The Haunted Wood

I’m going to slowly tell the tale of my trip to Prince Edward Island with my childhood friends Darlene and Ruth to celebrate all three of us being 55.

After we explored Green Gables Heritage Place, we took the path through the Haunted Wood.

The story of the Haunted Wood is told in Anne of Green Gables. Anne and Diana thought the woods were boring, so they invented ghosts that inhabited the wood. Their imaginations were so vivid that they scared themselves. One evening, Marilla told Anne to borrow something from Diana’s house, but she didn’t dare go through the Haunted Wood after dark. Marilla would have none of that nonsense, and made her do it anyway rather than go around by the road. Well, Anne did it, but was terrified all the way.

Maud Montgomery confesses in her journals that she and her childhood friends did the same thing, and the Haunted Wood is a real trail.

Now, Green Gables Heritage Place is not the house where L. M. Montgomery lived. It was a place where some cousins lived, but she modeled Anne’s house after this one. And the path through the Haunted Wood from Green Gables leads to the site of Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish home (which was since torn down). So my friends and I took that path.

The island was much more hilly than I had realized. From the top of the hill before we got far into the wood, we looked back on Green Gables.

And here’s the barn on the property:

And see how the shiny Interpretive Centre looks a little out of place?

The trail wasn’t like I’d ever imagined it. For one thing, it was a longer trail than I’d guessed, going deep through the woods.

I was delighted by any bit of Fall Color we found.

Some parts were a bit dark and spooky even without imagining ghouls and even in the middle of the afternoon.

It wasn’t a long walk, but it was delightful. I got to thinking about how in the days before cars, children like Maud would take walks through the woods simply to get to school or to a friend’s house. No wonder it was such a big deal when a boy walked a girl home from prayer meeting!

We did notice many trees down from Hurricane Dorian, which had hit the island three weeks before. The path had been cleared and we saw much evidence of hard work — which made me feel better about Lover’s Lane being closed. They weren’t neglecting the tourist paths, but doing a thorough job — and it had clearly been a lot of work.

We had a lovely walk through the woods together.

After braving the Haunted Wood, we came to Montgomery Park, honoring the Founding Families of Cavendish and L. M. Montgomery. That will be my next installment.

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