OTTAWA – Don’t give up the ghosts – another fright-filled adventure is yours to enjoy in Canada Post’s latest collection of five Haunted Canada stamps.
Pity the grief-stricken ghost bride of Montmorency Falls. Beware the marsh-dwelling spirit who transforms from a beautiful woman into a foul-smelling hag. Lament the tolling of the bell that foretells the loss of four women at sea. Above all, brace for more hair-raising fun.
The stamp set is the last in a three-year series that brings regionally renowned ghost stories to a broader Canadian audience. Illustrator Sam Weber cast the five stamps in otherworldly hues befitting the eerie tales (click here for stamp images):
- The Bell Island Hag – Bell Island, N.L. The spirit, it is said, dwells in the marshes near Dobbin’s Garden and appears to a lone person, overpowering him or her with her stench. As she covers her victim with her cowl, she always hisses the same words: “No one came to help me when I died in that swamp. No one will help you. Now taste what I tasted and smell what I smelled as my life was taken from me.” The victim is found hours later, unconscious and reeking of death.
- The Dungarvon Whooper – Renous, N.B. Lumberjacks returned from work one day to discover their young cook dead and his money belt missing – apparently the work of the camp boss. The cook was quickly buried as a snowstorm blew in, and in the night, terrifying whoops and wails issued from his shallow grave. The lumberjacks fled in terror, never to return. To this day, Miramichi residents claim to hear the cook’s mournful cries, despite the efforts of a priest to quiet the grave years after the suspected murder.
- The Lady in White – Montmorency Falls, Que. Hidden in the roar of Montmorency Falls are the cries of La Dame blanche (the Lady in White) calling out for her lost love. It was at the falls that Mathilde Robin’s fiancé, Louis Tessier, had courted her. Little did the betrothed couple know that Louis was soon to perish in battle during the Seven Years’ War. Overwhelmed with grief at the news of this death, Mathilde donned her wedding gown and tossed herself into the raging cataract.
- The Phantom Bell Ringers of the Kirk of St. James – Charlottetown In the early morning of October 7, 1853, a sea captain was mystified to hear what sounded like the clanging of a ship’s bell coming from the town centre. He made his way to the Kirk of St. James, where he and the church keeper spied four women, one peering down from the belfry. The two men pursued the women up to the tower but found nothing except the bell, still vibrating. Later that day, the Fairy Queen mail steamer sank in stormy seas, with seven lives lost, including four women – three were members of the congregation of the Kirk of St. James.
- The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre – Toronto Staff and patrons have witnessed all manner of apparitions and otherworldly events in the restored theatre centre. A woman dressed in Edwardian dress has reportedly appeared in the lobby, while the hand-operated elevators have been seen stopping of their own accord at various floors. And be careful where you sit – the seats in the Winter Garden Theatre have flipped down and back up, as if unseen audience members had sat down and got up again. Or so they say.
About the stamps
The stamps measure 32 mm x 32 mm and are available in booklets of 10. They were designed by Lionel Gadoury and printed by Colour Innovations in five colours with a holographic foil. The issue also includes a souvenir sheet of five stamps measuring 127 mm x 73 mm, an Official First Day Cover cancelled in Renous, N.B., and an uncut press sheet measuring 650 mm x 480 mm. There are also five postage-paid postcards (available individually or as a set of five) and a Haunted Canada gift set of coin and stamps.
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