World Stamps

By Jay Bigalke

Haunted Canada series to bring chills Friday the 13th

May 30, 2014 11:55 AM

  • Images of a trio of skeletal ghosts of Fort George, Ontario, are shown on one of the five nondenominated (85¢) Haunted Canada commemorative stamps issued on Friday, June 13. The stamps feature images of a trio of skeletal ghosts of Fort George, Ontario; the St. Louis ghost train in Saskatchewan; phantom ship in the Northumberland Strait; the ghost bride at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel; and the Count of Frontenac.

Canada Post launched its new Haunted Canada stamp series June 13 with five new commemorative permanent-rate (85¢) stamps issued in a booklet of 10 and a souvenir sheet of five, plus five nondenominated ($2.50) international-rate picture postal cards.

Each stamp includes holographic foil in the design.

The new series “tells some of our country’s unexplained and perennially popular ghostly tales,” according to Canada Post.

The five new stamps feature Prince Edward Island’s Northumberland Strait, Quebec’s Chateau Frontenac Hotel, Ontario’s Fort George, the St. Louis Ghost Train in Saskatchewan, and Alberta’s Ghost Bride at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

The stamps were designed by Lionel Gadoury and Terry Popik of Context Creative, and illustrated by Sam Weber.

A phantom ship ablaze in turbulent waters is shown on the Northumberland Strait stamp. This waterway extends between Prince Edward Island to the north and New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to the south. Approximately 4,500 shipwrecks are located in the region.

Numerous sightings of a phantom burning ship have been reported, mostly during the months of September through November.

The stamp for Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City features the Count of Frontenac, French Governor Louis de Buade, the namesake of the hotel, who was credited with New France’s growth from 1672 to 1698. The hotel was built in 1893, partially on the spot where the count’s home had been located. The count reportedly has been seen in the hotel, dressed in full 17th-century attire.

The Central British Army was headquartered at Fort George, located in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, during the War of 1812. The fort’s stone walls are said to be haunted. Abnormal reports include crying, footsteps, a woman appearing in a mirror, and even American tourists being pushed by ghosts while visiting the fort’s towers. The stamp shows skeletons dressed in period attire.

The ghost train in Saskatchewan is named for its location near the small town of St. Louis. Reports of sightings of a light from the train have circulated for more than 80 years. The lights are attributed to a Canadian National Railway conductor who was beheaded by a passing train in the 1920s. The lights could be that of the conductor’s lantern or even of the train itself. The Unsolved Mysteries television program presented the story.

An eerie image of a ghost bride, with candles aglow in the background and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel below, is featured on the Ghost Bride stamp. The hotel, built in 1888, is the scene of many haunting stories, including the discovery in the 1920s of a room with no doors or windows, sightings of a headless bagpiper and even a bellhop that helped customers with their luggage only to disappear when they attempted to tip him.

The ghost bride was struck by tragedy on her wedding day when her dress brushed a candle and ignited. Panicking, she fell down the hotel stairs, broke her neck and died. The apparition of the bride still appears in the hotel, on the same staircase that brought about her demise.

The stamps and souvenir sheet were printed by Lowe-Martin. The stamps were printed by five-color offset lithography with holographic foil, on Tullis Russell paper, with general tagging on all four sides. The self-adhesive booklet stamps have serpentine die cuts on all four sides. The souvenir sheet is perforated about gauge 13 and has moisture-activated adhesive.

Printing quantities for the issue are 4 million booklet stamps and 200,000 souvenir sheets.

The booklet of 10 stamps is Canada Post item 413910111, and the souvenir sheet is item 403910145. A set of five picture postal cards is item 262365. A press sheet, with a print quantity of 5,000, is item 403910149.

Canada Post will service 13,000 official first-day covers for the souvenir sheet.

The FDC will bear a postmark from Gorrie, Ontario. The souvenir sheet FDC is Canada Post item 403910144.

Canada Post products are available at Stamps and FDCs will be available by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre, Canada Post Corp., 75 St. Ninian St., Antigonish, NS B2G 2R8, Canada; or by telephone from the United States and Canada at 800-565-4362, and from other countries at 902-863-6550.

Canada’s stamps and stamp products are also available from many new-issue stamp dealers, and from Canada Post’s agent in the United States: Interpost, Box 420, Hewlett, NY 11557.