Newfoundland unexplained -
In October 2001, I was told a strange story by a woman from the community of Francois. This woman claimed never to have had a supernatural experience of her own. In spite of never having seen a ghost, she was familiar with several true paranormal tales from her area.
One of these tales concerns a mysterious couple fated to walk the shore eternally, hand in ghostly hand.
In July of 1999, the woman who related the story to me was camping with friends at Cooper's Cove. The woman and a friend were staying in a cabin belonging to the friend's uncle, located at one end of the beach. Earlier that day, they had made plans to meet up with two other friends who were bunked down in a cabin at the far end of the beach. By this time it was getting late and the women were waiting for their guests to arrive.
Outside, the shadows deepened and evening gave way to the stillness of night. Midnight arrived and passed without the arrival of the friends. Suddenly, the two men burst through the door of the cabin, shutting it behind them. The two men were obviously frightened. The women immediately asked them what had transpired out in the darkness of Cooper's Cove beach.
The men had been walking along the beach, making their way from one side of the cove to the other. They were walking up above high-tide level, at the point where the sand met the grass. As they walked, they could see two people walking on the beach. They could see that the two figures were holding hands. The couple was about 15 feet ahead of them and much closer to the water than the men.
The first thought of the men was that the two figures were, in fact, the two women they had arranged to meet.
However, as the two men walked towards them, the couple paid them no attention. As the men drew closer, the two people walked on, maintaining their distance ahead. When the men stopped, the mysterious couple stopped as well.
Still thinking it might be the two women trying to play some prank on them, the two men ducked down into the grasses to see what the people would do. The two people, still holding hands, stood still. Then when the two men stood up again, the two people disappeared before their eyes.
The men hurried towards the spot where the twosome had vanished. When they reached the area where the two people had been standing, they discovered something that caused the hair on the backs of their necks to rise. Just ahead of where the men had ducked into the grass, they found that the beach gutted inwards into the cove. This meant that the strange couple had not been walking on the beach at all. Instead they had been walking, hand in hand, on the surface of the water.
The men realized that they had just been witnesses to something far beyond the realm of the ordinary. Terrified, they ran the remainder of the distance along the beach to the safety of the women's cabin.
Perhaps the Cooper's Cove ghosts are the remains of lovers from the heyday of Chaleur Bay, and have no evil in mind at all. It is very possible that the line of the beach has shifted and moved with the passage of time. Such a movement might well have no meaning for star-crossed lovers who walked that beach in life, and who are doomed to walk it for eternity.
But that is just a theory, and the mystery of the Chaleur Bay ghosts may never be solved.
Dale Jarvis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.