Historic Account - A Bridge in Thorold... The following report from the St Catharines Journal dated October 23rd 1863 is a good example of a "ghostlight." These mysterious lights are also known as spooklights, will o' wisps, earthquake lights, ball lightning, min-min lights, devil lights, orbs, swamp ghosts, corpse's candles, amber gamblers, fox fire, fairy lights, along with a host of other synonyms (over 100 in total). Do they represent the spirits of the deceased? No one knows with any certainty. What we do know is that when these mysterious lights appear a ghost story is often attached to the encounter. The article below is "verbatim" (including the spaces) from John Robert Colombo's book, True Canadian Ghost Stories and we assume is faithful to the original article from published in 1863...
"Last week the bridge-tender at the bridge over the canal entering the village from the North resigned his position, and a gentleman of the Irish persuasion from the town took his place. It seems that at some indefinite period a man was drowned near the bridge, whose shade remained perfectly invisible until Thursday night last, when Andy was on duty. On that night Andy saw a man with a lantern, or a lantern without a man, approach the bridge, and apparently inspect it very closely. Andy went toward the object and said, "It's a fine night then," but received no answer. This incivility on the part of the stranger irritated Andy, who raised his foot and made a kick at the lantern, hitting a shabbing post. He repeated this operation several times, and with a like result each time. Before he would kick, the lantern would seem to be between him and the post, and after doing so, it would appear on the other side. This puzzled him, and caused his toes and conscience both to become sore, and he retired to his shanty, locking himself in. On Friday night the same interesting programme was performed. On Saturday night Andy swore he would not stop alone, and when three boys came along, he impressed them and detained them until 2 a.m. and then let them depart, the
Witching hour of night,
When church-yards yawn,
And graves give forth their dead,
being over. On Monday he resigned, and refuses to go near the bridge."
An interesting footnote is that this story seemed to evolve over time with the "shade" and his lantern reportedly changing to a six-legged dog with six lights (one in the dog's mouth) that terrorized the young boys and ladies of the village who refused to walk by that bridge at night.
PLEASE NOTE: We currently have no more information about this bridge or report other than what is shown above. Please, do not send us e-mails asking for locations or other information about the incident as we, as yet, know little about it aside from this article.