Apparently, ghosts abound in Montreal — and this is not unnatural for a city that’s going to be 375 years old next year.

With a cemetery right on top of Mount Royal, I’m sure that some of the occupants get occasionally restless and when it gets dark they wander up to the Mile End to get a bagel and then down to the Main for a smoked meat sandwich, followed by a trip to Crescent Street for a beer and some pretzels.

It’s been said that that in the Queen Elizabeth hotel there’s a woman dressed in white who, during the night, frequently visits the rooms of guests. Muffled voices, weird sounds, unexplained footsteps, extremely cold spots, and people being touched or pushed by unseen forces have also been reported.

The Royal Victoria Hospital is also said to be haunted by many of its former patients lurking in the wards. Maybe even some of its doctors. The hospital now operates in the new MUHC Glen Site. Did the ghosts move to the new premises or do they remain in the old building? A study is presently being conducted on what should be done with this iconic Montreal landmark. If they decide to turn it into condos, would you like to live there knowing that at any time you may have a ghost drop in on you?

Once every seven years since 1879, the decapitated apparition of the prostitute Mary Gallagher is reported to be out on the streets of Griffintown looking for her missing head. History records that on a hot night in June 1879, Mary and a prostitute girlfriend had finished their liquor when Mary picked up a man. The trio headed back to Mary’s place on William Street and after doing some dastardly deeds, the man passed out. For an unexplained reason in a fit of jealousy her friend then used an axe to cut off Mary’s head, tossing it into the water pail beside Gallagher’s stove.

Griffintown is one of Montreal’s most historic neighbourhoods — and believed to be one of the most haunted. Condos are sprouting up all over the Griff and new residents are becoming aware of the area’s apparent ghost-ridden history. A great way to learn about all of this is through Haunted Montreal Ghost Tours. Their Haunted Griffintown Ghost Walk takes you to mysterious ruins, abandoned tunnels, a polluted canal, former burial grounds, the ruins of St. Ann’s Church and other creepy old buildings that are supposed to be haunted. You’ll discover the mystery of the Peel Basin — the site of many mysterious drownings, and you learn about the conspiracy theory surrounding a Liberator Bomber that crashed in the neighbourhood during WWII, killing 15 people.

Of course, during the walk, you’ll also hear the deranged tale of Mary Gallagher, but don’t look for poor Mary’s headless ghost, because her next sighting date is supposed to be June 27, 2019.

In addition, Haunted Montreal Ghost Tours offers a Haunted Mountain Tour that’s a spooky, lantern-lit ghost walk up the slopes of Mount Royal that includes various supposedly-haunted places on the mountain. Legends about Mount Royal, about the cross, the ghost of Esplanade Street, the child-victims of the Alan Memorial Institute’s brain washing experiments and the tragic tale of Jack McLean and the haunted Funicular will all be revealed. You’ll also visit Simon McTavish’s tomb. The fur baron’s ghost is said to terrify people by tobogganing at high speeds down the slopes of the mountain in his own coffin.

Tours are conducted in English and French by local actor and story teller Donovan King and alternate between Griffintown and Mount Royal every Friday night, from June 3 to October 7. King has stated that he loves the genre of haunted acting and enjoys using the city as his theatrical set where he can run an entire piece of theatre on his own.

For more information on tour dates go to www.hauntedmontreal.com

riben@videotron.ca

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