It was the perfect night to meet spirits.
Cold gusts of wind lashed the rain sideways, causing it to undulate like stark white sheets against an inky black sky. Thunder rolled and lightning lit up the night sky like a blazing noon-time sun.
Wasn’t fit for man nor beast.
But it was prime time for spirits.
And there were/are definitely spirits at 21 George Street, Pictou — home office for The Advocate newspaper.
We had heard for years about “Tom the ghost” at the newspaper office. We weren’t really sure if it was an old wives tale or a joke handed down throughout the years this office has been a newspaper office. But we did know for sure that, from time to time, there were strange sounds that could not be accounted for in the heritage stone building.
We had heard the building was, at one time, a summer home for former premier Joseph Howe, who purchased the Nova Scotian newspaper and served as its editor until 1841, turning the newspaper into the most influential in the province.
There was also the claim that it had at one point been a summer home of brew master Alexander Keith.
Neither of these claims have been investigated by us, but we did feel it was time to investigate the strange noises.
So we connected with Dolores Dagenais who provides ghost tours of Pictou at several locations known to have spirits or sightings. She had also heard about a spirit at this office.
Dolores arrived last Wednesday night with her husband Ross, an armload of gear, as well as friends Ann (MacNeil) Porter and David Porter, whose home on Church Street is well known to be haunted. Incidentally, Ann’s great-grandfather Malcom (Macus) MacNeil was raised at 21 George Street, so she had a particular interest in visiting the property again.
So, is 21 George Street haunted?