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.
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.
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.
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.
Horse-drawn carriage rides in Montreal have been a long-cherished tradition for centuries. Since the 18th Century, horse-drawn carriages, also known as calèches, have been ferrying tourists around Montreal to take in the sights and attractions. Those driving the carriages include a cast of colorful characters who have a long history of unveiling some of Montreal’s most unusual and darkest secrets. This long-enjoyed tourist tradition is about to come to an end in 2020, on orders of Montreal’s new mayor, Valerie Plante. While most people believe her decision was influenced by animal rights activists, a few speculate that she decided to ban them due to one particular reason: a paranormal carriage known only as the Phantom Calèche was putting tourists in serious danger.
"It was a young girl, perhaps around ten or eleven, dressed completely in white - from the ribbons in her hair to the dress, which had a very old-fashioned appearance, white gloves, white socks or stockings, white shoes, and an almost blue coolness around her. She was bent forwards at a strange angle. She had a very determined outlook, as though she was being forced to walk by someone who was threatening her, if this makes sense. It was so out of place on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the summer. She walked quite fast, and was heading towards the bridge to take you off-island, and Brigitte and I watched her until she was completely out of sight. The dress was not of this day and age, and at first we thought it to be some sort of fancy dress day for a party perhaps."
In August, 1942, workers engaged by the Kennedy Construction company made a ghastly discovery while digging a passenger tunnel under the city approach to the Victoria Bridge. They unearthed twelve “coffins of rotting pine wood, blackened by time, in a long trenchlike grave at the foot of Bridge Street. The Irish community reburied the deceased at the site of the monument, in plain grey caskets, during an All Saints Day ceremony on November 1, 1942. The discovery put to rest any denial that the site was, in fact, a cemetery.
Indeed, one of the reasons for the move is because the old hospital was said to be too haunted. In the past, visitors would sometimes report seeing apparitions of former patients wandering the hallways wearing antiquated hospital gowns from the late 1800s. Disembodied voices and phantom footsteps could sometimes be heard echoing down hospital corridors. Buzzers would often go off in empty rooms, summoning nurses to nonexistent patients. Strange light anomalies, such as floating orbs and flickering lights, were also known to appear on occasion. It was said that “The dead passed away here, they just did not move on.”
With the passing of the New Year, the fantastic legend of La-chasse galerie is still fresh in the minds of many Montrealers, if only for the fact that it is the most famous Québecois story set on New Year's Eve. According to local lore, those who hear a noise in the sky on New Year's Eve should look up because they just might spot a canoe flying through the air full of terrified lumberjacks on their unholy journey to Hell.
Gisèle then noticed a commotion on the bed. She looked over and saw that her frenzied mother was being viciously attacked by two small boys who were both ghostly and naked. Their bodies shook with soundless laughter as they pounded their fists into Denise’s bloody and bruised face. Gisèle immediately ran to the neighbor’s house, crying incoherently for help as she tried to explain what was happening. Unfortunately, the damage was already done. Her father was already dead and her mother was found to be in a coma. In a catatonic state, Denise was taken to hospital. The doctors were unable to awaken her from the coma and she died three months later.