The Château Ramezay Museum in Old Montreal is by far one of the most haunted buildings in the city. Just across the street from City Hall, the charming stone building welcomes thousands of visitors a year. Inside, tourists often report various hauntings: the sounds of phantom footsteps, moaning noises coming from the fireplace, and people wearing period costumes who vanish into thin air.
Heading eastwards from the Old Montreal’s Champ-de-Mars, Rue Saint-Louis is a quaint but neglected street that does not appear on the tourist circuit. Perhaps it is just as well, given the disturbing ghosts who allegedly haunt the area. During the smallpox epidemic of 1885, when the neighborhood of Faubourg Saint-Louis was at the heart of a largely French-speaking slum, Saint-Louis Street was one of the most infected parts of the city.
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 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 face appears rather feminine with long hair, but under the chin are fins or possibly a beard. The French inscription in the Codex translates: “Marine monster killed by the French on the Richelieu River in New France.” Despite French attempts to eradicate this creature, rumours abound that the mysterious river creatures still swim in the waters surrounding the island of Tiohtià:ke / Montreal to this very day.