Beware of the Spooks on the Plains of Abraham

Beware of the Spooks on the Plains of Abraham

Halloween_Plains_of_Abraham_1Article and photos by Job Patstone

Every year around this time the beautiful plants, flowers and walkways of the Joan of Arc Garden (Le jardin de Jeanne d’Arc) situated on the Plains of Abraham, give way to a haunting experience in celebration of that annual ceremony we call Halloween. Before the rock gardens disappear under the snow, a strange phenomenon happens, causing caskets and gravestones to suddenly pop up through the ground to remind us of the dead who sleep below and of the ghosts that perhaps still linger on the battlefield’s grounds.

The ghouls only appear in the month of October and nobody is sure why except for the witches and skeletons, who keep their secrets and whereabouts to themselves.

There are evil-doers with their heads covered in black ready to be hanged, others still behind bars waiting in the dungeons, and witches mixing their brews in giant cauldrons. If you listen carefully you can hear them quietly sneering and talking among themselves, making snarky comments about those who  pass by staring at them. Even Joan of Arc herself is portrayed, burning at the stake, bravely accepting her fate.

Halloween_Plains_of_Abraham_2All these characters and more are on display to the delight of passers-by with the intention of putting everyone in the mood for that spooky night on October 31st.

The Battlefields Commission sets up the displays as an annual event not only to be seen, but to also be told about through a special tour which can be had for a small sum. The tour itself includes a visit to the haunted Martello Tower no 2 which is also “dressed up” for the occasion. The walk around the gardens however is absolutely free and is a wonderful experience for young and old alike; it may be a bit scary for toddlers whose parents may have to explain certain things to avoid unnecessary tears.

There is a theme to the madness however, which tries to incorporate different strange and bizarre things that may or could have actually taken place in the area, like the hangings of the local prisoners or the Angel of “Cap Diamant” who apparently walked the shores of the St Lawrence River in a ghostly manner.

There are the gravestones (headstones) of some very famous people which appear, to remind us of some of the historical events that took place on the Plaines and some of the enemies who today lie under the same dirt and earth that they fought each other for in another time. It all makes for an interesting afternoon stroll, invoking conversation and laughter combined.
The displays are also illuminated at night which gives visitors a different eerie experience and makes it even more mysterious and intriguing, especially if one is out for an after-dinner promenade which included a few glasses of wine.

Saturday, October 21st is reserved for a special “fëte” for children or “family day” from 1pm until 4:30pm with train rides, inflatable games and some special characters walking around available to talk to, or even perform “exorcisms” if needed.

The displays are up until November 4th.

Categories: News

About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.


  1. jobp
    jobp 19 October, 2012, 07:53

    Great page display.

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