Canada Post recently unveiled another set of stamps featuring popular Canadian ghost stories just in time for Halloween.
Part of a three-year series sharing some of the spookiest tales from across the country, these five Permanent stamps comprise the second edition of the Haunted Canada series. The first five stamps (Scott #2749-53) were released in 2014 while a third and final set is slated for 2016.
“There is nothing more fun – yet unsettling – as ghost stories, and we have a history filled with these memorable tales,” said Jim Phillips, director of stamp services for Canada Post. “Our hope is that Canadians from coast to coast can continue to discover and pass on these stories, which are sure to give a few spine-tingling chills.”
Canada Post spokesperson Anick Losier said this year’s series includes the story of Vancouver’s Gastown, which is considered one of the most haunted neighbourhoods in Canada.
“Legend has it the Waterfront Station and several bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood are all haunted, making it home to more dearly departed but persistently present spirits than any neighbourhood in Canada,” said Losier.
One of these Gastown spirits includes the Haunted Brakeman, the headless ghost of a tragically killed Vancouver railway worker, who was also featured on a 25-cent lenticular coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint earlier this month.
And in nearby Bennett, B.C., the Caribou Hotel, whose past innkeeper is rumoured to haunt the premises, continues the frightening foray into Canada’s ghost stories.
“Built in the town of Bennett in 1898 at the start of the Klondike Gold Rush, the hotel is rumoured to be haunted by late hotel co-owner Bessie Gideon’s ghost,” said Losier. “She was supposedly buried in Carcross but a cemetery survey did not locate her grave.”
Another ghostly tale featured on the new Haunted Canada series is that of the rumbling ox cart, which panicked soldiers at Fort Garry in Red River Valley, Man., after they claimed to have seen phantoms driving a cart pulled by a team of oxen, Losier said.
Meanwhile, Marie-Josephte Corriveau, whose soul is said to wander the dark roads and forests near Lévis, Que., is also part of the new series.
“In 1763, she was executed on charges of murder,” Losier said. “Her soul was said to walk the road at night, approaching travelers and grabbing anyone passing by with her claw-like hands as she opened her blood-red eyes.”
Another apparition – albeit not as aggressive as Quebec’s Coriveau – is the Grey Lady, who’s said to wander the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site searching for her lost love.
“Legend has it that the spirit of the ‘Grey Lady’ wanders the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, mourning her lost love, strolling the second floor at night, smelling of roses and wearing a 19th-century dress,” said Losier.
Designed by Lionel Gadoury and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group using six-colour lithography and a holographic foil, these five domestic-rate stamps measure 32 mm x 32 mm and are available in booklets of 10. A souvenir sheet measuring 127 mm x 73 mm; an official first-day cover cancelled in Lévis, Que.; an uncut press sheet measuring 483 mm x 616 mm; and a Haunted Canada gift set complete this new issue.
“Be prepared for a little scare with these legendary local stories and let your creativity take over,” said Joel Sutherland, author of the children’s series of Haunted Canada books and adviser to the stamp series. “The series makes for huddling close to the campfire—or a scary sleepover.”
For more information, visit canadapost.ca.