Now that fall is officially here, we can start celebrating the most wonderful time of the year : Halloween. We all know that the coolest celebration was originally for the dead, so there is no better way to honour that day than by visiting our dear province's ghosts towns.
Just make sure to visit these places with a buddy. You know, just in case...
This farming and lumbering village was mostly abandoned in the 1940's when the mill shut down. A brutal murder also occurred in 1910 when a father and his son were found dead in gruesome circumstances.
Now a well-known Quebec touristic attraction, this village was abandoned after the pulp mill closed down in 1927 and became a park in 1960 and is considered one of Canada's most well preserved ghost towns.
This village was built by natives to trade furs, as it was a Hudson Bay Post counter. In 1880, the post counter closed down, but a larger number of native communities moved in, as well as some whites and metis, allowing the population to grow to a few 150 in 1928, but the population eventually left the village. Only a handful of people still reside in the area, as well as some cottagers.
Also known as Godmanchester, this Scottish village settled by François dit La Guerre was abandoned only after 30 years of existence. It had 82 inhabitants in 1830 but was deserted in the late 1850s, mainly because of flooding and steam boats couldn't get to the village anymore.
Also known as Victoriatown because it was adjacent to Victoria Bridge, this part of Montreal is now uninhabited. It's mainly famous because thousands of Irish immigrants died from typhus in this neighbourhood in 1847-1848. The town was eventually bulldozed in 1964.
Halloween in Montreal was always extravagant and sadly, this year the holiday will look a little different. Although it makes us all sad to think about, there are still safe and COVID-friendly things to do in Montreal if you are dying to celebrate the spooky holiday.
From walking around haunted locations in our city to getting a free pumpkin, there are tons of cool and fun things you can do over the weekend.
Beware that some of these events are likely to sell out!
With regions of Quebec in partial lockdown, it's shaping up to be an uneventful October. It's understandable that containing the spread of COVID-19 is a priority over Halloween, but it's still sad to watch Montreal's spooky season pass us by without proper recognition.
Luckily, Montreal is 378 years old (founded in 1642) meaning it has a plethora of old churches, cemeteries, gothic architecture and creepy hotels.
In other words, there's no shortage of spooky locations that make this city an epic place to live if you're into deep, dark, haunted horror vibes.
Perhaps you pass these places every day and had no idea they were haunted. Perhaps you'll make a mental note to check out some of these spots in the future, bringing a 'ouija board' along with you.
But be sure to always respect the rules of the environment and don't trespass.
Or maybe it's scary enough for you to learn that right now... as you read this... millions of restless spirits are lurking in dark corners of the city you call home.
Why You Need To Go: Underneath the soil of this downtown park were the bodies of thousands of Montrealers. Though most of the bodies were dug up and moved to Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery on Mount Royal in earlier centuries, electrical workers found remains nearby in 2012 when installing new lamp posts in the park.
The locations of the bodies that remain are said to be marked by crosses on the pavement.
Given that some people were buried alive during the cholera epidemic of 1832, after being given heavy doses of opium, legend has it that their spirits continue to haunt Dorchester Square.
Why You Need To Go: Saint-Henri park is home to a towering statue of Jacques-Cartier, adorned with four decapitated Indigenous heads. The heads below the feet of the colonialist makes for extremely creepy and racist imagery.
Legend has it that the statue's eyes move at night, and Haunted Montreal says that some visitors have heard distant screams when visiting the park. Visit at your own peril!
Address: 1025, avenue des Pins O., Montreal, Quebec
Why You Need To Go: McGill is home to lots of extra-disturbing history, including Project MK-Ultra, a CIA mind control human experiment that took place in the Allan Memorial Institute, previously known as Ravenscrag.
The human experiments included sensory deprivation, high doses of LSD and electroshock therapy, all performed by Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron between 1957 and 1964. The grounds are allegedly haunted by spirits that died as a result of his experimental treatments for mental illness.
Address: 20, chemin du Tour-de-l'Isle, Montréal, Quebec
Why You Need To Go: St. Helen's Island is home to a fort built in the 1820s to protect Canada from the threat of an American invasion.
It's unclear whether or not the fort is accessible without attending the museum, but legend has it that the ritualistic marching of fallen soldiers can sometimes be heard. It's also been said that there are unexplained noises and smells of smoke on the premises.
Why You Need To Go: Mount Royal is known for its spooky ambience, especially at night. The popular locale has actually been said to hold a cave beneath its grounds where squatters live. It's also been home to a number of mysterious deaths by people who have fallen off the side of the mountain.
Why You Need To Go: Place Jacques-Cartier, which houses restaurants and food trucks in the Old Port, has a dark history that could explain its alleged haunting. Previously named Place des Jésuites in the New France era, it was in the square that Indigenous people were tortured and executed by Jesuit priests.
Indigenous people used the area as a trail into the woods before it became a castle for a Governor in the 1700s.
Why You Need To Go: Place Vauquelin in the Old Port is one of the creepiest places in the city, allegedly haunted by old prisoners.
The square was the site of an old prison until 1836, until the government demolished it to build a courthouse. But lurking beneath the square are the remnants of the jail's dungeon, where prisoners were held in unsanitary conditions. The square was also home to a number of public executions in the city.
Archaeologists unearthed his tomb on the grounds in 2010, near the Olmstead Trail and Peel Street. The city destroyed the mausoleum in the 1870s to deter grave robbers, and the McTavish ghost has been said to be seen coming down the hill on a toboggan.
We strongly advise that before you visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, and closures. Always respect the environment and obey any local laws.
The Lights Fest is putting on a huge "wish lantern" festival for the Montreal area on September 16, from 3:00PM - 9:00PM. It's going down in Saint-Marcel-de-Richelieu (546 Rue de l'École), about an hour drive out of the city.
Featuring live music, food trucks, and - of course - tons of lanterns illuminating the night sky, this festival pretty much sounds like the most awesome thing, ever. Hands down.
If you did, it was probably just Montreal's 2016 Zombie Walk. Taking place Saturday, October 29, this year's walk featured a ghoulish cast of Montrealers, indeed.
People donned their best zombie gear, put on their fleekest zombie makeup, and strolled through the streets in full-out zombie mood in order to celebrate and get into the Halloween spirit. But no worries if you missed it, friends. That's what we're here for.