The Dungarvon Whooper

As far back I could remember, around the age of five, my first time going into the woods happened during a family camping trip. I recall being existed and amazed to all that nature had to offer. When exploring the forest, fear can easily take hold at hearing sounds you can’t identify and seeing things you are unfamiliar with. The woods had provided me with my first experience involving fear of the unknown. In continuing the serious on haunted forest, this week’s article is about the Dungarvon Whooper.

Blackville is a small rural community along the Miramichi River in New Brunswick, Canada. The town is home to some of the best spots within the province along with the legend of Dungarvon Whooper believed to be haunting the Miramichi forest. The whooper is said to be the ghost of a young man who was murdered at a lumber camp and could be heard every night screaming or howling.

According to legend, some time in the late 1800s, a young cook named Ryan was hired by a lumber camp near the Dungarvon River. Now Ryan was known to carry a money belt which held all his worldly possessions. One day, when the men left to work, the camp’s boss decided to remain behind with the cook. Upon returning, the woodsmen found Ryan dead and his money belt missing. When the camp boss was questioned to what happened, he replied the cook had suddenly become ill and died. The men were suspicious to the story consider the belt had disappeared, but feared the consequences if they were to pursuit the matter.

Come the following day, a raging storm hit the area making it impossible for anyone to leave the camp. The men were forced to bury Ryan in a shallow grave within the forest. At night, the most horrifying whoops and screams started to hollow throughout the woods. The sounds continued for several days before the men were driven crazy with fear and abandoned the camp. The Dungarvon Whooper legend was born.

Over the years, attempts were made to continue logging within the Miramichi forest, yet operations were discontinued as people were frightened off by the whooper. The screams continued to be heard for decades, until a priest named Father Murdock was asked to do something about the spirit. The priest entered the forest to perform a blessing of the area and over a grave believed to be of the cook Ryan. After the ritual, the whooping fell silence, or did it? Today claims are still made the screams can still be heard in the forest at night. The Dungarvon Whooper is also known as a song written by J. Aldrich Libbey.


Underhill, Doug. Miramichi: Tall Tales and True. Neptune Publishing Company. Canada. 1999.

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