Thursday, 8 June 2023

The Ghosts of Vinegar Hill

A magnet for supernatural activity, Vinegar Hill was likely named by early Irish settlers after the failed Irish uprising of 1798 which ended at the Battle of Vinegar Hill. It is home to numerous ghost and fairy stories.

Saturday, 27 May 2023

Back from the Dead: The St. John's Haunted Hike returns for 2023!

The first St. John's Haunted Hike of the 2023 season is this Sunday, May 28th. We've shifted slightly to a 9pm start, and have tickets available for opening night!

Order here:

Thursday, 18 May 2023

Ghost Lights of Trinity Bay

Fort Point Lighthouse, Trinity, stands at the top of steep rocky hill.
Fort Point Light, Trinity

Every part of Newfoundland and Labrador has its own tradition of strange nautical tales, and Trinity Bay, is no exception. A number of local spirits were recorded for posterity in 1925 by William White (1860-1949). A native of Trinity, Trinity Bay, William White devoted much time in his later years to the collection and recording of local and church history.  His 1925 article documented a number of ghost stories, including a ghost ship seen by a local man nicknamed “Crusty Harry.”

According to White, another apparition was seen by many people, starting around the year 1916. A very brilliant light was seen just a few miles off Trinity narrows. The light had not been seen before, but was soon a regular occurrence. When it was first seen, the strange light was initially believed to be the lights of an approaching ship. 

It was written that when the Fort Point lighthouse keeper first observed the glow, he was convinced it was the SS Prospero. The lighthouse keeper, convinced the ship was making an unscheduled stop at Trinity, rowed all the way across the harbour "in great haste" to the public wharf. He reached the wharf to wait for the arrival of the SS Prospero, but discovered no sign of an approaching ship.

SS. Prospero

The ghostly light became very much talked about. Unlike other phantasms, this one was viewed by hundreds of witnesses. It also displayed astonishing regularity. The light was seen frequently, and usually from 9 o'clock pm to 11 o'clock pm.

When the light showed no sign of vanishing, the population of the town became very excited, fearing it to be a German submarine attempting to cut the Atlantic cable or preparing to attack the town. Perhaps strange today, at the time it was a very real fear.

In the early 1920s a fisherman on the fishing grounds off Trinity after dark had a close encounter with the light. He saw the light a few hundred yards distant, but as he drew nearer, it vanished.

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Roll for Folklore Ep3 - Eaten by Rats!



Hatto, an evil bishop, was hoarding food during a terrible famine. The peasants became angry, so Hatto promised to feed them, inviting them to an empty barn. Hatto ordered the barn's doors locked, then set the barn on fire and burned the peasants commenting on their cries with the words "Hear the mice squeak!" Perhaps he should have chosen his words more carefully. 

Get the book:

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Roll for Folklore ep2: What flattened 80 million trees at once?

Roll for Folklore ep2: Tunguska!

Today's Roll for Folklore: The Tunguska Explosion!

On the morning of June 30, something cause an 12-megaton explosion that flattened  80 million trees in the middle of the Siberian wilderness.  At around 7 o’clock in the morning, Indigenous people and Russian settlers northwest of Lake Baikal saw a bluish light, nearly as bright as the Sun, moving across the sky.

About 10 minutes later they heard what sounded like artillery - followed by a shock wave that knocked people off their feet and broke windows hundreds of kilometres away. The boom was so loud it was heard as far away as Washington DC

Get the book:

100 Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy 

Sunday, 8 January 2023

Suggested readings on supernatural folklore from Newfoundland and Labrador

Looking for non-fiction books on Newfoundland and Labrador supernatural folklore? You could always start with some of mine, of course, but there are a lot of other titles out there for lovers of the paranormal!

Here is a selection to get you started: 

Fairies and Witches

Ghosts and Hauntings

Cryptozoology and The Old Hag

PDF volumes

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Hallowe’en Schedule 2022 - ghostly storytelling for the month of October

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Hallowe’en season! October is here, and as the veil between worlds grows thin, it is the perfect time to explore the supernatural along the haunted laneways of old St. John’s. Luckily for fans of the paranormal, the St. John’s Haunted Hike returns for the 2022 Hallowe’en season! We are adding some new stories to our regular hike, and have a few other tricks and treats up our black sleeves, including an exclusive paranormal investigation at the very haunted LSPU Hall (stay tuned for more on that, we are very excited), a virtual open mic ghost story night, an evening of spooky stories and music, and the return of the Hallowe’en Night VOCM call-in show!

(All tickets for the Hallowe’en Hikes are here – follow links below for other events)

Hallowe’en Schedule 2022

Wed, Oct 12 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Sat, Oct 15 - 7:30pm Songs and Stories of Ghosts and Spirits (organized by First Light Centre, Cochrane St)

Sun, Oct 16 -8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Mon, Oct 17 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Tues, Oct 18 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Wed, Oct 19 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Thurs, Oct 20 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Sun, Oct 23 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Mon, Oct 24 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Tues, Oct 25 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Wed, Oct 26 - 6pm Ghost Story Open Mic (virtual, pre-registration required)

Wed, Oct 26 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Thurs, Oct 27 - 7pm Paranormal Investigation at the LSPU Hall tickets tba

Thurs, Oct 27 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Thurs, Oct 27 - 10pm Paranormal Investigation at the LSPU Hall tickets tba

Sun, Oct 30 - 7pm Hallowe’en Hike

Sun, Oct 30 - 8pm Hallowe’en Hike

Sun, Oct 30 - 9pm Hallowe’en Hike

Mon, Oct 31 - time tbd VOCM Hallowe’en Phone In Show!

On demand any time - Virtual Campfire

Monday, 26 September 2022

A strange light haunts the waters near La Scie, Newfoundland: Jack the Lantern of Shoe Cove Bight.

Not far from La Scie, Newfoundland, is the former community of Shoe Cove Bight.  The Bight was said to be a favourite stomping ground of a supernatural phenomenon which locals know as Jack the Lantern. Storyteller and author Dale Jarvis shares the tale of what happened when a group of boys rowed home one September night from La Scie to The Bight.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

The Haunting of Lunenburg Academy, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg is said to have more folklore, witches, and superstitions than any other place in Nova Scotia. Of all its sinister places, the Lunenburg Academy is definitely the most famous of the historic town's many haunted buildings. 

The Lunenburg Academy was built in 1895, and operated as a school continuously to 2012. It stands on Gallows Hill, close to the Hillcrest Cemetery, dating back to the 1700s.

Years ago, a carpenter working alone in the school felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. Turning around he saw the vision of a man, strung up by his neck, before it vanished.

The building’s basement was nicknamed The Dungeon by students, thanks to an evil feeling pervading the space and rumours of a dark creature inhabiting one of the toilet stalls. More recently, a film crew captured the image of a face in the window of the Academy. When the image was circulated, it was identified in a school yearbook as Mr. Sidney Knickle, a past custodian and caretaker.

Sunday, 18 September 2022

The Grave of Henry Waterman, Assistant Lighthouse Keeper, Fogo, NL

The churchyard at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Fogo. was in use as a burial ground from at least the 1760s and into the first half of the twentieth century.

One who lies here is Henry Waterman, assistant keeper of the Offer Wadham Island Lighthouse.  The Wadham Islands are a group of islands southeast of Fogo Island; Offer Wadham Island is the most northeasterly.

The lighthouse was built following many petitions to government, especially after the "Spring of the Wadhams" in 1852, when more than 40 ships were crushed and abandoned in the ice near Offer Wadham Island.

Unfortunately, Henry Waterman "came to an untimely end in the spring [of 1880] by falling through the ice, thus removing from service an officer who had always conducted himself worthily."