The Mystery of Baldoon
Between the years of 1829 and 1840, the family of farmer John T. McDonald experienced paranormal activity that was believed to be caused by a witch’s curse.
The occurrences began right after the family moved into the home McDonald built for them near his own father’s home by the Snye River.
Evidently, an “unpleasant” woman known as “the old woman in the Long Low Log House” lived in the area with her two sons and daughter. She coveted the property on which McDonald had built his home.
Everything was fine for the family and they were happy until one summer day while the men were off doing farm work and the mother and girls were in the barn preparing straw. One by one, the poles to the loft began falling. They fled to the house only to be assaulted by bullets flying through the windows “boring holes in the glass as though shot from a gun but would drop quietly and harmlessly to the floor.” They sought solace at a neighbor’s home until the menfolk returned.
Other paranormal activity experienced by the McDonalds included rocks and lead sinkers coming through the windows as well. The family would mark the stones and throw them in the river. These same rocks and sinkers would come through the windows, “dripping wet.” Eventually every window in the home was shattered.
They found a hot rock underneath their infant child causing it to scream in agony. They threw it in the river, only to have it fly back into the room seconds later. Another child was assaulted by a piece of soap thrown violently at his back. The family dog was assaulted by a ladle and left never to return.
Each evening for several years, the family would hear the sounds of men marching through the kitchen in a “slow, steady measured tread.”
Pots and pans would levitate off the kitchen table, knives would fly across the room, the tea kettle would fall off the stove to the floor, and chairs and tables would fall over seemingly of their own accord. The house itself would “rise as high as three feet from its foundations at the corners.”
The farm animals including oxen, horses, hogs and poultry would drop dead for no apparent reason.
Interestingly, the old witch approached Mrs. McDonald at one point requesting that she weave a carpet for her. Mrs. McDonald agreed because the old woman promised that “no trouble would befall” the house while she was working on the carpet for her. The old witch kept her word and no paranormal activity was experienced by the family during this time.
The activity became increasingly dangerous as time went on including guns firing when no one was near them; “small balls of fire” floating through the house and setting various parts on fire. The house eventually burned to the ground “when a dozen small fires started in the house” simultaneously. The family lost everything including the barn full of grain.
The McDonalds sought refuge with various family and friends, but the activity would follow them from house-to-house. Eventually, they took up residence in tents rigged from old sails until the cold of winter chased them indoors…even a haunted residence was preferable to the freezing Canadian winter.
The family became very depressed and desperate. They enlisted the aid of a preacher, an Indian shaman and even a “school teacher who had studied witchcraft.” All to no avail.
One day McDonald talked to a traveling Methodist clergyman who suggested he seek help from a young girl a great distance away who “was said to be gifted” with special powers.
McDonald made the long journey to ask the young girl for help. She agreed, but explained that using her powers caused her mental and physical pain and fatigue.
She asked Mr. McDonald “if he had ever seen a stray goose on his farm.” He said that he had and had attempted to shoot it, but failed. The girl answered that a bullet would not be able to harm this bird and that it was “the destroyer” of his family’s peace. She further explained that his enemy would take the shape of the bird to do them harm. She advised him to make a sterling silver bullet and wound the fowl. She told him he would then be at peace.
McDonald did just that calling upon his neighbors to witness the event. The bullet broke the bird’s wing. It made a strange sound like that of a “human being in distress” and escaped.
McDonald went over to the old witch’s home and found her sitting in a chair with a broken arm. “She muttered vague curses” and was visibly frightened of McDonald.
All paranormal activity ceased after that point.
The old woman was on her deathbed not long after, and begged her children to bring McDonald to her. They refused.
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