Merry Meet All,
Halifax, where I live, has a fascinating and grim history. The Halifax Explosion is one piece in the puzzle of many grim stories. It is also a ghost story. Halifax, or Nova Scotia particularly, is full of ghost stories.
The Halifax Explosion is the largest manmade explosion since the bomb exploded in Hiroshima. In 1917 Halifax was bustling with activity. Many people moved to Halifax to benefit from the prosperity war offers. The fateful morning of December 6 at first was no different than any other morning. Children were on their way to school and boats were loading and unloading.
At 7:30 am the French freighter Mont Blanc and the Norweigan ship Imo both weighed anchor from the Bedford Basin heading for the Narrows and points beyond. The Mont Blanc was heavily loaded with a volatile mix of wet and dry picric acid, TNT, gun cotton, and benzol, bound for the European arena. The Imo under ballast was destined for New York. At approximately 8:40 am they collided as the Imo struck the bow of the Mont Blanc. Fire broke out immediately on the Imo. The captain and crew wasted no time escaping on lifeboats. They rowed to the Dartmouth side of the harbor. The Mont Blanc burned for twenty minutes and came to rest by Pier 6 of Halifax’s north end. Curious onlookers, unaware of the deadly danger they were in, stopped to observe. The ship disintegrated and exploded into fragments decimating population and property. Over 2000 people died, over 4000 injured, and 1630 buildings were reduced to rubble, and 12000 damaged. The explosion was powerful enough to be felt in Cape Breton, 240 miles away. People were killed, blinded from falling glass, wounded, and lay on the snowy ground, shivering from the cold.
Ever since the Halifax Explosion, the silhouette of a man’s head in a window of St. Paul’s church has been seen, the oldest Protestant church in Canada. The window has been changed many times to banish the shadowy reminder, but every time it reappears as a reminder of the horrors of the explosion. No one knows exactly how the man died, but the silhouette remains. See photo below.
The Five Fishermen building was built in 1817 as part of the First National School- the first school in Canada to offer free education. It later became the Halifax Victorian School of Art, managed by Anna Leonowens and was changed to a funeral home. Before the Halifax Explosion, was another great disaster- the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The Snow funeral home became the place for the final arrangements of the many Titanic victims. Five years later the Snow funeral home was the macabre scene of stacked coffins piled high row upon row from the Halifax Explosion. In 1975, the building became and remained The Five Fishermen restaurant. Stories of flying silverware, and arguing voices after the doors are locked. An elderly gentleman wearing clothing from another time is spotted walking into and through a wall mirror. Two Victorian ladies climb a staircase and vanish. People feel cold spots, and locked bathroom doors open as if by themselves. Paranormal investigators frequent The Five Fishermen restaurant, as it is a magnet for paranormal activity. Now I plan to have a meal there and see this for myself. The Snow funeral home as it was in 1917 is shown below. If I see any paranormal activity, I promise to report all about it on this blog. Here is a link to learn more about the hauntings at The Five Fishermen restaurant: http://fivefishermen.com/about/hauntings.htm
I went to the Five Fishermen restaurant to see if it was haunted. I sat down to enjoy a lovely meal of seafood salad and wine. As I ate, I kept glancing at the wall of wine bottles across the room. I sensed nothing downstairs, and there was so much hustle and bustle of people entering and exiting the restaurant. After I paid for the meal, I confessed to an employee why I was really there. I was given a tour of the upstairs area of the restaurant. We chatted as we climbed the stairs. Halfway up I felt like someone was dancing over my grave. My chest felt tight. We climbed the stairs and reached the top floor. I became uneasy. We went into a small room full of wine bottles. I sensed something almost angry, oppressed, and unhappy. I wanted to leave. I was told this was a very haunted room of the restaurant. I realized that was why I kept glancing at the wine bottles downstairs. I could not remain long in that room. I told the spirit, maybe an old sea captain, I meant no harm. I sensed he was curious about me. We then went to the private dining room- the employee and I- though maybe the ghost followed us. I could almost see people from another time seated at the tables and dining. I was told a lot of mediums have entered the dining room and have wanted to leave. I sensed a spirit or two haunted that room, too.
The Five Fishermen serves excellent food. It is a haunted restaurant and needs a good spiritual cleansing. The Halifax Explosion has created a lot of residual energy that is stagnant and stuck and unable to move on. I hope I have the chance to cleanse the energy there of the residual energy.
The Halifax Explosion and The Five Fishermen restaurant are but two of many ghost stories about Halifax’s grim history.