There are also rumours that Murray Hill Park is haunted by ghosts from the an earlier era. More specifically, a host of phantom children in antique underthings has been spotted singing while traipsing through the large, open greenspace. Who might these musical ghosts be and why do they haunt Murray Hill Park?
Haunted Montreal recently received an anonymous letter from a former Westmount High School student who had a terrifying experience in the graveyard. The letter-writer claims that a spirit followed him or her home following a visit to the cemetery. After going to sleep, the author was woken up by a ghostly male figure who was quietly uttering his or her name. Drenched in sweat from fear, the letter-writer found the strength to flick on the light switch, only to realize there was nobody present. In telling Haunted Montreal his or her story, the author joins a long list of others who have experienced ghostly and paranormal activity in the Protestant Mount Royal Cemetery.
There are many theories about who the ghostly soldier might be. While some online rumours suggest the military apparition is of French stock, others believe he is British. One feasible theory takes us back to 1885, when Montreal was in the midst of a smallpox epidemic. During the era, smallpox was seen as the worst possible disease. Not only was it extremely infectious, but it could disfigure and even destroy people within a week or two. Infection was caused by breathing contaminated air or touching something that had been in contact with the variola virus.
In September, 2016, dozens of skeletons were discovered buried underneath René-Lévesque Boulevard in front of the Hydro-Québec headquarters during construction work. Archaeologists were called in to extract and study the remains, before transferring them to the Protestant Mount Royal Cemetery. Originally the location of the Protestant St. Lawrence Burial Ground, which served the community from 1797 until the early 1870’s, today there is no indication of the cemetery's existence, except when digging up the road.
At the northern end of the street sits the beautiful, historic chapel of the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital. It almost seems like a utopian oasis quaintly tucked into an urban environment. However, a paranormal mystery has long-plagued this exquisite street. Since the summer of 1929, mysterious knots have been appearing in one of the homes, tying up curtains and bedsheets and the like. According to various reports, some residents blame the unsolved mystery on a poltergeist.
According to many sources, the ghosts of the former prisoners and guards still haunt the building and former prison grounds. The apparitions of the executed men and other prisoners who died on the site have been spotted, along with those tasked to guard them. Hidden bodies are also rumoured to be buried on the grounds. There is said to be a host of paranormal activity in the old prison: shadowy figures, light anomalies, unexplained mists, disembodied voices, weird feelings (unease, not being wanted, not being alone, anger, despair, violent thoughts and physical illness), phantom footsteps, electrical disturbances, objects disappearing and then reappearing, doors and windows opening and closing, lights turning on and off and other unexplained noises.
Many lovers, tourists and students celebrating their high school graduation have reported strange sightings on the cliff behind the lookout, which is actually the border of the Protestant Mont-Royal Cemetery. While the most recognized ghost is that of an Algonquian warrior, undead apparitions of all sorts have been known to appear on this haunted cliff, terrifying the sight-seers on the Camilien-Houde Lookout below. To make matters worse, there have been several mysterious deaths at this location caused by people falling down the steep slopes of Mount Royal.
He continued: "To describe the inside during the film shoot: there was a large room used as living room and kitchen, another was a bedroom and another was an office. This house is connected by a passageway to the old St. Margaret’s Hospital for The Incurables. On the Notman House end of the passageway, there were western-style swinging doors." "During the night, at about 2 am, I was sitting on a couch in the living room and I heard someone walking down the passageway. The footsteps began walking more quickly, to the point of running! And bam! The swinging doors suddenly swung open and closed in rapid succession, as if someone had just rushed through. Immediately, I jumped up and lit the area with my flashlight, but there was no one there."
On another occasion, a manager whose office was in the basement was closing up for the night. He had felt an unseen presence when alone before, but on this particular evening the presence felt stronger. At first he thought it might be another employee playing a joke on him, but he soon confirmed that he was alone in the building. As the hairs began to rise on the back of his neck, he became more and more afraid. Overwhelmed with building feeling of terror, he bolted from the theatre, leaving the door unlocked, and ran home as fast as he could.
In October, 2005, staff at the Cinémathèque québécoise were alarmed by a spike in paranormal activity in the building. As Hallowe'en approached, strange, inexplicable sightings and unexplained phenomena became more and more frequent. A young woman was working at the Cinémathèque québécoise as a ticket-taker and one evening she found herself in one of the projection rooms. As a film rolled, she witnessed the ghostly figure of a little girl, clutching a stack of school books, enter the cinema. Not believing her eyes, she began inquiring to other staff members if they too had noticed the spirit of the schoolgirl. The janitor who worked at the Cinémathèque québécoise at the time confirmed that the ghost had been spotted many times over the years, but had no explanation as to who she was or why she was haunting the old school-cum-Cinémathèque.