The following account is written in the witness' own words and the photographs depicted here are provided by the witness who retains ownership of them. The original experience occurred in the Fall of 1989, but the witness has since returned to reexamine the location and obtain photos.
The spectre of a man and carriage in Val-Gagné
"I finally had an opportunity to drive to my ghost sighting site near Val-Gagné on Hwy 11 with a digital camera, and localize it at 4 AM June 27 2005. The small but marked road is exactly 3 Kms north of Gay's Garage (Ford dealership) in Val Gagné, and about 3 Kms south of Monteith. Included are pics of the road sign as seen when coming from Val Gagné, and the old gravel road that leads past the Natural Gas line by the field where I parked (approx. 150 meters from Hwy) in fall of 1989 at 3 AM to rest. Pics (esp. #03) show the field where, in near total darkness and right after I parked, I first saw a white spot of light crossing the field from left to right, a couple hundred meters away, until out of sight past the tree line for a few seconds. It then reappeared crossing the field a bit closer in the other direction. With my head out my car's rolled down window, I looked and listen for any other sign of light source or sound, but everything was quiet with no traffic going by. It kept crossing back and forth this way, closer every time. I then started making out the shape of a horse pulling a small open carriage and a man sitting on it! Then crossing at about 20 meters away, the man sitting on the carriage just stared at me, with the horse maintaining its path. The horse moved with incredible smoothness. It was on the ground but not really hitting it! What an astounding and beautiful sight! It then slowed down, just about 10 meters from me, and the man looked at me, seemingly wondering what I was doing there. That's when I started my car and raced away like a scolded cat and made it home, still wide awake... I had indeed seen a ghost. It was really an amazing sight. Not just a flash or a blur but a sustained and highly detailed white horse and man on carriage, and well visible from a distance. I wish I had stayed longer. I will try to stop again at night when I get a chance."
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I would like to thank the witness for contacting us and allowing us to share the above with our readers. Unfortunately we do not have an investigator in the area at this time.
Update May 2006 In May 2006 we received the following lead to the above report:
I live in Val Gagne a longtime now live in the neighbor city... We believe this ghost has to do with the fire of 1916 which has burn the township... In that time the town was call Nushka... they rename the town to Val Gagne cause the priest Gagne was trying to save people suffer there in the Valley..
Our thanks to this reader for sharing his thoughts with us! This is what we found out about this fire:
The fire of 1916 is known as the Matheson fire because of the complete annihilation of the town. Other smaller communities suffered as badly, including Nushka.
July 30th was a frightening day, almost a repeat of the events that had happened only five years previously. This time, the fire consumed nearly 800 square miles of forest, and the toll reached an unheard of 282 official deaths.
Nushka, just down the T&NO line from Matheson, was particularly hard hit. As the fires approached the town, the local priest, Father Gagne, led 56 people to a field outside of town. There was no other place to go. All 56 were asphyxiated when the flames surrounded the field. As a memorial to Father Gagne's efforts, the community was renamed Val Gagne."
Source: Geographical Names of Canada - Northern Ontario Disasters
Sue is currently attempting to pinpoint wether or not this is indeed the same field.
Please note that ownership of the above photos is retained by the photographer and may not be used in any format whatsoever without the express written permission of the photographer.
The witness would like to add the following to the report:
About my Val-Gagne field area ghost sighting, I'd like to add that the road between Val-Gagne and Monteith where I saw the ghost of a man on carriage and horse, is marked with a sign in both directions as "Chipmunk Road", even though the small dirt road is unkept and in bad condition with deep ruts, and sometimes partly flooded, but apparently used by the neighboring logger.