Sunday, October 1, 2017
Haunted Ontario by Nancy M Bell
His Brother's Bride: The youngest child of the local doctor and evangelical preacher, Annie Baldwin was expected to work hard and not protest. Life on a pioneer farm was tough so neighbors helped each other. George Richardson the underage Doctor Bernardo Boy, orphaned and shipped to Canada a few years earlier, is loaned to the Baldwins to help bring in the hay. Younger brother Peter Richardson was placed with another neighbor, so the brothers stayed in touch with each other. The Great War brought a lot of changes to life even in the back woods of Ontario. In spite of the differences in their social standing, George and Annie fell in love. When George departed for France they had an understanding and he promised to return to her when the war was over. Like so many others, Annie waited and hoped, carrying on as best she could. Only time would tell if her dreams would come true.
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Since my book is set in Ontario in Haliburton and Machar County I thought I'd share a few hauntings with you. One is not in Haliburton but in Durham Region near where I grew up. My older sister lived at the end of the Island Road on Port Perry Island which lies in Lake Scugog connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land, and that is where one of the haunting is situated. I have actually seen this phenomenon myself many years ago.
The Ghost Road legend begins around 1968 with a young man who crashed on a motorcycle and, in some versions, was decapitated on a rusty barbed-wire fence. Now, a big round white light speeds down the road before turning into a small red light, sometimes accompanied by the sound of a motorcycle.
This is borrowed from Paranormalseekeers.ca
One of the best known haunts of Ontario is Scugog Island’s Ghost Road, just outside the quaint village of Port Perry. This has been the sight of many interesting phenomena, as well as the birth of many legends. One version of the legend goes that, sometime in or around the year of 1957, a young man was testing the limits of his motorcycle on an old concession road up on Scugog Island. He was on a straightaway and pushing the engine as fast as he could. The road is short, so he soon realized he was running out of room and was quickly approaching the intersection where the 9th Concession meets. About 100 meters from the south end, near a large tree, he lost control and plowed into a field. He caught himself on an old rusty barbed-wire fence and was decapitated. Some say his head bounced off the rock! Some also say that he simply banged his head on the rock that is still located on the road, and met his end that way. It is this story that goes along with the reports of the large round white light heading down the road that, when it passes you, it then turns into a small red light. There are also occasional reports of the sounds of a motorcycle to accompany the light. This location was also home to a well-traveled Native footpath.
There have been many artifacts, including Native remains unearthed in the immediate region. With many psychics over the years visiting Ghost Road, many have reported that there is other strange paranormal activity that is present there. Some Durham College students went out and caught the phantom lights on film, so this does exist, and the light can be seen from either direction. For decades (possibly much longer) people have been reporting strange and inexplicable phenomena occurring on ‘ghost road’. The most common of these is the mysterious white ‘light’ (the headlight of a motorcycle according to legend) and a smaller red ‘light’ (the tail-light). Other anomalous phenomena include the sighting of ‘ghostly beings’, cars being pulled forward and backwards by the phantom children, electrical anomalies (like stopping under the big tree or the weeping willow and having your car go dead, only until it’s pushed away from under it, batteries draining and equipment (i.e: cameras) malfunctioning, UFO’s, strange sounds, no cell range or cell phones suddenly dying when batteries were full, and other various strange occurrences.
In 1827 the town of Lindsay was founded by Mr. William Purdy and his sons Jesse and Hazard. The town was first known as ”Purdy’s Mills”. Purdy built the first dam in the winter of 1827 to power his gristmill. The dam was 10 feet high, and located on the Scugog River, in Lindsay. The dam flooded the area near Port Perry, creating a lake and Scugog Island (location of Ghost Rd) was born. Now, our experiences on Ghost Road have been quite different. We observed the light coming from the North, not the South. We have also witnessed several other beings on the road. Please watch our TV Show premiering on Halloween on Rogers Cable to learn more of what The Paranormal Seekers found on Port Perry’s Ghost Road! ***Just a note*** the information stated above is collected from various other websites who have all repeated the same information…not knowing who has direct ownership to the original wording. We have just merely copied what they have documented***
And this from the Scogog Heritage site:
One of the best known haunts of Ontario, Scugog Island's Ghost Road, just outside the quaint village of Port Perry, has been the sight of many interesting phenomena and many legends.
The legend goes that in or around 1968, a young man was testing the limits of a motorcycle on an old concession road on Scugog Island. He was on a straightaway pushing the engine as fast as he could. The road is not too long and he soon realized he was running out of road and heading far too fast for the spot where the road meets with the 9th Concession. About 100 meters from the south end near a large tree, he lost control, plowed into a field, caught himself on an old rusty barbed-wire fence and was decapitated.
Of course, we've also heard that he simply banged his head on a rock still located on the road and met his end that way. It is this story that goes along with the report of the large round white light heading down the road that when it passes you, turns into a small red light. There are also occasional reports of the sounds of a motorcycle to accompany the light.
The light, as examined by several Toronto ghosts researchers, actually does exist but does not, as stated, travel down the road. It appears above the road and only if facing south. The image has been caught on film but the pictures belay the fact that the light ain't much to look at. It appears as if it was a small plane some miles in the distance but hovering.
Now on to Haliburton.
Buck Hill is near Killaloe, Eganville and Golden Lake, all places mentioned in His Brother's Bride.
Buck Hill has a legend about a logger’s family during the Depression. The daughter vanished one night while chasing the pet dog, who had run off. Theh logger searched for her and eventually went mad. His ghost still searches for her, and his lantern is seen as ghost lights in the area. The balls of light, seen at close range, are baseball-size white, amber or green lights that will occasionally flare up to much larger.
Bala Bay Inn, Torrence Ontario, is located 33 km from Sprucedale, Ontario where much of His Brother's Bride is set.
Bala Bay Inn is rumored to be haunted, and was the locale where E.B. Sutton died (in Room 319) and lay in state. Ghostly activity reported here includes poltergeist activity, including rumbling and rattling doorknobs, unusual sounds and TVs working that were not plugged in.
In Parry Sound, Ontario. (Home of Bobby Orr!)
Under the 100-year-old trestle bridge that floats over the mouth of the Seguin River has a chilling side to its story.
Suicides on the bridge; kids playing chicken with the train; high school kids who believe the water is deep enough to jump from the bridge — one survived, barely. Their ghosts apparently still hang around.
In a parking lot nearby, the ghost of a native woman is sometimes seen wandering, likely killed going to or from a nearby trading post documented in local history books as on Bob's Point.
Strange and creepy. But I've even had experiences myself. Before my grandmother died I had a dream where her oldest sister (who wasn't always a nice person- at least in my opinion) came to me trying to tell me something. The wind was howling and leaves and sticks blowing around and I couldn't hear what she was saying, but I knew it was her. My grandmother died within a month.
Often my maternal grandfather will appear at the corner of my vision and I often hear his voice when I'm doctoring sick or wounded animals.
We lived in a very old farm house just outside Uxbridge, Ontario. The old Byam place it was called. The house is now an art gallery, Buckingham Fine Arts. When we lived there, I once work up at 3 in the morning to see an old man and woman standing by the open door of a big linen closet in our loft bedroom. I wasn't scared, just kind of surprised. I remember asking her what they were looking for, although I don't think I actually spoke out loud. She smiled and said, "Don't worry dear, we're just looking for something we left here." I went back to sleep but in the morning the door was open and I know it was closed when we went to bed. I often saw the old man out in the barn when I was mucking stalls and especially in the hayloft. I loved that big old barn with the huge roof beams.
Here are a couple of photos of the house after it became the gallery.
I think that's enough spook for now. LOL Stay safe, stay happy, stay healthy.
ON a brighter note, here are some photos of the country near where His Brother's Bride is located.
Nancy M Bell is a proud Canadian and lives near Balzac, Alberta with her husband and various critters. She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada and the Writers Guild of Alberta. She has publishing credits in poetry, fiction and non-fiction.