The Haunting of Binstead House, PEI

As Retold by Bekah Ferguson

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4 min read

Five miles out from Charlottetown, PEI, is two-story white farmhouse called Binstead House. Peering toward the Hillsborough River, and stitched-in by fields and trees, it is many-windowed with a ground-level, columned porch. The back half of the house was an addition built as living quarters for the many farmhands of its time. In 1889, the Charlottetown Daily Examiner published an eerie account by a former resident named Georgina Pennee, describing a haunting there that had lasted decades.

Georgina and her husband were Victorians from England, who first came to dwell at Binstead in early 1856. Within ten days of moving in, the hauntings began: a sudden moving rumble, vibrating the house. A sound, Georgina described, “like that produced by dragging a heavy body.” For many weeks, it happened again and again throughout the house, always sounding in close proximity to whoever heard it each time. In the spring, the noises took a more terrifying turn with the sound of shrieking, wailing, and moaning moving throughout the house as though an entity were being chased around. The disembodied cries seemed to begin and end at the base of a tree outside the dining room window, the branches of which just barely reached the window of the spare bedroom above.

In the late winter, two visiting women came to stay one night and were put up together in the spare bedroom; a fire being lit in a grate which had not previously been used by the Pennee’s. The guests awoke in the dead of night to a bright light. A glowing woman in a checkered shawl stood stirring the fire in the grate, a baby on her arm. She turned to look at them with pleading anguish, and they covered their faces with a blanket in fright.

Later that spring, right before heading back to England for a spell, Georgina had occasion to spend the night in the spare bedroom along with her daughter, who was unwell. Around midnight, her daughter drew her attention to a light shining beneath the closed door. Georgina got up to open it, thinking it was her husband, and came face to face with a glowing woman in a checkered shawl, holding a baby. Without a word, the apparition turned away, walked across the staircase, and disappeared through the wall into the farmhand quarters. None of the dogs barked, and Georgina did not feel alarmed, despite what she had seen.

The Pennee’s returned to Binstead again the next year, to a report from the farmhands that the “creature had been carrying on,” the screaming sounds distressing them the most. One farmhand in particular, named Harry Newbury, had been targeted by the apparition several times and had taken to locking his door each night. While admitting that a ghost with a baby had appeared at the foot of his bed, he refused to give any other details. In the following year, the Pennee’s gave up Binstead house, and Georgina heard nothing more about the hauntings for nearly two decades until she happened to return to Prince Edward Island.

A parish priest approached her with a letter in hand, to question her about her past residence at Binstead. The letter had been sent by the wife of the current owner, asking the priest to “deliver them” from a tormenting ghost. Looking into the matter further, Georgina learned that before her time at Binstead, two sisters had been in employment there, and both had given birth to illegitimate sons. Furthermore, one of the women and one of the babies, had mysteriously gone missing, never to be found. Adding to the mystery, the remaining sister quit her job shortly thereafter and moved to America; but before leaving, left her baby with her parents along with the shocking news that it wasn’t her baby at all. She gave no details, stating only that her baby had died and this was her missing sister’s baby.

The child’s name was Harry Newbury, the very farmhand who as a young man, had been unwittingly hired by the Pennee’s and singled out by the ghost. Georgina deduced that the ghost was Harry’s mother, and the infant in her arms, his cousin. Though whether or not the mother and infant had both been murdered and buried under the tree in front of the dining room, was unknown. It was also unknown why the babies had been switched.

In 1888, Georgina once more stopped by to visit Binstead house, curious to know if the hauntings had ever ceased, and reported the following:

“The tree whence the screams started is cut down; the room where all saw the ghost is totally uninhabited, and [the wife] would not let us stay in it, and entreated us to talk no further on the subject. From the man we got out a little, but she followed us up very closely. He says that since the priest blessed the house a woman has been seen (Or said to have been seen, he corrected himself) round the front entrance, and once at an upper window.”


Intuitive Times

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Historic Places


The Christie Mansion Ghost of Toronto

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As Retold by Bekah Ferguson

(3 min read)

On the corner of Queen’s Park Circle and Wellesley Street in Toronto, Ontario, is a Victorian mansion that was once the elegant and ornate home of the Robert Christie family. Originally built in 1881 by Mellis Christie, the founder of the famous “Mr. Christie” cookies, it was inherited by his son Robert and reconstructed in 1910. The mansion was so large, Christie’s family didn’t know he’d built a secret chamber into its center—accessed through a carved panel in the library and a hidden wall panel in a hallway. Within this windowless apartment lived a woman: his mistress.

As legend would have it, the chamber consisted of a bedroom and bathroom, and only the butler knew of the mystery woman dwelling within. Day after day, he snuck meals and supplies to her at Christie’s bidding, so she’d never need to leave or risk being seen. Christie visited her as he pleased, her only company; but as the years went by he grew increasingly disinterested, visiting her less and less often. Like the secret wife in Jane Eyre, locked away in the attic, “fearful and ghastly,” Christie’s mistress grew mad through extreme isolation and loneliness. In despair she used a bedsheet to hang herself from the rafters.

Upon discovering her corpse, Christie and the Butler removed her body in the dark of night and buried her somewhere in Queen’s Park; her identity and body never found. Not long after, in 1926, Christie died, his widow moved away, and the mansion was obtained by the Sisters of St. Joseph. The secret room, perhaps discovered by its inconspicuous inclusion within the mansion’s blueprints, was repurposed as a study: called Room 29.

It didn’t take long, however, to discover that the room was haunted. Any woman who attempted to enter the room after dark, quickly found herself locked in; the wall panel slamming shut behind her. If no one was nearby to hear her cries or palms pounding against the door—for the door could only be opened from the outside—she had no choice but to endure a long lonely night in the suffocating chamber. Now of heritage status and acquired by Regis College, the mansion no longer features a Room 29—the carved panelling simply opens to what is now a kitchen.


This is Canadiana

Now Toronto

House Histree

Toronto Journey 416


Photograph via The Toronto Star newspaper.


The Loup-Garou (Werewolf) of Quebec

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As Retold by Bekah Ferguson

(2 min read)

Along the banks of the Gatineau River in 19th century Quebec, lived a solitary miller named Joachim Crête. A pragmatic and skeptical man, Crête had forsaken the church, having no patience for the superstitious beliefs of his fellow villagers.

One wintry day, a traveler rapped at his door. With a bearded grin, the stranger stepped inside and introduced himself as Hubert Sauvageau, in search of a job. Though Crête preferred his own company, he did need a hand, and so agreed to hire him. The two men spent their evenings playing checkers and drinking together by lamp light until Hubert would pull on his boots and go off into the dark. Crête never asked where he went, for he always returned by dawn.

Not long after Hubert’s arrival in the village, sheep and cattle began to mysteriously go missing; their mauled carcasses found in the woods. Rumors spread that a loup-garou—a werewolf—must be on the prowl. Though the villagers warned Crête against his new employee, he refused to listen, for only a fool would believe such a thing. When Christmas Eve arrived and the village church bells chimed for midnight mass, their echoes reached all the way to Crête’s cabin. But he had no intention of attending, as he and Hubert were deep into a game of checkers.

As the last bell fell silent, another silence echoed in his ears and he realized the heavy stone mill had stopped turning. The two men, clumsy with drink, stumbled outside to investigate. When the mill refused to budge, Crête accidentally dropped the lantern, which went out. He called to Hubert in the dark but no response came, so he found his way back into the cabin, leaving the door open a crack.

No sooner had he sat down at the table when a moan sounded behind him. He turned and gasped at what he saw: A massive black dog sat growling in the open doorway, fangs dripping and eyes red like coals. It rose on its haunches, tall as a man; ready to pounce. In his terror, Crête fell to his knees in prayer, crying, “Loup-garou! Forgive me, mon Dieu!” As the beast lunged for him, Crête grabbed a scythe from the wall and struck at its face, slicing its ear open. Then he blacked out from fright.

He awoke to cold water splashing his face and found a concerned Hubert bent over him. A trail of blood trickled down his employee’s neck, drawing Crête’s gaze to its origin.

Hubert’s ear hung partly severed from his scalp.

“You!” Crête gasped in renewed terror.

With that he fell back against his pillow, mouth agape, and never again came back to his senses.


Macleans 1

Macleans 2

MSR Blog

Image by Viergacht from Pixabay


Mary Gallagher, the Headless Ghost of Griffintown

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As Retold by Bekah Ferguson

(3 min read)

The historic Irish community of Griffintown, Montreal, was once located near the Lachine Canal. It was a neighbourhood not unlike any other 19th century industrial slum: filled with stables and taverns, flour mills and smelting works, warehouses, drifters, labourers and families. But on June 27, 1879, the town gained a gruesome notoriety that lives on to this very day, even as the buildings have long since dissipated. On that ill-fated day, a pair of sex workers—Mary Gallagher and Suzy Kennedy—brought a newly acquainted client—one Michael Flanagan—back to Suzy’s second-floor flat for some early morning drinking.

On all accounts it appeared to be nothing more than three drunken companions sharing a bottle of whiskey, until a few hours later when tenants below heard a sudden thud. Next came thwacking so forceful that the plastered ceiling above them cracked; dusty bits and chunks of plaster falling down on them. A female voice above said, “I’ve wanted revenge for a long time, and I finally got it,” as a crimson stain appeared, spreading across the ceiling as blood dripped from the cracks.

When the police arrived, a crowd of onlookers were already swarming the front of the apartment building; everyone eager to see what had happened. Inside Suzy’s flat, they found Mary’s body lying prostrate on the floor in a thin cotton gown—both her head and one severed hand in a wash bucket nearby. Suzy’s own clothes were covered in blood but she said it was simply because she’d slipped and fallen in the gore. Her claim was that while she and Flanagan dozed in the front room, an unknown man—some sea captain—had entered the flat and had an argument with Mary, calling her an “old grey-haired rot.” Suzy said he was the murderer and that she’d seen him washing blood from his hands before leaving.

No one believed her. The police found a hatchet belonging to Suzy in the apartment—covered in Mary’s blood and hair. Kennedy was charged and sentenced to hang, while Flanagan was released. Suzy’s death sentence was commuted, however, and she went to Kingston Penitentiary for sixteen years instead. In a remarkable coincidence, on December 5th, the date in which Suzy had been set to hang, Flanagan lost his footing aboard a boat in the Peel Basin, fell through the ice, and drowned.

As legend would have it, the headless ghost of Mary Gallagher soon began appearing on William Street in Griffintown (near the building where she was murdered) seemingly in search of her head. Children were warned to avoid that particular street after dark. In time, the two-storey apartment building was demolished and the area re-zoned. Sightings of Mary grew less and less frequent, until she was only thought to appear once every seven years, on the anniversary of her death.


Scholastic Canada

MTL Times

Montreal Gazette



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The Canadian Lizard Man of Vancouver Island

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As Retold by Bekah Ferguson

(3 min read)

In the Vancouver Island, evergreen wilderness of the first regional conservation area in Canada, there is a shimmering, cobalt-blue body of water known as Thetis Lake. In the summer of 1972, the Victoria Daily Times reported on a spine-chilling encounter two local teens had with a monstrous humanoid creature. Robert Flewellyn and Gordon Pike, 16 and 17-year-olds, were alone at a beach on Thetis Lake on August 17th, when an isolated section of water began to swell—drawing their eye.

As they watched, transfixed, a spiky head with barbed fins appeared, water streaming down a silvery-blue, scaly face. The creature moved toward the shoreline, leaving the deep, and more of its body emerged; revealing additional barbed fins on its scaly arms and legs. It reached its full height of five feet in the shallows, where it suddenly turned and looked at the boys.

The two young men stood dumbfounded until it gave chase. Spinning on their heels, they ran from the beach as the creature lunged for them—slashing the hand of one of the boys with sharp, webbed fingers. Luck was on their side and they managed to outrun it, peeling away in their car, and leaving the monstrosity staring after them in the dust.

Heading straight to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to report their bizarre story, they stated that the lizard-like monster had roughly resembled Gill-man from the classic film, Creature from the Black Lagoon. The police actually investigated, believing the boys to be sincere and clear-headed. But the case was eventually closed when a local man called in to say he’d lost a pet Tegu lizard a year prior and wondered if that might be the explanation.

The police were satisfied that this missing lizard was indeed what the boys had seen, despite two particular incompatibilities: one, that a Tegu lizard wouldn’t have survived a Canadian winter, and two, such a lizard is only half the height the teens described.


Below BC

Fandom – Cryptidz




La Corriveau of New France, Quebec

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As Retold by Bekah Ferguson

(4 min read)

In 1761 Saint-Vallier, New France, fifteen months after the mysterious death of her first husband, Marie-Josephte Corriveau married a second farmer. Two years later he was found dead in the barn with his head smashed in. At first, his death was deemed accidental—multiple kicks from a horse’s hooves—but rumors of murder quickly spread about the town. The local British military authorities soon charged Marie-Josephte’s father, Joseph Corriveau. His daughter was thought to be an accessory only and given 60 lashes; the letter M branded onto her hand with a hot iron.

Joseph, however, admitted that his daughter was the murderer, claiming she’d killed her abusive husband with two blows from the back of a hatchet while he slept. Thus, thereby found guilty by the tribunal, she was put to death in Quebec City by hanging. Her corpse was fastened into an iron cage-gibbet and dangled from a tree branch at the crossroads of Saint-Joseph Street and De l’Entente Boulevard in Lévis. There it rotted on public display for an entire month; feasted upon by flies and maggots, torn asunder by crows.

It wasn’t long before the hauntings began. Travelers soon learned not to take the river road leading past the cage at night, lest her vacant eyes should glow blood red and her shackled, leathery arms should stretch out towards them. Even after the gibbet was taken down, her body buried within the cage, the hauntings continued; her spirit rising from the grave each night to torment travelers.

One such night, a well-known citizen named Dubé was walking alongside the St. Lawrence River when the air turned chill. He stopped short just as a pair of bony fingers closed in around his throat from behind. Tendrils of greasy black hair tickled his cheeks and a ragged voice whispered, “Take me across the river.” Dubé swung around, glimpsing over his shoulder a set of red eyes and yellow teeth within a face of putrefied flesh. He fell to his knees—tearing at the slimy hands that refused to let go. “Leave me!” he screamed, then passed out from fright. The next morning his wife found him and shook him awake on the vacant road. His story spread and a curate was called in to exorcise the spirit.

A century later, the cage was dug up during an expansion project and put in the church cellar. It was stolen and sold to an American who put it in his museum in a glass display case with a placard that read simply: “From Quebec.” In time it was returned to Canada and placed permanently in the Museum of Civilization in Quebec City.



American Folklore

Strange Horizons

Spooky Canada

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay


It Was Never My Nightmare

By Guest Author, Lee Ferguson

(3 min read)

It’s dark, and quiet. The tips of trees cannot be distinguished from the darkness of the sky, and I can’t see my feet as I place them on the cold, hard ground. The crunching of leaves and twigs as I walk is jarring, and I fear something might be watching from the cold abyss of the forest. In a haze, I finally see a light. It’s a cottage, casting a warm orange glow into the emptiness.

I make my way, hoping for shelter from the shivering cold. I stumble to reach the door and I knock. No answer, so I let myself in. And oh, how warm it is inside! I feel as though I’ve walked into the air of July. There’s a soft orange glow coming from a fire in the main room.

“Hello?” I call out. “I’m sorry to walk in unannounced, but I really need a place to stay for the night.”

There is no response, and while I’m supposed to be feeling warm, a chill consumes my body. Why would someone leave their toasty cottage in the middle of the night, with the fire still roaring? With further exploration, I discover that whoever was here must not have been gone for long. There’s soup on the table, and it’s still warm.

Without warning, the front door bursts open, releasing gusts of cold wind that drown the glow of fire. Fearfully I rush to shut the door, and realize I must not have shut it properly when I entered. I breathe a sigh of relief, the only sound in a now dark and quiet cottage.

After awhile of scavenging kitchen cupboards, I manage to come across a flashlight. I flip it on and decide to look for a place to rest. I mean, whoever was here thirty minutes ago certainly isn’t here now, and I am definitely not going back into that cold.

There are three bedrooms. Two of them have beds with neatly tucked sheets and blankets that look softer than snow. The third bed is not made. Its blanket has been thrown onto the ground, and it’s as scrunched up as my brow. A long mirror resides on one wall, and there’s an open book sitting on the bedside table, as well as a half-empty glass of water. The light in here is off, but pale moonlight trickles into the window. Just enough for me to catch my reflection in the mirror.

My face. My face! That’s not my face! Someone else looks back at me, someone with sunken eyes and peeling skin and the most horrid look one could imagine. I take a step back. I’m terrified. What has happened to me? Suddenly, there’s a sound. A scuffling, from under the bed.

I creep closer, and lean down to look. A woman. There’s a woman hiding under the bed, and she’s looking at me with the rawest fear I have ever seen. My vision fades to a nothingness darker than the forest, with the silent scream of the girl’s face imprinted in my mind. It’s in my last moment of wakefulness I realize that it was not my nightmare at all.

Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay


The Lost World of the Nahanni Valley, NW Territories

(4 minute video version)

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As Retold by Bekah Ferguson

(4 min read)

The Nahanni River winds its way through a mist-shrouded gorge known as “the Valley of the Headless Men,” in the Canadian Northwest Territories. The national reserve is filled with canyons, caves, geysers, towering peaks, untouched forests, and a waterfall twice the height of Niagara Falls. With its wailing winds, the mysterious valley can only be accessed by foot or plane. What’s more, it is believed by Indigenous peoples to be haunted, whose oral history speaks of lurking spirit creatures.

Indeed, the “Headless Valley” namesake came about due to several unexplained deaths during the Gold Rush of the early 20th century. In 1906, the McLeod brothers set off in search of gold, but their bodies were later found by a creek: both decapitated, heads never found. In 1917, the headless body of a Swiss prospector was found near a river. Then in 1945, the body of a miner from Ontario was found in his sleeping bag—again without a head. While some speculated the deaths to be the work of a serial-killing hermit, others disagreed; too much time had passed between each killing to be the work of one madman.

The Dene, Dogrib, and Inuit tribes of the area had a different explanation altogether. For centuries they had feared a violent race of ape-like humanoids they called the Nuk-Luk, as well as a large canid creature called Waheela. In 1964, John Baptist, a European, along with his trapper companions, reported a frightening encounter with these Nuk-luk, describing them as a hairy, bearded Neanderthal race, less than five feet tall; dressed in moose-skin and carrying clubs.

But the Waheela are more terrifying still. Believed to be evil spirits that protect the land against human intruders, they travel alone, taking only the heads of their victims. Looking like snow-white wolves with the broad face and clawed paws of a bear, they resemble the long extinct bear-dog known as Amphicyonidae. Thus it has been said that the Nahanni Valley may well be a “lost world,” a remote land stalked and guarded by surviving relics of a far earlier time. Those who dare venture into the unknown depths of this vast reserve do so at their own peril, for many who have gone did nary return.


The Outdoor Journal


Strange Outdoors


Wormwood Chronicles

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay


The Grey Lady of the Cavalier, Nova Scotia

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As Retold by Bekah Ferguson

(2 min read)

In the heart of the star-shaped Halifax Citadel in Nova Scotia, is a three-story Cavalier building made of stone with multiple chimneys and a colonnaded verandah. On November 14th, 1900, a young woman named Cassie Allen waited at the altar in a nearby church for her beloved groom to arrive: a soldier from the Citadel. The sergeant was so long in arriving, however, that she eventually sat down in a chair; growing more and more anxious by the minute.

At the clip-clop sound of horses’ hooves she jumped up in expectation as a carriage pulled up to the open church entrance. The carriage was empty. The driver stepped down and took his hat into his hands, meeting Cassie’s eyes with a pained look of sympathy. He explained in sombre tones that her groom had been found dead that morning in the Citadel. Cassie’s lover had taken his own life when it came to light that he was already married—to a woman living in an asylum in Bermuda. Cassie’s hysterical wails of grief and dismay echoed throughout the church; she refused to believe what had happened.

Much later, when the church was in time torn down, the chair Cassie had waited in was donated to the Cavalier Building in the Citadel. Several decades after Cassie’s death in the 1950s, an employee often sat in that very chair in the Cavalier; greeting visitors as they entered the building. One day a woman dressed in a 19th century, greyish-white dress stepped through the door and the scent of roses filled the hallway. The employee stood up to greet her, blinking; but when his eyes opened the hallway was empty. Throughout his employment, he glimpsed her several more times, dressed the same, but she always vanished right before he could speak.

Other employees saw her too. One night a security guard on the grounds below looked up to see a woman in grey staring vacantly out a third floor window. And another night, a guard stationed on the fort with a view overlooking the second floor balcony, watched slack-jawed as a woman in a long white dress moved along the veranda before turning at the corner and disappearing around the side of the building. It is believed that this Grey Lady of the Cavalier is indeed Cassie Allen, searching in endless grief for her long lost lover.


Caretakers Paranormal Investigations

CTV News

Parcs Canada | Parks Canada

Halifax Magazine

Image by Adina Voicu from Pixabay, altered by Robbie Ferguson.


The UFO of Falcon Lake, Manitoba

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As Retold by Bekah Ferguson

(3 min read)

On the May long weekend of 1967, an amateur geologist named Stefan Michalak journeyed into the wilderness of Falcon Lake, Manitoba, in search of quartz and silver in an outcropping he’d scoped out the year before. Tools in hand, he was near a veiny section of Precambrian shield rock when a flock of geese spooked him with their harsh honking. Looking up, his heart jumped to his throat at the sight of two glowing hovering discs about 45 meters above. One landed on a flat section of granite and the other flew away. After calmly observing it from a distance for a while, believing it to be a secret military craft, Stefan decided to approach.

The scent of rotten eggs filled the warm air around him, and a whirring, hissing noise grew louder. In the side of the seamless, metal saucer was an opening. He thought he heard muffled voices but when he called out to offer his assistance, they fell silent. Stefan crept closer and tried to peer inside but the lights were so blinding, he had to pull down the welding goggles resting on his head.

Without warning, three panels slid shut across the opening. He reached out to touch the metallic casing and the tips of his gloves disintegrated–nearly burning his fingertips as well. The saucer began to move and exhaust from a grid-like vent blew into his chest, setting his clothes ablaze. As he was tearing his shirt from his body, the craft flew away. Stefan ran from the forest, disoriented and vomiting, but managed to make his way back home. His burns were treated in hospital and later formed a distinct grid pattern on his torso.

For many weeks afterward he was sick with an unknown illness, and little pieces of metal collected from the cracks in the rocks where the incident took place were tested by the authorities and found to be radioactive. To this very day, the circular landing site remains bereft of moss, even though it grows abundantly in the outcropping all around.


CBC News

Atlas Obscura

Image by PhotoVision from Pixabay