Hauntings in Shoal Bay Woods

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The Goulds is a real neighborhood in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. This ghost story involves my friends Cory and Kyle, however, some minor details have been changed to better fit the narrative.

The following story excerpt is my personal account of a popular story in my hometown, since the contextual details of ghost stories often change when passed from person to person. With that in mind, there are several paranormal stories taken from my hometown which residents believe are true.

Credit: Getty Images.

The generally accepted story of Hell's Gate Bridge starts in the 1950s. A young couple driving over the bridge somehow drove their car off the bridge one night and they both drowned. There are two legends associated with Hell's Gate Bridge — one, that if you drive your car out to the middle of the bridge and turn off the lights, the couple will magically appear in your car and leave a wet spot on the seat. The other, which is how the bridge got its name, is the belief that if you drive over the bridge and look over your shoulder halfway through, the scenery behind you turns into a portal to hell engulfed in flames. Potentially to curb ghost hunters and bored teenagers, Hell's Gate Bridge is closed to cars, and it is in such disrepair that walking across is strongly discouraged. (https://www.insider.com/urban-legends-us-2018-1#alabama-hells-gate-bridge-1)

Let's head to Shoal Bay Woods:

I moved to this town back in 2008, when I was about twelve years old. Everyone from the community knows our town has its fair share of paranormal stories, such as vanishing phantom cars, undead joggers, and monsters in the woods. Residents could even go as far as saying the community has various haunted locations.

I had my fist paranormal experience (in my home town), back in 2015. One of my good friends, Kyle, told me about an experience he had in the Shoal Bay woods.

Kyle was coming home from camping one morning, and he was returning from camping near the ocean. Keep in mind, this was about a four hour hike by foot if you actually wanted to walk down to the ocean itself. While driving his ATV, Kyle caught the glimpse of what appeared to be the ghost of a little girl, directly to his right when he was getting closer to Shoal Bay Road. Having heard the stories before from other people in the community, Kyle was convinced that ghosts actually exist.

Credit: Getty Images

A few weeks later, myself, Cory, Kyle, and Cory's girlfriend at the time all went camping in the Shoal Bay woods. Much like other people in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, I told my friends how I started believing in the paranormal.

At this point in time, Cory says, "Listen man, you gotta' hear Kyle's story from a few weeks ago..." As Kyle started telling his story, I realized we were camping pretty close to the area featured in the paranormal experience. The next morning, Cory and I drove his ATV a short distance to gather supplies for starting a fire. When getting off the bike, I retrieved a pack of cigarettes from my coat pocket and started smoking as I proceeded to help Cory with cutting boughs, and placing them on the back of the bike.

Of course, Kyle's story crossed my mind and perhaps this was just my mind playing tricks with me, but I'm almost certain there was a small child standing in the woods across from me. Nevertheless, I kept this to myself until now.

Short analysis:

In a recent article, I referenced Dr. Diane Goldstein's work about ghosts and haunted experiences. Goldstein's 2007 book, Haunting Experiences reminds readers there is always a way to explain or rationalize the supernatural. More specifically, we often see things but have difficulty explaining what we just saw. In terms of the morning I saw a ghost, I was probably still drunk from the previous night of camping. Although it's quite possible I did see a ghost child, it very well could have been someone's kid- we weren't far from Shoal Bay Road, itself.

Here is a link to Dr. Goldstein's book:


Also, here is a link to my book:


What are your thoughts? Have you ever seen a ghost?

Thank you, and stay safe


The Modernist Son, 2020-



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