Ghost Stories and Legends of Prince Edward Island by Julie V. WatsonGhost Stories and Legends of Prince Edward Island by Julie V. Watson

Ghost Stories and Legends of Prince Edward Island

byJulie V. WatsonPhotographerJohn C. Watson

Paperback | October 20, 2018

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A collection of haunting legends, delightful yarns, and spine-tingling ghost stories.

Swathed in mist, surrounded by the secretive sea, wind wailing like the lost souls of sailors around its shores, Prince Edward Island is the ideal setting for the strange and incredible, even the supernatural. Islanders have handed down, from one generation to the next, many legends and ghost stories of visiting spirits, buried pirate treasure, sea serpents, and ghostly apparitions.

Who dares to doubt the veracity of the sailors who met a phantom schooner, the fishermen who fled from a sea monster, or the countless Islanders who have dug for pirate gold, only to be terrified by something uncanny and to have abandoned their search?

Curl up on a dark night with this new second edition and find yourself transported to the magical and mysterious Prince Edward Island.
Julie V. Watson has written hundreds of articles for publications across North America, and she is the author of more than two dozen books. Julie lives in Charlottetown. The work of photographer John C. Watson has appeared in numerous magazines, books, and even on the sides of buses. John lives in Vancouver.
Title:Ghost Stories and Legends of Prince Edward IslandFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 20, 2018Publisher:DundurnLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:145974246X

ISBN - 13:9781459742468

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Read from the Book

CHAPTER 1: AN EARLY HISTORYTo fully appreciate any tales of early Prince Edward Island, it is best tounderstand at least a little about the early peoples and how they lived. Forit is with these early dwellers, and the circumstances of their lives, thatmany legends, folklore, and true tales (as strange as any fiction imaginable)originated.The Island was first inhabited by the Mi'kmaq First Nations.Europeans brought additional cultures and approaches to life when theyarrived. But these early settlers did not have an easy time adjusting. Mostof them were poor and unskilled. The general population had little education,with the exception of members of government or high-rankingmilitary officers. No matter the culture, it was through storytelling, usuallyaround the fire after dark, that many tales were passed down.Many of the stories originated with early settlers to the Island. Whiletrying to eke out existence from a harsh land, they were beset by pirates,privateers, enemy forces, plagues of mice, devastating fires, and corruptlandlords and agents. Their very lives were threatened by the wars ofother nations: the French, the British, the Americans, and then the Firstand Second World Wars. The expulsion of the Acadians was reflectedyears later by the arrival of the Loyalists, fleeing from their own intolerablesituation. Although an island, the influence of the outside world wasnever far from shore.A short history will provide insight into the province's development,but bear in mind that while these facts were being established, all ofthe aforementioned obstacles and many more affected the lives of theindividual.It is thought that several thousand Mi'kmaq people may have livedon or near the Island prior to settlement by Europeans. In 1534, their wayof life changed. Jacques Cartier sighted, landed on, and duly reported tohis ruler the existence of the "fairest land that may possibly be seen."Over the next hundred years, the most frequent visitors were French andBasque fishermen. In fact, it was not until 1720 that Europeans, namelyFrench colonists, began to settle permanently in any numbers.At that time the Island was heavily wooded. Hard labour wasrequired to even clear enough land to build a home, let alone fields forcrops. For a great number of years, settlement didn't extend more thanone farm deep from the shoreline. The development of roads was a slowprocess, so travel was primarily undertaken by canoe. The HillsboroughRiver was the main water route, accounting for the distribution of thesettlers along its shores.Early settlement concentrated around Charlottetown Harbour, particularlyat Port-la-Joye and in St. Peters Bay, as well as in the areas ofTracadie, Orwell, and South Lake. The Island's settler population numberedjust over seven hundred people by 1748.Generally, the north shore area was slow to be settled, because sanddunes and shallow waters barring the entrances to the bays and riversmade it difficult to bring large ships to shore. This situation continueseven today, resulting in all large shipping taking place from the southshore, and even small fishing boats occasionally facing problems gettingin and out of harbour safely in the north.Through the 1740s and 1750s, the population gradually increasedalong the north shore, especially between Malpeque and Savage Harbour.After the French were expelled from the Bay of Fundy area by the British,many travelled to the Island by 1758, creating a refugee camp as much asa colony, and increasing the population to around 4,500 people.The Island remained under French rule until 1758 when the British,having taken the Fortress of Louisbourg for the second and final time, rounded up the French settlers and deported them. This expulsion and its consequences mark a shameful part of history. Only about three hundredAcadians remained, located south of Malpeque and around Rusticoand Souris.In 1763 the Island was formally awarded to the British Crown as partof the Treaty of Paris. There was pressure on the Crown to award land toinfluential petitioners; thus Samuel Holland came to survey in 1764. TheIsland was divided into three counties, fourteen parishes, and sixty-seventownships or lots, with each township containing twenty-thousand acresand each county having its own town.By 1767, Holland had done his job, and the British Board ofCommissioners conducted a lottery in which lots were awarded to militaryofficers and others of influence. Each new proprietor had to agree topay quit-rents to the Crown, and to settle his township with one hundredProtestants within ten years.Unfortunately for the Crown and the early settlers, most proprietorswere not particularly interested in their acquisitions or in fulfilling therequirements. As a result, lots changed hands, rents went unpaid, and aland-ownership problem began that would cause trouble on the Islanduntil after Confederation - still almost a century away.Basic settlement patterns followed those of the French, which wasa natural progression since the British had simply taken over what theFrench had begun.A few proprietors tried to settle their lots, and by 1800 communitieswere developing. The Tracadie area was among the more notable,where Captain John MacDonald of Glenaladale brought several hundredScottish Highlanders in to farm the area between 1770 and 1775. He didnot stick strictly to the letter of the agreement, however, as the Scots wereRoman Catholic.The eastern shores of Malpeque were settled by Protestant ScottishLowlanders. Lowland Scots and English Protestants settled the NewLondon area, and a number of Protestant families set down roots in theCovehead area. The Rustico area was heavily populated by Acadians whofled British capture in 1758. The religious patterns continued for manyyears; in fact, they can still be seen today by the careful observer.This influx brought most of the north shore land under cultivation,and established transportation patterns that ran primarily east andwest. The main route from north to south shores was still the mightyHillsborough River, and it was there and across the bays of the northshore that the first ferries operated.The Island had been granted separate government from Nova Scotiain 1769 on the presumption that government would be financed by thequit-rents due from proprietors. As they evaded these responsibilities,land ownership became a volatile issue for the populace, who, in 1798,numbered over four thousand.Roads developed slowly, with the first of note connecting Charlottetownto Malpeque and St. Peters. By 1850 a basic network was in place,with roads running north and south to link these principal routes.Settlement naturally followed, and the population crept southward.Beginning in the 1840s, relatively large numbers of Irish RomanCatholics immigrated to the Island. They tended to concentrate theirsettlements inland in areas like Saint Ann and Hope River. Immigrationcontinued, and by 1891 the population had grown to 109,000 before itbegan a decline, reaching a low of about 88,000 in the 1930s. The populationthen began a steady increase to today's population of around143,000.During the first half of the nineteenth century, many residents wereable to acquire title to their lands. By Confederation about 50 percentof the lots were in freehold tenure. After Confederation the provincialgovernment was able to purchase land and turn it over to tenants by leasepurchase agreements.The primary source of insecurity and the all too often dishonestdealings was gone, and the population had settled into a pattern ofdevelopment and modernization following that of Canada as a whole.Modern shipping, stronger governments and law enforcement, electricity,the railroad, the automobile, and other technology served to changelife, just as the pattern continues today.

Table of Contents


ONE An Early History
TWO A Bishop Walks Thousands of Miles to Serve His Flock
THREE The Phantom Ship of Northumberland Strait
FOUR The Great Seal Robbery
FIVE Shipwrecks and the High Seas
SIX Buried Treasure
SEVEN The Murder of Abel
EIGHT Abel's Cape
NINE Captain George Knows His Place at King's Playhouse
TEN Lost Baby Lures Ghost Again and Again
ELEVEN The Shadow of Holland Cove
TWELVE The Fork in the Graveyard
THIRTEEN An Annual Visit from "The Master" at the Macphail Homestead
FOURTEEN Tread with Caution in Goblin's Hollow
FIFTEEN Sea Serpents and Monsters
SIXTEEN Romantic Link Revealed on Halloween
SEVENTEEN The Ghost of Barlow Road
EIGHTEEN Ghostly Encounters at Yeo House
NINETEEN Naked Nathan
TWENTY Summerside
TWENTY-TWO The Ghostly Miller of Clyde River
TWENTY-THREE The Smugglers of Holland Cove
TWENTY-FOUR Forerunners
TWENTY-FIVE Loss of the Fairy Queen
TWENTY-SIX The Yankee Gale
TWENTY-SEVEN World's Fastest Ship Meets Its Demise
TWENTY-EIGHT Crossing at the Capes in Winter
TWENTY-NINE A Horse Through the Ice
THIRTY Charlottetown
THIRTY-TWO Treacherous Travel
THIRTY-THREE West of the Capital

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