Fortress Louisbourg dedicates weekend event to the paranormal

When Haunts from the Cape team lead Doug Mombourquette travels to Fortress Louisbourg on Sept. 11 for Paranormal Weekend 2021, it will be the first time he’s had the chance to talk strictly about paranormal

The Sydney, Nova Scotia native has been out to the historic landmark — built in 1713 — three times prior, but not fully dedicated to the supernatural.

“It’s our first time dedicated to paranormal events,” Mombourquette said during a September phone call. “We’ve done other events out there. We took the students from NSCAD, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design a couple of times, and have taken Learn-to Camp people on tours before.

“But this is the first overnight event dedicated to the paranormal.”

The settlement at Louisbourg was established in 1713 and called Havre a L’Anglois. It was a French fishing port that became fortified. Eventually, it would be the site of two major battles between British and French forces and would help shape the face of Canada.

The British would capture the fortress both in 1745 and 1758, and they would dismantle it. Some of the stone that was used in the construction of the fortress eventually became the foundations of some of the homes built nearby.

Louisbourg operations manager Isabelle LaLonde’s childhood home was built using stones taken from the fort, so her connection to the fortress runs deeper than just her position.

She admitted that there have been few paranormal experiences at her parents’ house, which may very well be tied to Louisbourg.

“I think those experiences definitely come from the removal of the structure and moving into the modern town of Louisbourg,” she said.

Mombourquette has deep ties to the fortress as well. One of his ancestors, Antoine Mombourquette Sr. was stationed there and fled with his son when the British attacked.

 Paranormal Weekend 2021 features dark history tours, themed trivia, themed cocktails, Tarot card readings and an overnight paranormal investigation with Haunts from the Cape.

“He hid in the woods for up to six months,” Doug Mombourquette said.

During previous investigations, Haunts from the Cape have uncovered multiple strange instances of the paranormal. Electronic voice phenomena have been captured in the King’s Bakery, the Duhaget house, the military chapel as well as the De Gannes house.

It was in the De Gannes house where they captured a strange figure robed in a fur shawl or cloak on a trail camera inside the house.

“Who’s wearing a fur coat in the summer? Nobody. So, we can’t explain that photo either,” Mombourquette said.

LaLonde added many of those who have been employed by the historic site have witnessed some strange events, especially in the postern tunnel underneath the Dauphin Demi-Bastion. Apparitions have been witnessed as well.

She confirmed the Duhaget house is a hot spot, especially since an employee almost tumbled down the stairs and was held back by an invisible force.

“It’s well known around Nova Scotia to be one of the most haunted areas, which is understandable because of all the struggle and turmoil here at the fortress,” LaLonde said.

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