Wednesday 7 February 2024

The Case of Matterface: A legendary ghost story from St. Lawrence, Newfoundland and Labrador

Legend holds that around 1835, an English clerk by the name of Matterface, working at the Newman and Company’s plantation at St. Lawrence suffered an untimely demise. 

Embalming was impossible, so the mortal remains of Matterface were preserved inside a barrel of rum until the body, by that point well pickled, could be taken back to England for burial. 

When the barrel was opened, it was found to be drained of its liquor. Locals, unaware of the barrel’s true contents, had been sneaking drinks of the tainted rum. 

Some say the barrel, with Matterface still in it, was buried in Little St Lawrence, down in the cove on Turpin’s Island. 

Folklore claims Matterface’s ghost haunts the island. 

Cousins spending the night in a tent on Turpin’s Island heard something scary circling the tent, round and round.  

Suddenly their campfire, which had been left burning, was snuffed out, like someone blowing out a candle. 

They all took off screaming.

If you visit today, you might find signs of a rock covered grave. Remember the legend though: don’t go at night. And be careful what you take along to quench your thirst. 

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