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Welcome to the eighty-third installment of the Haunted Montreal Blog!

With over 500 documented ghost stories, Montreal is easily the most haunted city in Canada, if not all of North America. Haunted Montreal dedicates itself to researching these paranormal tales, and the Haunted Montreal Blog unveils a newly researched Montreal ghost story on the 13th of every month!

This service is free and you can sign up to our mailing list (top, right-hand corner for desktops and at the bottom for mobile devices) if you wish to receive it every month on the 13th! The blog is published in both English and French!

Haunted Montreal’s summer season is in full swing with ghost walks every Friday and Saturday night in rotation.

Haunted Downtown Ghost Walk

Haunted Griffintown Ghost Walk

Haunted Mountain Ghost Walk

Our Haunted Pub Crawl is offered every Sunday at 3 pm in English and on the last Sunday of the month at 4 pm in French.

While public tours are available Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons for the Haunted Pub Crawl, private tours can be booked at any time based on the availability of our actors (and the pubs).

We are also offering a proto-type of our new Haunted Old Montreal Ghost Tour!

This ghost walk is in development for the Hallowe’een Season and Haunted Montreal will be offering trial runs at reduced prices on the following dates and times (in English):

Sunday, August 14th @ 8 pm

Sunday, August 21st @ 8 pm

Sunday, August 28th @ 8 pm

Our Virtual Ghost Tour is also available on demand!

Additionally, our team is releasing videos of ghost stories from the Haunted Montreal Blog every Saturday, in both languages!

You can now order a Haunted Montreal Gift Certificate through our website. They are redeemable via Eventbrite for any of our in-person or virtual experiences. There is no expiration date.

Lastly, we now have an online store for those interested in Haunted Montreal merchandise. More details are below in our Company News section!

This month we examine the ghost of Catholic recluse Jeanne Le Ber, one of Ville-Marie’s most devoted and extreme colonists.

Haunted Research

As the most haunted neighborhood in the city, Old Montreal witnesses many ghost-sightings.

On October 4, 2014, Haunted Montreal was contacted by a woman in a panic. Her name was Nora and she was a tourist from Texas who had recently attended a Haunted Montreal ghost walk in Griffintown.

The following day she decided to visit Old Montreal, which was the day she called Haunted Montreal to report something that had upset her very much.

After spending the day sightseeing, she attended Aura, the stunning light show at the Notre-Dame Basilica.

She had parked her car in a the western lot beside St. Laurent Boulevard just north of Cours Le Royer. As she was walking back along St. Sulpice Street, she turned left on Des Brésoles and then right on Marie-Morin Street.

She turned the corner onto the Cours Le Royer to access the parking lot. As she approached her car, she was shocked to find a disheveled old woman lying on her stomach the ground on the pavement behind her car.

The lady was writhing about, as though in pain. When Nora rushed over to help her, she couldn’t help notice the stench of blood.

As she reached down to try and help to help the woman, she noticed two very strange things. Firstly, the woman was wearing some very coarse clothing, almost as if it was made from potato sacks. Secondly, the rear side of her shirt was shredded and there was blood leaking all over her back. The woman was moaning in pain.

Nora immediately called 911 to report the situation ang get help as fast as she could.

The dispatcher said an ambulance was nearby and would arrive within a few minutes. He told her to administer first aid until the paramedics arrived.

Nora hung up and pulled a handkerchief out of her purse to apply pressure on the wounds. However, when she looked down where the woman had been moments earlier, there was nothing to see but the bare asphalt of the parking lot. The bloodied old woman in the coarse clothing had vanished into thin air.

The next thing Nora heard was the sirens of the ambulance arrive.

Two paramedics jumped out and rushed over. Nora was speechless and in a state of total shock. She didn’t know how to explain why the bloodied woman was no longer there.

She tried her best to explain what had happened. The ambulance technicians were puzzled. After a brief private discussion, they warned her that she was likely experiencing hallucinations and offered to drive her to an emergency psychiatric unit.

Upset, Nora declined.

When she called Haunted Montreal, she wanted to know if she was losing her mind or if there was another explanation.

When Haunted Montreal told her that she had likely encountered the ghost of Jeanne Le Ber, especially as it was the 300th anniversary of her death, Nora was very relieved.

Jeanne Le Ber was born in 1662 in Ville-Marie to a very wealthy family.

As she blossomed into beautiful young woman, her parents would often dress her up in the finest clothing, ribbons and latest fashions.

Before long, she was one of the most eligible bachelorettes in all of New France. Her parents began inviting over dashing young men in high standing within the colony to woo her.

However, young Jeanne Le Ber was repulsed by all of her suitors. She said that she didn’t want to marry any of them. When her parents asked her whom she wished to marry, she told them that the only person she wanted to marry was God himself.

When Jeanne Le Ber approached her priest for counsel, he advised to try being a recluse for five years.

Jeanne spent the next five years locked in her bedroom in her father’s house – in total reclusion. Her loyal cousin, Anna Barroy, would bring her food every day. Jeanne refused to come out of her room, even for her brother’s funeral.

When she heard that the Notre-Dame Congregation was interested in building a new church next to their Motherhouse, Jeanne Le Ber offered to pay for it – under one condition.

Jeanne Le Ber wanted to live in a specially constructed apartment behind the altar in the new church so she could be as close to God as possible. Marguerite Bourgeoys, Founder of the Congregation and the Mother Superior, was thrilled and readily agreed to the proposal.

In 1693, workers began building a 50 x 30 feet church called Notre-Dame-de-Pitié (Our Lady of Mercy). As promised, a small living space was created for Jeanne Le Ber behind the altar.

On August 5, 1695, a big religious ceremony was held in the church.  Jeanne Le Ber, 33 years old at the time, took vows of perpetual seclusion, chastity and silence. As the congregation looked on, she then entered her new apartment and the door was closed behind her – never to be opened again until her death.

The living conditions within her apartment were very primitive. There was no proper heating, no ventilation and no natural light. She slept on a straw bed that got harder and harder as the years passed by. The only thing Jeanne Le Ber would eat were leftover scraps from the poor, which were sometimes moldy. These were served by her loyal cousin.

She spent her time wearing uncomfortable horsehair shirts, sewing clothing for the poor, embroidering church vestments, praying for the colony and prostrating herself before the altar every night. She was also known to self-flagellate. She used a scourge, a type of religious whip, to repeatedly lash her own back.

She was frequently left bloodied by this devout act of self-punishment.

In the dank and claustrophobic conditions, her health began to deteriorate until she caught pneumonia. She died from the disease on October 4, 1714 at the age of 52.

After 19 years in seclusion, she was hailed as the “Angel of Montreal” and buried in the church’s crypt near her father.

Over 150 years later, in 1882, Catholic authorities decided to exhume her remains to ensure they were protected in the event she became a Saint. In the Catholic Church human remains of religious figures are very important. They are preserved and kept in reliquaries beneath the altars of important churches.

However, when the Bishop cracked open the tomb, a fine white dust dissipated on contact with the air. He believed that all traces of Jeanne Le Ber’s remains had been lost.

In 1911, the City of Montreal decided to demolish the Motherhouse and Notre-Dame-de-Pitié Church with a view to extending Saint-Laurent Boulevard to the river.

The Sisters of the Congregation then had to carry out a new exhumation to transport all the remains from the crypt to their new motherhouse at Villa-Maria.

Finally, in 1988, the decision was made to transfer the deceased sisters to the Côte-des-Neiges Cemetery. While carrying out the exhumation, in 1991, officials were surprised to find two epitaphs marking the location of a single tomb: one in the name of Jacques Le Ber and the other in the name of his daughter, Jeanne. With only one skeleton inside, they wondered if it was the father or daughter.

The bones were sent to a forensics laboratory and, in 1991, experts revealed that they were the remains of a female. Her skeleton had ground-down knees and the two front teeth were damaged by notches. They concluded it was Jeanne Le Ber’s remains, on account of her frequent kneeling and using her teeth to cut threads for sewing.

Today, the remains of Jeanne Le Ber rest in the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, where Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys also reposes.

On October 28, 2015, the diocesan process for Canonizing Jeanne Le Ber began in Montreal. This means that she could one day become the fifth Saint from Montreal, also known as the “City of Saints”.

The other Montreal Saints include Marguerite Bourgeoys (canonized in 1982), Marguerite d’Youville (1990), Brother André Bessette (2010) and Kateri Tekakwitha (2012). Jeanne Mance and Jérôme Le Royer de la Dauversière are also venerated, and may become Saints one day too.

If sainted, Jeanne Le Ber, the so-called “Angel of Montreal”, would become the only local Saint who is also a ghost.

Company News

Haunted Montreal’s summer season is in full swing with ghost walks every Friday and Saturday night on rotation.

Haunted Griffintown Ghost Walk

Haunted Downtown Ghost Walk

Haunted Mountain Ghost Walk

Our Haunted Pub Crawl is every Sunday at 3 pm in English and on the last Sunday of the month at 4 pm in French.

Our Virtual Ghost Tour is also available on demand!

Private tours for any of these experiences can be booked based on the availability of our actors.

For private tours, clients can request any date, time, language and operating tour. These tours are based on the availability of our actors and start at $170 for small groups of up to 7 people.

Email info@hauntedmontreal.com to book a private tour!

We are also offering a proto-type of our upcoming Haunted Old Montreal Ghost Tour!

This ghost walk is in development for the Hallowe’een Season and Haunted Montreal will be offering trial runs at reduced prices on the following dates and times (in English):

Sunday, August 14th @ 8 pm

Sunday, August 21st @ 8 pm

Sunday, August 28th @ 8 pm

Furthermore, our team is releasing videos every Saturday, in both languages, of ghost stories from the Haunted Montreal Blog. Hosted by Holly Rhiannon (in English) and Dr. Mab (in French), this new initiative is sure to please ghost story fans!

Please like, subscribe and hit the bell!

In other news, if you want to send someone a haunted experience as a gift, you certainly can!

We are offering Haunted Montreal Gift Certificates through our website and redeemable via Eventbrite for any of our in-person or virtual events (no expiration date).

Finally, we have opened an online store for those interested in Haunted Montreal merchandise. We are selling t-shirts, magnets, sweatshirts (for those haunted fall and winter nights) and mugs with both the Haunted Montreal logo and our tour imagery.

Purchases can be ordered through our online store.

Haunted Montreal would like to thank all of our clients who attended a ghost walk, haunted pub crawl, paranormal investigation or virtual event during the 2022 season!

If you enjoyed the experience, we encourage you to write a review on our Tripadvisor page, something that really helps Haunted Montreal to market its tours.

Lastly, if you would like to receive the Haunted Montreal Blog on the 13th of every month, please sign up to our mailing list.

Coming up on August 13th: Haunted Old Tourist Rooms

Nestled in the bustling Quartier des Spectacles sits an old 19th Century hotel that is rumoured to be haunted. Guests have reported electronic devices seeming to take on a life of their own. One guest reported that the TV in his room randomly changed channels and the phone rang throughout the night with no one on the other end. Could this paranormal activity be related to a series of murders in the hotel during the 1980s when it was rife with drugs and prostitution? 

Author:

Donovan King is a postcolonial historian, teacher, tour guide and professional actor. As the founder of Haunted Montreal, he combines his skills to create the best possible Montreal ghost stories, in both writing and theatrical performance. King holds a DEC (Professional Theatre Acting, John Abbott College), BFA (Drama-in-Education, Concordia), B.Ed (History and English Teaching, McGill), MFA (Theatre Studies, University of Calgary) and ACS (Montreal Tourist Guide, Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec). He is also a certified Montreal Destination Specialist.

Translator (into French):

Claude Chevalot holds a master’s degree in applied linguistics from McGill University. She is a writer, editor and translator. For more than 15 years, she has devoted herself almost exclusively to literary translation and to the translation of texts on current and contemporary art.

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