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

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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