(All photos and graphics provided by StittsvilleCentral.ca)
Friday, September 13 marks the inaugural evening of a new season of Stittsville Haunted Heritage Tours. Like last year’s, the new season is selling out quickly, for good reason. Tour creator, Joseph Carbonetto, is not just a Halloween enthusiast. He is the founder of Intenseffex — a Stittsville-based company that designs and creates special effects props for film and television (CBC, AMC) as well as for escape rooms in Canada and the U.S. He is also the creator of 2017’s sold out “Manchester Hill Séance” experience and is planning a new one in an undisclosed Stittsville location for 2020.
The Haunted Heritage Tour is based on extensive research involving interviews with long-time residents, weaving Stittsville’s history with largely unknown stories that seem to elude explanation. Last year marked the first of these tours and response from across the greater Ottawa area revealed just how much the public enjoys discovering history through spine-tingling stories. All tours were sold out, leaving a waiting list of over 75 people for this year’s.
This season provides a twist featuring an entirely new and interactive tour beginning in a local cemetery, the site of several spooky legends. It includes stories relating to the Richmond bank robbery of 1938 and incidents in the Fernbank forest involving Scottish and Irish mystical folklore in the form of the legendary “Caoineag” (Scottish, pronounced [ˈkʰɯːɲak]) or “Banshee” (Irish). In Celtic mythology, this female spirit is said to foretell death in a clan by weeping, wailing or shrieking in the night at a waterfall, stream, forest or on a mountainside. According to local research, some of Stittsville’s historical figures had encounters with such a spirit.
The interactive component involves the ancient practice of dowsing—used traditionally for divination and for finding unseen objects or naturally occurring phenomena below the earth’s surface. Participants will acquire first hand experience by learning how to use dowsing instruments. The tour culminates at the location of a recently discovered pet cemetery.
Scary seasonal offerings do not end there. Carbonetto has been collaborating again with local mystery writer Allan McCarville on a second anthology following the release of their first book Legends, Folklore and Other Tales: Stories of a Haunted Stittsville. The first anthology has sold out in print form, but the Stittsville Branch of the Ottawa Public Library has a copy in their collection for those who missed last year’s tour. The book is also available in electronic format through Amazon.ca here.
The second anthology is expected to be released before Christmas.
Tickets for the 2019 edition of the Haunted Heritage Tour are available through eventbrite — http://bit.ly/StittsvilleHaunt2019 or on the Stittsville Haunted Heritage Tour Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/events/925853027772445/.
Use the promotional code “CENTRAL” on check-out for your 15% discount off the ticket price.
A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Goulbourn Township Historical Society and to Stittsville United Church.