The Devil You Say in Carleton Place? Updates!

The Devil You Say in Carleton Place? Updates!


In 2011 the archdiocese of Ottawa, which has one official exorcist on hand,  reported seeing an average of four major exorcisms per year over the past five years. A Quebec Catholic priest said in 2010 that he has performed roughly a dozen exorcisms since he was ordained nearly five years ago.

Indeed, exorcisms have been carried out in Canada for generations — albeit quietly, and in relatively small numbers as compared to countries such as Italy, where the belief in demons is more widespread. In Canada the church has a handful of official exorcists, and additional priests whose role it is to investigate cases of alleged demonic activity as reported by the public. Of course we all remember the film The Exorcist. The day after the film debut all hell broke loose with local Catholic priests telling their congregation that the film would nauseate you and violate many of your religious sensibilities.

In March of 1903 a shocking affair occurred in Carleton Place at about 4 pm in the afternoon. Nelson McWilliams was stabbed in the right lung by his step-father Alden Mathers at the house of the latter on the north end of town. It seems the younger man who was *married to Ida Amanda Coleman also of Carleton Place was extremely worried about his mother. As he lived close to his stepfather had gone over to see his mother who was quite ill. He believed the evil had control of her and insisted she summon the good Baptist Reverend- Reverend Hagen to help her.

Mrs. Mathers and her son then had a quarrel in which her husband, who was between 70 and 75 years of age, obtained possession of a knife and inserted a dangerous wound in McWilliams chest. Drs. McIntosh and Muirhead were in attendance and did not express a favourable opinion as to the probability of the young mans recovery. Mathers, was immediately put in custody. No word, (no matter how hard I looked today) what the outcome of the two gentleman was, or if Mrs. Mather eventually went all Linda Blair in Carleton Place.  But, I did find in some genealogy records that  Nelson McWilliams did have a child with Ida Amanda Coleman before the incident, and Bertha Jane was barely 4 when this event took place. The Catholic church continues to recognize the possibility of diabolical intervention in lives, but insists the evil is primarily personal.


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Linda Seccaspina look what we found in a recently donated police constable’s book! Actual receipt for the police services for the matter–March 1903

Arrest of Mather Alden A Mather Murder

Served Summons

Ateending Justice

Mileage to Perth Gaol ( jail)

Car fare

25 meals at 20 cents


*May 1895– Perth Courier

McWilliams-Coleman—Married, on May 15, at the Baptist Manse, Almonte, by Rev. R. Hagen, Mr. Nelson McWilliams, to Miss Ida Amanda Coleman both of Carleton Place.

Nelson Mcwilliams

mentioned in the record of Bertha Jane Mcwilliams
Name Nelson Mcwilliams
Gender Male
Wife Ida Amanda Coleman
Daughter Bertha Jane Mcwilliams
Other information in the record of Bertha Jane Mcwilliams
from Ontario Births
Name Bertha Jane Mcwilliams
Event Type Birth
Event Date 23 Jul 1899
Event Place Carleton Place, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Gender Female


 - ALDEN MATHERS GOES FOR TRIAL Bs is Committed at...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 31 Mar 1903, Tue,
  3. Page 1

There was no other word what happened no matter how hard I searched.:)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte


Outside Looking in at The Eccentric Family of Henry Stafford — Our Haunted Heritage

The Funeral Train That Went Through Carleton Place — Our Haunted Heritage

Stairway to Heaven in a Cemetery? Our Haunted Heritage

Old Wives Tales of Death — Our Haunted Heritage

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Death by Corset? Bring Out Your Dead and Other Notions! Our Haunted Heritage

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

The Non Kosher Grave — Our Haunted Heritage

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

One response »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s