A look back at the mysterious haunting of an Antigonish County farm, 100 years later
Sudden fires, paranormal phenomena and a teenage girl branded a poltergeist
It's been nearly 100 years since a family farm in Antigonish County, N.S., was plagued by inexplicable fires, moving furniture and freed animals — all baffling circumstances that eventually forced the MacDonald family to flee their home, along with their daughter who was branded a poltergeist.
Alexander and Janet MacDonald, and their adopted daughter Mary Ellen, lived in Caledonia Mills, a small community about 25 kilometres south of Antigonish.
On a stormy night in the winter of 1922, reports say small, blue fires started appearing in the home with no cause. By the end of the night, the family had put out 38 fires on the property.
The supposed haunting was deemed the fire spook and newspapers from as far away as Boston documented the troubling events.
Walter Prince, a psychic investigator from Boston, even travelled to the farm to investigate.
"His conclusion was that Mary Ellen McDonald was a poltergeist and all the activities that had happened at the farm were spirits that had channeled through her to create the fires and everything else that had gone on," Monica Graham, the author of Fire Spook: The Mysterious Nova Scotia Haunting told CBC Radio's Information Morning Nova Scotia on Thursday.
From then on, the popular theory became that Mary Ellen, who was only 14 or 15 at the time, was possessed and causing the fires.
To hear more about the alleged haunting and what happened to Mary-Ellen, listen to Rose Murphy's full interview with Graham below.
With files from CBC Radio's Information Morning Nova Scotia