by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
Cheryl and I were recently discussing the Halifax explosion in Novia Scotia. On December 6, 1917, a French munitions ship – the SS Mont-Blanc was making its way through the narrows section of the Halifax harbor when it collided with the Norwegian ship, the SS Imo. The Mont-Blanc quickly caught fire. It was 8:40 in the morning along a busy harbor, and the smoke and fire brought the citizens of Halifax to the harbor and their windows to watch what was happening. The Mount-Blanc burned for approximately 25 minutes before a growing crowd of onlookers – who were blissfully unaware of the deadly cargo that the ship was carrying. At 9:04, the war explosives on the Mont-Blanc gave way to the heat, and the ship exploded. Nearly two square kilometers of buildings along the harbor in Halifax, Richmond and Dartmouth were obliterated – along with those who stood within that range watching the fire.
The explosion had the force of nearly 3 kilotons of TNT and was the largest man-made explosion up to that point in history.
In the aftermath of the explosion came the percussion wave, which snapped trees in its path in half and blew in windows where people stood watching. Then came the tsunami and a rain of fiery metal, wood and chunks of debris that poured down on the harbor and the towns surrounding it. Not only that, but the percussion from the explosion caused lamps, stoves and furnaces that were being used on the dark wintry day in many buildings in the area to tip, causing wide-spread fires in buildings throughout the town.
It is unknown how many actually perished on this deadly day in Halifax history; however, there is speculation that the death toll from the explosion, tsunami, percussion wave and fires was right around 2000.
That’s a lot of dead in an unimaginable tragedy.
History is peppered with places where such tragedies have occurred. Sudden, mass deaths. Awful events that are barely imaginable from our comfortable perches in cozy rooms as we read from our computer screens on a warm summer day.
So what remains in the wake of tragedies such as Halifax, where the loss of human life is immense and sudden? Is there an energetic imprint that replays itself? Do the spirits of the dead head Home in the wake of their tragic deaths, or do they remain, confused by the suddenness of their demise?
Halifax Harbor has its share of reported hauntings – as do the sites of other tragedies that occur on a massive scale. But do those reports of hauntings arise as a result of actual activity, or do they arise from human attempts to process tragedy and the expectations and fears we have about dying in such a manner ourselves? Or is it a little bit of both – truth and rumor?
There is no way to know for certain. While we can base our answers on personal experiences that we may have in such places, that is proof only to the individual who had the experience. Or maybe it isn’t. Stories of tragedy provide fertile soil for our imaginations. If we expect to see and hear things, do those expectations manifest because we think they will?
Paranormal research and investigation provides hope that someday we may find the answers to such questions; however, we’re not there yet. Our current knowledge isn’t much more than it ever has been – although we have lots of theories. As long as questions like this remain unanswered, we will seek.
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