Despite only being open for a few months, there are already allegations of paranormal activity on the esplanade. The most common report is the appearance and disappearance of books, which sometimes vanish from bags only to reappear on benches or the ground. Others have spotted a ghostly image of the bookstore re-appearing on the site. Some superstitious people believe that Henri Tranquille’s old bookstore, Librairie Tranquille, influences the new public square in a paranormal way. Others have sensed his ghost.
Perched on the slopes of the mountain lies a mysterious and abandoned swimming pool. Authorities at the Old Royal Victoria Hospital constructed it during 1961, allegedly to allow nurses and patients to swim there. Since its construction, rumours have swirled that it was actually built to conceal murdered children buried on the site. These allegedly include Indigenous victims of the nearby Allan Memorial Institute Psychiatric Department.
Clock Tower Quay is a popular tourist destination in the Old Port of Montreal, especially following the installation of an urban beach in 2012. Overlooking the deadly St. Mary’s Current, it is an ideal place to spend a sunny afternoon safe on the shore. However, several people have spotted wet footprints on the quay – even on the hottest days when water evaporates very quickly. As the sun beats down on the pavement, the wet footprints remain, unevaporated, baffling the tourists who visit. Could these paranormal prints be related to a maritime disaster from the city’s distant past?
Another local, who lives across Papineau Street from the Parc des Vétérans explained: “Sometimes at night, all of the local dogs start howling or whining at the same time. When I look out my window, I often see a ghost wandering through the park. This I swear upon. He is definitely a male ghost in older clothing and seems to wander aimlessly, as though he is sad or lost. To make matters worse, a hangman’s noose dangles around his neck.
In the dining room, a picture fell off the wall with the hanging loop unbroken and the nail in the wall intact. The dining room radio (not a clock radio) has been known to turn itself on, and once during suppertime, the lamp in the ceiling turned on by itself. The paranormal activity also happens in the bathroom.
As Wade prepared the statue and plinth in his workshop, workers began digging up French, Indigenous and Irish corpses from the former Saint Antoine Catholic Cemetery in order to lay the foundation. The fact that authorities were installing a Protestant symbol of British Imperialism and genocide in a Catholic burial ground rankled many citizens. Rumors began to swirl that the cemetery desecration would most certainly result in the ghosts of the displaced corpses returning to haunt the site.
As she approached, she could hear a sort of a gurgling noise. As she got closer, she noticed a sweet and tarry smell in the air. As the man stumbled towards her, she saw that there was a problem. She could see his jawbone and teeth protruding through tattered skin. The man reached out as though to grab her and she went tumbling to the right down the slope. She scrambled over the fence, breaking it in the process, and bolted back into her Residence.
In 1742, Montreal was rocked by a sensational trial about sorcery. A French soldier named Francois-Charles Havard de Beaufort, stationed in Montreal, was accused by authorities of practicing sorcery after rumors spread about his attempts to cast a magic spell to discover the identity of a thief. François-Charles Havard de Beaufort had a reputation in the Montreal region as an entertainer and a “sorcerer.” Having an ingenious mind and a solid education for the period, he used his card and knife tricks to divert and amuse spectators. By his own admission, he also used his trickery to “intimidate ordinary people in serious matters.”
On other occasions, people have heard the disembodied rattling of bones within the Redpath Museum. One night guard, who has since retired, reported hearing bones creaking and rattling on several occasions during his graveyard shifts. He also noted, while patrolling the third floor overlooking the lower levels, something that deeply unnerved him. Sitting atop a display case is the skeleton of an anaconda snake. Horrified, the guard recalled sometimes hearing bones clacking in the middle of the night.