This month we examine one section of Montreal’s new light rail system, the REM, which is finally operational. The line, running from Central Station in Montreal to Brossard, passes over the Black Rock Irish Famine Cemetery. Given that the REM desecrated the hallowed ground by removing over a dozen bodies to insert a concrete pylon, many people speculated that the REM would become haunted. It appears to be the case – since its opening, the REM has been plagued with numerous electrical problems and was even struck by lightning!
The Université de Montréal is constructing a brand new campus for its business department, Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC), next to St. Patrick’s Basilica. An Irish Famine asylum called St. Bridget's Home and Night Refuge once existed on the site, which catered to the destitute, the homeless and for many isolated women. The asylum witnessed countless tragedies over the years, allegedly resulting in many ghosts. As such, there is already talk that the shiny new campus will be haunted by Irish Famine spirits.
The church is shrouded in mystery. Not only are there the bodies of several nuns buried in the crypt, but it is also the location of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoy’s sacred remains, a miraculous statue, and a possibly haunted 1848 painting called “Le Typhus” by Theophile Hamel that depicts the gruesome impact of the Irish Famine on the city. There are also several reports from tourists at having photographed either a man in a tuxedo or a priest from the outside of the church’s stained-glass windows. Some believe the ghost captured on film is none other than Famine priest M. Gottefrey, who suffered a terrible injury in the church hours before dying in the summer of 1847 while caring for Irish refugees.