Do you believe in ghosts?
I’ll tell you a story, about something that happened almost a hundred years ago right here in Nova Scotia, at a farmhouse ‘way out in the country.
Alexander MacDonald, his wife Janet, and their adopted daughter Mary Ellen lived there, with nobody else but their big dog, Chief, the farm animals and the wildlife – and their nearest neighbour about two kilometres away.
Just about suppertime on one stormy winter evening, in 1922 it was, the house caught fire. Let me repeat – no one was there but the three MacDonalds, and they didn’t see how the fire started. They put the fire out, but soon another one caught in a different spot, and then another and another.
They went to fetch the neighbours to help – and by morning six people had extinguished 38 fires. The MacDonalds moved out. But strange things kept happening around that house – and they still do, even though the house fell down and Alex and Janet and Mary Ellen died years ago. Tales are still told about other strange events that took place long before the fires. Folks said there was a curse on the house, and a curse on anyone who took anything as small as a wood chip from the house.
There was a murder (maybe)
A horse that turned into a man and left no footprints, things that disappeared into thin air, rumbling and shaking, spirit possession of human and beast, exorcism, a mixed-up teenager, blue lights and apparitions. And, of course, more fires. Lots of fires. The spinning wool caught fire, the bed caught fire, balls of fire jumped through the air, the roof caught fire, the kitchen cupboard caught fire, the barn caught fire. But the flames didn’t completely destroy anything – in fact, they weren’t even all that hot.
A detective, a ghost hunter, newspaper reporters and the local priest all had theories, and so did the neighbours. But no one can explain exactly what happened. They blamed Mary Ellen – but she wasn’t talking. They blamed Janet, science, vampires, radio waves, and methane gas – but mostly they blamed Something Not of This World.
I’d tell you more, but it would take a whole book.
Yup, a book. It’s called Fire Spook: The Mysterious Nova Scotia Haunting.
It will be in bookstores soon and you can pre-order now!
The official launch is Oct. 26, 1-3 p.m. at The People’s Place in Antigonish. There will also be a reading on Oct. 30, 7-8:30 p.m, at the New Glasgow Public Library.
Come and have a listen.
Ghosts? You decide.
Thanks for reading,