Mile End is that of the “Grey Man”.

Sarah Hart-Snowbell remembers her childhood, growing up with her four brothers and sisters, in a haunted house on St. Urbain Street in the Mile-End. Located between Fairmount and St. Viateur streets, from the mid 1940’s to the mid 1950’s, Sara’s family had to endure invisible hands grabbing them, ghostly rectangular lights appearing, flying knives, restless spirits and a mysterious and shadowy “Grey Man”. While the family moved out when Sara was 12, some members are still troubled by memories of the haunted house they lived in so many decades ago.

Sarah Hart-Snowbell contacted Haunted Montreal to see if our investigators could shed any more light on her personal encounter with the paranormal, especially her run-ins as a child with the mysterious grey apparition.

When Sarah’s mother and father first moved into the house, the walls were covered with pictures of Saints.  Being a devout Jewish family, her parents took down the pictures. 

A stained-glass window was also replaced. Beside the main entrance there was another door that appeared to lead nowhere. The landlord had a key and the family believed perhaps it might have been a storage space, but nobody in the family ever entered the space and nobody really knew what it was used for.  Over the decade she lived in the house, Sarah and other members of her family recall many instances of unexplained, paranormal and ghostly experiences.

Sarah remembers the first time she encountered the apparition she would come to call the “Grey Man”:

“I was sitting on the floor in my brother’s room, drawing with my crayons (one of my favourite activities) while my mother was in the kitchen preparing lunch.  I heard my mother say softly, “Oh no … not again.”, as if she had dropped something.  At that same moment, something caught my eye.  I looked up and saw what looked like the shadow of a man walk slowly from the hallway into the dining room.  How odd!  The man was dressed in a suit and wore a hat … but he appeared grey and “see-through”.  I knew that I was alone in the house with my mother at the time.”

This was the first of many strange things that Sarah began experiencing in that house.

“One night I awoke from my sleep and saw what appeared to be a bright rectangle on the wall.  I wondered how it got there and thought it may have been a reflection from a mirror … or something.  I climbed onto the vanity table and waved my hand over the bright rectangle to see the shadow of my hand.  There was no shadow!  It appeared as if the bright light was not shining onto the wall, but rather shining outward from the wall.  I ran into my parents’ room and spent the rest of the night snuggled up close to my mother.  When I told her that I’d seen a crazy light on the wall she comforted me.  “It must have been a bad dream,” she said.”

Sarah wasn’t alone in encountering the restless spirit that inhabited that house on St. Urbain:

On a rainy summer night, after a long family outing, my father pulled up to park his old Ford in front of the house. “Don’t leave the car!” he warned.  “We’re not getting out of the car for a very long time,” he said.  I turned to see the “grey man” standing at our front door.  It was indeed a very long time until we went into the house that night.”

Another, even more shocking incident occurred when the family was celebrating Passover together:

“My father never spoke about the incident (in the car).  He was a very religious man who believed, and encouraged us all to believe, that G-d is always protecting us.  Dad was not the type of person to talk about supernatural or evil beings … until … one night when we were all seated at the Passover Seder.  The glass Seder plate was set with the foods symbolic of the story of Passover.  During the reading of the Haggadah (the text retelling the story of the Hebrews’ Exodus from Egypt), I saw one of the knives rise from the table and drop onto the Seder plate, breaking it in half.  My father sat in shock and said with great fear in his voice, “Satan is in this house!”

Sarah’s brother was also the victim of a ghostly apparition:

“My brother told me that one day he had come home from school and when he opened the door, a cold hand grabbed his wrist.  He pulled away and ran six blocks until he reached the comfort of our grandmother’s house.”

Finally, when it came time to move house, the spirits made themselves known.  Was it a message from the beyond?

“When I was twelve, we finally moved.  After all the boxes and furniture were loaded into the truck, my brother and I went back into the empty house to take a final look-around.  I was excited to be moving (for the first time in my life), but felt a bit sad to be leaving the home I had known for so long.  Just before leaving for the very last time, my brother reached to flip the light-switches off, but “something” beat him to it … the lights turned off by themselves.  “Was it the grey man?”  I wondered.  Was it “his” way of saying ‘goodbye’ to us?”

The family never talked with each other about their experiences, until one day, prompted by a magazine article about a haunting that mentioned the paranormal phenomenon of “rectangular illuminations”. This broke the taboo and got the siblings feverishly chattering about their memories of the paranormal. Sarah wrote:

“I saw that on the wall one night!” I confessed to my brother.  “Well, so did I,” he said, and we began to compare notes on our experiences in our old house.  We then went into the kitchen to confront our mother who was peeling carrots at the time.  We showed her the article.  Then I mentioned the day I first saw the “grey man”. 

“My mother dropped the carrot peeler onto the kitchen table.  “Oh my!” she said.  “I never knew that any of my children ever saw him.”  “Well, does that mean you saw him?” I said.  “Many many times,” she said.  “He spent most of his time in the kitchen.”  My mother recalled that she hated that house right from the start, but that my father had insisted on renting it without her knowledge.  She said she was sure that she often saw smoke or steam rising from the floorboards, even though we lived on the ground floor.”

The more they discussed the story, the more it snowballed and soon the media became interested in it. Sarah’s story was featured on the television show, Ghostly Encounters:

It was also featured in Haunted Canada 2, True Tales of Terror by Pat Hancock (Scholastic Canada Ltd.)

Many years later Sarah was speaking with her sister and the subject of the haunted house came up:

“One night I was on the phone with my sister.  We chatted about old times and of course zeroed in on growing in the house on St. Urbain.  She remembered my parents tearing down the pictures of the Saints.  She said that she had never seen the Grey Man,  but that when she walked from the kitchen-dining area to her room, she always felt a stark coldness in the hallway. She remembered once seeing the “door-beside-our-front-door” open.  When she looked inside, she could only see darkness in what appeared to be a long narrow room.”

In a sketch of the property, Sarah described the locked chamber in the basement, accessible only by a ramp. The landlord of the era, Mr. Beaulieu, was the only person with a set of keys to open this mysterious cellar.

Sarah continued talking about her sister:

“She recalled that she and one of our older brothers had once seen the “ramp” (trapdoor?) in the backyard open.  Although my brother was quite a daredevil, he would not venture to descend into the earthen hole that they saw.  They had assumed that the landlord was down there in the cellar, but could see nothing but complete darkness.”

There was also some speculation at the time that horrible things had been happening in the locked chamber beneath their haunted house, after a dead baby was discovered in a nearby alleyway. Speaking again about her sister, Sarah wrote:

“She remembered that there was a large crowd of people at the corner of St. Urbain Street and Groll Lane (now Rue Groll).  She said this big scandal happened circa 1949-1950.  She said that a man with a cane was poking around in the garbage in the side-lane off of Groll and found a package in which he discovered a dead baby.  Word got around that a single girl who lived in the lane had given birth.  My sister said she believed that the girl had been locked up, but wasn’t too clear about all the details.”

Today, when Sarah looks back at her St. Urbain home, she wonders about the restless spirits that haunted her childhood.  Had there been a murder in the home or was the Grey Man himself the perpetrator or victim of some dark crime?  Was there some religious conflict at the root of the haunting?  What about the mysterious dark cellar?  Was it a storage space or used for something more sinister? 

Although Haunted Montreal investigators were unable to determine the identity of the Grey Man as of yet, only one thing is certain – the mysterious apparition left an enduring impression on Sarah and the members of her family, one that begins and ends in the haunted house on St. Urbain Street.

Company News

On Saturday, March 16, our sister company, Irish Montreal Excursions, is pleased to offer a walking tour about the Irish Famine’s impact in Montreal in 1847. Details can be found here.

In other good news, World’s Scariest Hauntings – Griffintown is now online!

Haunted Montreal was very happy to work with Woodcut Media in the UK to research and produce this fine piece of haunted work about the Griff! A huge thank you to outstanding actor Anton Golikov for his storytelling in this episode!

We are also pleased to announce our new Haunted Pub Crawl.

Led by a professional ghost storyteller, the Haunted Montreal Pub Crawl visits four haunted bars. Starting at Charlie’s American Pub in Downtown Montreal on Bishop Street, guests not only learn about many of the haunted drinking establishments in the city, but also hear Montreal’s most infamous ghost stories.

While sipping suds, guests enjoy haunted pubs, spine-tingling Montreal ghost stories and learn about the historical forces that transformed the ancient Indigenous island of Tiotà:ke into Ville-Marie, an austere French colony founded by Catholic evangelists.

After the British invaded, the city became a booming financial center and crime hub, a site of violent rebellion and subversive revolution and finally into Canada’s most haunted city.

Clients hear the paranormal tales behind Charlie’s American Pub, the recently-burned John Doe Pub, mysterious McKibbin’s Irish Pub, the famous Sir Winston Churchill, funeral-home-cum-discotheque Club Le Cinq and, of course, Hurley’s Irish Pub, where a ghost known only as the Burning Lady haunts the establishment.

The ghost storyteller regales guests with Montreal’s most deranged and infamous ghost stories, including Simon McTavish, a Scottish fur baron known to toboggan down the slopes of Mount Royal in his own coffin, the ghost of John Easton Mills, Montreal’s Martyr Mayor who perished while tending to typhus-stricken Irish refugees during the Famine of 1847, and Headless Mary, the ghost of a Griffintown prostitute who was decapitated by her best friend in the shantytown in 1879. She returns every 7 years to the corner of William and Murray Streets, still looking for her head!

Join Haunted Montreal on this unforgettable pub crawl, where you can drink some spirits with a spirit, all the while learning about the city’s deranged history and hearing spine-tingling local ghost stories!

For full details, including a description, the starting location and schedule, please visit our new webpage! Join us at 3 pm any Sunday of the year for a haunted pub crawl in English or at 4 pm in French! Tickets are now on sale!

Haunted Montreal also offers private tours and pub crawls for company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and all types of gatherings. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour.

Haunted Montreal has also been busy updating the local tour guiding industry, and is happy to report that after much work, the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec has agreed to update its course to be more inclusive of Indigenous perspectives, as reported in The Eastern Door, a First Nations newspaper published in Kahnawake, on Friday, March 8.

We are also pleased to promote a new book called Macabre Montreal.

Written by Mark Leslie and Shayna Krishnasamy, it is a “collection of ghost stories, eerie encounters, and gruesome and ghastly true stories from the second most populous city in Canada.

The authors write:

“Montreal is a city steeped in history and culture, but just beneath the pristine surface of this world-class city lie unsettling stories. Tales shared mostly in whispered tones about eerie phenomena, dark deeds, and disturbing legends that take place in haunted buildings, forgotten graveyards, and haunted pubs. The dark of night reveals a very different city behind its beautiful European-style architecture and cobblestone streets. A city with buried secrets, alleyways that echo with the footsteps of ghostly spectres, memories of ghastly events, and unspeakable criminal acts.”

With the introduction written by Haunted Montreal, Macabre Montreal is a must-read for anyone interested in Montreal’s dark side.

Haunted Montreal would also like to thank all of our clients who attended a ghost walk during the 2018 season or more recently!

If you enjoyed the experience, we encourage you to write a review on our Tripadvisor page, something that helps Haunted Montreal to market its tours. If you have any feedback, please email us at info@hauntedmontreal.com so we can improve our visitor experience.

Lastly, if you would like to receive the Haunted Montreal Blog on the 13th of every month, please sign up to our mailing list on the top right of this page.

Coming up on April 13: The Dawson Site

Downtown Montreal is haunted by the fact that it was built on the remains of an ancient Indigenous city. In 1859, construction workers building houses at the corner of Metcalfe Street and Boulevard de Maisonneuve unearthed remnants of an Iroquois First Nations village, including skeletons, fire pits, tools, pottery, longhouse posts, and other evidence. At the time, McGill Director and geologist William Dawson examined this site and concluded that the Iroquois village of “Hochelaga” once occupied the area. Today, while there are many arguments about whether or not the city was indeed “Hochelaga”, the fact remains that road workers still discover remnants of the mysterious Indigenous city when digging. It is as though the ancient Indigenous city refuses to be forgotten and its memory haunts Downtown Montreal.

Miles Murphy is a Montreal-based writer and researcher with an interest in Irish traditions and folklore, Eastern mysticism, the paranormal and the occult

Donovan King is a postcolonial historian, teacher, tour guide and professional actor. As the founder of Haunted Montreal, he combines his skills to create the best possible Montreal ghost stories, in both writing and theatrical performance. King holds a DEC (Professional Theatre Acting, John Abbot College), BFA (Drama-in-Education, Concordia), B.Ed (History and English Teaching, McGill), MFA (Theatre Studies, University of Calgary) and ACS (Montreal Tourist Guide, Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec).

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Welcome to the forty-second installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 200 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month! This service is free and you can sign up to our mailing list (top, right-hand corner) if you wish to receive it every month on the 13th!

Our February blog explores St. Joseph’s Oratory and the alleged hauntings unfolding within the shadowy interior of the gigantic church on the slopes of Westmount.

While Haunted Montreal is in winter mode and will not offer any more public ghost tours until April, 2019, we are pleased to announce our Haunted Pub Crawl is now open for business! Running every Sunday of the year, the tour in English starts at 3 pm and the tour in French is at 4 pm.

Please see our new Haunted Pub Crawl webpage for more details, the full schedule and to buy tickets.

For those seeking ghost walks during our off-season, Haunted Montreal is still offering private tours for company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and other gatherings of all types. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour for your group. These ghost tours require very warm clothing during the winter months and the Haunted Mountain tour is not offered once there is snow on the ground due to dangerous and icy conditions on Mount Royal / Otsirà:ke. The haunted pub crawl is also available as a private tour.

Haunted Research

Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal (Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal in French) is Canada’s largest church and also has one of the largest domes in the world. The magnificent building is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and national shrine and is located on the western slope of Mount Royal’s Westmount Summit. Located at 3800 Queen Mary Road, more than 2 million visitors and pilgrims visit the Oratory every year.

While the basilica is undoubtedly popular with the living, it is also said to attract visitors from beyond the grave. Indeed, according to the French-language Quebec Huffington Post, St. Joseph’s Oratory is on the list of the top 11 most haunted sites in Montreal:

“The famous cathedral where Brother André worked has had several visitors from beyond the tomb apparently. Some tourists have indeed seen priests in tunics, and when they approached them… they evaporated into thin air! In addition, it is said that Brother André himself appears from time to time in the little chapel where his heart is exposed.”

Photographer Chris Koelbleitner captures the spooky atmosphere nicely in his shot called “The Haunting of St Joseph’s Oratory.”  

Before delving into these alleged hauntings, it is important to look at the Oratory’s remarkable story. The basilica is dedicated to Saint Joseph and actually enshrines a statue of him, which was authorised a Canonical coronation by Pope Pius X on 19 March 1910. Saint Joseph can be seen as the saint of everyday life, to whom one turns for help with both minor worries and at life-defining moments. Traditionally, one confides to the care of Saint Joseph issues related to family, work, health, death and material needs. Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is the largest shrine in the world dedicated to him.

The magnificent Saint Joseph’s Oratory also contains a diversity of architectural styles in its cruciform plan, including Beaux-Arts and Italian Renaissance designs. Ironically, an oratory suggests a small place and is defined as a “place of prayer, such as a small chapel or a room for private devotions”. The first small wooden oratory dates from 1904, but it was the seed for what would become the largest church in Canada.

Because the basilica is on the Westmount slope, to reach the Crypt Church and Oratory, visitors and pilgrims can climb one of three parallel flights of 283 concrete steps. Two are for climbing on foot and the other, in the center, is for the more devout. These people must ascend on their knees, uttering a prayer on each and every one of the 283 steps.

Once inside, the Oratory offers a series of dark corridors and candle-lit places of worship, along with dusty relics such as hundreds of abandoned pairs of crutches lining the walls. These serve as evidence of miraculous healings from earlier times, provided by a humble monk who would go on to become a Saint.

One of Montreal’s twelve Saints, Brother André Bessette was believed to possess healing powers through his devotion to Saint Joseph and his application of a special oil ointment to all believers who requested it. Many pilgrims suffering from illnesses, handicaps, blindness, etc. poured into his basilica, including numerous non-Catholics. In many cases, he was able to miraculously heal them through divine prayer to Saint Joseph, whom Brother André credited all of his reported miracles to.

Born Alfred Bessette in 1845 in Mont-St-Gregoire, southeast of Montreal, he was so sickly as a baby that his parents baptized him immediately. They feared he wouldn’t survive, but miraculously he did. Although he was frail and suffered from a permanent stomach ailment, he was very much alive.

After the death of both his parents in 1857, Bessette, then age 12, was taken in by a family in nearby St-Cesaire. His nine brothers and sisters were scattered to live among relatives and friends. Unskilled and illiterate, Bessette drifted from job to job, working as a blacksmith, baker and then a shoemaker.

In 1870, André Bessette entered the novitiate of the Congregation of Holy Cross and took on the name of Brother André. Unimpressed with his frail health and lack of skills, his superiors appointed him to be “doorkeeper, nurse and lamp tender” at the congregation’s Collège Notre-Dame. Located in Côte-des-Neiges, a small village at the time, his duties included running errands, cutting hair and managing the laundry.

The humble Montreal monk said of his time at the college: “My superiors showed me the door, and I stayed there for 40 years.” Despite the fact that he never advanced beyond the most lowly positions within his religious order, Brother André would go on to become the most popular religious figure in Québec in the 20th century.

Brother André’s first miracle occurred in 1877. When his colleague, Brother Alderic, complained of a leg injury, Brother André took a bit of oil from a lamp that was burning in front of a statue of Saint Joseph. He offered it to Brother Alderic and told him to rub it on his aching leg and to pray to Saint Joseph for relief. Miraculously, following the procedure, the leg was completely healed.

The word spread of his healing powers and soon Montrealers of all sorts were lining up to ask Brother André for his assistance. His reputation grew, and before long he was known as the “Miracle worker of Mount-Royal”. Despite facing criticism from numerous adversaries, many of whom called him a “charlatan”, he had the strong support of the diocese. Officials at the Congregation of Holy Cross were impressed with his inexplicable healing powers and wanted him to build a chapel to welcome the sick. Fearing a developer would buy the property across the street from Collège Notre-Dame, in 1896 the Congregation bought land for $10,000 where St. Joseph’s Oratory is today.

In 1904, Brother André established St. Joseph’s Oratory, originally a small, 15-by-18-foot wooden chapel across the street from Collège Notre-Dame. It was built by a colleague named Brother Abundius. 

Within a few years, the original chapel was overwhelmed by visitors, many of them seeking divine cures for medical conditions. Despite expansions, the space was insufficient for the number of guests, so in 1914 work began on St. Joseph’s Crypt Church, which was built into the side of the mountain and inaugurated in 1917 with seating for 1000.

Realizing that they would need even more space, construction of the domed basilica began in 1924. The project was stalled after the stock market crash of 1929, due to a severe worldwide economic depression. Regardless, Brother André continued healing the sick, even as he got older and sicker himself. Plagued by a stomach ailment since birth, his condition began to worsen with old age.

At 91 years old, Brother André died of acute gastric catarrh in the infirmary of Our Lady of Hope convent on January 6, 1937. During his funeral, over million people filed past his coffin to pay their respects. He was interred in an alcove inside the crypt behind the Votive Chapel at Saint Joseph’s Oratory. His tombstone reads: Pauper, servis a humilis (a poor and humble servant).

Prior to his death, Brother André had requested that his heart be preserved as a relic to be used to protect his basilica. In the Catholic faith, bones and other body parts of holy figures are often preserved and kept as relics and placed in reliquaries, often beneath church altars, so worshippers can venerate them.

Unsure at first how to prevent the organ from decomposing, church authorities decided to have Brother André’s heart preserved in a glass urn filled with a formalin solution. It was then displayed to worshippers and pilgrims on a marble pedestal beneath the gigantic, yet unfinished, basilica.

St. Joseph’s Oratory, while still under construction, was inaugurated in 1955, with a seating capacity of 2,200 and a standing room capacity of 10,000. As the construction continued, a religious-themed garden was laid out on the slopes behind the basilica. With the final completion of the Oratory in 1967, the number of pilgrims continued to increase. The Congregation of Holy Cross was proud of its legendary accomplishment.

However, scandal struck on Thursday, March 16, 1973 at about 5 p.m., when thieves broke into the Oratory and swiped Brother Andre’s heart from its pedestal. The clergy broke into a panic when they realized that the sacred relic had gone missing. Some began praying, whereas other called the police.

According to investigators, the theft appeared to be very professional. To retrieve the heart, the thieves had picked three locks to open a steel door and an iron grille. Without attracting the attention of any clerics or security guards, the thieves then chiselled the urn off its marble pedestal and smuggled it out of the basilica undetected.

Before long, an anonymous francophone caller rang up the Journal de Montréal and threatened to destroy the heart unless he was given $50,000. The caller directed the newspaper to a car parked at the corner of Cremazie and Drolet Streets. Inside, a roll of film was located which contained photos of the missing heart. Authorities at the Oratory rejected the demand. With no leads to go on, the police were completely baffled.

After a gruelling 645 days, Brother André’s heart was finally located after police received a tip. Famous lawyer Frank Shoofey directed them to a house in southwest Montreal where officers recovered the heart in a basement.

No arrests were made, and the heart was returned to the Oratory.

Investigative blogger Kristian Gravenor of “Coolopolis” claims to have solved the mystery about the identity of the thieves. According to Gravenor, on the day of the theft, two criminals named Peter Fryer and Bobby Addlin were sitting outside the Condi Tavern with Bobby Matticks of Montreal’s West End Gang. Two of the criminals were about to be given lengthy sentences for robberies and Addlin thought he could barter to reduce their jail time if they had something valuable to exchange.

Later that day, using their skills as professional thieves, they stole Brother André’s heart. Needless to say, ultimately their plan did not work because the Oratory refused to pay the ransom. Eventually, the thieves directed the lawyer to the heart’s whereabouts. Rumours swirled that the thieves either felt guilty for their deed or were actually confronted by the spirit of an angry Brother André, who demanded the return of his heart in order to protect the basilica, as was his original intention.  

Officials at the Oratory decided to place the heart under tighter security, including metal bars to prevent any more robberies. Notably, it is often said that Saint Brother André’s spirit appears from time to time in the little chapel where his heart is again on display. Some speculate that the good Saint returns to guard his heart, providing a sort of holy surveillance, and to ward off any thieves who would dare consider stealing his precious organ again.

For many years, everything returned to normal at the basilica. On October 19, 2004, bells across Montreal tolled when the Oratory held its centennial. All the bells of all the churches on the island of Montreal were meant to ring at 9:00 a.m., though not all churches participated. At 9:05 a.m., the basilica rang its bell in response to the celebration. That year, the Oratory also was designated a National Historic Site of Canada and Canada Post issued a special ‘Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Quebec’ stamp.

However, scandal hit the Oratory again in 2008 when a class-action lawsuit for sexual abuse was formally launched against the Congregation of Holy Cross. A total of 223 victims claimed that they had been sexually molested by over 40 members of the Congregation in their youth. These allegations included perversions at Montreal’s Collège Notre-Dame between 1950 and 2001, where Brother André used to work as doorkeeper.

Despite the brewing scandal, the Oratory had another major celebration in 2010. The Vatican announced that Brother André would be canonized after yet another miracle was attributed to him. A 9-year-old boy in a coma was suffering from severe brain injuries after a cycling accident and he recovered after his family prayed to Brother André. On October 17, Pope Benedict XVI canonized him as Saint Brother André.

Hoping to put the pedophile scandal behind them, in 2013 the Congregation of Holy Cross apologized and paid up to $18 million to compensate 206 victims for abuse that occurred at three of its institutions, including Collège Notre-Dame. Father Jean-Pierre Aumont, Canadian provincial superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, said in a statement at the time: “Some members of our Congregation have broken their vows and failed in their mission.”

Notably, this class action suit did not include St. Joseph’s Oratory.

A second class action lawsuit, which did name the Oratory along with other Holy Cross institutions, was launched when roughly 40 more alleged victims came forward after hearing other men share their horror stories through the 2013 lawsuit. The Oratory was included in the new lawsuit amid allegations that some of the abuse occurred there. One of the complainants, who went on to become a famous organist, recalled being sexually molested at the Oratory by sisters, priests and even his music teacher, starting at 8 years old.

According to the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, there could be up to 500 more victims who were assaulted between the 1940s and 1980s. Holy Cross ran dozens of orphanages, schools, and colleges where abuse was known and covered up.

The newer lawsuit was first rejected by Quebec Superior Court in 2015, but then allowed to move forward by the Quebec Court of Appeal. The case, now before the Supreme Court of Canada, is called “L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal v. J. J.“

If more than 40 of the Congregation members were molesting children since the 1940s, it seems almost certain that sexual abuse was rampant and systemic within the Congregation of Holy Cross before then, raising questions about how much Saint Brother André knew about these perverse activities during his tenure at Collège Notre-Dame and the Oratory. Whether or not this will be investigated, the scandal still threatens to undo the prestige of Saint Brother André, including his 2010 canonization and all of his holy and miraculous deeds.

Returning to the alleged hauntings at the Oratory, as noted by the Huffington Post, some tourists have reported seeing mysterious priests wearing tunics, and when they approached them, the priests suddenly evaporated into thin air.

According to one witness: “When I saw a group of several priests wearing old-style tunics wandering through the Basilica, I thought there was some sort of ritual going on. They were moving as though in some sort of procession or ceremony, and many of them held candles. When I went to get a closer look, they all just evaporated into thin air, like the smoke of incense. I couldn’t believe my eyes!”

Rumours suggest that this group of vanishing priests dates back to earlier times in the Basilica’s history, long before it was wracked with open scandal. Indeed, one of the victims represented by the lawsuit said he wouldn’t be surprised if the ghosts in tunics comprise a gang of pedophile priests who never left the Oratory, but haunt it as a way of paying for their deranged sins.

Whatever the case, staff at the Oratory do not like discussing these shameful issues, preferring less controversial topics, such as the $80-million renovation the Oratory is currently undergoing. This will include a new 360-degree Montreal observatory at the top of the basilica that will be home to “the highest window in Montreal,” as well as a welcome center and a new illuminated pavilion aimed at attracting pedestrians.

Work is expected to be completed in 2020.

Perhaps to distract the media from all the bad press, during the Christmas Season in 2018, the Oratory featured an unorthodox Nativity Scene that was described as everything from “hipster” and “avant-garde” to “ridiculous” and even “blasphemous”. The Three Wise Men, riding Segways, delivered Amazon Prime boxes while other characters stared into smartphones. In other nods to the 21st century, Mary was holding a cup of Starbucks coffee and a cow devoured gluten-free feed.

The unsubtle message was that with all of these consumer distractions, none of the characters in the scene were paying any attention to Baby Jesus.

Today, as one of the most allegedly haunted sites in Montreal, the Oratory has a lot to offer. With so much history, some of it wonderful and some of it beyond disgusting, it gives the visitor pause to reflect on how both good and evil can simultaneously exist in religious settings. As such, St. Joseph’s Oratory, with all its dark, candle-lit chambers and creepy relics of the past is a perfect spot to search for ghosts and spirits, whether they be a group of vanishing priests in tunics or one of Montreal’s controversial twelve Saints.

Company News

After much research and hard work, Haunted Montreal launched our new Haunted Pub Crawl on Sunday, February 10!

Led by a professional ghost storyteller, the Haunted Montreal Pub Crawl visits four haunted bars. Starting at Charlie’s American Pub in Downtown Montreal on Bishop Street, guests not only learn about many of the haunted drinking establishments in the city, but also hear Montreal’s most infamous ghost stories.

While sipping suds, guests enjoy haunted pubs, spine-tingling Montreal ghost stories and learn about the historical forces that transformed the ancient Indigenous island of Tiotà:ke into Ville-Marie, an austere French colony founded by Catholic evangelists.

After the British invaded, the city became a booming financial center and crime hub, a site of violent rebellion and subversive revolution and finally into Canada’s most haunted city.

Clients hear the paranormal tales behind Charlie’s American Pub, the recently-burned John Doe Pub, mysterious McKibbin’s Irish Pub, the famous Sir Winston Churchill, funeral-home-cum-discotheque Club Le Cinq and, of course, Hurley’s Irish Pub, where a ghost known only as the Burning Lady haunts the establishment.

The ghost storyteller regales guests with Montreal’s most deranged and infamous ghost stories, including Simon McTavish, a Scottish fur baron known to toboggan down the slopes of Mount Royal in his own coffin, the ghost of John Easton Mills, Montreal’s Martyr Mayor who perished while tending to typhus-stricken Irish refugees during the Famine of 1847, and Headless Mary, the ghost of a Griffintown prostitute who was decapitated by her best friend in the shantytown in 1879. She returns every 7 years to the corner of William and Murray Streets, still looking for her..

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Welcome to the forty-first installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 200 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month! This service is free and you can sign up to our mailing list (top, right-hand corner) if you wish to receive it every month on the 13th!

Our January blog explores not only haunted pubs, but also other paranormal drinking establishments from hotel bars, theatre lobbies, private clubs, discotheques and even an old brewery to a Canadian Legion, train station and McGill University Frat House! With over 40 haunted watering holes, Montreal has perhaps the most of any city on the planet!

While Haunted Montreal is in winter mode and will not offer any more public ghost tours until April, 2019, we are pleased to announce our Haunted Pub Crawl! With a proto-type happening in January, we will offer this creepy, boozy and haunted experience to the public starting on Sunday, February 10th. The tour in English starts at 3 pm and the tour in French at 4 pm.

Please see our new Haunted Pub Crawl webpage for more details, the full schedule and to buy tickets.

For those seeking ghost walks during our off-season, Haunted Montreal is still offering private tours for company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and other gatherings of all types. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour for your group. These ghost tours require very warm clothing during the winter months and the Haunted Mountain tour is not offered once there is snow on the ground due to dangerous and icy conditions on Mount Royal / Otsirà:ke.

Haunted Research

Haunted pub crawls are becoming more and more popular throughout the world as a great way to combine two popular activities – ghost tours and pub crawls. Founded by Gregory Proffit, owner of the Creepy Crawl in Savannah, Georgia over a decade ago, haunted pub crawls now exist in dozens of cities across the planet.

While Dublin City, Ireland has around 15 haunted pubs and Savannah, Georgia, “America’s most haunted city”, has around 25 paranormal bars, Montreal is clearly the best metropolis to mix booze with creepy ghost stories. With over 40 haunted pubs and other drinking establishments, Montreal is an ideal city to pour back some libations while pondering the paranormal.

Inspired by Gregory Proffit’s Guide to the Haunted Pubs of Savannah, I have prepared for you a list and short description of many of Montreal’s haunted watering holes, where guests can enjoy some spirits – with a spirit!

While Haunted Montreal’s Haunted Pub Crawl will visit four of the haunted bars, I invite you to create your own itinerary from the list to have a self-guided haunted pub crawl so you can visit some of the other spooky drinking establishments!

Haunted Bars, Pubs, Restaurants and Nightclubs

Montreal has a lot of haunted places to drink some booze, from fancy nightclubs and dive bars to ancient inns and brew-pubs. Pick your favorites from this list of the haunted bars, pubs, taverns, restaurants, burlesque halls, nightclubs and other drinking establishments – and begin your ghost-hunting and boozy adventure!

1. Barfly.

Often voted Montreal’s “best dive bar”, Barfly is a favourite haunt for musicians and Plateau locals. It is also said to be haunted by a former owner who played by his own rules. At closing time, staff have reported strange phenomena such as the stereo system turning itself back on and blaring music and upside down barstools flinging themselves onto the floor. The speculation is that the old owner wants to keep the bar open after closing time, just like in the old days when he ran the establishment based on his whims instead of the laws.  (4602 Boulevard St. Laurent)

2. L’Amère a Boire.

L’Amère à Boire is an artisanal brewpub half-way up the hill on Saint Denis Street in the trendy Quartier Latin. The French name of the pub is a witty double-entendre: it means simultaneously “Bitter to drink” and “The mother drank”. Opened in 1996, L’Amère à Boire brews ales and lagers on-site and also serve fancy pub grub, such as tapas, burgers and seasonal meals. However, despite its convivial atmosphere, according to some staff members the building is haunted by the ghost of a man wearing a mysterious hat. He has been spotted on the security cameras on several occasions. (2049 Rue St. Denis)

3. Auberge St. Gabriel.

The oldest inn in North America, dating back to 1688, is said to have a lot of ghosts. The most famous story relates the appearance of a girl, who died in a fire that ravaged the inn, who had taken refuge on the top floor. This room contains old pianos and harmoniums, which sometimes play on their own when the room is empty and the lights are off. Understandably, employees are reluctant to walk alone at night in the attic. Now a fancy bar/restaurant with a nightclub called Le Velvet Speakeasy, the old inn is a great destination for ghost hunters. (426 Rue St-Gabriel)

4. Charlie’s American Pub.

This old Bishop Street bar features a pool table, laid back atmosphere and friendly, informal vibe. It is also the starting location for Haunted Montreal’s new Haunted Pub Crawl. Staff have reported unexplained and paranormal activity, such as doors opening and closing, lights violently flickering over the pool table for no reason whatsoever, and constant feelings of being watched, especially when alone in the bar, unnerving some of the bartenders. (1204 Rue Bishop)

5. McKibbin’s Irish Pub.

The original McKibbin’s Irish Pub on Bishop Street is situated in what was once a beautiful red-stone Victorian residence. Featuring Irish pub food and many beers on tap, including Guinness, the pub’s menu also features the ghost story of Mary Gallagher, the beheaded prostitute who returns to Griffintown every 7 years. Some staff members believe the pub is haunted, describing a ghost who is sometimes spotted near the fireplace and unexplained gusts of cold wind that blow throughout the establishment. (1426 Rue Bishop)

6. Hurley’s Irish Pub.

The building housing Hurley’s Irish Pub was constructed in 1885 as a tenement, back in the day when this area was considered to be working-class slum. The building suffered many fires over the years and in some cases tenants did not escape, meeting fiery deaths. The manager has seen his fair share of sights over the years, but one of the strangest experiences to be had in the pub is a run-in with a ghost known only as the Burning Lady. She is known to haunt the top of the stairs, in the ladies’ washroom and the upstairs bar. Her perfume sometimes mingles in the air and on the anniversary of her death she is known to scream “Help! Help!”, causing staff to reschedule meetings. (1225 Rue Crescent)

7. Andrew’s Pub.

Rumour has it that this popular hangout amongst students and locals has its own haunting, one that sometimes disturbs even the most loyal of customer. Some people say there is a horrifying apparition haunting the place that manifests itself in the creepiest of ways. On rare occasions clients who have had a few drinks will experience a pungent odour that materializes out of nowhere: blood mixed with cordite, a chemical that replaced gunpowder in modern weapons. After detecting the odour, some of them feel like they’ve been bumped into by a large person when there is nobody there. Rumour has it that a headless apparition of a burly man appears in the mirrors and some people believe it is the ghost of an Irish mobster whose head was blown off when he was gunned down in the bar in 1969. (1241 Rue Guy)

8. Club Le Cinq

Probably the most haunted building in Downtown Montreal, this trendy nightclub is a good place to “enjoy some spirits with a spirit.” This former funeral home is said to be a hub of poltergeist activity. With all three floors said to be haunted by various apparitions, Club Le Cinq can get frightening at times! Women are warned never to go to the downstairs bathroom alone, as that is where the ghost of an autopsied woman with a jagged scar down her torso is known to appear! While it remains unclear exactly who or what is haunting the old funeral home-cum-nightclub, one thing remains certain: the nightspot is also a hotspot for the paranormal. For more details, please see Haunted Montreal Blog #29. (1234 Rue de la Montagne)

9. Sir Winston Churchill Pub.

Sir Winston Churchill Pub is considered the founding establishment of today’s vibrant Crescent Street. Opened in 1967, during a time of extreme language tension in Montreal, it triggered an exodus of anglophone nightlife from the Main, whereas francophone nightlife moved east to the Quartier Latin. Once the favourite haunt of boulevardier/journalist Nick Auf der Maur, who has an alleyway beside the bar named in his honour today, Sir Winston Churchill Pub is also said to be haunted by his unconventional and cheeky ghost. (1455-59 Rue Crescent)

10. Café Cléopatre

Built in 1896, this infamous Montreal stripclub and burlesque hall is still putting on shows. Originally housing Ponton Costumes, from 1925 onwards, the building hosted various nightclubs and welcomed the city’s most sexually diverse clients and performers. During the heyday of Montreal’s Red Light District, the nightclub witnessed all sorts of mishaps from violence and mayhem to a 42-year-old tourist from New Jersey having his private parts blown off by a bomb in the bathroom. Today, many ghosts are said to haunt Café Cléopatre, which was itself saved from demolition when burlesque queens refused to be ejected. Now surrounded by a glass office tower, this venerable burlesque hall is itself a ghostly reminder of the past.  (1230 Boulevard St. Laurent)

11. Taverne Midway.  

This throwback to the glory days of Montreal’s old tenderloin district is the starting location for Secret Montreal’s Old Red Light District Ghost Walk and Burlesque Walking Tour. Recently renovated, the tavern is said to still be haunted by ghosts from the old days when it was one of Montreal’s seediest bars. Once the favourite haunt of violent criminals, sex workers and junkies, today the old tavern is a popular hipster bar. The most common ghost is said to be that of now-deceased burlesque queen, who is sometimes spotted applying her make up in the ladies washroom. (1219 Boulevard St. Laurent)

12. Cabaret Lion D’Or.   

This cabaret hall has a salacious history. Al Capone, a frequent visitor to Montreal during the days of Prohibition, was so enthralled with our city that he actually invested in a burlesque hall and oyster bar called the Cabaret Lion d’Or. In the basement he ran a blind pig, or illegal “after hours” bar. Today, the cabaret hall still exists as a rare throwback and still offers burlesque performances. With a secret door and tunnel in the basement that Capone used to evade police during raids, some staff members believe that the mobster’s ghost haunts the Cabaret Lion d’Or . (1676 Rue Ontario Est)

13. Pub Quartier Latin.

Once the site of Canada’s most notorious brothel, 312 Ontario, today the Pub Quartier Latin is a cozy establishment with a comedy club called Le Bordel. While the building is certainly haunted by sex workers of the past, resulting in disembodied giggles and clients feeling caressed by invisible hands, it is also known to have a much, much darker ghost. Known to haunt people living in the lodgings above the pub during their nightmares, the ghost is none other than that of McGill University’s most infamous alumni, abortionist and serial killer Dr. Thomas Neill Cream. (318 Rue Ontario Est)

14. Windsor Station.  

Windsor Station, a Romanesque Revival masterpiece, was once the hub of Canada’s railway system, linking east to west. When the Bell Centre was built, Windsor Station was cut off from the railroad tracks, rendering it no longer functional. Today, it is possible to enjoy a drink at the Gare Windsor Rotisserie, a resto-bar or in the Salle des pas perdus during private rentals. Once the lobby where thousands of people awaited trains or returning loved ones, it is now an impressive events venue. In this imposing hall, mysterious voices can sometimes be heard chattering away, newspapers rustle by themselves and on occasion the faint sound of an old train whistle can be heard blaring. (1160 Rue de la Gauchetiere Ouest)

15. La Capital, Chinatown.

Opened in 2015, La Capital is a Mexican bar/restaurant that serves tacos, beer and other fare in bustling Chinatown. According to staff members, the building is haunted by a mysterious ghost. They have heard rumours that someone died in the building and is now haunting the place. The most common paranormal activity is for things to suddenly get knocked over or pushed off of shelves and counters. Sometimes plates drop and shatter on the floor, pots go flying off their hooks and heavy boxes of pork slide off the counters and onto the floor. Some speculate the building once hosted a kosher butcher shop when the area included a large Jewish community and believe that the ghostly butcher returns to try and remove pork from his old shop. (1096 Boulevard St. Laurent)

16. Bonsecours Market.

This magnificent Palladian-style marketplace was inspired by Dublin’s Custom House and opened in 1847. It has witnessed lots of history and even served as Canada’s seat of governance in 1849 after angry politicians burned down the nearby Parliament in a fit of rage. Today, the Bonsecours Market features a host of places to have a drink, such as Pub BreWskey, an industrial-chic brewpub that serves craft beer on tap. Unfortunately, night guards are constantly kept on their toes with the sounds of phantom footsteps echoing throughout the building and the occasional appearance of a frightening apparition.  (350 Rue Saint-Paul Est)

17. Reggie’s Bar, Hall Building.

Reggie’s Bar has long been enjoyed as a watering hole for students at Concordia University. Situated on the ground floor of the Hall Building, the pub is a hot-spot for academic debate, student activism and enjoying a few cold ones while skipping class. Sometimes, when the bar is quiet, students can hear ghostly whisperings in the Hall Building’s lobby, a strange and paranormal phenomenon that, while unexplained, has inspired art shows at the university in the past. (1455 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest)

18. Orange Rouge Restaurant, Chinatown.

This is one of the only bar/restaurants run by non-Asians in Chinatown. Apparently, locals refused to rent it because it’s allegedly haunted. Orange Rouge was opened by a man named Patrick Dumont in 2013. Set in the Wing’s Noodle Factory building owned by the Lee Family, Orange Rouge kicked off with a popular chef named chef Aaron Langille behind the stoves. When the restaurant opened, the Lee family paid for a lion dance ceremony, a traditional way to bless a new business with good fortune, plus as a way to calm any bad spirits. (106 Rue de la Gauchetière Ouest)

19. Les Trois Brasseurs, Old Montreal.

A French brew-pub with several locations, the one in Old Montreal is said to be the haunted. The upper floors of the building are said to be infested with shadowy apparitions, which sometimes affect people in the bar below. Many clients have heard strange noises from above, hanging lamps sometimes swing on their own accord and there are also reports of shadows jumping from the higher windows only to vanish before they land on the sidewalk. There is speculation that people burned alive in a fire many years ago.  (105 Rue St. Paul Est)

Haunted Theatre Bars

Theatres are prime locations for hauntings, and Montreal has its share of them. Usually the only time to enjoy a drink in these establishments is before performances and during intermissions, so you might want to check out what’s playing and buy a ticket to enjoy some theatre as you look for ghosts.

20. Centaur Theatre.

Set in Old Montreal’s magnificent former Stock Exchange Building, there are many ghosts said to haunt the Centaur Theatre. One story involves a stockbroker who killed himself during the Great Depression (some say he jumped off the Stock Exchange whereas other say he hanged himself on its furnace, essentially ensuring his body was cooked through and through). Another features a gay actor who was constantly bullied onstage during a performance so asked that his ashes be placed in the theatre’s potted plants so he could haunt the theatre after his death. His friends complied, and since then his ghost is said to haunt the bar, spilling the drinks of any homophobes who are present. Lastly, there is a little-known legend about a vampire who once occupied the building, his coffin disguised as a prop. (1453 Rue St. Francois-Xavier)

21. Imperial Theatre

The Imperial Theatre was built in 1913 as a vaudeville playhouse but now it serves as a cinema and venue for other performances in the Quartier des Spectacles. According to the Quebec Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society, the grand old theatre on Bleury Street is definitely haunted. While details are sketchy, the most common rumour has it that a ghost of someone who perished in a fire plagues in the majestic theatre, bringing the smell of charred flesh wherever it goes. Please note that the Imperial Theatre currently offers irregular programming, so it is not always easy to schedule a drink at the theatre’s bar. (1430 Rue de Bleury)

22. Monument-National 

The grandiose Monument-National, one of Quebec’s oldest and finest theatres, is rumoured to be haunted by at least two ghosts. Today’s “Studio Hydro-Québec”, located in the building’s basement, has a very bizarre and unsettling history. Once the site of a deranged Victorian waxwork museum called the Eden Musée, today a ghost bangs on the pipes and tends to make a lot of noise. Many people speculate that it is the ghost of strongman Beaupré the Giant, whose corpse was once displayed among the waxworks. There are also whispers that another ghost haunting the Monument-National is none other than Sarah Berhardt, one of the greatest French actresses of her era, whose spirit has been spotted on the glorious staircase. For more details, please see Haunted Montreal Blog #10. (1182 Boulevard St. Laurent)

23. Cinématheque québecoise

The Cinématheque québecoise includes a cozy bar for film fans to enjoy a drink before or after screenings. Located in a former Catholic girls’ school, this film library and cinema is reputed to be haunted. There are persistent rumours that the building is haunted by the ghost of a little schoolgirl. Janitors have reported seeing her on many occasions, and in 2005, the girl’s spirit was spotted by an employee in one of the projection rooms, clutching a stack of school books. Staff members believe the ghost is one of the school’s former students, but are unsure why she haunting the building. For more details, please see Haunted Montreal Blog #12. (335 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Est)

24. Théâtre du Nouveau Monde

The Théâtre du Nouveau Monde is one of Quebec’s most famous theatres and offers both classical and contemporary theatre in the French language. The theatre has many mysteries and is said to be haunted by several ghosts. Strange, unaccountable noises, including mysterious creaks and phantom footsteps, can sometimes be heard and a ghostly woman constantly sits in her favorite seat..

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Welcome to the fortieth installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 200 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month!

Our December edition examines Christmas Victorian ghost storytelling traditions in Montreal and throughout the British Empire and America. Telling tales of terror around a crackling fire was a very popular activity in the 19th Century, long before the days that radio, television and the Internet came into being and almost snuffed out this beloved and ghostly tradition.

While Haunted Montreal is in winter mode and will not offer any more public ghost tours until April, 2019, we are pleased to announce that our Haunted Pub crawl proto-type is happening in January, and we plan to offer this experience to the public starting in January or February, 2019.

For those seeking outdoor ghost walks during our off-season, Haunted Montreal is still offering private tours for groups of 15 or more people, including company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and other gatherings of all types. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour for your group. These ghost tours require very warm clothing during the winter months and the Haunted Mountain tour is not offered once there is snow on the ground due to dangerous and icy conditions on Mount Royal / Otsirà:ke.

Haunted Research

During the Victorian era, there was a popular tradition of telling ghost stories all across the colonial British Empire, including in the City of Montreal. The origins of the Yuletide ghost story have little to do with the kind of commercial Christmas that has been celebrated since the Victorian age. These spooky tales reflect darker, ancient, and more fundamental issues, such as the Winter Solstice, death, rebirth, and the rapt connection between a ghost storyteller and his or her audience. However, being Victorian, they are packaged in the cozy trappings of the holiday. During Christmas seasons of the 19th and early 20th Century, Montrealers celebrated the re-telling of these deranged ghost stories with a hot glass of mulled brandy or wine by a warm, crackling fire in the hearth.

The Victorian era was signified by the period of British Queen Victoria’s reign, from June 20, 1837 until her death on January 22,  1901. The era was characterized as stuffy, uptight and oppressive with the expression “Close your eyes and think of England” being offered to women to justify sexual reproduction and overly-lusty men. The Victorian era was heavily influenced by oppressive patriarchal norms, but also Romanticism and even Mysticism in regards to religion, social values, and arts.

While Victorians were often scientifically-minded, they also had a deep love of magic and paranormal spectacles. Mediums and séances were extremely popular, as were hypnotism shows and other entertainment of this genre.

During this time, Great Britain was embarking on a global campaign of imperial expansion, colonization and domination, particularly in Asia and Africa. These disturbing militaristic actions made the British Empire the largest in human history. Infamously known as “the Empire where the sun never sets”, the imperial project resulted in destruction, death and havoc for millions of people being colonized all across the world. At the same time, it spread the tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas internationally.

The tradition of telling ghost stories during the Yuletide season is much older than the Victorian era, but peaked during that time. Telling ghost stories during the winter is a hallowed folk custom that stretches back centuries, when families would pass the frosty winter nights with tales of spooks, phantoms and monsters. In Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”, Mamillius proclaims: “A sad tale’s best for winter. I have one. Of sprites and goblins.”

According to Religious Studies professor Justin Daniels at the University of Pennsylvania: “Christmas as celebrated in Europe and the U.S. was originally connected to the ‘pagan’ Winter Solstice celebration and the festival known as Yule. The darkest day of the year was seen by many as a time when the dead would have particularly good access to the living.”

The Victorian Era saw an explosion in ghost storytelling across the British Empire and U.S.A., triggered by the 1843 invention of the industrial steam-powered rotary printing press. This impressive machine could produce millions of copies in a single day, making books much cheaper and more widely available. Ghost stories had traditionally been an oral form, but with the rotary printing press, publishers suddenly needed a mass of content. Ghost stories were seen as ideal because they were typically short, thematic and popular, plus they could be edited quite easily to the required length.

That same year, Charles Dickens wrote the most famous Christmas ghost story of all time, “A Christmas Carol.” First published in London by Chapman & Hall and illustrated by John Leech, “A Christmas Carol” recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and other spirits. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come terrify Scrooge, who, following an epiphany, is ultimately transformed into a kinder, gentler and more altruistic man. Published on December 19, 1843, the first edition sold out by Christmas Eve. Acclaimed by critics as a masterpiece, by the end of 1844, thirteen editions had been released.

“A Christmas Carol” would go on to become the quintessential Christmas ghost story, giving us new idioms like “Dead as a door-nail” and “You are walking like Tiny Tim”, all the while popularizing the expression “God bless us, every one!”

Following its publication, Christmas ghost stories multiplied and became one of the most popular genres in print media during the Yuletide Season. Indeed, Dickens decided to discontinue writing Christmas publications in 1868, complaining to his dear friend Charles Fechter that he felt “as if I had murdered Christmas a number of years ago (perhaps I did!) and its ghost perpetually haunted me.” By that time, Christmas ghost stories had taken on a Frankenstein-like afterlife of their own, and many other writers rushed to fill the void that Dickens had left wide open.

Meanwhile, in Victorian Montreal, there was no shortage of ghost storytelling during the Yuletide season. Indeed, Montrealers embraced the winter with fantastic carnivals that featured giant ice castles, mock battles involving hundreds of participants, skating parties at the opulent Victoria Rink and magnificent fireworks displays.

When revelers arrived home after a day at the Winter Carnival, the hearth was stoked, mulled wine and brandy were prepared, and Victorian Montrealers gathered around to listen to and tell ghost stories as the flames crackled, casting eerie shadows across so many a parlor throughout the city.

There were plenty of popular ghost stories to be read from books throughout the British Empire, such as Casting the Runes (M. R. James), The Haunted Ceiling and The Red Room (H. G. Wells), Night Terrors: The Ghost Stories of E. F. Benson, The Three Imposters (Arthur Machen) and Uncle Silas, subtitled “A Tale of Bartram-Haugh“, by Irish ghost story master Sheridan Le Fanu.

In many cases, including in Montreal, local ghost stories were also told.

The most popular ghost story in Montreal in the 19th Century was the deranged legend of Simon McTavish, the spirit of a Scottish fur trader who was said to toboggan down Mount Royal in his own coffin, terrifying local residents!

A Scottish immigrant to Montreal on the heels of the British Conquest, Simon McTavish had taken over the fur trade from the French with his highly profitable Nor’ West Company. At the age of 46, he selected a beautiful 18 year old French bride named Marie-Marguerite Chaboillez. He moved with her to London, England, and hoped to live out the rest of his days in luxurious bliss.

However, she became seriously depressed and wanted to return to Montreal. McTavish complied, and when they arrived he ordered the construction of a lavish castle on the slopes of Mount Royal. If he could not enjoy the luxuries of London, he would create them for himself.

Using the finest materials available, such as hand-cut limestone blocks, the McTavish Castle was built in the style of the baronial estates in the highlands of Scotland. It was to be a striking and luxurious building that could be seen from the city below, a glorious reminder to the richest and most famous person of all: Simon McTavish.

By 1804 the castle was almost finished – the foundations, walls, and roof were in place, and work was about to start installing windows and doors.

McTavish, who was supervising work from a small cottage a few hundred yards to the west of the castle, stayed out in the rain one afternoon. He caught a cold. His doctor advised him to take some rest, but never one to listen to anybody but himself, McTavish continued overseeing the work in the damp weather. His cold quickly developed into pleurisy and pneumonia, and he died suddenly on July 6th, 1804.

The city was in shock and an elaborate funeral was held on the grounds of the unfinished castle. A magnificent vault was built in the back of the garden, where McTavish liked to read, and it was here that he was interred. His grateful nephews erected a tall stone column in his memory, in honour of his “manly virtues”.

Due to legal issues related to McTavish’s estate and last will, construction of the castle was immediately abandoned. His wife quickly married another man, a certain young British soldier named Lieutenant-Colonel William Smith Plenderleath. She moved happily back to England to raise another family, leaving McTavish to moulder and decompose all alone in the vault.

Over time, the castle took on a look of dilapidation, as it slowly decayed and crumbled. Cattle wandered inside the ruin during the summer, and in the winter it took on an eerie appearance, as snow drifted through it. It was grey, gloomy, and almost skull-like, its empty windows staring down at the city below.

McGill University was founded in 1821 and it is said that McGill students would go to the vault in the winter, wearing snowshoes, and shout and holler to try and raise the ghost of McTavish. In 1827 the students went too far – the locks of the vault were smashed, and the interior of the tomb was violated. An indignant article appeared in The Gazette condemning the vandalism. The locksmith later reported that he felt a frightening presence in the vault and noticed McTavish’s coffin had fallen on the floor, spilling its contents. Without venturing inside, he quickly repaired the lock and fled.

It didn’t take long before the castle was said to be haunted. Some people reported spirits flitting in and out of the doors and windows and horrible groaning noises coming from within the unfinished building, whereas others said that a ghost could be seen dancing on the roof. Even more strangely, it was said that McTavish could be seen on certain nights tobogganing down Mount Royal – not on a sled, but rather in his own coffin!

In a publication called Once a Week, printed by Bradbury & Evans in London, England, the Montreal ghost story of Simon McTavish was released in Volume 6 (December 1861 – June 1862). Titled “Nips Daimon”, the deranged tale is clearly inspired by the Simon McTavish ghost story that was being vividly told all around Victorian Montreal and, indeed, ever since the fur baron’s untimely death in 1804. To read “Nips Daimon“, please see pages 602 – 608.

While the City of Montreal figuratively buried the McTavish ghost story by demolishing his crumbling castle in 1861 and using the rubble to literally bury his mausoleum, it never totally faded from the imaginations of Montrealers. Indeed, it has been making a comeback since Haunted Montreal started resurrecting the story by doing in-depth research and offering ghost tours to his gravesite in 2011.

Haunted Montreal is not the only organization reviving old ghost story telling traditions, which faded considerably with the invention of radio, television and the Internet. Indeed, the world-famous Smithsonian Museum recently made a serious Call to Action to revive the Christmas ghost storytelling tradition, as reported by Irish Central.

More locally, a Windsor, Ontario illustrator named Seth has been republishing Christmas ghost stories with a publishing company called Biblioasis. According to their website:

“Reading a ghost story on Christmas Eve was once as much a part of traditional Christmas celebrations as turkey, eggnog, and Santa Claus. Biblioasis is thrilled to offer this series of beautifully illustrated, collectible books that share these classic Christmas ghost stories with readers across North America. Seth, our world-famous and beloved cartoonist, designs and illustrates each book in his own inimitable way. Trimmed to fit the coziest stocking, they’re perfect gifts for those who want a bit of extra Christmas chill.”

There are also cultural remnants and reinterpretations of the old Christmas ghost storytelling tradition in Montreal.

For example, Centaur Theatre’s Urban Tales series is vaguely based on the Christmas tradition of telling horrible ghost stories. Always set in early December, Urban Tales features bizarre, comedic, disturbing and deranged monologues delivered by local actors.

The website describes the 2018 edition, running December 7 – 15, as such:

“Come share an eggnog with us at Centaur Theatre’s annual antidote to the excess of candy cane-coated, warm-and-fuzzy feelings typical of the holiday season. For five shows only, this seasonal tongue-in-cheek event features some of Montreal’s best actors telling stories – ranging from side-splittingly hilarious to downright bizarre. Accomplished playwright and actor, Harry Standjofski, directs and provides live music between each irreverent tale.”

Incidentally, Standjofski describes Urban Tales as “Christmas stories for those who don’t particularly like Christmas” in this video, which also features some tales.

Another Montreal Victorian Christmas option is to pay a visit to the Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site, where an annual event called “A Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s” is held. The historic site invites guests to “Discover how styles dating back to 1867 are still in vogue 150 years later! Be charmed by the elegant Victorian decor featuring miniature fir trees, handmade cards and of course, champagne!”

On its website, the Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site sets the scene:

“It’s Christmas, 1867; the Confederation has just been formed, and festivities are in full swing at the Cartier home! All the latest trends in decoration, cooking and fashion are sought out to delight the guests. During your visit to the house, discover the history and unexpected origins of some of our still-current holiday traditions. If you’re looking to go out with friends or need a break from December’s hustle and bustle, come visit the Cartier house with its festive decorations. You can enjoy a hot drink by the fireplace, take a souvenir photo with charming period accessories, or make your own personalized holiday card.”

Guests can also “Fill the next year with love and happiness by kissing your good company beneath the traditional mistletoe” and enjoy hot drinks by the fireplace.

Indeed, the website instructs visitors to: “Take a break from the December frenzy and enjoy a hot, old-fashioned drink next to the fireplace. Taste wassail (a hot mulled English drink) and the new Victorian Christmas tea, specially created for the historic site. All of this with ambient music.”

Unfortunately, while clients can sit by a roaring Victorian fire with mulled wassail, it appears that Christmas ghost stories are not yet told at the Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site. This in an unfortunate fact, given that they certainly would have been told in 1867, when ghost stories were one of the most popular genres throughout the British empire.

To correct this unfortunate cultural gap, Haunted Montreal plans to heed the Call to Action by the Smithsonian Museum and resurrect the spooky Christmas tradition.

As such, Haunted Montreal promises to create a proper Victorian Ghost Storytelling event, set beside by a roaring fire with mulled brandy or wine in hand, for the December Christmas Season in 2019!

COMPANY NEWS

The Hallowe’en Season is now past us, but fans need not worry!

Haunted Montreal is pleased to announce that we will be launching a prototype of our new Haunted Pub Crawl in the month of January and it should be available to the public in January or February, 2019 at the latest.

Haunted Montreal also offers private tours for groups of 15 or more people, including company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and all types of gatherings. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour.

Haunted Montreal in the News:

Haunted Montreal had a strange experience lately when we contacted Les amis de la montagne (The Friends of the Mountain in English) to ask them about the traditional name of Mount Royal in the local indigenous language of Kanien’keha to improve our visitor experience on Mount Royal.

We were surprised when informed that “There is no known name used by natives for Mount Royal prior to the contact period. In addition, the stories of the discoverers do not mention the name given to the mountain by the natives.”

Thinking this strange, Haunted Montreal contacted the good people in Kahnawake and they told us that the Indigenous name for the mountain is Otsirà:ke in the Kanien’kéha language, and was called that long before Jacques Cartier “re-named” it Mount Royal in 1535, after kindly First Nations guides from Hochelaga led him to the top of Otsirà:ke.

You can see various media reports about the scandal here.

Because Haunted Montreal operates on the un-ceded traditional indigenous territory of Tio’tia:ke, part of the traditional domain of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, the custodian of these lands and waters, we are lobbying  Les amis de la montange to acknowledge the fact that that the original name of the mountain is Otsirà:ke. We are asking them to include this Indigenous information on their website and signs around the mountain park. We are also recommending that they offer a territorial recognition on their website and before all official meetings.

If you agree with Haunted Montreal, we invite you to contact  Les amis de la montange at info@lemontroyal.qc.ca to make your opinion known. Please note that 2.0 tourists are thirsting for Indigenous experiences and information within major cities they visit. In order to avoid losing tourists to other cities,  Les amis de la montange should be inclusive and add Otsirà:ke to it website, materials and signs and start doing proper territorial recognition, otherwise tour operators like Haunted Montreal will lose business to other cities.

We are also pleased to recommend a new book called Macabre Montreal, which could make an excellent Christmas gift.

Written by Mark Leslie and Shayna..

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Welcome to the thirty-ninth installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 200 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month!

Our November edition examines the John Doe Pub, one of many haunted drinking establishments in Montreal.

With the Hallowe’en Season over, Haunted Montreal is now in winter mode and is not offering any more public ghost tours outside until April, 2019.

Luckily, fans need not be disappointed. We are working on a haunted pub crawl, which will likely be open to the public during the winter months. Stay tuned for details!

Furthermore, Haunted Montreal is still offering private tours for groups of 15 or more people, including company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and other gatherings of all types. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour for your group.

HAUNTED RESEARCH

The John Doe, located at 1238 Bishop Street, is one of Montreal’s many haunted pubs, albeit one that burned down recently.

Just after St. Patrick’s Day, on March 24, 2018, a 5-alarm fire broke out in the Irish Embassy Pub next door, requiring 100 firefighters to extinguish the blaze. Unfortunately, the flames spread into the neighboring John Doe Pub, causing $2 million dollars in damage. Ironically, Comedyworks, the comedy club on the third floor, which also burned, had been hosting a weekly show called “Burnin Down the House”.

Luckily the pub’s owner, Troy, had insurance and it should be rebuilt within a year. This gives staff members and Troy a break from all the hauntings they had to deal with on a daily basis.

When Troy first opened the pub in the 1990s, he had plans to install his appartment on the upper floor. However, when he quickly realized that his pub was haunted, he abandoned this idea. During rennovations, whenever he moved about the building, he could hear phantom footsteps following him, no matter where he went. Sometimes, while sitting alone at the bar, he would hear a disembodied woman’s voice chattering about 10 feet away. On another occasion, he was standing in his office when some invisible force violently shoved him into his chair. Troy also noticed that on a regular basis someone or something was turning on the faucets when nobody was there, leading him to speculate that whatever ghosts were inhabiting the building didn’t like what he was doing.

The John Doe, when open, has a strange feeling about the place. Don’t get me wrong – it has a beautiful old-world charm inside and is highly recommended for a drink and a meal. It’s just that many people, including a group of mediums who used to go frequently, have described bizarre happenings inside, especially on the third floor where the comedy club is located. Seeing spirits on the staircases and hearing disembodied voices. Watching the lights flicker and glass-racks rattle for no particular reason. Witnessing doors locking and unlocking themselves and that sort of thing.

At other times, staff have found the faucets running when they were positive the taps were closed. In one case, a dishwasher turned off the kitchen’s tap and went to the bathroom. When she returned, she could hear the water running and spotted the ghost of a young girl who had just turned it on again. The ghostly girl looked directly in her eyes and then vanished into thin air, with the water still running at full blast.

One bartender panicked when he could hear a distinct voice singing along to the radio when he was alone at the bar.

Another bartender named Mike told a story about entering a storage room to get a box. For some reason, the door swung shut behind him and the air temperature suddenly dropped and turned very cold. He could see his breath. Freaked out, he turned around to escape. As he bolted, he tripped over a box and did a face-plant. He was shocked because the box hadn’t been there before. It had been on top of a five-foot pile of boxes and somehow it had moved itself onto the floor, directly in his path!

In 2016, a covert team of paranormal investigators decided to check out the establishment. Using tools like EMF readers, dowsing rods and temperature guns, they recorded all sorts of paranormal activity.

Two investigators actually spotted the same ghost, who they described as “a big bearded guy with a big belly” in different locations. In another case, two of the team members got locked in the ladies washroom and had to scream until their colleagues let them out.

Additionally, Haunted Montreal recently received a message from a patron of the bar named Franco, who wrote:

“Another point of interest would be the John Doe Pub. I have been hearing stories about this location for many years, including witness accounts of spooky (and untoward contacts) in the rest-rooms.”

While nobody is sure who or what is haunting the John Doe Pub, preliminary research reveals that the building was constructed in 1885 as a family residence. One barmaid speculated: “It was once a home where sh*t happened.”

Troy is believes his pub is haunted by three ghosts from different eras – a woman, a man and a little girl. He is very keen to get to the bottom of the story and has invited Haunted Montreal investigators to spend the night when his bar finally re-opens. It is an opportunity the company is definitely looking forward to!

COMPANY NEWS

The Hallowe’en Season is now past us, but fans need not worry!

Haunted Montreal is pleased to announce that we will be launching a prototype of our new Haunted Pub Crawl in the month of December! We are currently seeking 10 volunteers to attend the prototype Haunted Pub Crawl, free of charge, in exchange for feedback about the visitor experience. This tour will be offered in English and the first 10 lucky clients who email info@hauntedmontreal.com will be given a free ticket to this attend this rare haunted experience!

Haunted Montreal also offers private tours for groups of 15 or more people, including company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and all types of gatherings. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour.

Haunted Montreal in the News:

Haunted Montreal had a strange experience lately when we contacted Les amis de la montagne (The Friends of the Mountain in English) to ask them about the traditional name of Mount Royal in the local indigenous language of Kanien’keha to improve our visitor experience on Mount Royal.

We were surprised when informed that “There is no known name used by natives for Mount Royal prior to the contact period. In addition, the stories of the discoverers do not mention the name given to the mountain by the natives.”

Thinking this strange, Haunted Montreal contacted the good people in Kahnawake and they told us that the Indigenous name for the mountain is Otsirà:ke in the Kanien’kéha language, and was called that long before Jacques Cartier “re-named” it Mount Royal in 1535, after kindly First Nations guides from Hochelaga led him to the top of Otsirà:ke.

You can listen to a radio interview about it on CBC Radio One and read about it at the Eastern Door , CBC Indigenous and Montreal Times. Haunted Montreal also did an interview for City TV News.

Because Haunted Montreal operates on the un-ceded traditional indigenous territory of Tio’tia:ke, part of the traditional domain of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, the custodian of these lands and waters, we are lobbying  Les ami de la montange to acknowledge the fact that that the original name of the mountain is Otsirà:ke, and to include that information on their website and signs around the mountain park. We are also asking them to do a territorial recognition on their website and before all official meetings.

If you agree with Haunted Montreal, we invite you to contact  Les ami de la montange at info@lemontroyal.qc.ca to make your opinion known. Please note that 2.0 tourists are thirsting for Indigenous experiences and information within major cities they visit. In order to avoid losing tourists to other cities,  Les ami de la montange should be inclusive and add Otsirà:ke to it website, materials and signs and start doing proper territorial recognition, otherwise tour operators like Haunted Montreal will lose business to other cities.

We are also pleased to announce a new book called Macabre Montreal.

Written by Mark Leslie and Shayna Krishnasamy, it is a “collection of ghost stories, eerie encounters, and gruesome and ghastly true stories from the second most populous city in Canada.”

The authors write:

“Montreal is a city steeped in history and culture, but just beneath the pristine surface of this world-class city lie unsettling stories. Tales shared mostly in whispered tones about eerie phenomena, dark deeds, and disturbing legends that take place in haunted buildings, forgotten graveyards, and haunted pubs. The dark of night reveals a very different city behind its beautiful European-style architecture and cobblestone streets. A city with buried secrets, alleyways that echo with the footsteps of ghostly spectres, memories of ghastly events, and unspeakable criminal acts.”

With the introduction written by Haunted Montreal, Macabre Montreal is a must-read for anyone interested in Montreal’s dark side.

Haunted Montreal would like to thank all of our clients who attended a ghost walk during the 2018 season! If you enjoyed the experience, we encourage you to write a review on our Tripadvisor page, something that helps Haunted Montreal to market its tours. Lastly, if you would like to receive the Haunted Montreal Blog on the 13th of every month, please sign up to our mailing list on he top right of this page.

Coming up on December 13: Christmas Ghost Story Traditions in Victorian Montreal

During the Victorian era, there was a popular tradition of telling ghost stories all across the colonial British Empire, including in Montreal. The origins of the Yuletide ghost story have little to do with the kind of commercial Christmas that has been celebrated since the Victorian age. These spooky tales reflect darker, ancient, and more fundamental issues, such as the Winter Solstice, death, rebirth, and the rapt connection between a ghost storyteller and his or her audience. However, being Victorian, they are packaged in the cozy trappings of the holiday. Learn about how Victorian Montrealers celebrated these deranged stories with a hot glass of mulled brandy by a warm, crackling fire.

Donovan King is a historian, teacher, tour guide and professional actor. As the founder of Haunted Montreal, he combines his skills to create the best possible Montreal ghost stories, in both writing and theatrical performance. King holds a DEC (Professional Theatre Acting, John Abbot College), BFA (Drama-in-Education, Concordia), B.Ed (History and English Teaching, McGill), MFA (Theatre Studies, University of Calgary) and ACS (Montreal Tourist Guide, Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec).

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Welcome to the thirty-eighth installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 200 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal is dedicated to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly-researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month!

Our October edition examines Ravenscrag, one of the world’s most frightening house of horrors. Perched on the slopes of Mount Royal, it is the location of deranged brainwashing experiments during the Cold War and may host a secret children’s cemetery.

For the Hallowe’en Season, Haunted Montreal has added many extra tours, including our newly-revised Haunted Downtown Montreal ghost walk – in both English and French! During the month of October, please consider making Haunted Montreal part of your Hallowe’en Season. Tickets are now on sale!

Haunted Montreal also offers private tours for groups of 15 or more people, including company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and other gatherings of all types. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour.

HAUNTED RESEARCH

Ravenscrag is a prominent Pine Avenue mansion that is currently used as McGill’s psychiatry department. Now known as the Allan Memorial Institute, it is a very creepy estate and is also rumoured to be extremely haunted. Tortured, disembodied voices are known to echo the corridors and not only do caretakers often refuse to clean the terrifying morgues in the building, but sometimes at night a mysterious light appears in the cupola of the main tower overlooking the McGill campus.

According to a report in the McGill Tribune:

“The upper buildings of the McGill campus, above Dr. Penfield, appear to be the most ghost-ridden of them all…[especially] the Allan Memorial Institute. In the 1950s and ‘60s, the MKULTRA experiments, partially funded by the CIA, subjected patients to electroshock therapy, sensory deprivation, and lobotomies. Experiments also forced patients to listen to broadcasted messages (either from loud speakers or from under their pillows), as well as giving them experimental hallucinogenic drugs. Any ghosts trapped in this building will be forever reminded of their tortured pasts.”

There are also rumours that a secret, haunted children’s cemetery exists behind the property, just behind the stone wall. It is at the bottom of a slope that leads up to the Olmsted Road on Mount Royal. This rocky, forested area is popular with psychics and paranormal investigators, and often mysterious people can be seen there at night conducting strange rituals, often involving votive candles. Rumour has it the investigators sometimes hear disembodied children crying. Survivors of horrific brainwashing experiments claim that child victims were secretly buried at this location, out of sight from the public.

Given the creepy rumors, mental health patients are often apprehensive about being treated at the Allan Memorial Institute – and for good reason, given its deranged history!

Ravenscrag was built in 1863 by Sir Hugh Allan. An extremely affluent banker and entrepreneur of Scottish origin, Allan used his political connections to obtain favorable contracts and subsidies for his enterprises and was known to exploit workers, including children in his factories. In 1860, Sir Hugh Allan purchased fourteen acres on the slopes of Mount Royal, for $10,000, from the estate of the late Simon McTavish.

Built in the style of an Italian Renaissance villa or palazzo, Ravenscrag consisted of 72 lavish rooms spread over five floors and decorated in the opulent Victorian fashion of the era. The mansion also featured an imposing tower with an observatory in the cupola, which Sir Hugh Allan used to monitor his ships with a telescope in the old port of Montreal. When built, Ravenscrag was also fitted with gas lighting and the most advanced plumbing and heating technology available at the time. It was the most lavish address in the city and hosted decadent parties for some of the most prestigious and wealthiest of people, including members of the Royal Family.

When Sir Hugh Allan’s died in 1882 while visiting his son-in-law in Edinburgh, he was one of the richest men in the world with a fortune estimated to be between eight and twelve million pounds.

His is son, Montagu, inherited the regal Ravenscrag mansion. Following Montagu’s death in 1940, his wife donated it to McGill University. Ravenscrag was gutted of its lavish interior and  transformed into a psychiatric hospital called the Allan Memorial Institute.  With funds from the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Ewen Cameron, the founder of McGill’s Psychiatric Department, was appointed its director.

In the early 1950s, during the first decade of the Cold War, the CIA believed it was crucial to learn how to brainwash people after the apparent success of the Chinese during the Korean War. A handful of American POWs made inexplicable confessions while publicly praising communism and denouncing the United States.

Starting in 1950, the CIA reached out to psychologists, physicians and toxicologists and embarked on several mind-control projects, such as Project Bluebird, Project Artichoke, and Project MKULTRA. In 1957, the CIA managed to recruit Dr. Ewen Cameron, who was trying to discover whether doctors could erase a person’s mind and instill new patterns of behaviour. The purpose of his brainwashing experiment was to discover techniques that could destroy a person’s time-space continuum in order to re-program them.

Dr. Cameron and his colleague Dr. Hebb started the experiment with 22 paid student volunteers.  Each student was placed on a bed in a lighted cubicle and made to wear opaque goggles, cardboard handcuffs and lie with their head embedded into a U-shaped foam pillow that limited audio stimulation.

Most subjects quit after a few hours, complaining that being in the apparatus felt like a form of torture. Most also had experienced hallucinations similar to those had on drugs like LSD. Dr. Hebb concluded that “even short term sensory deprivation produced a devastating impact on the human psyche,” noting that “the subjects very identity began to disintegrate.”

Realizing the potential, Dr. Cameron moved the research trial to Phase 2, which would require subjects who could not leave, as the student volunteers had done. Dr. Cameron began hand-picking patients at the Allan Memorial Institute for participation in the brainwashing research, against their knowledge. For subjects, Dr. Cameron chose people suffering from minor mental and emotional problems, such as anxiety disorders or postpartum depression.

Dr. Cameron developed and tested three major psychiatric procedures on the mental patients at the Allan Memorial.

He started with the technique of “depatterning”, his theory that people’s patterns of behaviour could be erased and replaced with others. In an attempt to erase their memories and personality, Dr. Cameron subjected them to brutal electroshock sessions that were well-beyond the norm in psychiatric hospitals in terms of frequency, duration and voltage.

His second technique was called “sensory isolation” and involved putting subjects in a sealed box where they would receive the minimum sensorial stimulus possible. Their eyes and ears would be covered, their body would be padded, and their movement impeded. It induced a form of sleep deprivation and disintegration of the personality.

Dr. Cameron then used his third technique, an attempted reprogramming known as “psychic driving”. Using powerful drugs he would put patients through 15 to 30 days of drug-induced, almost uninterrupted sleep. His patients were forced them to listen to pre-recorded messages on a loop for as many as sixteen hours a day, designed to implant the desired new personality in the patients’ psyche.

Dr. Cameron was largely successful in erasing the identity of his patients, but was unable to implant the desired new personalities. Many of them suffered permanent brain damage. A study commissioned by Dr. Cameron’s successor in 1967 found that many of the tested patients suffered permanent amnesia, incontinence, forgetting how to talk, forgetting their parents, and even thinking their interrogators were their parents.

The CIA was so impressed with Dr. Cameron’s work that these techniques became the core of its torture methodology and were used in Vietnam, and most recently, in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay.

Most of Dr. Cameron’s un-consenting human guinea pigs did not discover what had really been done to them until more than twenty years later, which made it very difficult to obtain compensation.  A few of Cameron’s over 300 former patients did file lawsuits, but they were originally obstructed by the Canadian government, which had also contributed to the financing of Cameron’s experiments.

The reason Dr. Cameron was able to carry out such cruel experiments for almost a decade could be explained by the prestige that he enjoyed as a doctor. He was one of North America’s most eminent psychiatrists; he had served in the medical tribunal at the Nuremberg trials, and had been the president of the Quebec, Canadian, American and World Psychiatric Associations. Following his cruel and deranged career, Cameron died of a heart attack while mountain climbing with his son on September 8, 1967.

Today, despite its horrid past, the Allan Memorial Institute continues to operate as a psychiatric facility and houses ambulatory (out-patient) services.

The In-Patient Services were recently amalgamated into the facilities at the Montreal General Hospital.  Essentially, the Allan Memorial Institute now only offers out-patient psychiatric and psychological services, including cognitive behavioural therapy, as well as day clinics, programs and administrative services. Thankfully, there are no longer any beds at the Allan.

One survivor of Ewen Cameron’s experiments named Ann Diamond suggests that there are unmarked graves in the forested area behind the Allan Memorial Institute.

She wrote:

“These unmarked graves are a big secret. There has been no physical proof that kids are buried there but…some would have been First Nations kids in Cameron’s experiments between 1953 and 1964. Others came from broken homes, or were orphans…Obviously, they’re not laid out to attract attention but we think 17-25 children were buried there… Officially, though, it never happened…. Many, many records were destroyed however, and McGill has been very busy hiding the evidence and making sure witnesses and survivors remain silent.”

Whether or not these are just the ramblings of an Allan Memorial Institute survivor or if there are indeed children buried down there is open to speculation.

In Brenda Norre’s article “Location of Mass Graves of Residential School Children Revealed; Independent Tribunal Established” (Atlantic Free Press, 2006), she provides a list of hidden cemeteries across Canada where First Nations children who died in Residential Schools were secretly interred.

The Residential Schools were designed to carry out cultural genocide against First Nations people.

By stripping parents of their children, Canadian government authorities and religious officials forced the children to abandon their native languages and cultures to embrace austere Christian values. The death rate of children in some institutions was as high as 60%.

Based on eyewitness accounts from survivors of these horrible institutions, the secret burial grounds are cataloged in “Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust (2nd ed., 2005) by Kevin Annett”.

Needless to say, the following information appears on the list of hidden cemeteries:

  1. Montreal: Allan Memorial Institute, McGill University, still in operation since opening in 1940. MKULTRA experimental centre. Mass grave of children killed there north of building, on southern slopes of Mount Royal behind stone wall.

Over the years, there have been many conversations in hushed tones as to why the government is not investigating the situation.

There can be no doubt that the Allan Memorial Institute’s deranged experiments have also influenced fertile imaginations. The Manchurian Candidate, a novel by Richard Condon, was inspired by the experiments and first published in 1959. It is a political thriller about the son of a prominent American political family who is brainwashed into being an unwitting assassin for a Communist conspiracy. The novel has been adapted twice into a feature film, in 1962 and again in 2004. The 1962 version is faithful to the book and stars crooner Frank Sinatra.

To this day, the creepy topic is still discussed on social media and recently was examined on the Haunted Talks Podcast. In Episode 36, House of Horrors, Jimmy Dean interviewed Haunted Montreal about Ravenscrag (July 27, 2018).

Whether or not there is actually a hidden cemetery on the mountain site is still unknown at this time. Only one thing is certain. Until someone goes down there with a shovel or a spade and starts digging, this is one mystery that will remain unsolved.

COMPANY NEWS

The Hallowe’en Season is now upon us and Haunted Montreal is pleased to announce we are offering all three of our ghost tours, including the newly-updated Haunted Downtown!

For the month of October, please consider making Haunted Montreal part of your Hallowe’en Season. Tickets are now on sale!

Haunted Montreal also offers private tours for groups of 15 or more people, including company outings, school groups, bachelorette parties and all types of gatherings. Please contact info@hauntedmontreal.com to organize a private tour.

We are also pleased to announce a new book called Macabre Montreal. Written by Mark Leslie and Shayna Krishnasamy, it is a “collection of ghost stories, eerie encounters, and gruesome and ghastly true stories from the second most populous city in Canada.”

The authors write:

“Montreal is a city steeped in history and culture, but just beneath the pristine surface of this world-class city lie unsettling stories. Tales shared mostly in whispered tones about eerie phenomena, dark deeds, and disturbing legends that take place in haunted buildings, forgotten graveyards, and haunted pubs. The dark of night reveals a very different city behind its beautiful European-style architecture and cobblestone streets. A city with buried secrets, alleyways that echo with the footsteps of ghostly spectres, memories of ghastly events, and unspeakable criminal acts.”

With the introduction written by Haunted Montreal, Macabre Montreal is a must-read for anyone interested in Montreal’s dark side.

Haunted Montreal would like to thank all of our clients who attended a ghost walk during the 2018 season! If you enjoyed the experience, we encourage you to write a review on our Tripadvisor page, something that helps Haunted Montreal to market its tours. Lastly, if you would like to receive the Haunted Montreal Blog on the 13th of every month, please sign up to our mailing list (at the top of the page, on the right).

Coming up on November 13: The John Doe Pub

The John Doe, on Bishop Street, is one of Montreal’s many haunted pubs. Currently closed due to a fire, the Victorian building is said by bar staff and the owner to be infested with ghosts. Purchased in 1990 by a man named Troy, he originally intended convert the upper floor into his apartment. However, during renovations, he could hear phantom footsteps following him, no matter where he went in the building. After several other creepy paranormal encounters, he decided not to move in after all. Troy is believes his pub is haunted by three ghosts from different eras – a woman, a man and a little girl. He is very keen to get to the bottom of the story and has invited Haunted Montreal investigators to spend the night when his bar finally re-opens. It is an opportunity the company is definitely looking forward to!

Donovan King is a historian, teacher, tour guide and professional actor. As the founder of Haunted Montreal, he combines his skills to create the best possible Montreal ghost stories, in both writing and theatrical performance. King holds a DEC (Professional Theatre Acting, John Abbot College), BFA (Drama-in-Education, Concordia), B.Ed (History and English Teaching, McGill), MFA (Theatre Studies, University of Calgary) and ACS (Montreal Tourist Guide, Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec).

 

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