Canada might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of the world’s scariest paranormal cases, but the Great White North has had its fair share of famous hauntings. Just ask the Parson family of Flat Rock, Newfoundland. Not only was the family tormented by the sudden arrival of a poltergeist that loved to roam about the house setting fires, but they were convinced that the evil entity was out to collect their souls. The case would become known as The Flat Rock Haunting.
In November of 1954, the small community of Flat Rock, Newfoundland was rattled when the media began showing up outside of the Parson’s family farm. They’d arrived in town hoping to catch a glimpse of the Flat Rock Poltergeist, an evil spirit that had been attacking the Parson’s rural home for weeks.
The sudden surge of mysterious activity began with the spontaneous combustion of a wooden box in the family living room. Unfortunately for the Parsons family, this would only be the first of many unexplainable fires that seemed to start in their home. Next, a dictionary ignited all by itself, and then a few days later a child’s doll erupted into flames, causing a fire that nearly burned the entire house down.
For weeks, the strange fires ignited by themselves all over the house, but it wasn’t until the family bible was burned into a pile of ashes that the Parsons began to suspect a malevolent spirit was behind the unexplained activity manifesting in the Flat Rock Haunting.
One afternoon, while the family was gathered in the living room, they were all alerted to another fire by the now-familiar smell of smoke. The Parsons rushed into the kitchen to discover that a small bag of sugar had completely burst into flames. According to eyewitnesses, when Mr. Parsons rushed forward to grab the bag in order to toss it outside, the flames extinguished immediately.
Not knowing what t o do about their supernatural predicament, the Parsons reported the mysterious fires to both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the St. John’s Fire Department, and officers were sent to investigate the strange phenomena at the family’s farmhouse. After searching the property from top to bottom, they were unable to explain why or how objects around the family home had been spontaneously combusting. Even the firefighters, experts at sniffing out arson, were left scratching their heads.
Reporters were given a tour of the Parson house, ground zero for the Flat Rock Haunting, and were shown all of the areas where the strange fires had occurred, including a bedroom which had been the site of the worst fire. The strange story spread to the local news and drew national attention, though unfortunately, most people believed that the Parsons family were setting the fires themselves in order to collect the insurance. The police stepped in and put a stop to that rumor, pointing out that the family didn’t even have home insurance, and the very little they did have they certainly didn’t want to lose in an avoidable fire.
The dangerous activity continued, and fires kept spreading until the family had reached their wits-end. Not knowing who else to turn to, the Parsons called in a priest who blessed both the house and the family with the hopes of exorcising whatever evil spirit had attached itself to their property. Just as quickly as the activity began, the mysterious fires ceased, and the Parson’s family farm was quiet once more. The Flat Rock Haunting has ceased.
There was never any solid evidence of the strange activity documented aside from the family’s first-hand accounts, but because it had captured the attention of the Canadian public, the Flat Rock Poltergeist case went down in history as one of Canada’s most famous hauntings. Unlike many families who experience poltergeist activity, the Parsons went on to lead normal lives, leaving those very strange, dangerous months behind them forever.