It’s October 31, 2018, and Halloween; also known as All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, which is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day.
I thought today would be a perfect time to tell you one of my spooky tales. In 2012 I spent a month living in our RV researching my family history in Kingston, Ontario. Kingston is a beautiful old city and I loved it there. After all, Kingston is where my great-grandfather; William Beaton was born (Beaton/Batten Mystery).
But before I tell you my tale, let me tell you a bit of backstory. Another one of my ancestors, on my dad’s maternal side, is Jesse Shannon. Jesse was the 8th child of John and Caroline Shannon (my 2x great grandparents). Jesse grew up in or near New Dublin a small township in Ontario
Much of what I knew about Jesse Shannon was obtained from a cousin Ron Shannon, that I’d met in 2006. I knew that Jesse had died in 1930 in what was known as Rockwood Asylum. Other than that I didn’t know why he was there, how he had died, nothing. All I knew was that Rockwood had been built in 1862 and was used until 1975. I also had read that it might have been built to house some of the mentally ill prisoners held in Kingston Penitentiary. Had Jesse been a prisoner? I later learned much more about Jesse when Ron published his family history book in 2013 and in a recent file I received from the Archives of Ontario (but that’s another story).
Before my trip, I had researched about Kingston and one of the things I wanted to do was go on the Kingston Trolly Tour. I wanted to really understand the city and get a feel for its history. After all, not only was this where Jesse Shannon had died but it was also where William Beaton had been born and grew up. I thought it was interesting that at the time, the Trolly Tour drove through the courtyard of Rockwood Asylum closer to the end of the tour.
After the tour, I drove back to the campground where we’d parked the RV. My husband; Kevin had gone back to Edmonton and he would return at the end of the month to drive the RV home. By this time it was almost dark. I’d pulled all the blinds and was settling down to watch something on TV when suddenly there was a noise from outside of the RV. As you can imagine after going to Rockwood and to another stop; Skeleton Park I was jumpy, to say the least.
I looked outside and couldn’t see anything. But I did see that the awning had rolled in and that was probably what I’d heard. The strange thing is that the awing was set to automatically roll back in only when it was windy and there wasn’t even a breeze. I quickly locked the door. I later told my husband that perhaps Jesse was just letting me know that he’d appreciated my interest in his story.
Do you have a story? Spooky or otherwise? I’d like to hear about it. By the way; the awning never did do that again. Only when it was windy like it was supposed to.