; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, November 14, 2016

Broken Window & Indoor Rain

The following report comes from the The Globe (Toronto) on September 9, 1880:

Wellesley, Sept. 6--A very extraordinary story having gained currency in this section of the country that Mr. George Manser, a very respectable and well-to-do farmer residing near the village of Crosshill, in the township of Wellesley, had with his family been driven out of his dwelling by the mysterious breaking of his windows and showering down of water in dry weather, your correspondent took occasion to-day to visit the place and interview Mr. Manser and his family in regard to the report in circulation. On approaching the house he noticed the windows, six in number, closed up with boards, which still further excited his curiosity and gave reason to believe that there must be some ground for the report.

The house I found to be a large one-and-a-half story hewed log building, rather old but in a very good state of repair, situated a short distance from the highway on the most elevated part of the farm. On stating the object of my visit Mr. Manser very kindly showed me through the building and gave me the following facts:

About a month or six weeks ago the glass in the windows began to break, several panes bursting out at a time. These were replaced with new ones only to meet the same fate. A careful examination was then made to ascertain the cause. It was at first supposed that the house being old and getting a little out of shape might affect the windows, but the sash was found to be quite easy and even loose in the frames.

Then the family are surprised and put to flight with a shower of water, saturating their beds, their clothing, in fact everything in the house, whilst the sun in shining beautifully in the horizon, and outside all is calm and serene. Nothing daunted, Mr. Manser repairs to the village store and obtains a fresh supply of glass, and even tries the experiment of using some new sash, and utterly failing to discover the mysterious cause of either the breaking of the glass or the sudden showers of water, all taking place in broad day light. His neighbours are called in, and whilst they are endeavouring to solve the mystery, a half dozen or more panes of glass would suddenly burst, making a report similar to that of a pistol shot. Mr. Manser states that he inserted more than one hundred new lights of glass and then gave it up, and boarded up the windows, first taking out the sash and setting them aside, but on account of the continued bursts of water, they were compelled to remove all their beds, some to the wood-shed and others to the barn, leaving only those things in the house that are not so liable to be damaged by the showering process to which he has been so repeatedly subjected.

He has commenced the erection of a new dwelling, hoping thereby to escape those remarkable tricks of nature, or whatever it may be, which seem to continue their operations to the old house. If these strange occurrences had taken place at night, one might suspect that Mr. Manser was the victim of some mischievous people, but occurring in the daytime in the presence of the family and other witnesses, and in fine weather, it seems very difficult of solution. Various theories have been put forward, but none of them seem sufficient to account for the double phenomena of the sudden showers of water under a good roof in fine weather, and the oft-repeated bursting out of the windows. Perhaps you or some of your scientific readers can crack the nut.

NOTE: This same incident was reported by Charles Fort in his book 'Lo!':

In the Toronto Globe, Sept. 9, 1880, a correspondent writes that he had heard reports of most improbable occurrences upon a farm, near the township of Wellesley, Ontario. He went to the place, to interview the farmer, Mr. Manser. As he approached the farmhouse, he saw that all the windows were boarded up. He learned that, about the end of July, windows had begun to break, though no missiles had been seen. The explanation by the incredulous was that the old house was settling. It was a good explanation, except for what it overlooked. To have any opinion, one must overlook something. The disregard was that, quite as authentic as the stories of breaking windows, were stories of falls of water in the rooms, having passed through walls, showing no trace of such passage. It is said that water had fallen in such volumes, from appearing-points in rooms, that the furniture of the house had been moved to a shed. In all our records openness of phenomena is notable. The story is that showers fell in rooms, when the farmhouse was crowded with people. For more details see the Halifax Citizen, Sept. 13, 1880

The Big Book of Canadian Hauntings

Mysteries of Ontario

The Complete Books of Charles Fort: The Book of the Damned / Lo! / Wild Talents / New Lands

Spooky Canada: Tales Of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, And Other Local Lore