Fearing this might be some kind of warning or preemptive signal, hotel management immediately contacted the police. Francois Lippe was the first police officer to arrive at the hotel. Baffled, he contacted his superiors and asked them to come and look for themselves at the object that was floating above the City of Montreal. The Chief of Police, Robert Masson, soon arrived at the scene and he immediately spotted the bizarre object in question.
Following an incident with a student from McGill University in his dressing room, Houdini’s health began to fail. While he attempted to continue touring, he died just over a week later in a Detroit hospital – on Hallowe’en, no less! Today, rumours swirl that Harry Houdini's ghost haunts various locations throughout North America, including Montreal!
In one frightening instance that occurred around 2005, a drunken girl was warned by staff not to go into the attic. Ignoring the warning, when staff had their backs turned, she went anyway. A few minutes later, people heard a loud, hysterical screaming. Hollering at the top of her lungs, the girl dove out of the attic window facing the street and then jumped off the balcony, in a state of complete terror. Luckily, the bouncers below were able to catch her. They tried to calm her down, but were unable to. The girl had to be taken away in an ambulance.
The McGill Faculty Club is the sort of place where things literally go bump in the night. Doors on the upper floors often slam on their own accord. The staff also reports that the elevator sometimes moves between floors, inexplicably, without any human passengers. In the billiard room, the balls are known to roll on their own, as though a game is being played by invisible spirits. Some servants are unnerved by the numerous portraits hanging on the walls, which they claim often follow them with their eyes. In 2010, Tony Austin, the Club’s longstanding maître d’hôtel, told the McGill Reporter: “I’ve never seen a ghost myself, but when you’re all alone in this house at the end of the night it can be a little creepy with all those portraits staring back at you.”
Various sources suggest that the inn is haunted and that apparitions of both Marie-Louise Jusseaume and a card-shuffling man dressed in 19th century clothing have been seen on many different occasions. Some guests report hearing disembodied voices, including entire conversations. In another case, a deep imprint appeared on the just-made bed in Room 1, almost as though someone were sleeping there. Light anomalies have also been seen and photographed in the room.
There are many reports of hauntings at the museum. Strange apparitions have been spotted lurking in the shadows. The sound of phantom boots can be sometimes be heard marching in unison, as though soldiers were marching in formation. Objects are also known to go missing and some visitors complain about feelings of malaise and shortness of breath. Add to this mysterious mists, strange lights, disembodied voices, and the unexplained smell of smoke, and it is easy to conclude that the fort is very haunted.
The girl appeared relieved that he had stopped and she immediately climbed into his car's front passenger seat. She was tall and beautiful and had long dark hair. He estimated that she was in her mid-20s. The girl was obviously very cold because she was trembling. He asked her where she was going but, mysteriously, she did not reply. He assumed that she was unable to speak so he offered her a pen and paper. She wrote down a name and an address on Christophe Columb Avenue. Because she was still shivering, he offered her his leather jacket to warm up and she graciously accepted it. She put it on as they drove northwards in silence.
In the early 1970s, the Grey family experienced an invisible cat in their home in Montreal. What was remarkable is that the feline could be heard and felt, but it was never seen. In another instance, a young boy in the Montreal suburb of Roxboro took on what his parents assumed was an imaginary friend named Duke. The boy would get upset if the parents tried to sit on the couch when "Duke" was there. While the parents humored him at first, they got the shock of their lives when a neighbor informed them that the previous owner has a dog of the same name before passing away with her beloved pet in a house fire. It would seem that invisible pets are part of the ghostly folklore of the city of Montreal. The only unanswered question is why.
Then one day something inexplicable happened. The nephew, being a curious fellow, was exploring the nooks and crannies of the hospital before visiting his uncle. Finding himself in an empty room, he was suddenly overwhelmed by a sweet, distinctive, penetrating odour. A cloud of fog began appearing to him and, as he inhaled, he began to hallucinate. The linoleum floor had somehow transformed into wood! Suddenly, he saw blood inexplicably pooling around his feet. As the smell got stronger, he tried to run away, but his foot slipped in the bloody pool and he fell to the ground. As he hit the floor in a panic, suddenly everything reverted back to normal – no blood pooling, no wooden floor and no weird odour.
"Then I saw the look of the people I was with, the manager and the owner. I saw the look on their faces: they were not laughing and their faces had become white. They were scared, confused and really shook up. No need to tell you that the fun was over and done with. Me, I was adamant that someone was clearly upstairs. It was obvious. They told me it was impossible because, firstly, both doors (to access the above floor) were locked and chained, with a padlock for extra security. Secondly, the entire upstairs floor was being used as a storage room to pack all the tables and chairs that weren't used for many years..."