As Wade prepared the statue and plinth in his workshop, workers began digging up French, Indigenous and Irish corpses from the former Saint Antoine Catholic Cemetery in order to lay the foundation. The fact that authorities were installing a Protestant symbol of British Imperialism and genocide in a Catholic burial ground rankled many citizens. Rumors began to swirl that the cemetery desecration would most certainly result in the ghosts of the displaced corpses returning to haunt the site.
At around 9 pm, Marie-Josée was putting her daughter to bed when she heard what sounded like laughter coming from outside. She opened the window to see if there were rowdy teenagers in the neighborhood, but could not see anyone on the street or in the park across the street. While she could not place the laughter, she recognized the voice as male. The laughter got louder, and soon transformed into a mixture of snickering, giggling and cackling. Unimpressed, Marie-Josée closed the window and secured its latch. Unfortunately, she could still hear the deranged laughter, albeit more muffled.