May 15, 2003

positively shocking...

A little back story on this...

In the apartment I shared with a roommate (he'd already been living there 16 years when I moved in) I took over the spare/storage room as my bedroom. While renovating the room: painting, updating electrical outlets and so on I had a shocking experience.


After replacing all the plug and switch outlets I turned back on the fuse and decided to test all the outlets with a lamp. All was fine so I decided to take a break and have some iced tea in the living room. I left the lamp turned on, plugged into the last outlet, to help dry some plaster work.

About five minutes later I hear what sounded like the most impressive Hollywood special effects for an electrical socket exploding. I rushed to my room to see the light bulb exploded and sparks and smoke coming from the outlet. I ran and turned off the power. Took a look and decided that the old outlet worked fine so I replaced it and all was fine, except the smell of ozone that seemed to linger for a few days.


A few days later the room was completely painted and all the furniture and belongings moved back in. That night I fell asleep exhausted but with a sense of accomplishment. The TV was still on as was a night side lamp. After about an hour I awoke with the sense that someone was in the room. Thinking it would be odd that my roommate would have walked in, I slowly opened my eyes, only to see a man in rather plain workman's clothing standing beside my bed, hunched over a bit as if he had something he wanted to tell me without speaking too loudly.

Now I'd seen ghosts before, but never this clear or this close AND unexpected. I jumped up a bit and very audibly yelled. He took one look at me, and as it seems I startled him and he vanished.

Eventually I fell asleep but for the rest of that night and the next few I slept very lightly and with little real rest. He did not reapper. I mentioned it to my roommate after a few days and he indicated that he was not away of any history of the house that would explain it.

While at a friends place a few more days later I told them I had seen a ghost in my room but not gone into too much detail as I knew one of them was clairvoyant and so we began have a séance of sorts to figure out what was up. Who was it and what was he doing in my room.

With great detail my friend was able to recount what happened, where I was, where the apparition was in relation to me, including it's posture and appearance. It seems the man was a prior tenant (although I've never investigated the details I somehow don't doubt them as you will see there were other details of the room confirmed that were never communicated prior) His name was either Bruce or Brian; not unusual as the area we lived (Point-St-Charles) had a very established English (Irish) working class past. He was in fact an electrician and the reason he appeared was to warn me not to use that outlet at all, even though it had been returned to my pre-renovations state. He also wanted to know why there was a hole in the wall at the back of my closet that showed other electrical wiring that was not original to the house. (And in fact this was the case... there was a is a hole there because new wiring was required to add a wall light into the room next door. I never gave it a moments thought, but had certainly never mentioned it to my friend, nor had he ever had occasion to open my closet door.) We asked if there was a problem with it and 'Bruce/Brian' said no, it was just sloppy work! When asked what I should do with the outlet in question, all he said was to not use it, no harm would be suffered as long as I left it alone, and so for three years thereafter it was never touched.

I never saw Bruce/Brian beyond that one visit.

June 1, 2002

what's new (dead) pussycat?

In the apartment I shared with a friend (see next post) we were on the 2nd story of a two story building. The owner of the building lived on the main floor flat and we both had 1/2 of the basement. Her access was from a stairwell in the front of the building and ours was a 2 story spiral stairwell at the back of the building. We also had a back door from that stairwell to the back yard, just a 1/2 story above the basement landing.

My roommate, at the time I moved in had 3 cats and as there was a littler box in the basement it was not uncommon to see one if not all the cats there when I was doing laundry or whatnot. What I noticed however after some time was that I didn't always see my roommate's cat(s).

He had 3 cats a black and white one, an all black one and a Siamese. What I would occasionally see, and always alone - the other cats were always upstairs - was another cat sitting on the steps or running up the steps. But this was a much larger and fluffier cat. All of the roomie's cats were short hairs and this other cat was a big fluffy beast. A creamy colour with white paws and facial markings.

After I had seen it 3 or 4 times I mentioned it to my roommate and he said the owner that lived downstairs originally had the top apartment and by default the back half of the basement and at that time also has a cat similar in appearance to the one I described. The cat's was named Papillon.

The next time I saw the ghost cat I said hello to him by name and I heard a soft meow before he disappeared.


Years later (Dec 2006) when we were both preparing to move we were talking with the owner in her apartment (on the main floor) and I looked over on a bookcase and saw a picture of the cat I had so often seen in our basement. I asked her what happened to him and she mentioned he used to spend a lot of time on the stairs and liked the coolness of the basement, but one day he got out through the door to the back from the stairwell. They looked for days and days but he never returned.

I guess poor Papillon got lost or found a new home (or as is possible with a an indoor cat, worse...) but in death he returned home to place he loved most.

September 1, 1997

be gone

While working in an office in Westmount some co-workers mentioned some bizarre activity going on in the accounting rooms. When I took a look I got very familiar feelings (similar to those from the black things at my old apt). I noticed as I walked through the room any place where there was less light the feelings were stronger, and when I turned on lights or opened the window blinds the feelings weakened considerably.

This went on for a few days, or I should say evenings as I worked the 4 pm - midnight shift. the room was colder and colder no matter what the thermostat was set to. And people were feeling more and more uncomfortable.

The next evening at work I brought in my sage stick and some sage oil and did the best I could to clean the room of the presence that we felt. I left drops of oil at all doors and on the sills of each window. The room smelled like turkey stuffing for a few days, but the uncomfortable feelings and cold chills disappeared.