Trivia Thursday – The Baldoon Mystery, Pt 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of The Baldoon Mystery Trivia Thursday!

Last week, we posted the first half of the story of the Baldoon Witch, our own local legend, complete with 10 trivia questions whose answers were found within the story. This week we have the second half of the story for you, with ten new questions. Some answers are obvious while others might be harder to figure out. The answers are posted within the comment section. Do you think you can find them all?

Please feel free to leave a comment and let us know how you did. Missed the first half of our story last week? No problem! Click to read Part One and test yourself.

Ready…. Set… Go!

The Questions

  1. Some restaurants serve this all day.
  2. People without permanent homes, who tend to move based on the migratory habits of their livestock.
  3. Members of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or perform services.
  4. Traditional healers and spiritual leaders who serve a community of indigenous people of the Americas.
  5. A meeting in which someone (usually in a professional capacity) talks to a person about a problem or question.
  6. Though it is not found naturally in the state, this opalescent stone is the gemstone of the state of Florida.
  7. If you are an optimist, every cloud has a lining make of this precious metal.
  8. While the turkey and ham are now typically served with Christmas dinner, this fowl was the traditional Christmas meat for hundreds of years – and still is in many cultures.
  9. A thin strip of wood in the mouthpiece of main woodwind instruments.
  10. Because this mode of transportation was less dependent on wind patterns, new trade routes were opened, leading to the first wave of trade globalization in the mid-1800s.

The Story

Lauchlan MacDougald, another child of the Baldoon settlement and Wallaceburg pioneer, remembered the event well. “I was going up the river in a boat that morning in company with James Johnson, Sr., and William Fisher,” he said. “When we were opposite MacDonald’s place we perceived that John’s house was on fire, but as we were some distance from it we saw that it would be gone before we could reach it. The family were at breakfast yet and had not discovered the danger. Mr. Dan MacDonald’s house was nearer to us, and as they saw the fire they hailed us and asked us to assist them to carry out their furniture as they expected their own habitation would soon be in flames. We landed and helped them to carry out everything. In the meantime John’s house and barn were reduced to ashes together with all they contained, the family barely escaping with their lives. [John] came to us without his coat, saying that the clothes he had on were all they had saved.” 

The community helped the MacDonalds to replenish the losses they had suffered in the fire, and the family of five sought temporary refuge with John’s brother-in-law while they undertook efforts to rebuild their log cabin. But no sooner had they taken quarter when similar annoyances began to occur. After several little fires spontaneously broke out, the MacDonalds were forced to seek shelter elsewhere, fearing that the brother-in-law’s house too would burn. The strange activity followed the family wherever it went; and for a period of time they lived like nomads, moving from place to place, unable to find solace. Finally they gathered up all the old sails they could find in the neighbourhood and rigged up a tent to shelter them. But they could not live like that for long; once winter set in, even the haunted log cabin was preferable to the frigid tent. After the family moved back indoors, John resumed all efforts to remove the poltergeist, seeking counsel from Protestant missionaries, native medicine men, and Catholic priests. Nothing worked.

Then John learned from a traveller about a doctor in Long Point, a town eighty miles away, whose daughter was said to be possessed with the gift of second sight. Rev. McDorman accompanied John on the two-day journey to the house of Dr. J. F. Troyner; upon arrival, they implored him to allow a consultation with the fifteen-year-old Dinah. The girl listened to John’s miserable story, and then retired to her bedroom to read her moonstone. Miss Troyner emerged from her chambers, exhausted and dishevelled, three hours later and reported that an old woman who lived in a long log house sought to drive the MacDonalds from their property. This, said Miss Troyner, was the source of all John’s difficulties. She asked John if he had seen a stray goose wandering his farm since the troubles had begun. After he replied that he had been seeing a strange goose in his flock now and again for some time, Miss Troyner told him to shoot it with a bullet cast of solid silver, for lead would do it no harm. The girl insisted that the old woman would be similarly wounded, and the hauntings would come to an end.

As soon as John MacDonald arrived home the next evening, he melted a piece of sterling silver into a bullet just as Miss Troyner had instructed. Rifle in hand, he searched for the goose in the field, and at first sight fired the silver bullet directly into its black wing. The goose gave a shriek like a human being in agony and escaped through the reeds under the cover of darkness. The next day, John and several companions ventured passed the long log house owned by the elderly Mrs. Buchanan. There the old woman sat on her front porch in an agitated state, nursing a broken arm. No more supernatural manifestations disturbed the MacDonald property thereafter.

As the story passed into history, eyewitness testimonials from prominent local figures lent the tale credibility and assured the continued spreading of its fame. Forty years later, Neil McDonald, John’s youngest son, interviewed twenty-six older local villagers that had witnessed the haunting. He collected their statements and published them serially in the Wallaceburg News; afterwards, the stories were collected into a booklet and published under the title, The Baldoon Mystery: An Intriguing Story of Witchcraft near Wallaceburg, Ontario. The story continued to circulate into the twentieth century: in the 1920s, the Northern Navigation Grand Trunk Route offered day-cruises from Detroit to Chatham aboard the Thousand Islander steamship. When the ship passed through Wallaceburg on the Chenal Ecarte, deckhands were quick to point out the “haunted house” to enthusiastic patrons. The Baldoon Mystery soon became one of Ontario’s most famous ghost stories, securing a lasting legacy for the little Scottish settlement.

1 Response
  1. wallaceburgadultactivitycentre

    The Answers:
    1. Breakfast
    2. Nomads
    3. Missionaries
    4. Medicine Men
    5. Consultation
    6. Moonstone
    7. Silver
    8. Goose
    9. Reed
    10. Steamship

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