• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Local hauntings – Exorcism on l’Île-Perrot


PHOTO COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK

A theory exists that a certain neighbourhood on the island of Île-Perrot was the site of many battles centuries ago between the Iroquois and Huron tribes where much blood was allegedly spilled.


Over the next few weeks, in the spirit of Halloween, we will review some of the local supernatural folklore. Anyone with an interest in the occult knows about the most infamous haunted houses in Vaudreuil-Soulanges but local legends tell much more than just ghost stories. The area is also known for its tales of werewolves, sorcerers, pacts with the devil, cursed battlegrounds and other spooky things.

Most horror fans have seen one or two exorcism movies and the most fearless managed to sit through William Peter Blatty’s ‘The Exorcist,’ the seminal work of the genre against which all other films pale in comparison.

But despite the fiction there are many who say they have witnessed real exorcisms. While actual cases of exorcism are not usually as extreme as what we see in the movies, many priests and experts of the occult have been called to exorcise malevolent spirits. In the most ‘mundane’ cases, the exorcism is performed to rid a home of an evil presence and not necessarily to exorcise a demon out of a person. Regarding exorcism, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism.”

The catechism goes on to acknowledges that while possession is a very different matter than psychological illnesses, it stresses the importance of ascertaining that one is dealing with the presence of the ‘Evil One’ and not an illness before performing an exorcism.

Strange sounds

According to an article published in The Atlantic, Catholic exorcisms are gaining popularity in the US, but you don’t have to go to the US to read about exorcisms... right here in our region, a desperate homeowner called on a priest to help them deal with a wicked presence in their home. In order to protect the privacy of all concerned, the Catholic priest who performed the exorcism and the homeowner will remain anonymous, and the date and exact location of the events will not be divulged beyond the fact that this happened in the recent past on l’Île-Perrot. It all began when the homeowner started experiencing strange sounds in their home. They dispelled those noises as normal occurrences, at first. When the incidents started occurring more regularly, they began to wonder. They got concerned when they ran out of natural causes to explain away the events. And when it became evident that there was a dark will behind the incidents, they decided to call a priest.

The priest stated that the church provides special prayers (sacramentals, in Catholic church vernacular) for such cases. The priest performed the exorcism, and the house has been peaceful since then.

Something in the neighbourhood

But others in that same neighbourhood have reported similar events occurring in their homes. This is a third-person account but a witness testifies that her neighbour’s house was haunted. She claims a Protestant priest once had to leave her neighbour’s home during a visit because she felt a presence in the house that she could not withstand.

Another resident in that same neighbourhood reports several strange happenings in his home, including eerie floating lights, unexplained sounds, and waking up in the morning with scratches on his body. He consulted a medium and her answers scared him more than anything else; according to her, there were three entities in his home: one was of human origin, one animal, and the other... something else. She could not (or would not) identify the nature of the third entity. The owner took it upon himself to rid his home of those entities. He performed various rituals based on different faiths or belief systems until the strange occurrences ceased to occur.

Priest’s theory

It’s hard to say why that particular neighbourhood seems to be affected by such odd occurrences. The priest who performed the exorcism offers a theory: That area of the island was an important meeting point for native tribes long before the colonists arrived in the region. It was a main landing point for natives when they disembarked on the island. Iroquois and Huron fought many battles there. Much blood was spilled on that ground. It is believed that sites where people met violent deaths are often haunted by the spirits of the people who died there and that they often attract other entities. There is no science behind any of these claims, and even the historical accuracy of the natives' activities on that stretch of the island cannot be confirmed. Still, given the different testimonials listed here, one has to wonder....

All Hallows Eve is fast approaching, and this year it will coincide with the full Hunter’s Moon (also known as the Blood Moon, or the Sanguine Moon), and one can’t help but worry what other entities might be lurking in that area on the night when it is said that the spirits of the dead wander under the moonlight.

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