Since we’re reading Flagged Victor, which is set in Halifax, and since it’s Halloween, I thought I’d bring the two together. Did you know that Halifax is one of the most haunted cities in Canada? It is. It’s also one of the oldest cities, so that stands to reason. I tried to find some good youtube videos of some of the ghost tours that you can take in Halifax, but you have to wade through a lot of amateurish, poorly filmed, completely un-spooky stuff, so I gave up. This, however, got me to thinking about Helen Creighton. She was one of Eastern Canada’s pre-eminent folklorists, and her book, Bluenose Ghosts, scared the bejesus out of me when I was a boy. There is one story about an island, near where my aunt lives in Seaforth, NS, about the ghost of a woman who starts screaming and chases you off the island that still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I even think about it. I haven’t read it in a while, so I don’t know how it holds up over time (I will admit that I might be too afraid to find out (in both ways that you can read that)). But, if you want to be spooked, you should check it out. If you’re feeling particularly loyal to good old Alberta, I can also recommend Ghost Stories of Alberta.
Here’s a question I’d like to pose: Since Canada has such hard-working folklorists, and such a rich history of ghost stories, why was it so hard for Tania and me to find a Big Name in Canadian horror fiction? Tania did post the list from The 49th Shelf on our Facebook page, but I have to say that I was not drawn to any of the offerings on that list, nor had I ever heard of them. What do you think?