The Ghost of St. Michael’s

The Ghost of St. Michael’s

My name is James Lambert and this is a true story which took place at St Michael’s Church in Sillery, on a cold foggy night in March.

Ghosts-in-QuebecOn this particular evening in March there was an activity at the church that ended up at around 10 p.m. and being in my position it is one of my tasks to lock up after such occasions so the building is safe for the night and into the next day, so at 11 p.m. even though I usually go to bed around 10, I found the courage to saunter over to the church with my keys in hand. It happened to be a chilly and exceptionally foggy night, with a fog so thick that it was difficult to see across the street, (or as some people say, thick enough to cut with a knife).     

As I courageously whistled my way through the empty streets, reminded of London, England, certain dark thoughts crept into my mind, things like Jack the Ripper stories or ghouls hiding in the sewer drains ready to jump out at me, but happily nothing happened and I arrived just as our guests were ready to depart after cleaning up. There were three of them exactly, no more, no less.

I closed the fire door to the church, locked the corridor door, and ushered the three guests out the exterior door before me, assuring myself that the church was indeed empty of all beings. As I struggled with the key in the last lock for the outside door, I faintly heard an ominous and utterly disincarnated voice say “I will lock the door if you like”.

After having been taken aback I glanced to my left into the foggy darkness and could barely make out a nearby shrub; was there someone hiding there? Turning and glancing to my right had the same result; nothing but darkness. Behind me, our three guests were hastening down chemin Saint-Louis, far from any ear range. Yikes! Maybe there were some ghouls out there after all. After calming my nerves which were already shaking, I realized that the statement had to have come from the other side of the door, or did it?

A small shaking voice inside of me said “Don’t panic”. My now fevered mind thought that I might be getting a message from God and I sought in vain the biblical reference for “I will lock the door if you like.” Then the door started to open, creaking on its vintage hinges. It was then, a very large voice inside of me shouted “OK now it’s time to panic”, and I might have done so and run like the dickens back to my apartment had I not been made of sterner stuff.

Instead I shyly put my eye to the small crack in the door only to see in the total darkness what appeared to be a headless white cloak on the other side. Now I was petrified; was it a ghost or was it just my imagination, which by this time as you can imagine, was out of control. I was hoping my eyes were playing tricks on me or that the fog had altered my thinking; unless, could it be, there really was a ghost in the old church. 

After I hastily stepped back in wonderment, Sarah Priebe’s (The Church Minister) disembodied, but smiling head, slowly appeared around the now partially opened door and repeated. “I will lock the door if you like”. Still wearing her white robe, she had been working late upstairs in the office, and hearing me locking up, decided to come down and see me off.

Needless to say, after arriving back home I couldn’t get to sleep until 3am.

Now to the lesson that justifies this story: if you ever find yourself in a position similar to mine at 11 p.m. on any given night, or, I imagine, at 2 a.m. on a Friday morning, don’t panic if you hear voices coming from inside St. Michael’s Church, it’s not a ghost, or spirits from above, it’s only Sarah.

Original story by James Lambert adapted by Job Patstone.

Categories: News, Opinion

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.

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