Is there anything worse than building something glorious only to have it become a destroyer of your happiness? No, I'm not talking about this website and myself (j/k) but of the fate of Joseph Currier's mill and his bride.
Built in 1860, the young entrepreneur had made sure that the latest and best technology was part of his new mill in Manotick. His bride, named Anna (or Ann or Annie... apparently, there is some debate) was there to see the new mill and it was during her visit when her skirt got caught in the mechanics of the gears flinging her with some force into a supporting beam smashing her body horribly and killing her instantly. Joseph lost interest in continuing his career and resigned his "mill building" but apparently, his wife still lingers at the mill.
The story was brought to my attention by one of our regulars on our message board, Stu, and is covered admirably with the pages of Barbara Smith's book Ontario Ghost Stories (copyright 1998 - Lone Pine Publishing). According to Smith, the ghost always starts with a sound... a woman crying or moaning in pain. A "white shadow" of a woman has been seen within the upstairs part of the mill as well. A weird feeling of not being alone or being watched and the term "broke out in goose bumps" is stated quite often in the entry within the book. Of interest, is that much of the phenomena is experienced around 1pm in the afternoon (thus, in this case, Anna is not the usual "night-time" ghost) and two reports are mentioned in the book happening at 1:15pm which is roughly when Anna met her fate in the mill.
Update February 2012 A reader writes in:
A reader writes:
Hi there. I'm writing in regards to "paranormal experiences" while visiting the Mill. I've always had been drawn shall I say to certain things that creep others out. I cant really explain it but being near the Mill or around it gave me a sense of peace rather then being scared really. I've taken many pictures in the mill and had some photos turn out kinda strange but nothing that couldn't be rationalized.
One night though I was going for a walk and made my usual loop around the block and over to the Mill. I crossed paths with a friend of mine and decided to take a walk together and just chat. While standing on the Mill bridge talking I got this overwhelming feeling of spiderwebs on my hands that quickly spread to covering my face. I didn't say anything to my friend right away because usually when you come up the stairs to the bridge there's spiderwebs from the trees that you sometimes walk into but when i started to touch my hand to brush them away and the started to wipe my face I realized there were no webs and the feeling continued.
Almost like fingers gently touching your hands and face very lightly. By then I had told my friend what I was experiencing and tried harder to rid myself of the webs using my coat sleeve and scarf to rub my face and brushing my hands together and against my jacket. It was no use but the feeling subsided. I wasn't panicked but it was late however so we started to continue across the bridge in the mill's direction back up onto the road but as I started to turn and walk I felt what was as if someone lightly ran their hand over the back of my coat. It was winter so my jacket was pretty thick but the touch was enough that I felt it run from my left shoulder down to about mid waist with a very gentle tug at the end. Like a hand grasping at my coat to late and just slipped out of its fingers.
It was enough to feel through my coat and enough to startle me. I touched my shoulder and turned around but (cliche) there was nothing there which didn't surprise me. We were the only ones on the bridge and it was a still night. Even if there was a wind the feeling was something the wind could not. It was deliberate but not forceful or threatening. Maybe it was just a friendly hello. Maybe she liked my coat or my company. Either way after all my attempts at an experience there I finally got one I'm satisfied with. Thanks for letting me share my story.