Where Did it End?
It’s unknown if one incident finally pushed the family to seek external help or if they were growing weary of the constant harassment from unseen forces. However, the Macdonalds finally decided to take action and hopefully address the paranormal incidents. They first discussed the matter with the local priest who was experienced in performing exorcisms. Although he applied his best efforts, there was no change in the constant barrage of terror.
According to some sources, the Macdonald family eventually met with a woman gifted with the powers of “second sight”. They travelled a long distance to hear her perspective on what was haunting the family. She apparently postulated that the strange incidents were due to a curse being placed on the property by an old woman. Some had said that the Macdonalds were involved in a minor spat with a woman and her sons when they originally purchased the property in the early 1820s, so perhaps she was the cause of their misfortune.
With the passage of time, it’s somewhat unclear how the events unfolded. Some folklore suggested that the Macdonalds performed a ritual to rid them of the poltergeist and the incidents suddenly stopped. According to some re-tellings, the seer suggested that the Macdonalds needed to shoot a black goose with a silver bullet, as the old woman had used witchcraft on the bird and it was the source of the activity.The Macdonalds followed the advice and shot the black goose in the wing. Shortly after, the family saw the old woman with her arm in a sling. These actions apparently prompted the end of the strange occurrences but the exactly line between fact and fiction has become somewhat blurred over the years.
The Daily Province – December 22, 1930
Exactly what brought such an abrupt end to the strange incidents is an alluring part of this mystery. Whether the story about the curse is true or not, the incidents at the Macdonald farm did stop. Talk about the strange events in Baldoon quieted by the mid 1830s and the farm was no longer a destination for the paranormally curious. After three years of living in terror, the family could finally enjoy their property. Curious onlookers continued to periodically stop by, but there was nothing more to see.
Ironically, the haunted house did eventually burn to the ground in 1930.
Detroit Free Press – August 31, 1930
The Baldoon mystery remains one of the most well-known historic Canadian mysteries of all time. For nearly 200 years, people have been entranced by the story of flying objects, spontaneous fires, and forceful cradle rocking. However, separating the truth from the lore can be difficult. The story has been retold so many times that it’s tough to tell fact from fiction.
Although the story was told in newspapers at the time, they were intentionally sparse on details and instead encouraged people to travel to see it for themselves. The main source of the story we know today comes from eye witness accounts gathered by Neil Macdonald, a son of John, who was 5 years old at the time of the incidents. His extensive account matches many of the newspaper versions from the 1830s. However, later storytellers have used his account to develop fantastical versions of the tale to further spook the public. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as interest in the paranormal grew, there was re-invigorated interest in the Baldoon mystery and that is when certain fictional elements likely entered the story.
However, even if you discount the more sensationalized reporting, there was clearly something going on in Baldoon in the early 1830s. There were too many witnesses, documented accounts, strange incidents and attempted deconstructions by skeptics to simply discount the stories as pure imagination. While we will never know exactly what caused the paranormal events in Baldoon so long ago, we know that the mystery will continue to interest Canadians for decades to come.
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Brittney Anne Bos, PhD
Haunted Walk Tour Guide & Host