Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Haunted Halifax

Sorry for the disappearing act. My grandmother was unexpectedly hospitalized a few weeks ago so that took precedent over everything else going on. After being rushed into surgery, she has been recovering nicely and actually got released from the hospital after only a week. Pretty good for a 92 year old lady. I went to stay with her and my uncle for a few days to help look after her. It was so great to just hang out, visit, and do crossword puzzles for days on end. Granny is now well on her way to a full recovery. Talk about a tough old bird (in my dad's words).

Back to Halifax. We were thrilled to discover that this old city has its share of creepy sites. St. Paul's Anglican Church is in the heart of Halifax. It's the oldest Anglican church in Canada, having been built in 1750, and it has a very interesting window.

If you look at the upper right-hand pane of glass (click to make bigger) you can see the silhouette of a figure. The story goes that after the Halifax explosion (in 1917), which blew up most of the windows in town, this one pane of glass was left intact and the silhouette of a man was now imprinted on the glass. There are many stories to explain this, including that it is the image of the person who stood in front of the window during the explosion (despite the fact that the figure would have been a giant to fill the window like that) or that it was the silhouette portrait of one of the founding figures of Halifax. Whatever the truth is, it's pretty darn creepy.

Speaking of creepy, Pete and I discovered the coolest cemetery we've ever been in (and we like our cemeteries). This is the old burying grounds in Halifax which was in use from 1749 to 1843. Pete had fun taking ethereal pictures there while I wandered around reading people's stories. It was a great way to spend an evening (yes, we are weird).

Bonus points to anyone who can spot me in this picture :)

In the Maritime Museum there is a statue of a man whose gaze is said to follow people as they walk by him. The museum had to move the statue from its original location (looking down into the atrium) because people were complaining. Try as we might, Pete and I didn't catch him looking at us.

All in all, we had a wonderful trip to Halifax and we will definitely be back. For anyone who might be thinking about going there, here are our favourite places/activities:
  • We stayed at the Garden View B&B which was about a 30 minute walk from downtown, and a lovely facility and good value. We got fresh fruit crepes for breakfast every morning. Yum!
  • The Maritime Museum was a great way to spend an afternoon. It has exhibits on the Titanic and the Halifax Explosion that are both educational and extremely moving.
  • Speaking of educational, you cannot miss visiting the Citadel (seriously, it's in the middle of town). It was a lot of fun and has a pretty amazing history.
  • If you want to spend some time on the ocean, go to Murphy's on the Water. We did both their whale watching tour (sadly didn't see any whales) and their pirate cruise on the tall ship. Both were thoroughly enjoyable. We also had dinner at their restaurant which was a little pricey but the view couldn't be beat (we were literally on the pier looking straight out at the harbour).
  • Another place we really liked was the Economy Shoe Shop which, believe it or not, was actually a restaurant. The food was amazing. Go there!
  • If you have a sweet tooth, definitely check out Sugah! They have lots of handmade chocolates and delicious ice cream. I recommend enjoying it while sitting on the pier looking out over the harbour.
  • If you like old cemeteries, you can't miss the Old Burying Ground at Springbank and Barrington.
  • For more information on Haunted Halifax, I suggest Andy Smith's tours. We went on our first night in Halifax and he did a great job giving us a tour of the city and thoroughly creeping us out :)
I think that's everything. If I remember something else, I'll add it later.

For now I will end by wishing my dad a very happy birthday!

Rock on Dad!


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your granny is recovering well! My grandfather is having back surgery tomorrow. Hopefully he will do just as well!
Nice photos! I think I saw you in that one. You are in the background next to a tree, right?

Team Knit ! said...

Looks like it's been a very fun trip!!

- Julie

Bertha said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry your gran was hospitalized but glad that she is making a full recovery! She sounds like an amazing lady! Those cemetary pictures are awesome!

Anonymous said...

Glad your grandma is feeling better. And I like the spooky silhouette in the window.