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Manitoulan Island, Ontario


This story occurred back in the summer of 1964 when I was nine years old, on the annual family vacation. We packed up the station wagon headed north to the Island from Windsor, Ontario. After a three hour car ferry ride from Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula, we arrived at South Baymouth. My dad rented a large cottage on Lake Manitou for a week and for a kid from the big city, it was a week of adventure.

There was a small town nearby we would take daily trips to shop for supplies. On the road to town on the second day, we passed a small cemetery no more than 20 feet the road. What caught my eye was all the grave markers were wood. What also caught my eye as an older Indian man in native dress. Our eyes locked and a chill ran down my spine. I thought nothing of it because having grown up on cowboys and Indian movies, I always looked at Indians as the bad guys. I learned that many Indians did live on the island who went back thousands of years. On the journey back to cottage from town, we passed the cemetery again, and the man was still standing at the gate. I thought nothing further of it, thinking he was some kind of caretaker.

Our daily trips to town continued and the Indian was always standing at the gate. By about the fourth day as we passed the cemetery, I told my brother to look at him. He claimed he did not see anything and as usual said, "You're imagining things". Now, in my younger life, I had several paranormal experiences, including seeing spirits. Being the youngest in the family, I gave up telling my parents and siblings of my experiences because they always thought I was lying or just had a vivid imagination.

The sightings continued every day. On the last evening of our stay, we went into town and had dinner at the only restaurant there. While heading back, or was dusk and darkness fell rather quickly. As we approached the cemetery, I thought no way the Indian would be at the gate. Well, I saw a silhouette at gate. I was not expecting to what came next. His face had a weird glow with a demonic smile, while he started directly at me again. I did not experience just a chill this time but my blood ran cold as my whole body shook. I then felt nauseous and before I could tell my dad, I vomited my whole dinner into the floor well of back seat. I spent a sleepless night before leaving the Island the next day. Thankfully we took the north route from the Island and not having to pass the cemetery again.

It was not until I was older and spoke with mediums and psychics did I realize all my experiences were genuine and not an overactive imagination. I believe I was the only one in my family of six who could see the Indian that week. I believe he was some kind of centennial for that cemetery and perhaps had an axe to grind with the white race. I am retired now and just may make a return visit someday to Manitoulin Island. Maybe leave flowers at the gate of that little cemetery.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, JamesF, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

unquiet (4 stories) (16 posts)
5 years ago (2019-07-18)
I enjoyed your spooky story! Sounds like a beautiful region.
Caz (342 posts)
5 years ago (2019-07-07)
Hi James,
What an interesting story and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Native man held a grudge against the whites. I think your idea of going back to leave flowers at the gate would be a wonderful gesture and perhaps show that not all the white people were bad! Thank you for sharing your story and please let us know if you do decide to make that trip! ((HUGS))
RCRuskin (9 stories) (820 posts)
5 years ago (2019-07-06)
Hi again, James. Again, I must say I am far from an expert on this but while looking up other things, I learned that Manitoulan Island is named after the Manitou, what Native Americans call any spirit but most especially the Great Spirit. So I find it interesting that you saw a Native American spirit on an island named after Native American Spirits.

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