For decades Salem's Lot (locally named after the Stephen King novel) was a local hangout for area teens. Strange stories circulated around the open fields and dense trees which handily lent themselves to the eerie atmosphere of the place.
Perhaps the creepiest of all is the one chronicled in the book "Ontario Ghost Stories," by Barbara Smith (c) 1998. It involves two young men who ventured out to Salem's Lot during the 1980s. Both of the gentlemen were aware of the stories and legends surrounding the area, but admittedly did not put too much stock in them.
Upon arriving they discovered that an old road that was used to enter the site had disappeared over the approx. five year span since the primary witness had last visited. This was slightly unsettling, but they decided to press on.
Following a path on foot they were led to an area which was adjacent to a farmer's field. It was at this point that they decided to add to the already sinister reputation of Salem's Lot by pulling a seemingly (at the moment) harmless enough prank.
Laughing at their own fun, and the thought of scaring the local teens, they carved a symbol of the "Necronomicon" into the ground. As they began to dig they discovered that the soil was concealing asphalt. Perplexed, they decided to dig a little deeper. And as they worked they heard what sounded like a dog barking far off in the distance (according to the primary witness).
Very rapidly the sounds grew angrier, louder, and even closer! The young men looked around yet could not see the approaching animal. And then the sounds became more chilling. It no longer sounded as if one dog was barking. They heard what they describe as a "pack of dogs tearing something apart that refused to die." Within seconds it sounded as if these snarling animals were upon them, and they turned and fled down the foot path they had come by.
It was dark and the men tripped over branches in their rush to get away. One can only imagine the terror and shock that they felt at being pursued despite the fact that the author makes mention that neither of these men considered themselves to be scared easily ... until then.
Later when safely back in their car they came to the realization that the asphalt they had uncovered was most likely part of the original road that they could no longer find. Apparently concealed for some unknown reason.
In 2000 a TGHRS investigator went out to the location and noted that a wreckers yard with at least one guard dog was located nearby. The investigator speculated that perhaps it was barking from this junkyard that caused the fright in these young men. Unfortunately the investigator failed to inquire if indeed this yard was even in existence in the early 80's or speak with the yard's owners so it is left as mere speculation only.
The events as described by the primary witness do not lend themselves to the "wrecker's dogs theory" as well. So should be discounted.
The primary witness had this to say through personal correspondence with us: "The sound that (name deleted for privacy) and I heard that night was not in any way made by a "junkyard dog". Not only am I quite familiar with that particular wrecking yard (I used to buy used auto parts there for older cars I drove in my 20's) I am also and avid hunter and outdoorsman. Simply put, strange noises in the woods simply do not phase me. The account Barbara Smith published in her book was more or less factually accurate, and was the single most terrifying experience of my life. I am now 35 years old and to this day, I have not been able to come up with a single plausible explanation of what occurred that night. I am fully aware that Salem's Lot was a party spot for teenagers, as this is how I came to learn about it. However, I had never heard a single account about any phantom hounds, or anything of the sort until I experienced it myself. To this day, I will not return to Salem's Lot after dark."
In 2001, accompanied by two other investigators I also visited Salem's Lot during the daylight. We did find evidence of Satanic symbols and the usual litter to be expected in an area where teens are likely to hang out. Nothing unusual of note occurred to us on that particular day, but we did hear a lonely dog far in the distance that may have been attributed to the wrecking yard or a nearby home. Thankfully nothing quite like what the two young men encountered that fateful day now long past.
We have received numerous emails and messages over the years, some obviously fanciful, others probable pranks, but a few that make you consider the possibility that at least at one time something of an unknown nature roamed this lot.
One of these reports include the possible apparition of a young woman that was witnessed independently by four different people.
It is my view that sometimes when you have large groups of people who continually visit a spot over a long time period (in this case thrill-seeking teens) with the anticipation of possible fright, that a psychic imprint is left behind. An energy if you will that is created by the very emotions of those who seek a thrill, and that eventually this psychical imprint takes on a life of it's own .... this effect could be defined as an accidental "tulpa."
In Tibetan mysticism, a tulpa is a being or object which is created through sheer willpower alone. The concept was brought to the West in the 19th century by Alexandra David-Neel, who claimed to have created a tulpa in the image of a jolly, Friar Tuck-like monk which later developed a life of its own and had to be destroyed.
Salem's Lot approx opposite Notre Dame High school in Ajax is now a new subdivision. It will be interesting to see if any new reports are generated from this community!
Update October 2006: One of our readers writes:
The lot still remains...the woods that the lot is found in is still present. It is sandwiched between the new subdivisions and Salem rd. There is an old mill dam just before it, and the rows of evergreens still remain which take you north, along to the lot.
We have not verified this at present and caution everyone to use their own best judgment and not to trespass on private property should they decide to visit.
"Ontario Ghost Stories," by Barbara Smith (c) 1998
Defining Tulpas: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulpa