The Witches and Spirit Communicators of Montague

The Witches and Spirit Communicators of Montague


Like Pakenham witches were said to be afoot in Montague Township. Apparently they were depriving the locals of their milk and butter in the summer, and god forbid they sucked off the maple sap in the Spring. Some of the farmers would boil and boil and not get one ounce of sugar from it and of course blame it on some of the mysterious women folk living near them.

Stories of seeing a man turn into snake near a Methodist praying site were the talk of the area.  It was said that once he gazed into a woman’s eyes and she was lifted up and transported to Perth. Unlike the transporters of Star Trek she was supposedly whisked over the fields through the air. No word if she took the short or longer way.

At an early date there lived in the vicinity of Kilmarnock, on the north side of the Rideau River, a man by the name of Croutch, who claimed to have the gift of foresight. Many old and respected settlers believed implicitly that he received warnings of the approaching death of any person who resided in the settlement. According to the testimony of his wife, who bore the reputation of being a Christian woman, Croutch would frequently retire to bed, where in vain he would seek slumber; restless and uneasy, he would toss from side to side, at times groaning and muttering names of the departed. Do what he would to shake off the mysterious spell, in the end he was compelled to submit.

Rising, he would quickly dress himself, take his canoe and paddle across the river, where he declared he always found waiting a specteral funeral procession, which he would follow to the grave yard, where all the rites and ceremonies would be performed. Croutch having watched the ghostly mourners fade away would then return home would retire to rest and sink into a profound slumber.

It was always with the greatest difficulty that Mrs. Croutch could ever elicit from her husband the name of the party, whose death had been heralded. It is related of the late Samuel Rose that upon one occasion he was in the company of Croutch, in crossing a common both saw a light. Croutch exclaimed, Did you hear that cry ? No, replied Mr. Rose. Oh, said the fatalist, it was the cry of a child, the name of which he gave and in a few days the child breathed its last.

Upon another occasion he predicted the death of a man named Mclntyre. Colonel Hurd, of Burritt’s Rapids, informs us that he knew Croutch and that far and wide and that he was regarded with terror by the children, who had learned from their parents his supposed power of communing with the spirits of the departed.–From “History of Leeds & Grenville” by Thad. W.H. Leavitt, Recorder Press, Brockville, 1879, page 88 There is no doubt that Croutch became a legend in the township of Montague and he decided to leave the area in 1811, but the tales of Isiah Croutch were talked about for years.

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


Different Seasons of Witches in Lanark County

Hocus Pocus –Necromancy at Fitch Bay

The Witch Hollow of Lanark County

An Interview with the Witch of Plum Hollow–Mother Barnes— The Ottawa Free Press 1891

My Grandmother was Mother Barnes-The Witch of Plum Hollow

A Bewitched Bed in Odessa

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

Plum Hollow Witch and The Mountain Man of Pakenham

Different Seasons of Witches in Lanark County

Local Miracle Story– Woken From a Ten Week Coma

The White Witch of Lanark County–Having the Sight

Barnes Buchanans and McCarten Family Photos–Doug B. McCarten

The Witches of Rochester Street

Hocus Pocus –Necromancy at Fitch Bay

The Witch of Plum Hollow – Carleton Place Grandmother

The Witch Hollow of Lanark County

The McCarten House of Carleton Place

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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