Friday, 25 November 2016

"Red Eyes" - Glovertown's glow-in-the-dark #UrbanLegend. #amwriting

Down at the end of Angle Brook Road in Glovertown is the impressive ruin of an old pulp and paper mill. It is also the site of a creepy local urban legend about a mysterious figure known as “Red Eyes.”

You can read about the history of the mill and see more great photos on the Hidden Newfoundland website here

For locals, it is a creepy spot, tall and still, empty, and dark even in the daylight. “The Plant” became an after-hours hangout for teenagers, and before long, rumours began to circulate that the old mill was haunted by a spirit known as Red Eyes. It got to the point that many people would not dare go there at night by themselves.

“Eyes are seen in the tower,” one woman told me “The red eyes are said to be from a man that died while building the mill.”  A second woman told me that people used to hang out at the mill, and “would see a worker’s daughter who died there in one of the towers.”

“I heard that apparently it was a man killed during construction,” a third woman told me, who had heard the legend in the late 1980s or early 1990s. “He fell into the cement mixer or something like that, and I think he was built into the place. At night people would say ‘Be careful of Red Eyes!’ It was just an eerie place to be around, even in the daytime. I was only up there once at night, and not for long.”

A Glovertown man who also heard the story in the 1990s told me much the same thing: “He was a worker that fell in the pour when they poured the concrete for the tower. They never got him out. He stuck in the walls, and he still there.” Yet another man told me the spirit was that one of the construction workers who was blown of the top of the building while the mill was being built. “You can see his red eyes glow from the top once a year on the date it happened,” he added. “Some people say he was pushed.”

I posted a request for information on social media, and was almost immediately contacted by someone on Facebook, who wished to remain anonymous.

“I'm born and raised in Glovertown, and spent my teenage years in ‘the plant’ as we like to call it,” he told me. “I've heard of the story and I'll tell you what I know, if you want some info?”

Of course, I wanted more info. I called him up to get his version of the Glovertown urban legend, which he too had learned in the 1990s:

“Most of my teenage years were spent at The Plant, the old sawmill. There is a swimming hole next to it. As a teenager, that is where we went. It is only a couple minutes off one of the roads, so it was just tucked away enough that your parents couldn’t see you drinking. The story has been passed down from the older kids to the younger kids, to scare the crap out of them. When I was a kid, the story was that when the mill was built by a Norwegian company, safety was non-existent. One of the construction workers did not show up at the end of the day. They found his body where had fallen down through one of the towers. He died there. They say that to this day his red eyes haunt the plant. If you were there by yourself, you would see these travelling red eyes following you around.”

Do you have a story about Glovertown's Red Eyes? Send me an email at or comment below!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Meet "The Webber" - Newfoundland's creepiest #UrbanLegend. #amwriting #nlunexplained

One of the most intriguing and creepy contemporary legends I have come across from Newfoundland is the story of The Webber - a terrifying, woods-dwelling creature with webbed hands, who loves to catch and devour children, campers, and canoodling teenagers. Like you would, if you lived in the bush and had hands like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

The Webber seems to be a largely west-coast legend, and several of its older origin stories place it around the Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville, which operated between 1941 and 1966.

The legend has migrated north and east, with versions found along the Great Northern Peninsula and Labrador, and with one outlying variant told about the Heart's Content Barrens area between Carbonear and Heart’s Content. The stories incorporate tropes found in other contemporary and urban legends like The Hook Man, but there are similarities between many of The Webber’s origin stories -- he is born with webbed hands (and sometimes feet) and then is either abandoned, lost in an accident, or murders his unfortunate parents. It then goes on to live in the wild, and terrorize (and/or eat) innocent passers-by.

The Webber made a special guest appearance (stories of The Webber did, at least) on the Hallowe’en edition of the “Sunday Night Geek” podcast for Oct 30th. 2016. Folklorist John Bodner of Memorial University's Grenfell Campus stopped by the podcast to share some tales, and you can hear a fantastic archival version of the creature’s origin story at about the 20 minute mark.

I’ve been collecting other Webber stories, and have condensed some of them below. If you know about The Webber, and have a different version, PLEASE let me know!! Send me a note at or post to social media with the hashtag #NLunexplained.

And now, prepare to meet The Webber:

Version One
The Webber was a man-like creature covered in hair who migrated between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland every seven years. The creature had webbed hands and feet which enabled it to swim to and from Newfoundland.
Version Two
An American couple were living on the base in Stephenville during WW2. They had a baby boy, and to their horror he was born with webbing between his fingers and toes. They decided to fly back to the States to have the webbing removed, but their plane crashed just outside of town and the parents were killed. The baby survived, and grew up to hunt children who go out wandering around the woods after nightfall.
Version Three
A family was involved in a car accident along the highway near Pasadena. It happened at night and the car went far enough into the woods that no one noticed it for a few days. A kid survived the crash, but a bunch of birds attacked him and injured his hands as he defended himself. He couldn't find the highway and went into the woods and raised himself. His injured hands healed into duck-like webs, and he ate whatever he could find.
Version Four
The Webber was born deformed with webbed hands and webbed feet, and lived in isolation near Pasadena with his unwed mother, who was embarrassed by his appearance. He was feral and lived outside, and when his mother passed on he continued to live in the woods. He was said to feed on the children who attended the camp built on his mother’s land.
Version Five
A man and woman in their 50s found out they were going to be first-time parents. Unlike most newborns The Webber Baby was grotesquely deformed, with webbed hands and feet, an unusually large head, and long claw like fingernails They decided to raise him at home and keep him inside at all times, so no one could make fun of him. As grew, he was unusually strong and too hard for them to handle. They decided to bring him to Carbonear to a home for people who needed special care. They put him in the car and headed away from home. Later that night on the Heart's Content Barrens, their car was found flipped over in the woods. The couple was torn up and dead, and the roof was slashed apart as if by a wild animal. 

Got your own Webber story? Do versions of this legend occur outside of Newfoundland? Get at me, true believers! 

PS: Want a pair of those sweet, sweet Deep Spawn silicone gloves shown above? They can be yours for only $569.95 and are perfect for terrorizing sleep-deprived campers. Start rolling your nickels and dimes, kids.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Do you know about the two headless ghosts of Fogo Island? #amwriting #NLunexplained #NaNonFiWriMo

In 1999, Fogo Island Literacy Association published a small book called “Tales of Fogo Island,” compiled and edited by Della Coish. The publication was designed as easy-to-read book about local life and culture, for use with adult learners in literacy programs.

The book includes references to two (presumably) different Fogo Island headless ghosts.

The first headless phantom was spotted by a man named Lynch, of Island Harbour. Lynch was on his way from Payne's Harbour to Butt's Point when he met a man on the road, dressed in a black suit of clothes. When Lynch spoke to the stranger, he got no reply, probably because the figure was missing his head.

On a different occasion, a woman from Fogo was walking home, when she became aware of a man walking in front of her. Thinking it was her brother, she called out to him, and found out that he too was headless.

I'd love to know if there are more recent encounters with these ghosts, and would like to gather more details about either of the stories, or other stories of hauntings from Fogo Island. If you have info for me , drop me a line at

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Hand Shot Off - News from Trepassey, 1918. #NLunexplained #NaNonFiWriMo

I'm working away at my National Non Fiction Writing Month project, #NLunexplained, and I found this little gem of a story from the St. John's Daily Star, 1918-12-11:
Mr. Wm. Bulger who was hurt at Trepassey in a gunning accident was brought in from there by train at noon to-day, and was taken in the ambulance to the Hospital. He was in the act of drawing a charge of powder and shot from the weapon when the cap, which he had forgotten was on the nipple, was hit by the trigger which was accidentally pulled. His left hand was practically blown off from the wrist. He lost much blood and suffered great pain, but bore it with stoicism.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

My November writing project is #NLunexplained! #NaNonFiWriMo #WNFIN

It is November 1st, All Soul's Day. Hallowe'en is over, the St. John's Haunted Hike and my "Haunted at Leaside" show has been put to bed. This is when normal people would say, "I'm going to take a break." Well, I'm not doing that.

Today is also that day when aspiring fiction writers gallop madly off as part of the National Novel Writing Month. Well, I'm not doing that, either.

Instead, I've decided to take on the 2016 Write Nonfiction in November Challenge! As part of National Non-Fiction Writing Month, this annual challenge is to complete a work of non-fiction in 30 days. You can learn more on Facebook.

My last book of NL paranormal stories was Haunted Waters (available on, Kobo, iTunes, Nook, and Kindle) back in 2010. So I'm overdue for another book.

So as of today, I'm officially starting on my next book project on local folklore, true hauntings, and supernatural stories!  Follow along with the #NLunexplained hashtag on social media, and stay tuned! I'll be posting updates on my projects and on the various creepy and mysterious stories from NL folklore I'm in the process of researching.

Got a story of your own you want to share with me? I'm always looking for new stories of hauntings, fairies, strange creatures and the unexplained, from anywhere in Newfoundland and Labrador. Drop me a line at