“The Dungarvon Whooper (I)”

Author: Michael Whelan
Earliest date: 1912 (Manny/Wilson)
Keywords: homicide burial lumbering ghost ritual clergy
Found in: Canada(Mar)

Description

The cook in a Dungarvon River lumber camp dies. The crew suspect the skipper murdered him. That night "fearful whoops and yells the forest fill" and are heard around "the Whooper's grave" until "God's good man" prays that they stop.

Supplemental text

Dungarvon Whooper (I), The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Louise Manny and James Reginald Wilson, Songs of Miramichi,
#13, pp. 78-80. From the singing of Jared MacLean of Strathadam,
1947.

  Far within the forest scene,
  Where the forest forever green,
Form a contrast to the beech and birches grey,
  Where the snow lies white and deep,
  And the song birds seem to sleep,
And cease their sweetest singing all the day.
  Where the mighty monstrous moose,
  Of limbs both large and loose,
Through the forest sweeps with strides both swift and strong,
  Where the caribou and deer
  Swim the brooks so crystal clear,
And the mighty deep Dungarvon rolls along.

(8 additional stanzas)

Notes

Manny/Wilson: "Rev Edward Murdoch, the Roman Catholic parish priest at Renous, felt seriously enough about the matter to come up to Dungarvon and read the church service of exorcism. It is said that after this the evil spirit which was responsible for the horrible sounds was heard no more. But people still say they sometimes hear the Whooper, and they fear to visit the grave by the Whooper Spring. The Dungarvon River is a branch of the Main Renous River, which it joins above Quarryville....

"The train on the Canada Eastern Railway, between Fredericton and Newcastle, named for the Whooper, made its last run in 1936." - BS

For a less mysterious explanation of the origin of the name "Whooper," see the notes to "The Dungarvon Whooper (II)." - RBW

Cross references

References

  1. Manny/Wilson 13, "The Dungarvon Whooper -- I" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST MaWi013 (Partial)
  3. Roud #9198
  4. BI, MaWi013