As the year chugs forward, summer has decidedly turned into fall, we can’t deny that all of our minds go a little towards the “spooky” aspect. Halloween is around the corner, and regardless of how we might all be celebrating it this year, stories of ghosts, critters and generally ‘things that go bump in the night’ are high on everybody’s ‘fright list’ — and Canada isn’t without it’s own showing in this department. Particularly in Montreal.
One of the many ghost stories that come out of Montreal is that of Mary Gallagher.
On the corner of William and Murry Street, lives Montreal’s most infamous specter. This area, previously known as Griffintown, had a long history filled with struggle, and in the mind 1800s, it was one of the most famous Canadian shanty towns, filled with poor refuges from the Irish Famine. It was in this condition that the story of Mary Gallagher begun. A prostitute living in a ramshackle building on the very corner mentioned above, Mary was reportedly beheaded by her best friend Susie Kennedy, a fellow prostitute who was jealous that Mary had made the conquest of a man named Michael Flannagan instead of her. Susie was charged for the crime and Flannagan died suddenly on the very day that Susie was originally supposed to be hung for it. Susie’s death sentence was amended to life in prison.
Now, every seven years, on the night of her murder (June 27th) it is reported that Mary returns to the corner of her murder; some years the stories go as far as claiming that an entire ghost building has appeared on what is now an empty lot. The last anniversary passed last year in 2019, so Mary is not expected to appear again until 2026.