Tuesday, August 9, 2016
The Ghosts of Griffintown
Mary Gallagher was a prostitute, brutally murdered on June 26, 1879 at 242 William Street. Soon after, the residence was besieged by neighbours in this Irish community of Griffintown, curious as to what had happened. Now, each and every seven years, a small group of ex-Griffintowners meet at the corner of William and Murray, also curious, to watch for her ghost.
GHOSTS of GRIFFINTOWN is a 63 min. documentary about this haunting and historic area established in 1654 shortly after the founding of Montreal. The fact that de Maisonneuve granted this land to Jeanne Mance because of misappropriated funds was the start of a rocky history. It was always a neglected area with high rents and poor housing, and its share of saints and sinners (as well as floods and fires). But it was also a community of strong people determined to carve out a life for themselves.
Most of the hard work of building the factories, the Lachine canal, the Victoria Bridge, the harbour and the railroads was done by Irish "navvies".
In the 1940s, Griffintown's population started to dwindle as people moved to better neighbourhoods, and by 1970 urban expansion had bulldozed whatever remained... except for the memories.
In GHOSTS of GRIFFINTOWN you will learn of the strong attachment and deep affection people have for the area. You will see how loyalty and a sense of community won out over conditions of poverty. You will hear not only about the ghost of Mary Gallagher but about the ghost of a neighbourhood that just drifted away.
Read about the Ghosts of Griffintown.