A tale of haunting in Savage Harbour
by Ivy Wigmore
The house in Savage Harbour had a history. It was rented out for some years to people from the Confederation Centre and it was said that Gene MacLennan had written “Snowbird” in the livingroom. When Kim Bradford’s sister and her husband looked at the house, it was run-down and in need of considerable work. Oddly, a large upstairs bedroom was closed off, entrances from a smaller bedroom and the pantry staircase both boarded over.
Undaunted, the couple bought the house and opened the room up. The mystery deepened with the discovery of strange markings on the floor. In the small community, however, it wasn’t hard to research the house’s past. A white witch who’d once owned the house said that she had cast spells in that room. During one session “something” had been unloosed that she couldn’t send back, so she sealed the room with boards and incantations to at least contain it.
The newly-opened room had an eerie feel. And strange things started to happen. One morning, waking late, Kim thought she was alone in the house until she heard loud noises upstairs: things being dragged, banging, slamming, thumping and stomping around. Kim thought her sister was up there and furious—until she came in the door from the barn. Told about the disturbance, she was nonchalant: “Oh, that goes on a lot.”
One November night, Kim’s sister said she was going to put her upstairs in the big room with Mark, her nephew. It was a full moon night and her bed was under the high window; Kim was watching the moon come up. But she was freezing cold and just got colder and colder, her breath visible in the air. She put on all her clothes, piled all the available blankets on her bed and was still shaking—although across the room, her nephew, in a t-shirt and pajama pants, had kicked off all his blankets as if he were too warm.
He didn’t hear the voices when they started, either. The sounds of man and a woman arguing became louder and more violent as the fight escalated. “Oh great,” Kim thought. “I’m here too cold to sleep and have to listen to my sister and her husband fighting.” But then she heard a third voice, very deep and malevolent—and close. As Kim listened, she became aware that the three were speaking another language and that, to her terror, they were moving around in the bedroom where she lay as they fought.
There was no power on earth that could compel her to get out of the bed—she felt that if she moved among them the spirits would become aware of her. So for the entirety of that long, long night, Kim shook and shivered, reluctant witness to an argument that must have raged many years ago. Eventually, the sun came up, everything stopped and the world righted itself. Kim walked shakily downstairs. Her brother-in-law, sitting in the kitchen, took one look at her and asked, “What the hell happened to you?” She was as white as a sheet, with dark circles under her eyes. When her sister came down, she said that although the kids were never bothered, anyone else who slept in that room always had similar experiences.
That may have been the last night Kim spent in that house, and her sister and brother-in-law eventually moved. Some years later, Kim met a woman from the area who mentioned in the course of conversation that she lived in a haunted house. A house with a history, as it turned out, in Savage Harbour.