A north shore haunting

Sherry Martell
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Every old house has its ghost story, said Ellen Millard, author of the Back When book series.

The collection of stories, people and happenings on the North Shore includes a number of ghost stories as told by local residents who have experienced hauntings firsthand or have shared tales passed down from one generation to another.

The story The Ghost That Knocked was included in her most recent publication, a supernatural tale suggesting the ghost of a murdered police Constable haunted a home in Tatamagouche in the mid 1900s.

Collecting and writing ghost stories has also been a passion for Pictou County author Bill McTague who has penned more than 750 spooky tales.

We all like to be scared a little, to read about it is the most harmless way, said McTague.

He said everyone has at least one story to tell of something paranormal or something unexplained in their lives or has a close connection with a family member who had.

(The names of the people in the following story have been changed to protect their identity)

A North Shore family living in a century-old home overlooking the Northumberland Strait has experienced the presence of a ghost firsthand.

Unexplained things began happening soon after Mary, Tim, and their three children, two boys aged 7 and 12 and daughter age 17, moved to the house in 1990.

One night after settling her sons for the night, Mary went to her bedroom waiting for her daughter to return home after a night out with friends.

It was then she heard the heavy thudding of footsteps and yelled for her husband believing someone was in the house.

It sounded like they had clickers on their feet as they were going down the stairs, said Mary.

A thorough investigation of the home turned up nothing.

Another night Marys youngest son called for her wanting to know who the man was who stood in his bedroom doorway looking at him before turning and climbing the staircase to the third floor.

He said he wasnt very tall. He had a dark suit on and a rounded hat on his head, Mary recounted.

She wasnt sure what to think about her sons experience but a month later, he saw a photo published in the newspaper of Capt. Pat Mockler and identified him as the man in his door way.

Mockler built the house in 1892 and lived there until his death in 1936. The three-storey, five-bedroom home with a Mansard-style roof fell into bad disrepair and was left vacant for more than a decade before the family moved in.

A rocking chair placed in one corner of the livingroom had to be moved because whenever Mary sat in it she would instantly feel cold.

Id freeze. Id be sitting there and my lap would be ice cold and everyone else in the room would be fine, she said.

Guests at the home have heard a sound like a ships whistle before cast off and the clock hands have been moved ahead.

Mary said she has always felt there was a supernatural presence in the home and although the stange occurances have lessened in recent years they are still noticeable especially in the fall.

Geographic location: North Shore, Tatamagouche, Pictou County

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