St. Lawrence Market Halloween Event with Bruce Bell
This past October we were excited to be invited to join Bruce Bell on his annual Halloween tour of the historic St. Lawrence Market in down town Toronto. The team consisted of Paul, Peter, James, Joanna and myself. The guests arrived while we prepared our portable equipment, Paul installing new batteries in the parabolic microphone, James and I prepping the electromagnetic field meter and a frequency counter. Peter, Joanna and Bruce doing a short pre-tour.
Paul moved through the crowd of guests introducing himself and the team to them as they had snacks.
In its 156-year history the St. Lawrence Market had been home to a city hall, a fisherman’s wharf, a police station and a jailhouse. It survived the Great Fire of 1849 and has almost been demolished twice.
Excerpt from “Amazing Tales of St. Lawrence Neighbourhood” By Bruce Bell
The tour began with introductions and then whisking everyone down to the hall, stopping along the way for Bruce to speak about the history of the land and building, or long enough for the team to look for anomalies. It was strange that we had a hit on the gauss meter near a small puddle of water on the floor on the main level. The meter jumped to 7 miligauss, Joanna and a sensitive in the audience both independently felt a young boy had drowned there. Bruce later explained that where we were standing was at one time under water and was adjacent to the old pier.
The group moved on as Paul detected a scream coming back from the main stairway, no one else could hear the young man’s scream except through the parabolic microphone. Paul moved back away from the group and checked the stairway to be sure no one was there. He found nothing.
Joanna picked up on a man dressed as a butcher, she found that he wasn’t a very pleasant person. She also sense live stock moving through the building, cows she said lots of them. Bruce explained that animals would have been either loaded or off loaded from one of the many ships in the harbour and moved through the building.
The basement was the domain of Police Station No. 1 and its infamous dungeon-like jails. Before the days of prison reform and common-sense justice, people were thrown into that jail, chained to the wall (where Domino’s coffee grinder is) and later executed, if so deemed, for as little as stealing a piece of candy. (It’s ironic that today, many people sneak a nut or a piece of candy from the tempting open bins at Domino, not realizing how dangerous that would have been in earlier times.) During a storm the waters of Lake Ontario would rise, flood the jail, and the helpless people shackled to the wall would drown or, at the very least, hang knee deep in all the contaminated debris washing up from the open sewer that was Lake Ontario. If those walls could talk, they’d scream.
Excerpt “Amazing Tales of St. Lawrence Neighbourhood” By Bruce Bell
The tour winded its way down to the old prison cells in the dungeon, now simply know as the basement. We could see parts of the original wall and post holes where the chains used to hang. It lost most of the creep factor as it was surrounded by freezers and produce boxes. However Bruce provided some of the stories of what happened down here rising the terror factor once again. The group made their way up to the lounge for snacks and spirits of a different kind while the team provided a ghost slide show for their enjoyment.
The evening ended with a great deal of positive feedback, everyone seemed to have an enjoyable time.
Anyone looking for an interesting tour please check out Bruce Bell’s website.
Photo credits, Kent Armstrong