Haunted Montreal researchers have unveiled a ghost story set in Montreal from 1879, when it first appeared in a mysterious publication called The Argosy. Entitled The Whittakers Ghost, the author who was identified only as “G.B.S.” wrote: “The following ghost story has been told me, word for word, by an eye-witness, and is authenticated by persons of recognized position.” Famous Irish author George Bernard Shaw, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925, allegedly wrote the tale.
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.
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.
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.”
The ice castles were also rumored to be haunted on account of the fact that Dominion Square was established on the old Saint Antoine Cholera Cemetery which had closed in 1799 because it was full. With tens of thousands of corpses buried under Dominion Square, many stacked in burial trenches, rumours spread that the Dead were unhappy with these celebrations taking place on their old cemetery.
With a long-standing reputation as the second most popular “Suicide Bridge” in the world, after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Jacques Cartier Bridge is known to be both deadly and haunted. A steel truss cantilever bridge that crosses the Saint Lawrence River from the city to the south shore at Longueuil, it has a tragic history of both suicides and murders occurring on the span. Despite recent improvements, such as an anti-suicide barrier and expensive lighting scheme, there are still suicides every year and tormented spirits are known to haunt the massive structure that crosses the mighty river.
Our July blog explores a missing award that has recently become haunted. Awarded to Haunted Montreal in 2019, the Travel and Hospitality Award for “Quebec’s Most Unique Experience of the Year”, a disgruntled ex-administrator has refused to return it to the company. As such, a spell-caster has placed a jinx on the award to make it haunted.