Old buildings with haunting creaks and moans where tales of faint whispers and illusive figures roaming about are the kind of stories we hear of places around the world, but who would have thought so many bizarre accounts existed right in our own backyard?
Mark Leslie and Jenny Jelen’s “Spooky Sudbury” explores accounts as told true by Sudburians and ranges from mines to theatres to woods in the outlying areas of Sudbury.
On Sept. 28, they held a book signing at Chapters to kick off the new release.
“I think writing a book like this, you fall in love with Sudbury all over again,” Leslie said. “You can’t help but fall in love with the people and the places.”
Dozens came to buy and have their copies signed by the writers, who were attended by their rather skeletal friend, Barnaby. Within the first hour they sold out the 25 copies Chapters had in stock.
Originally, the idea of “Spooky Sudbury” came when Jelen, the former lifestyle reporter for Northern Life, interviewed Leslie about his newest book at the time, “Haunted Hamilton”. She has asked why he hadn’t written a book about Sudbury instead, due to him being raised in Levack.
Soon after, he came back to her saying the publisher OK'd the project and he took her up on her previous offer to help write it.
“I’ve never met a ghost,” Jelen said. “I’m not even entirely sure if I believe in them, but I love stories like this.”
During the process of finding the stories around Sudbury, both writers came to learn of many obscure encounters, like the 2,650-foot level of the Levack Mine.
“I think, because I grew up in Levack, (it) was one of the most fun stories,” Leslie said.
“On a foggy morning like this morning, I’m a little bit more trepidatious as I’m walking out into the fog than I would be because I start thinking about some of the tales.”
Jelen found the experience added to the depth she saw in Sudbury and explained some past moments of unease she had in places around town.
“I spent some time working in one of the places that we referenced in the book, and there were a few nights that I didn’t want to leave by myself through the back door, because there was an eerie feeling and I couldn’t explain it. I felt silly telling my coworkers that I didn’t want to leave work because I was scared to go to the door.”
“Spooky Sudbury” contains many stories of eerie and unexplained stories told true by those who experienced them. Copies can be found at Chapters/Indigo, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, US Independent Bookstores, Barnes & Noble and ebooks are also available.