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Montreal Haunts Kathleen Murphy Issue date: 10/30/07 Section: halloween edition Behind every great city there lies at least one chilling ghost story and Montreal is no exception. The Old Port is believed to be the most haunted part of the city. Before it was converted to a restaurant, Le Saint Gabriel was the oldest inn in Montreal and was said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl who died there in a fire during the 19th century. The Old Port is also the home of Marie-Reine Besnard, the witch of Hotel Dieu, and the infamous lovers Claude Thibault and Marie-Josèphe Angélique, who were allegedly responsible for the fire that destroyed most of the Old Port in 1734. Marie-Josèphe-Angélique was found guilty and gruesomely executed, but Claude Thibault disappeared and was never seen again. London may be famous for Jack the Ripper, but at least all of Jack the Ripper's victims remained dead. This was not the case for victim and prostitute Mary Gallagher. In 1879 she was beheaded by her best friend and fellow prostitute Susan Kennedy. Rumour has it that a downstairs neighbour heard Gallagher's body fall, followed by the sound of an axe chopping for ten whole minutes. Every seven years, Gallagher returns to haunt the streets of Griffintown where she died. Ghosts are still being sighted in Montreal to this day. Le Spectre Montreal is a team of ghost hunters who will help anyone "troubled by paranormal phenomenon" free of charge. If they can't resolve the problem, they recommend people, such as mediums, who can. In November 2001, Le Spectre investigated an old Bed and Breakfast that was haunted by the spirits of previous owners who committed suicide in the building. Images of these spirits can be seen in pictures taken inside the house. Another Le Spectre project took place in June 2002, when a family with two young children moved into a house in the south shore. While playing in the ruins of an old house, the children came across the battered corpse of an old man. The victim had lost a lot of blood and one of his legs had been pulled from his body. The children ran screaming to their parents but when they returned to the house, the body was gone. In June 2001, in St. Joseph (on the north shore), a man took a wedding picture in a gazebo outside the house where he was having his reception. Behind his head in the picture is the image of a small baby's face. Upon asking the owners, the man discovered that 25 years ago a baby girl named Alison Campbell died by drowning in a pond that used to lie under the gazebo. If you are interested in learning more about the ghosts that lurk in Montreal there is a ghost tour that takes place in Old Port. Tours end in September but they have special tours over Halloween