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.
“Ghost Scene at the Fort: Nightly Vigils of the Sentries Made Hideous by an Apparition” was the title of a newspaper article in the August 29, 1903, issue of the Morning Telegram. In the 19th century, the Red River Trails in Winnipeg, Manitoba, were a trade route of ox cart roads that connected the Red River Colony and Fort Garry in British North America all the way to the Mississippi River in the United States. In those days the area was inhabited by Scottish settlers and the Métis—who at the time, were disparagingly referred to as “half-breeds” due to their French and First Nations heritage. The land was not shared mutually between the two groups, and thus, as regards the haunting at Fort Garry, the newspaper speculated that “the first owners of the Red River Valley [were] resenting the intrusion of the North-West Mounted Rifles upon the grounds sacred to their dead and making their displeasure severely felt.”
One ominous summer evening, in the wee hours of the night, a lone soldier standing guard outside the Lower Fort Garry saw something dark and looming approaching in the mist. Next came the rhythmic clip-clopping of hooves. An ox cart appeared from the gloom, driven by a Métis man and woman. Though puzzled by the out-dated look of the lot, the soldier shrugged it off and said nothing as the cart slowly lumbered by. A few minutes later, however, another dark form appeared in the distant mist and what seemed to be the very same ox cart travelled by again. The third time it appeared the soldier began to tremble; palms damp and sweat on his brow. He ordered the cart to halt but no sooner had his authoritative words rung out when the entire apparition vanished like smoke in the wind. Seconds later it reappeared in the distance and disappeared again when he hysterically cried out for it to stop. By now he was in a full-blown panic and threw his rifle to the ground, running away. Back at the fort his fellow soldiers laughed off his story; but the next night, another soldier on duty had the same experience. One by one it happened to them all until there was no left who could mock.
Mother’s Angel (Nov 24, 2017) A short story by Bekah Ferguson
“Ghosts are the superstitious nonsense of heathens, son,” Pa used to say, but I’d been haunted by one in the forest behind our homestead through much of my ...