Haunted Schoolhouses and Halloween Treats
A photograph in the archival collection, hand-labeled “Haunted School” seems like a fitting image for this time of year. The school in the photograph is U.S.S. No. 10, Glenelg & Egremont, also known as Top Cliff or Topcliff, located in the south-east corner of the former Glenelg Township, Grey County. In May 1894, a mysterious, persistent sound was heard in the schoolhouse by the teacher, Miss Annie McKechnie, and her students; and, in subsequent days, in the course of investigating the noise, parents and school officials also heard it. Despite the thorough searches of many (including two dogs!), the sound could not be explained. The Flesherton Advance ran the story on the front page of its June 7, 1894 edition under the headline, “A HAUNTED SCHOOLHOUSE! Some Ghostly Manifestations in S.S. No. 10, Glenelg, create interest and excite the populace – an unfathomable mystery”. Their report also provides us with an idea of the high level of interest in the story at the time, as when the newspaper went to the schoolhouse, they “found fully two hundred people present, drawn hither from many miles around through curiosity.” The mystery remains to intrigue new audiences as the story of the school is included in some local history books – a great puzzle for a spooky time of year.
1997.043.090 – S.S. No. 10, Glenelg, 1894
On the lighter side, today’s trick-or-treaters might be surprised by the goodies people enjoyed over 100 years ago at their Halloween celebrations. Armour’s, a grocery store located on Poulett Street in Owen Sound (now 2nd Avenue East), promoted their stock of Halloween treats in an advertisement appearing in an October 1903 issue of The Owen Sound Advertiser. They hoped to entice Owen Sounders with their promise of “Many toothsome things that makes happy hearts of both old and young on this good old Hallowe’en Night. Pickled Snow Apples, Chestnuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Filberts, Peanuts, etc. Also, Bananas, Table Raisins, Dates, etc.” Whether you’re enjoying fruit and nuts or chocolate bars and sweets – have a Happy Halloween!