The following excerpt is taken from Cape Breton Book of the Night edited by Ronald Caplan. This story was taped, transcribed, and translated into English by Jocelyne Marchand:
“But it got so that even I didn’t want to stay there. It was too bothersome, at noon and at night, something was there.
“There was an old man, Johnny Goyetche, who lived near us. The house is gone now. He said, ‘Would it bother you if I went to see for myself?’ I said, ‘I’ll leave it unlocked.’ I said, ‘It’s no use going before midnight, you won’t hear anything before then. Or else at noon during the day.’ He said, ‘That’s good, I’ll go.’ So he went. Well, I was watching – I was around that evening – I was watching to see if he would go. He went. He stayed about half an hour and he came out of there, he went home. He said, ‘That Joe’ – my name is Joe – ‘he isn’t fearful, I wouldn’t stay there.’
“But my father wouldn’t believe us, that this was happening. He said it wasn’t true. ‘You say it isn’t true, but I tell you it is true. And you are going to sleep there.’ So he came down from Mulgrave on a Saturday night. He thought it was me doing it – that I was bad – but I didn’t even want to stay there anymore. ‘It isn’t me that’s scaring them.’ He came to sleep there and to prove it wasn’t me doing it, I slept with him. ‘It’s all right, I’ll sleep with you. Not now but at midnight, when midnight strikes, you’ll hear.’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘it’s you who’s dreaming.’ ‘You think I’m dreaming, but I’m not dreaming.’ At midnight, there it was. He said, ‘It’s you knocking on the wall.’ I said, ‘I’m going to get up from here, you’ll see if it’s me knocking on the wall. It isn’t me who’s doing it.’
“You know he smoked a pipe, he lit his pipe, we were both sitting up. The first thing you know it starts up again. I said, ‘Is that me doing it?’ He said, ‘No, it isn’t you all right.’ And him he wasn’t fearful. ‘Well,’ he said ‘you say you’ve slept here alone.’ ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I’ve slept here alone.’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘you’re brave.’ They’ve never been able to scare me. But at the same time he didn’t want to move from there. He wanted to fix the house up. Well, my sister and I said to each other, ‘He wants to fix it. It’s all right for him, he’s working away but we’re here. We can’t sleep at night, or we have to go to strangers, it’s not right. Well, we’ll set fire to it.’
“I put kerosene around the chimney and I threw a match. We burnt the whole side of the roof. You don’t think of everything. I could have done it better if I had done it at night. Everyone around would have been sleeping. But we did all right. We set fire to the house but it wasn’t completely destroyed, just one side of the roof. My father sold it to Eugene Samson. He sold it to him for $75.00. Samson came and tore it down and hauled it to Petit de Grat. He lost most of it, lost almost all the boards. Someone stole it or else it disappeared. He had piled it where he was going to build, but when he returned more than half the wood was gone.”