Top 5 urban legends from Quebec, including tales of a flying canoe and werewolf

Crédit photo: Shutterstock Top 5 urban legends from Quebec, including tales of a flying canoe and werewolf
Celebrating storytelling at its finest, the international Contes en Iles’ festival returns to Quebec’s stunning Magdalen Islands from September 5 – 14 with an array of local and international storytellers who will be sharing enchanting, passionate and sometimes frightening tales with listeners.

Brought to you by the fine folks at Les rendez-vous Loto-Québec, the fest has a lot of unique experiences to offer – here’s just a taste of what you can expect:

And now, to really get you in the mood, here are five classic Quebecois urban legends. Note: You might not want to read this if you’re about to go to sleep.
The Loup-Garou
A staple of Quebecois folklore, the story of the loup-garou AKA werewolf goes something like this: A young man named Andre wants to become a hunter and trapper and unknowingly apprentices with a man who’s a werewolf. What’s more, he’s different than other werewolves in that he’s able to change whenever he pleases (not only with the moon) and maintain his human intellect, making the loup-garou the perfect creature to scare children into listening. 
Mary Gallagher’s Ghost
The star of this tale was a prostitute who, in June 1879, was decapitated by a fellow lady of the night in a drunken fit of jealousy. It is said that every seven years, the ghost of Mary Gallagher walks the streets of Griffintown, visiting her old address - 242 William Street – in search of her head. Her next sighting is set to occur on June 27, 2019.
The Flying Canoe
One of the most popular legends in French Canada is the one of the flying canoe, which tells the story of a rich nobleman who preferred to spend his Sundays hunting rather than attending mass. As punishment, he was sentenced to spend eternity flying through the sky chased by horses and wolves. The tale was first written down by Honore Beaugrand and published in The Century Magazine in 1892.
The Queen Elizabeth Hotel’s Permanent Resident
The Queen Elizabeth, one of Montreal’s most famous hotels – it has played host to countless celebrities, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono during their 1969 bed-in – is believed to have a permanent resident who is no longer with us. Sightings of a woman in white wandering the halls and rooms have been repeatedly reported, as have strange voices and sounds seemingly coming from nowhere.
The Devil at the Dance
Published by Père Anselme Chiasson in 1969, The Devil at the Dance has several variations, like any good folk tale, but basically revolved around a young girl whose parents refuse her suitor simply because he’s Christian, stating they would rather the Devil court her. A week later, who else shows up on their doorstep but the Devil? Most often, the family is then quickly converted by a priest and the young lovebirds marry. Hoorah!

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