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Brian Topp

Historian investigates classic Canadian ghost

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t's considered one of the best-known ghost stories in Canada, and a Hamilton historian is looking to get to the bottom of it.

Christopher Laursen, a PhD candidate in history, will head to Wallaceburg, Ont. this September to examine the Baldoon mystery, a string of 1830s events that involved flaming haystacks, rattling dishes, black geese and other paranormal phenomenon.

It's a classic Canadian ghost story in the Chatham-Kent town, a mystery that started with a rivalry between the McDonald and Buchanan families. Many thought it was a curse, or the work of witchcraft.

Laursen isn't looking to solve any of that. Rather, he wants to look at the impact it's had on a local community that still celebrates — and fears — what happened.

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