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55 minutes | Oct 27, 2022
The Haunted Lighthouse of Gibraltar Point
The lighthouse at Toronto's Gibraltar Point is one of the city's oldest landmarks. It also has a dark secret, if you believe the legends. For over two centuries, people have shared the story of J. P. Radelmüller, the lighthouse's first keeper, said to have been murdered, chopped to pieces, and scattered across the island one cold winter's night in 1815. They say he was a bootlegger. They say his killers were never convicted. And they say the ghost of Radelmüller still haunts the lighthouse, having never been put to rest. But what's fact, and what's fiction? In this episode, we'll shine a light on a tale that simultaneously a murder mystery, a ghost story, and a stirring piece of Canadian Gothic fiction. Read the complete show notes and more at FiresideCanada.ca
42 minutes | Mar 3, 2022
The Coleman Frog
Tall tales are an important part of the Canadian cultural landscape, and this one's a whopper. In this episode, we'll hear the legend (or is it a lie?) about a massive 42 lb bullfrog and the man who loved it. Part 19th century advertisement, part local legend, this somewhat controversial tale asks us to think about the nature of storytelling, and the difference between fact and truth. Learn more and read the show notes at FiresideCanada.ca
50 minutes | Feb 17, 2022
The Devil at the Dance
It's a centuries-old folktale—a story about one evening when the devil came to town to dance with an unwitting partner and steal her soul. Found in nearly every province across Canada, the story of "The Devil at the Dance" is perhaps best known as a quaint French Canadian legend meant to caution the young about the dangers of drinking and dancing. But is it just a Catholic morality tale, or is there more to the story? Learn more and read the show notes at FiresideCanada.ca
50 minutes | Feb 3, 2022
The Haunting of the Fort Garry Hotel
Winnipeg's Fort Garry Hotel is considered by many to be, not just one of the most haunted places in Canada, but one of the most haunted hotels in the world. Join me as we explore its stories—from local legends to national headlines—and consider the history, meaning and impact of the hotel's most notorious story: the ghost of a suicide bride said to haunt Room 202. Read the complete show notes and learn more at FiresideCanada.ca
44 minutes | Jan 20, 2022
The Horn of the Unknown Shore
In 1577, an English privateer and explorer found a "unicorn horn" on the shore of what we know today as Baffin Island, Nunavut. The find would become a cherished posession of Queen Elizabeth I. Hear the legend and explore the hidden history and complex cultural ties of this legendary and lost treasure from two different worlds. Read the complete show notes and learn more about the podcast at FiresideCanada.ca
63 minutes | Jan 6, 2022
The Vampires of Wilno, Ontario
In celebration of the 125th anniversary of Dracula, we'll look at Canada's own vampire legends set in the quaint village of Wilno, Ontario. Hear how an earnest investigation into local folklore mixed with pop culture to inspire brand new stories that combine legend, lies and lore. See the complete list of show notes at FiresideCanada.ca
43 minutes | Dec 9, 2021
The Lost Cache of Granite Creek
Granite Creek was at one point the third largest settlement in British Columbia. Now there's nothing left but rotting wood, rusted metal, a few great stories and, perhaps, a long lost treasure buried somewhere close by. Join me for tales of lucky finds, incredible feats, wild west weirdness and buried treasure from one of BC's countless forgotten ghost towns. Learn more and see the sources and show notes at FiresideCanada.ca
39 minutes | Nov 25, 2021
The Demon of Sainte-Émélie
According to a forgotten newspaper article, a Quebec farmer once did battle with a fearsome flying monster, and had the body to prove it. The story should have made headlines around the world. Instead, it was swiftly forgotten. In this episode we'll analyze this cryptozoological story that never got its moment in the spotlight, and consider what it takes to make a legend. See all the show notes at FiresideCanada.ca
50 minutes | Nov 11, 2021
The Crucified Canadian
In April of 1915, the body of a Canadian soldier was found crucified near the city of Ypres...or so the legend goes. Follow the tale of the Crucified Canadian as it transforms from a rumor of the trenches, to a tool for propaganda, to a national myth and symbol of heroism and sacrifice, and finally to the subject of an international scandal. In this episode, we'll take a close look at a mostly forgotten trench myth of World War I that once made headlines around the world, incited Canadians to war, and inspired a legendary brutality on the battlefield.
50 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
The Old Hag of Newfoundland
A strange and terrifying phenomenon has been plaguing humans for millennia, walking into bedrooms at night, looming at bedsides and, in the worst cases, attempting to suffocate or strangle its paralyzed victims. It has many names throughout the world, but in Newfoundland they call it "The Old Hag," where it has connections to centuries-old beliefs about witchcraft and the occult. In this episode, we'll learn about the cultural phenomenon of "The Old Hag" and what Newfoundland folklore can teach us about the cause, the cure and the culture.
41 minutes | Oct 21, 2021
The Phantom Bell Ringers of PEI
One chilly October morning, a church bell unexpectedly rang through the streets of Charlottetown, PEI, guided by the hands of four ghostly women. Hours later, a ship would sink halfway between Charlottetown and Pictou, Nova Scotia, killing four women. In this episode we'll explore this classic ghost story of PEI together with the historic account of a mostly-forgotten shipwreck. We'll learn how ghosts can foretell a disaster, how the truth can often be scarier than any legend, and how a ghost story can sometimes be a comfort in trying times.
30 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
The Pirate Edward Jordan – Part 2
Edward Jordan was the first person to be tried and executed for piracy on Canadian soil. In Part 1, we heard about the mysterious vessel "Three Sisters", the odd behaviour of her crew, and their ultimate capture by the British navy for murder, piracy and robbery. In Part 2, we'll learn the rest of Edward Jordan's story, and the fate of those involved. Part 2 of 2.
38 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
The Pirate Edward Jordan – Part 1
Edward Jordan was the first person to be tried and executed for piracy on Canadian soil. That fact has made him something of a legend, with many imagining him cruising the Atlantic and plundering vessels before being captured. The truth is far less romantic, but still an intriguing story from Canadian history. Part 1 of 2.
28 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
The Thing of Annapolis County
One night in the early 1900’s, two men encountered a strange and terrifying creature. Their story is now a classic part of Nova Scotian folklore. This episode explores some of Nova Scotia’s most iconic stories about “forerunners” (supernatural omens of impending death), including one story that was later adapted for the best-selling spooky kids’ book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
40 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
La Chasse-Galerie – Part 1
Every Christmas or New Year’s Eve, some say, several men in a birch bark canoe will soar through the skies over Montreal and beyond. It’s known as “la chasse-galerie,” and it’s essentially the Canadian version of the Wild Hunt. It’s a tale that has been told since at least the 17th century, and the story may have influenced, or have been influenced by, actual strange events that occurred in the mid-1600s. The story was shared around campfires of the courriers de bois, the voyageurs, and then among anyone who likes a good ghost story, and might be feeling a bit homesick. In this episode (Part 1), I’ll tell you the historical context of the legend, relay the legend as I heard it, and discuss variations in the story. In La Chasse-Galerie Part 2, I’ll tell you two additional stories: one of a doomed French lord that, some say, is the origin of the term “la chasse-galerie”, and another long-forgotten tale from Lake St. Clair on the Ontario/Michigan border. I’ll discuss the legend’s connection to Europe’s Wild Hunt, and its relevance today.
32 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
La Chasse-Galerie – Part 2
A doomed French lord, ill-fated lovers, and the Wild Hunt all play a part in this episode focused on unpacking and examining the origin and the legacy of La Chasse-Galerie. Listen to a long-forgotten legend of La Chasse-Galerie from old Detroit, and get a better understanding of this classic Canadian legend and its connections to other, older folklore.
27 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
The Screaming Tunnel
It has been called one of Ontario’s most haunted locations, and it has hosted a right-of-passage for Niagara youth for decades—some say for over a hundred years. Go at night, they say, light a match, and face the ghost of a murdered girl, then hear her scream as she blows the match out. It’s a wonderfully creepy ghost story, and a fascinating study for those interested in the evolution of urban legends.
36 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
The Phantom Train of Medicine Hat
In 1908, two trains collided just outside of Medicine Hat, killing seven men. The event has since become part of a classic piece of Canadian folklore with elements of fortune telling, forerunners, and fate. Today, over a century later, the lines between history and legend are starting to blur. In this episode you’ll hear the original story told by a man who narrowly escaped the crash, and learn how one man's ghost story has become a true Canadian legend.
32 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
Dungarvon Whooper – Part 1
The Dungarvon Whooper is perhaps the most popular ghost story and folk legend in New Brunswick. But while many know the tale about a murdered cook named Ryan, few realize that, long ago, it was just one of many. In this episode, we'll take a trip to the lumber camps of the late 1800s and hear four different legends, all shared in an attempt to explain a terrifying sound that once echoed through the wilderness of Northern New Brunswick.
43 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
Dungarvon Whooper – Part 2
In Part 2 of my look at the Dungarvon Whooper, I'll tell you my version of the classic legend of a murdered cook whose spirit is said to haunt the wilderness of northern New Brunswick. We'll also take a closer look at the stories you heard last episode, try to understand the historical context of these tales, consider the legacy of the legend, and discuss what might actually be stalking the shadowy forest "where the dark and deep Dungarvon sweeps along."
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