On a hill overlooking Montreal (home of Fantasia Film Festival which is currently going on), is Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery. Notre Dame des Neiges is a 343-acre cemetery built that’s been a part of the city since 1854. It contains over 65,000 graves with over a million interments. Walking the grounds is strangely relaxing after spending the day navigating the noisy streets of downtown Montreal. However, the cemetery’s reputation for being haunted is a bit unnerving, especially when you’re walking through it alone and so close to nightfall.
Aside from the usual “haunted graveyard” stories of apparitions walking the grounds, the cemetery has a host of unsettling spirits, one of which is notorious fur baron Simon McTavish. McTavish is said to still be quite perturbed over the city’s destruction of a six-story high column that once sat atop his grave site. Some say they have seen McTavish dancing on rooftops as well as riding his coffin like a toboggan through the Montreal hills.
Another unhappy resident is an Algonquin Indian warrior who predates the dedication of the cemetery. He mostly emerges on moonlit nights, looking down on the city where his people participated in the fur trade the French.
Recently cemetery officials have begun closing the gates at midnight and patrolling the grounds quite regularly. The heavy guard was the result of multiple reports that black masses were being preformed on the cemetery grounds. These masses included animal sacrifices, which many people blame for the increase in paranormal activity at the cemetery.
As I approached closing time, I headed down the hill and back to the city. Although I would have loved to have captured something at night, I found the cemetery to be creepy enough during the daytime. Check out my photo tour of the cemetery. Now back to the Fantasia Film Festival. (Photo credits- David Ian McKendry)