It Came From a Lanark County Bayou?


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Bayous are either stagnant or slow-moving bodies of water which fill abandoned waterways. The term by itself usually refers to a very slow stream, while the term bayou lake is often used to describe lakes or ponds in similar conditions. A bayou is normally found in very flat regions, as the lack of a slope reduces the speed at which the water flows. It is usually the outflow from a nearby major waterway, such as the Mississippi river, and as such may be affected by flooding in the main waterway.

Because of its often maze-like character, eternal dampness, and sometimes haunting vegetation, the bayou is often the location in fiction of frightening stories. Tales of voodoo often take place there, and a number of horror stories are set in the deep bayou, far from civilization. But what about the bayou just outside Drummond Centre off Highway 7?


So what happened on a lone road near a Drummond Bayou one night? Sometimes you wonder if things really happen or if they are tales by revisionists hoping to make a story more spectacular. When a huge storm passed through Lanark County last summer something happened that people still question and talk about. I heard the story a few times and the words somehow held their ground each time I heard it; so I am going to tell you this unbelievable tale.

An out of province traveller found himself on the side of the road with car troubles just outside Drummond Centre, which lies in the back country of Eastern Ontario just off Highway 7. He decided he needed to get help so he began to hitchhike in the middle of a late night thunderstorm. It was raining so hard he could barely see his hand in front of his face.


Suddenly he saw a ghost-like car creeping slowly towards him and it stopped inches away from his feet. The man, who was now soaking wet, was desperate, so he jumped in and closed the door. Funny thing was there was no driver behind the wheel and the sound of an engine could not be heard over the rain. As he sat there shaking with fright the car slowly moved down the road.

Terrified of jumping back out into the storm he began to pray and begged for his life as he saw the car was fast approaching a curve. He was positive that the end was near and the car would go off the road into the swamp.


Minutes before the car hit the curve a shadow appeared at the driver’s window and a hand reached in and turned the steering wheel. The hand, once it had guided the car around the curve, disappeared as fast as it had first appeared. Paralyzed with fear the man watched the hand reappear every few minutes.

Scared to death and unable to endure anymore he jumped out of the car and walked as fast as he could towards Perth. Wet and in shock his voice quivered as he told a restaurant owner on the edge of town about his supernatural experience. People somehow realized he was telling the truth and every single person in that establishment had goosebumps on their arms after he told his story.

Half an hour later two men appeared at the same restaurant and one says to the other,

“Look Wayne, ders dat idiot that rode in our car when we was pushin’ it in the rain eh?”


So what do you think? Did it really happen or is it a Lanark County “I caught a big fish” tale?


Believe it or Not!


Images and text: Linda Seccaspina 

Related Reading

Lanark County 101 — It Began with Rocks, Trees, and Swamps

Let’s Talk About Mud Baby!

Living In Constant Sorrow in a Lanark Swamp



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.

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