The 1980s Canadian family movie The Peanut Butter Solution remains one of the weirdest films I watched as a kid, and one of my all-time favorites to this day. If you have not heard about it, here is a good summary and review:
Rue Morgue TV: My Bloody Valentine is Pure Slasher Love
Rue Morgue TV: How It Took Two Directors to Make CURTAINS
Horror Cinema Trivia: The Changeling (1980)
The house seen in the movie in real life does not and never actually did exist. The film-makers could not find a suitable mansion to use for the film so, at a cost of around $200,000, the production had a Victorian gothic mansion façade attached to the front of a much more modern dwelling in a Vancouver street. This construction was used for the filming of all the exteriors of the movie’s Carmichael Mansion. The interiors of the haunted house were an elaborate group of interconnecting sets built inside a film studio in Vancouver.
Haunted Canada: The Screaming Tunnel, Niagara Falls, Canada
The Screaming Tunnel is a small limestone tunnel, running underneath what once was the Grand Trunk Railway lines (now the Canadian National Railways), located in the northwest corner of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
A local legend recounts that the tunnel is haunted by the ghost of a young girl, who after escaping a nearby burning farm building with her clothing ablaze, died within its walls. Several variants of the legend exist locally, one version has the girl set on fire by her enraged father after he loses custody of his children after a nasty divorce. Another tells of a young girl being raped inside the tunnel and her body burned to prevent any evidence from being found. All versions of these legends ends with the girl screams filling up the tunnel as she was burning to death.
Learn more about the Screaming Tunnel and how one version of the legend has become a rite of passage for local youths on Creepy Canada:
The information above about the Screaming Tunnel is from Wikipedia: Screaming Tunnel.
Tales From Valentine Bluffs
On Canada Day, I celebrate one of my Canadian favourites, My Bloody Valentine!
Available as a print from Theater of Creeps.
Haunted Canada: Banff Springs Hotel
Built in 1888, the Banff Springs Hotel—also known as the “Castle of the Rockies”—is a grand building in the middle of the forest in Banff, Alberta. Some famous guests have included Marilyn Monroe, Queen Elizabeth II and Helen Keller. The hotel is one of Canada’s famous haunted locations. It is most well-known for a ghost story about a phantom bride. The Hammerson Peters blog, which shares tales from Western Canada, describes the phantom bride’s story:
“According to the legend, a young couple was married in Banff sometime in the early 1930’s. It was arranged for their wedding banquet to be held in the Banff Springs Hotel, where the couple was renting the bridal suite. Before the beginning of the banquet, the newlywed bride ascended a marble staircase up to the Cascade Ballroom to join her husband, who was waiting at the top. As she did so, her wedding gown brushed against one of the candles that lined the curved staircase and caught fire. In the panic that ensued, the bride tripped over her wedding dress, fell down the flight of marble stairs, broke her neck and died.
“It is said that her ghost has haunted the hotel ever since. Over the years, various hotel patrons and staff have reported seeing a phantasmal bride dancing alone in the Cascade Ballroom, or ascending the marble staircase on which the tragic incident is rumored to have taken place. Others have heard strange noises emanating from the bridal suite when the room was not in use.”
Famous Witch: Canada’s Witch of Plum Hollow
For The Devil’s Muse’s first post about a famous witch, I decided to search for a famous Canadian witch. I found Mother Barnes, a 19th-century psychic from Southern Ontario. Reading her story, she appears to have been a resourceful, clairvoyant, strong woman. She is famous for having conducted psychic readings for one of Canada’s former Prime Ministers Sir John A. MacDonald, including one that predicted Ottawa as the nation’s capital—which is special to me because Ottawa is my hometown.
Visit Mother Barnes – The Witch of Plum Hollow to read the full biography of Canada’s famous witch.
Image from http://www.pinecone.on.ca/MAGAZINE/stories/ElizabethBarnes.html.