Friday, October 30, 2015

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

 Only at this time of year can one get away with a title like that. My Hallowe'en post for tomorrow is from a single location, so here are some varied images for the occasion. The jack o'lanterns above can be found in the Byward Market. Each fall in the Market there's always one very large pumpkin on display. Such is the case with this one, which according to a nearby display weighs in at over nine hundred pounds.

These ones outside a nearby restaurant are obviously not that big.

This Hallowe'en decoration hangs off a tree in my neighbourhood.

Here we have views of the Chateau Laurier, in day and night. The hotel was opened in 1912, and has several ghost stories. Some of you will have heard this one before; to others it's new. The hotel was built at the orders of railroad baron Charles Melville Hays, who was in the midst of building a new transcontinental railroad system across the country at the time, with accompanying luxurious hotels. This one was due to open in the spring, and Hays and his family were over in Europe on business, including the purchases of luxury furnishings for the hotel. They booked passage for themselves and their cargo to head back across the Atlantic.

Their choice was the most esteemed ship of the time: the Titanic. 

Long story short, the ship had a wee bit of a run-in with an iceberg, the ship went down, 1500 people died, and one of them was Hays himself. His body was recovered, and he was buried in Montreal. Since then, there have been numerous sightings of Hays in the hotel. He never got to see the opening of his hotel, and so his ghost wanders the halls.


  1. Love it, love it. Have a spooktacular weekend.

  2. What unlucky choice! My compliments for the story...

  3. But did a shot suddenly ring out? I hope not. I'm missing all the Halloween festivities here so thanks for showing me yours.

  4. Nice series of photo's, Check out my wife blog

  5. Here in Spain Halloween is celebrated every year, but never as there.


  6. The carved pumpkins are creative and I love the varied images.

  7. I'm afraid I'd be looking for another route home at night if I had to pass that each time. Eeeek! I love a good ghost story. Deb

  8. I agree with Deb!

    We thought about doing decorated pumpkins--painting them to look like Minions--but we figured the kids around here would probably steal them.

  9. As long as he just wanders and leaves everyone alone, I'm okay with that.

  10. spooky?!! very cool. i will let u enjoy it. I'm a scaredy kat. ( ;

  11. A nine hundred pound pumpkin would make a hearty pot of soup for many, many people William :) its a little disturbing that the pumpkin on the left in the first shot is eating a baby... pumpkin :)

  12. I love the carved pumpkins! :)

  13. I love to eat pumpkins, there are many recipes for cooking pumpkins. Some of the pumpkins are so big!

  14. @Whisk: thanks!

    @VP: of all ships to be on, he had to pick that one.

    @Stuart: You're welcome!

    @Bill: I'll have a look today!

    @Tomas: it's really become an institution in North America.

    @Kate: I did too. Carving pumpkins is not something I'd excel at!

    @Deb: I have to pass it every night on my way home!

  15. @Norma: there was a vendor here in the Market with painted pumpkins... including a Minion!

    @Sharon: one of the other ghosts in the hotel tends to be a bit more interactive.

    @Beth: oh boy!

    @Grace: that's exactly what it looks like!

    @Linda: whoever did it did great work.

    @Nancy: pumpkin pie or muffins for me. I may buy a pumpkin pie tonight for the occasion.

  16. Fascinating story of Hays. Pumpkin carving has become very skilled and creative .

  17. I admire peoples' ability to carve pumpkins,my attempts would be pitiful.
    Jane x

  18. These sure aren't the carved pumpkins of my childhood.

  19. The carved pumpkins are amazing! And that giant one weighing 900 pounds is spooky!

  20. Scary and beautiful at the same time.

  21. love the punkins. :) you can keep the ghosts.

  22. @Red: it certainly is.

    @Jane and Chris: mine too.

    @Revrunner: that takes a whole lot of work!

    @RedPat: mine either! It was quite basic.

    @EG: I seem to recall my late brother had a go at growing one of those giant pumpkins years ago.

    @Marleen: I agree!

    @Tex: ghosts are fun!

    @Orvokki: thanks!

  23. An unusual sight for me William ,,, the only place we see pumpkins in my city is at the "Fruit & Veg" shops and I've never seen one carved.

  24. Love the spooky story link with the Titanic. And that pumpkin is humungous. How could that possibly be cut effectively.

  25. Ah... ghosts... Gotta love them! I am so frightfully jealous of your autumn/Halloween decorations. There's next to nothing in Versailles...

  26. Fabulous story William! Loved the hotel photos with it too. Hawaiian King David Kalakaua died in San Francisco's prime hotel (Fairmount?) and has been seen there....

    Boo! I'm getting super excited about my big reveal on Sunday. The kind of mind blowing [mine first] one can only do a time or 3 in a lifetime!

    ALOHA, Friend


  27. Let there be pumpkins. Loved the ghost story.

  28. I love the carvings on those first pumpkins. It's nice to see progress made from the typical jack-o-lanterns of old. ...Interesting ghost story.

  29. That's a great Halloween story about the sightings of Hays in the hotel.

  30. That is a great ghost story about Mr. Hays. Love the scary skeleton ghost thing. Enjoy!

  31. @Dianne: I think Hallowe'en and trick or treating is something that's slowly being exported.

    @Gemma: I wonder what they do with it when it's all said and done.

    @Ciel: a lot of it happens here. There are even trick or treating done at Rideau Hall and the prime minister's residence.

    @Cloudia: I look forward to seeing what you've got in store.

    @Mari: thank you!

    @Kay: it's quite different from the standard jack o'lanterns. I've passed some of those today on my morning walk.

    @Jan: I really like it.

    @Pamela: thank you!

  32. A 900 pound pumpkin -- that's one ginormous squash! Wonderful pumpkin displays. Hope you had a fun Halloween!

  33. People really enjoy Halloween around here as well. My favorite site of the night was when a girl of about 8 walked by leading his dad by a chain. The girl was dressed like Mary Poppins and the dad was a zombie, who was obviously made up by a professional. Pretty scary stuff...

    1. There was a zombie on Parliament Hill being led by a chain one year. I miss the zombie walk- they haven't had it in a couple of years now.