Story for Hallowe’en! Restless Witch’s Spirit

This is a story hailing from Quebec Possibly dating back to the sixteen hundreds. I originally heard it on a bus tour in Old Quebec City, where the old architecture and cobbled roads capture the imagination, allowing one to see ghosts from the past lurking in every old window. This story is not very well known, but is absolutely terrifying. Something to make your hairs stand on end is that this story is allegedly true, and that the witch may still be wondering the city, lurking in the mists that roll off the St. Lawrence River.

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A young man was walking through the city square making his way home from work at dusk when he heard a whisper at his ear.

“Jaques,” called a woman’s voice.

Jaques felt a chill run down his spine as he felt the woman’s breath, cold on the back of his neck. Fearing what he might see if he turned around, Jaques kept moving. The breath still blew cold on his neck and down his spine and he heard his name again.

“Jaques…”

Swallowing his fear, Jaques willed himself to turn around and face the owner of the ghostly voice. But when he did, he saw nothing, not a soul was behind him. All he could find was a single iron cage hanging from a thick post with a charred skeleton within it. Bits of flesh, tattered clothing and pieces of long black hair still stuck to the blackened bone as nearly empty eye sockets stared at him.

“Help me, Jaques,” the voice said again, this time clearing coming from the still witch’s skeleton.

Paralyzed with fear, Jaques stared at the corpse of the damned woman, and a cold wind blew rocking the iron cage.  There was a loud creak, followed by a snap. Jaques found his legs by then and began to run as fast as his legs could carry him.

He made it past the houses and buildings and found that he had gained enough ground and felt himself safe from a dead witch stuck in a cage.  He collapsed under a tall tree to catch his breath, gasping for air very happy to be alive.

Until he heard the rattling. The sound of metal clanging against a cobbled road, along with the urgent whispers of his name “Jaques, Jaques, Jaques.”

He ran, desperate to for his life until he found himself on the banks of the St. Lawrence. He fell to his knees and prayed to his God, but the urgent whispers and the rattling continued. He looked into the river to find the reflection of a very young pale girl with long black hair in a plain white dress, blue eyes staring angrily at him. The image vanished as the rattling grew louder, and his name went from an urgent whisper to an agonized scream piercing through the silent night. Jaques turned around to see the cage rolling toward him at a great speed and before he could get out of the way the cage knocked him into the water.

Jaques was never seen alive again, but when the moon is full on a silent night, they say you can still hear the witch’s anrgy and urgent cries coming off the river “Jaques, Jaques.”

 

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