Originally Posted by kwajo
I live in a very coastal place where every little cove and inlet has ghost stories associated with it. As a child growing up, we were told dozens of ghost stories, which really helped us gain an appreciation for the history of the area in which we live. It is so much a part of our culture that seeing odd things or hearing sounds at night in the woods or along the shore isn't abnormal. That isn't to say that we don't get scared of ghosts, but these things are regular occurrences in a region with hundreds of years of settlements and military battles.
Some of my personal encounters always seem to stem from the water or old mines. One of my favourties is from my grandfather himself. The story took place on the island of Grand Manan, a rather large isle in the Bay of Fundy which is divided into 2 halves. On the East side you've got the quaint fishing villages, friendly people, tourist shops, etc. (it's like the coast of New England for those who know it). On the West side of the island, there are no permanent settlements, the trees grow shorter as they've been stunted by the wind, and the whole 25 mile coast is made up of dark cliffs rising 400 feet from the ocean surface. This dark side of the island is notorious with mariners and locals for its strange character. I've been there numerous times and I call tell you there is something odd about that place. As soon as you step upon her shore, you feel different. There is an eeriness in the air, the sun never shines warmth upon your back, and men are driven to strange behaviour. The shore along here is riddled with dozens of shipwrecks from ill-fated tall ships who never reached their destination. It was a refuge for pirates in the 1700s, and in the 20th century, it was a hideout for rum smugglers on their way to the USA from Canada during prohibition.
So I don't think I need to tell you that there are some frightening ghosts in the environs. If you spend the night in the woods there, be prepared to hear the Dungarven Whooper (the ghost of a young man from a logging camp who murdered his boss' daughter, and then was killed in revenge); or to see a ghost ship cross the horizon, sometimes with a lantern glowing faintly on the bow (when the ghosts ships appear, the wind grows still and all sound ceases as the whales stop breaching at the surface).
Many a man has tried to tame the West side of Grand Manan, for it holds a wealth of copper in its basalt cliffs. One of these men was my grandfather who opened a mine near Money Cove almost a century ago (Money Cove is name such because a treasure ship wrecked there in the 19th century causing hundreds of gold doubloons to wash ashore, and some still do even today after big storm surges). Everyone told him he was a fool to start a mine over there, and he had a harm time finding labourers willing to work for him. Eventually he found enough miners and began the operation. After a year he was having great success, returning large chunks of copper and the deeper they dug into the cliffs, the higher quality of copper they would find. One night, his workers headed across the island into town for a night of drinking, and my grandfather remained alone in the cabin at the mine. He was sitting reading next to his lamp when he heard the door open. He turned to look and didn't see anyone, so assumed it was the wind. He resumed reading, but then a few minutes later the door opened again and he heard heavy footsteps across the wooden floor of the cabin. He got up and looked around, and saw nothing. He again closed the door and went back to his reading. An hour or so passed, and heard the footsteps again - only this time the door hadn't opened first. He stood up suddenly, and said firmly, "Is there anyone there?" Then from the empty darkness of the cabin he heard a voice reply, "Just you and me." My grandfather immediately said, "Well give me a minute to put my boots on, and it'll be just you." He grabbed his boots and left the cabin and walked 12 miles in the dark woods straight to town without stopping. After that night he shut down the mine, burned all documentation of it and never returned to the West side of the island. Even 50 years later, he would not even step foot on the other shore, would not talk about that night, and wouldn't tell anyone where the mine or the cabin were.
I'm sure I have some other tales of Maritime ghosts that I have seen to tell, but I'll save them for another time.