I don’t have many photos from my childhood, but this photo above is a favourite of mine. I have often wondered what this doll was as I have never come across it in my research journeys until last week. There it was, staring at me from the 1954 pages of the Almonte Gazette. I remember my doll talking, but it wasn’t 24 inches long so I assume it was a fake Trudy doll bought at the local 5 and 10 “The Ritz Store” situated on the Main street in Cowansville, Quebec.
My people didn’t travel much, so my beloved doll was a knock off, just like the knock off purse I got myself last week. But, my friend Stacey says we shouldn’t call anything fake anymore— you call it “designer inspired” as it’s all about the verbiage. Sovthe Trudy doll I had was “designer inspired” LOLOLOL.
This doll meant a lot to me as my mother was in the hospital a lot so she was a constant friend. I even used her on my book about cancer, because I never forgot her.
Trudy is long gone, so when I tried to find about the doll I found out that one of the Trudy dolls became haunted. This is nothing new to me– seriously…. read-The Spirits Are Alive and Well
On one of my excursions, we headed to a well known haunted area of the Maine coast called Wiscasset. Naturally when I saw a lawn sale at a run down house directly next door an old run down cemetary I had to stop. The toys were being ‘sold’ by the girl in the family who was maybe 7. She had all her items displayed on a blanket and was sitting with them. I thought it was strange that she had a doll in a box it didnt go in so I decided to ask this girl about it! I asked how much she wanted for the doll, and asked her if that was her original box, knowing it wasnt.
She looked at me point blank and said: “No, I put her in the box to keep her still at night”. I said, “Well did it work”? She said, “Not until I put the tape on it”. I have left this this taped up and have never opened the box.I could tell this girl was dealing with something supernatural in her life. She felt that whatever entity was in this doll had been contained to the box. There is immediately something scarey or strange about this doll in the box. The box was made of tin & plasticand I did not buy it.
I later saw a similar crazy doll on EBay (in a box) sell for $500.
Double, double, toil and trouble; no more Love Potion Number 9’s but we can still buy these silly dolls. I wonder if the sales of “Jesus or Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich” will now have restrictions? Cheesus Christ!
Well at least each eBay sale is protected through PayPal; but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scammed by a Craigslist soul. Sadly these people that once bought these new prohibited items are now going to have to settle for an out-of-eBay experience. I used to think these things were scary– I realized real people are LOLOL
After arriving by steerage, the children (300-400 per boat) were sent to distributing and receiving homes, such as Fairknowe in Brockville, MacPherson sisters in Belleville, Dr. Bernado in Peterborough and Toronto and then sent on to farmers in the area. Although many of the children were poorly treated and abused, some did experience a better life here than if they had remained in the urban slums of England. Many served with the Canadian and British Forces during both World Wars. read-Canadians Just Wanted to Use me as a Scullery-Maid
A Baby Castle? I had written a few stories about Dr. Barnardos but never ever heard of a baby castle, but there was one.
Dr Barnardo’s Homes, Babies Castle, Hawkhurst, Kent
Contains sensitive personal information where release would distress or endanger an individual who was a minor at date of file
Lord Chancellor’s Instrument:
LCI 89 – Series containing both closure and accelerated opening instruments
LCI signed date:
1990 October 04
Record opening date:
01 January 2041
Morning Post – Tuesday 10 August 1886
THE “BABIES CASTLE” AT HAWKHURST.
Yesterday her Royal Highness the Princess Mary Adelaide visited Hawkhurst, Kent, for the purpose of opening a new institution in connection with the philanthropic work carried on by Dr. Barnardo. The visit was made the occasion of a remarkable display of loyalty by the residents of the surrounding districts. The building opened is termed “Babies Castle,” and the plan for the establishment of the new institution was conceived three years ago, when Mr. Theodore Moilliet bequeathed two villa houses at Hillside, Hawkhurst, to Dr. Barnardo.
Provision was at that time made in these houses for infant children who could be better dealt with there than in the East-end of London, but it was soon found that the old building was too small, and the necessity for a separate building for treating the infectious disorders incident to childhood also became apparent. As a valuable site was included in the original gift, it was eventually resolved to erect a house to accommodate 100 infants and their nurses, and the results of the carrying out of this resolve were inaugurated yesterday by her Royal Highness.
The bulk of the visitors left town by a special train, and the Princess followed in a second special, which arrived at Etchingham Station shortly before four o’clock. Her Royal Highness was received upon the platform by a guard of honour, composed of detachments of the local volunteers. The Princess, who was accompanied bjy Princess Victoria and Princes George and Adolphus of Teck, then entered an open carriage drawn by four grey horses, and with outriders proceeded to Hawkhurst. The scene upon the road was one of remarkable enthusiasm, the villages being gaily decorated, and many triumphal arches marking the line of route.
Upon arriving at the institution the Princess was received by Mr. S. G. Sheppard, chairman of the committee of Dr. Barnardo’s Homes, Viscount and Lady Cranbrook, Dr. Barnardo, and several members of the committee, and was greeted by a royal salute from the West Kent Yeomanry and Hawkhurst Rifle Volunteers. An address of welcome was then presented by the committee to her Royal Highness, who graciously accepted the same; and after a dedicatory prayer had been recited by Archdeacon Harrison, Dr. Barnardo briefly explained to the large company assembled the history and intentions of the institution reminding his hearers that the site had been given by a friend who had been a kind and liberal supporter of the whole work in which he was engaged. The “Babies Castle” was the 30th and last institution established in connection with the homes, and from its operations the best results were anticipated.
Purses containing in the aggregate a sum of upwards of £250 were then presented to the Princess Mary Adelaide, who afterwards formally declared the institution open, and intimated that she desired to become its president. Luncheon was subsequently served, and at the conclusion of the proceedings her Royal Highness and children left for Lord and Lady Cranbrook’s residence near Staplehurst.
The Babies Castle was officially opened on 9th August 1886 this institution was for the reception of babies. In 1908 Babies Castle became a mixed home for children under eight years of age. It was particularly used for babies and young children who, owing to their physical condition, were not suited for boarding out.
On the 21st September 1927 the new extension that had been built was officially opened another outstanding event of that year was the installation of a wireless set which was used for the first time on Christmas Day when the older children listened to the Children’s Service.
In 1964 The Babies Castle was listed as a Nursery with 48 places which was a vast reduction from the early days.
To let you know a little more information we will use the notes of Thomas John Barnardo written about 1887
“Up till the year 1884 the “baby question” met me at every turn in the course of my work, and no answer to its insistent beseeching was possible. I might rescue a family of little girls from circumstances of direct dis*tress, and the Ilford Homes (Barkingside Village) gladly welcomed them; but how about the baby brother?”
So wrote Thomas John Barnardo in about 1887 and the notes give something of the problems he was experiencing in housing destitute children of both sexes. Since The Girls Village Home, Barkingside. (the Ilford Homes, as he describes them), was founded for destitute girls of all ages; the problem of where to house the babies of the male gender, seems to have been really acute, but then he goes on to describe how the problem was eventually solved.
“I need hardly say that I had already placed a baby in every one of the cottages at Ilford, the “mother” of which felt equal to such a responsibility; but this opening was soon ex*hausted, and then what was to be done? I have learned that God never sets His people a problem with*out keeping the answer in waiting, and just when my path seemed hedged with thorns, a way was unex*pectedly opened through the kindness of a friend of long standing, one who has since then, gone to his rest the late Mr. Theodore Moilliet. This gentleman, who owned property at Hawkhurst, offered me the villa of Hillside, consist*ing of two small houses, with the accompanying land, as a free gift to be used for the benefit of the Homes. At that very time my fundamen*tal principle of never refusing ad*mission to desti*tute cases was in imminent danger of break*ing down with regards to the babies. As I have said, most of the Ilford cottages were furnished with a baby, and it seemed impossible to provide for the rescue of several urgently needed cases just then under my observation. How joyfully and thankfully I accepted this timely offer at Hawkhurst can easily there*fore be imagined.”
“The gradual extension of my work brought an even larger number of cases within my purview. When, as during the pe*riod under notice some 7,000 children come under my notice for in*vestigation in a single year, it would, indeed, be strange if not more than thirty babies at anyone time required in*stitutional care. Hence the old trouble began to re-assert itself not very long after the opening of the origi*nal Babies Castle. It was dif*ficult to accommodate sixty babies where there was room for only thirty, as it was to accommodate thirty where there was room for none; and soon an urgent call arose once more for enlarged space at Hawkhurst. Babies – above all, neglected babies – cannot be dealt with rightly … through the mere “by efforts” of Insti*tutions not specially devoted to their rescue. Hence it was definitely decided, after much inconvenience had been ex*perienced, to erect, on the land given, as already de*scribed, a new Babies Castle which should gather in all the waifs whom I find deserted and maimed on the very threshold of life.
In 2017 I wrote a story about the The Jinxed House of Crown Point. It was a story about a home that certainly had its sinister history. When the Bender family left Kanata in 1975 and moved into the two storey stone structure located near Constance Bay on what is called Crown Point they joked about its haunted history. When they later moved out of the home they no longer joked about the house with a horrible history as many things had happened to them.
You would think that only one or maybe two stories would be necessary to document this house. Like my home, if things go bump in the night, they go bump in the night, and not much you can do about it. In November one of my readers, Lynn Lefevbre sent me a newspaper clipping from the West Carleton News from the late 1990s. It was a story written by Sarah Trant about the old Grierson Home, which is yes, The Jinxed House of Crown Point.
Maybe I should save it for Halloween I thought and it has been sitting in my pile of papers next to my laptop for months. That was until yesterday. Do I believe these stories about haunted and cursed homes? Why yes I do, as I live in one of these ‘shadow homes’. The only spirits in my home have been documented by myself the first week I moved in here, a psychic, a local hospital board member, and a bunch of ladies that like to sage homes to protect them. These spirits have not bothered me much, but they have bothered visitors and the only way my home is cursed is because of the constant things that break down every day and need to be fixed.
Last night, this clipping somehow found its way to the top of my pile and my brain started to wander. I always feel when something like that happens, the story needs to be told as soon as possible. It’s a sign. Doug Hill was the owner of Grierson House in the 90s after the Benders had sold it to him. The Benders had told him about the ghostly presences before he signed the dotted line as they wanted no surprises when he assumed ownership. There was even a clause on the deed of the sale that said: “local law has it that ghostly phenomenon have been noted on the property” Mr. Hill had no issue with the clause and thought it historically interesting for the 150-year-old home. No sign was posted over the property saying: “This is the famous haunted house” –but almost everyone in the area knows exactly where it is OR was.
In the first few weeks affer the Benders had bought the home, all five family members suffered a mysterious rash which, after several doctors, was diagnosed as poison ivy. Their boat, moored to their dock, disappeared during an overnight storm, never to be seen again. Mrs. Bender’s father died of complications after a cancer operation. An old woman came to the house with a Ouija board and the board insistently pointed to one fact: “There are ghosts here.”
Then, the worst tragedy of all happened in April of 1975. Their three-year-old daughter Natasha was let out to play. She always played near the house. But this time, for some reason, her footprints in the snow led directly to an open patch of water in the ice-covered Ottawa River. Police divers recovered her body in May of 1975.
Mr. Hill never discounted after occupying the house that things were not going on although he was not aware. He said he was a down to earth person but had heard all the stories the locals provided him with. However, some of his more ‘sensitive guests’ and his children did say they could feel a ‘presence’. A few years ago one of my friends here in Carleton Place told me when she lived near the Grierson house, she could not even turn around in the driveway of the home because she would feel physically sick.
One could say that it might have been mind games but no it was not. Mr. Hill had invited guests over for dinner at one point but was running late. Upon arriving home his guests were not there and after a phone call found out one of them had become desperately afraid and sensed an evil influence as soon as they pulled into his driveway so they turned around and went home. After that Mr. Hill thought maybe an exorcism would be the right way to go but Reverend Peter Coffin who was then Dean of Christ Church Cathedral suggested it might be better not to stir things up.
According to Pat Berney, the former house on Crown Point still exists and is a private home. Hopefully the only evil spirits remaining lie under a coffin shaped rock along with the stories of gold hidden deep under that rock guarded by………… Yes readers, the dots have to remain in the story and we will never know what or whom the gold is guarded by as the story was cut off. Perhaps, that is for the best. My job is done- for now, until “they” call again.
My name is Sandy Kerry (nee Snyder). My mother is Judy Sprague, daughter of David Shafer Sprague who played football for the Ottawa Rough Riders and is in the hall of fame. He owned this house in 1967. I was 2 when my 4 year old brother and I were sent to play in the snow in March of 1967. We went to the river to walk out to the sailboats and the ice cracked because it was melting. My brother got on shore but I went under. They thought I was dead when they pulled me out but I was in a coma and after being transported to the hospital had a blood transfusion. I am very lucky to have survived. I’m sure I was under much longer than what a person can manage without dying due to the cold but I try not to think about that.
David Sprague had been in the basement with my mother and had just come up the stairs and was at the top but very shaky and my mother had to help him. When he arrived at the top he had a massive coronary heart attack and died. Not long after the house was sold. It must have been 1971 since it was purchased from a sports dealer records state.
I find it interesting that Mandy Bender and I share a similar story though sadly she didn’t survive. I’m so sorry for her family.
I wanted to share this information with you since I believe my grandfather’s spirit may be one that is trapped there.
2006--“At Crown Point a fine stone home, now occupied by Mr. Al Federer & family, was the eventual home of the large Grierson family. After the Grierson’s, the property served for a time as a tavern and Inn for travelers. It is referred to in the “Carleton Saga” and other writings as the ‘haunted house.’ Apparently, a superstitious innkeeper refused to let a stranded traveller into the inn during a storm night because he thought it was the devil.So, in spite, says the legend, the exhausted wayfarer crawled away to die and returned to haunt the house.” There is also an old family plot is in Crown Point, Dunrobin road, as you come down the last hill before you hit Crown Point Road. Its in the field up the hill to the left.
I believe in this as I was living in West Vancouver on Inglewood we sold the house kids were young the lady across the street 3 houses up the aunt knew me. The new the lady that passed she offered us the house to rent till we found one that we were going to buy again. She moved the furniture from the deceased grandfather that passed in that room, and across the hall the lady his daughter passed recently into a room in the basement and was locked. His workbench was there as he left if full of stuff when he passed years earlier. We moved in put kids in “his room” first night but next day decided to move kids into front room and we moved our bedroom furniture into his bedroom, we had a cat also. Took son to school next morning and daughter to preschool at end of street . After cleaning up etc sat on made bed with the puffy comforter on it (it was Nov) and was reading when I felt something sit down heavy on the end of bed near the door. I jumped up and look at comforter no mark then I looked under the bed, then looked in hallway (knew cat as outside) this happened at night too lots of times, also he would turn off power just for me so I would go down stairs and climb up on his workbench to get to electrical box to switch power back on. I didn’t say anything even when I felt I was being watched more than once. older Brother came for Christmas and we let him have our bedroom the second night , he never swore in front of me, got up next morning and said your fn bedroom is haunted , so I told him and husband who I hadn’t said anything too about this what I had been experiencing since we moved in./ Husband said he experienced haunting in the bedroom on his side of the bed. and didn’t want to say anything to me either. Found out that it was the grandfather who had his bed on a different wall and was not happy it was taken out of the room for sure, I spoke to a couple of the elderly ladies on the block and they said it was him as the daughter mentioned he did was in the house haunting it too. I had no idea. We spoke with the university or something to see what to do. However we moved out the next month ps brother said it went on every night he was in the room for the week too.l I am not joking about this, It was quite an experience and once I will never forget. Lucky the kids were to young . There is lots more of the haunting that he did but too much to put down here.
“Last year I wrote a story about eBay banning anything to do with love potions, magic spells and curses. After acquiring what I was told was a a haunted doll yesterday I have decided to go all XFiles on Ebay and personally find out if my doll will sell. To catch you up to speed I will refresh your memory about what is sold on the internet giant these days in the way of dolls that are haunted. But dolls…yikes, they’re almost as bad as clowns these days.”