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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > JUNE 2016 > To the lighthouse

To the lighthouse

Not all ghost stories are scary; sometimes they’re just spooky reminders of the past

PICTURE BOOK

The Ferryland Visitor: A Mysterious Tale

Charis Cotter; Gerald L. Squires, illus.

Running the Goat Books & Broadsides, Ages 7-10

IN THE early 1970s, artist Gerald Squires, his wife, Gail, and daughters, Esther and Meranda, moved into an abandoned lighthouse-keeper’s cottage in Ferryland, Newfoundland. Not long after settling in, just before Halloween, an unexpected visitor knocked at their door. With a face “grizzly with wrinkles” and a “creaky voice,” the stranger announced, “Your dog asked me to come in.”

The jovial old-timer, who identified himself as Ferryland’s former policeman, made himself at home and regaled the family with colourful memories of the cottage’s previous occupants. He recalled a young boy who died of pneumonia in the house and showed them where the body was laid out for the wake. After spinning tales for hours, the fellow thanked the Squires for their hospitality and took his leave, content that the lighthouse remained “the friendly spot it always was.” The visitor’s departure was as curious and sudden as his arrival, making the family wonder, “Did he just fly away?”

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