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infringement Festival Montreal 2012
Optative Theatrical Laboratories: Haunted Mountain
Barfly, June 17th, 2012 – 8:00 p.m.

Haunted Mountain is a street theatre production that revels in the history of Montreal’s ghosts. It is hosted by Donovan King and Karen Spylake, complete with black formal and facepaint, who take the patron on a walking tour up Mount Royal in the evening with a lantern as the night falls. Starting at Barfly which is purported to be haunted by a previous owner, the walk continues to Mount Royal Park, with its expanse of cemeteries, recounting the history of the area as it relates to ghosts and things that go bump in the night. At the base of the forested mountain a trolley, purported to be haunted would carry people to the top. Gazing down through the forested path it is possible to see the outlines of McGill University buildings, one an infirmary where patients who did not survive were buried, the other a place of psychiatric study with descriptions of the CIA’s involvement with psychiatric experiments. The tour ends at the grave of Simon McTavish, a Scottish Quebecker who was very successful in the fur trade. He married an 18 year old French woman and had planned to build a large mansion, but he died before it was fully constructed. The partially built façade was a bone of contention and over the years it was taken down after years of being pilloried. In its place a grave marker was eventually erected. It was rumored that up on the hill at night, the ghost of McTavish could be seen toboggan down the mountain. In full voice Donovan brings the characterization alive, with a detailed description of how the old man would poke people he didn’t like with his gold-topped cane and of McTavish’s death. A magical enactment of Montreal’s history, up on the winding paths in the woods of Mount Royal at night.

infringement Festival Montreal

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