Fortress Louisbourg ghost tour guide
Eight students from NSCAD University have immersed themselves in history for the sake of their art.
The students spent a few days this week at the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton and even stayed over alone — except for one night watchman.
"We pretty much had the town to ourselves," said 18-year-old Kenzie Lefaivre of Canmore, Alta. "We walked around and we were allowed into the buildings, actually, and it was quite dark at night but we kind of had the run of the town."
The students will use elements of their experience at the fortress in an exhibition called Ghosts in House, said LeFaivre.
It will be about "the relationship between the ghosts of the past and the house, where the ghosts are actually, like, staying, or like, trapped,"she said.
NSCAD students feed the geese at Fortress Louisbourg
Students from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design soak up the atmosphere while drawing artistic inspiration from a stay at Fortress Louisbourg. (Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site)
Lefaivre said the fortress provided real inspiration for the project.
"There's definitely a lot of creepy, ghost-like things there," she said.
The fortress was a military hub for New France starting about 300 years ago. Some believe several spirts haunt the fortress including a wailing baby, a sea captain, a weeping nurse, and a poltergeist that locks doors and moves heavy objects.
The students also summoned some "ghosts" at Louisbourg by using an app purported to be manipulated by spirits to communicate.
Nineteen-year-old Kira Sark of Waycobah, C.B., said her perception has been changed by the experience.
"I think it gives everything more depth of feeling," she said. "Like, if you take a picture of an empty room, it might be empty but it's still full of all this history and it adds a different feeling to it."
The students were also treated to a "white glove" tour of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, where they were allowed to handle and examine the museum's artifacts.