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'THERE'S SOMETHING WEIRD GOING ON'

Ghost stories are pouring out of the Sackville area

By: Yvette D'Entremont - The Daily News 

Published: April 1, 2002

 

There are a lot of weird things going on in the Sackville-Beaver Bank region these days. 

Darryll Walsh, a parapsychology lecturer at the Nova Scotia Community College in Halifax, says there are more reports of ghosts and paranormal phenomena coming out of Beaver Bank and Sackville than anywhere else in Nova Scotia.

"Cape Breton has always been the most haunted area of Nova Scotia, but Cape Breton stories are much more traditional Irish, English, even French stories from an oral tradition," Walsh says.

"But there are so many different stories coming from the Sackville-Beaver Bank area that t literally has the most stories and the most ongoing, more modern stories."

Walsh, director of the Centre for Parapsychological Studies in Canada and author of Ghosts of Nova Scotia, says he first discovered the abundance of ghostly tales from Sackville-Beaver Bank while researching his book.

Published in 2000, it chronicles sine if the region's ghosts.

It includes the Cobequid railway ghost, reported to be the wife of a man killed in the spot more than century ago.

Another longstanding story from the region is the tale of the ghostly woman in white sometimes seen at the Fultz House in Sackville. 

A benevolent ghost occasionally reported since the 1970s is said to haunt the basement of L.C. Skerry School in Waverley.

More recently, stories of strange occurrences at the abandoned military base in Beaver Bank have emerged. Walsh said observers have walked to the radar station in the evening and seen mysterious glowing lights with no obvious source.

"There's something weird going on at that old military base," Walsh said. "There seem to be mysterious balls of lights appearing where the old military base was."

Walsh also has contacts at the Beaver Bank Villa who told him about sightings of a ghostly man who walks through the area. And he has heard several stories about the Beaver Bank Road ghost. 

"Along the Beaver Bank Road, just before you get to the Beaver Bank turn off to go into the villa, there apparently is a ghost that has been seen a few times over the years," Walsh said. "A white almost formless but vaguely human, witchlike ghost flies from left to right across the road."

A similar story emerged from the area where the Waverley Road meets the Cobequid Road. A female ghost has also been spotted by passing motorists along that stretch of road.

Walsh has visited homes in the Upper Sackville and Mount Uniacke that are reported to be haunted. Weird voices, murmurings, doors opening and closing by themselves and reports of a ghostly presence in the basement led one family to abandon their home.

And then there's the legend of Joe Santos' ghost.

"On the Waverley Road there's an old 18 wheeler truck that picks up people and gives them a drive," Walsh said.

"They say it's the ghost of Joe Santos's, who was killed in a truck accident. Starting in the mid-1960s, it's said he'd pick up hitch hikers, drop them off, and they'd later find out he wasn't alive."

Walsh has never seen a ghost himself, and he believes 95 percent of all "paranormal" activities can be explained. But he's convinced there's something unusual happening in the Sackville-Beaver Bank area. He's actively investigating eight to 10 stories from the region.

"Some appearances of hauntings or ghosts seem to also be connected with earth stress, tectonic stress, earthquakes and stuff like that," he said.

"We have to do a geological survey on Beaver Bank because there are too many weird things going on out there. It's a mystery, but I love mysteries."

Author Darryll Walsh crouches near the old military radar station along Beaver Bank Road. - Mike Dembeck