The Five Fishermen is one of the most well known haunted locations in not just Halifax but all of Canada. Whenever you come across articles such as 'top ten haunted places in Canada' The Five Fishermen is guaranteed to be on that list. In the fall of 2014 I received a message from Suzette Belliveau of CTV wondering if our group would be interested in working on a Halloween episode for CTV news, a two part episode that would air just before October 31. I instantly accepted, and Suzette and I began brainstorming places that we could shoot an episode that would capture the imaginations and interest of viewers. Shortly after our initial conversation she messaged me to let me know that the general manager of the Five Fishermen was interested and excited to allow us to shoot our episode at her location. Our team was extremely eager for the opportunity, as we would be the first paranormal group to visit the location for a formal investigation.
The building at 1740 Argyle street was constructed in 1817, with plans for the building to be a schoolhouse. The schoolhouse doors opened the following year, where classes were held for several years. The building then changed hands and the new proprietor changed the school over to an art school, known as the Halifax Victorian School of Art. The art school prospered for a few years, before moving to a new location in the city. It is at this point that the Snow family became the proprietors, and the building was renovated to serve as the Snow Families mortuary and funeral home. John Snow & Co. funeral home would play significant roles in two of the worst disasters in Canadian history.
In 1912 when the Titanic sank off of the coast of Newfoundland many of the bodies recovered were brought to Snows Funeral home for proper arrangements of the bodies to be planned. Two of the bodies that were brought to the building were John Jacob Astor IV who was the richest man on the ship, and Charles M Hayes, the president of Grand Trunk Railway.
In December of 1917 the Halifax Explosion claimed over 2000 lives and decimated a large part of the city. In the aftermath of this tragic disaster Snows funeral home played a part in storing the remains of victims as well as preparing their arrangements. It is no wonder that the building is haunted, with all of the negative emotion and energy that it has seen over the years. Staff members to this day report seeing both male and female apparitions in the building, experience walking through brief pockets of extremely cold air, and of hearing crashes and bangs from the kitchen as they were closing the restaurant for the night. Upon investigating they found utensils and pots and pans had been tossed around the room and knocked over.
During our investigation, a staff member told us that one of the more disturbing rumours is that the ladies washroom had been the scene of several exorcisms. I could not find any solid evidence or stories to back this claim, but I can say that the washroom is very oppressive and you feel unwell while you are in there. Several staff members and patrons have reported hearing a woman sobbing in the stall next to them. After knocking on the stall door and glancing under the door, they were shocked to learn the stall was in fact empty. Two of our members set up equipment while we were investigating in attempts to record evidence throughout the night.
Another area that we set up equipment and began investigating is the wine cage that is located close to the main dining area. If you look at the wine cage area, you will see that the pulley system is still in place from the buildings funeral home days. This is the area that they would raise and lower the caskets via the pulley system.
One of the highlights of our investigation was discovered after I reviewed evidence that Suzette Belliveau and Darcy O'Neil were conducted an ITC session at a dining room table. During their first attempts to communicate with a spirit they both heard a male voice trying to come through. Darcy asks if a male spirit is present an wanting to communicate with the. In the clip below after Darcy asks this at 0:15 a male voice says 'it's drake'. What makes this clip relevant and fascinating is that after Suzette researched in the Halifax archives she discovered William Drake was a 20 year old man living in Halifax when he was killed in the Halifax Explosion. His remains were sent to Snows Funeral Home to be prepared for burial. Hos body would have been worked on no more than ten feet from where Darcy and Suzette were sitting when they recorded this. As with all our audio I would recommend headphones while listening to this clip.
It's always amazing to not only get evidence, but to be able to back it up by researching in archives to find out if the evidence or answer that you received was indeed a valid answer. In another part of the building we set up a REM pod to register EMF fields interfering with the device. The area that we set this device up on is well know by the staff as being an active area. Items being knocked over and thrown, including ashtrays have been reported here. When the device started to go off and registering a strong EMF manipulation around it we also recorded a shadow at 0:40 moving over the device and then back down again quickly. The video is attached below.
While in the wine cage area, we asked the question 'how many spirits are in the room right now' and immediately at 0:06 recorded a male voice saying 'twelve'
During our stay here we continued to receive and record evidence. It was a complete privilege to be able to investigate this historic and iconic location, and our team hopes to return for another investigation as well as a public event in the future. If you're in the area, definitely check out The Five Fishermen.