A story of mourning and healing

One year ago today, I lost a friend, a brother, a fellow Stag King. When I mourned my friend, I struggled to find a story that described this process, and then I found this one.

I recorded it this morning. I’m still a bit congested, so I apologize for the odd sound of my voice.

As I remember my friend today, remember that you are not alone.

Storyteller Personas

ScaredGirl_v2Over the years, I have developed a few personas that allow me to bring the gift of story to the Steampunk and Pirate communities.

  • Professor Taelstrum (Facebook): The Professor has graced the highways and bi-ways of the Steampunk world, bringing his tales of wonder and adventure to life. Ever dogged by the Council who seek to curb his enthusiasm, the Professor refuses to submit to their will! The stories must be told! Currently, he is exploring the more haunted areas of Montreal, leading thrill seekers to discover the paranormal sites, testing their courage.
  • Victor Maelstrum (Facebook): Victor is the Bard of the Eighth Sea! They might tell you there are only 7 seas, but they would be wrong. The Eighth Sea is where the stories come from, and once Victor discovered it, he gathered up as many stories as he could so that he can share them with the scallywags of the world.
  • JD Hickey (Facebook): this is my main storytelling Facebook site.

Haunted Tours, 2019

I will be updating this page with my Haunted Montreal (http://hauntedmontreal.com/) tour dates as I receive them.

If you want to book me for one of these tours, contact Haunted Montreal and ask for The Professor. Once I get the minimum number of people registered (10+) and we find the right date, I can give you the tour!

Also, if you want to reach me directly, we can pick the right date and make arrangements with Haunted Montreal.

ScaredGirl_v2May 2019

May 11th – Haunted Mountain at 8:30pm

June 2019

May 27th Haunted Griffintown at 6:30pm

July 2019

July 26th – Haunted Griffintown at 8:30pm
July 27th – Haunted Mountain at 8:30pm
July 28th – Haunted Pub Crawl at 3pm


September 8th – Haunted Pub Crawl at 3pm
September 13th – Haunted Griffintown at 8:30pm
September 27th – Haunted Griffintown at 8:30pm
September 28th – Haunted Mountain at 8:30pm

October 2019

October 6th – Haunted Pub Crawl at 3pm
October 8th – Haunted Griffintown at 8:30pm
October 9th – Haunted Mountain at 8:30pm
October 11th – Haunted Griffintown at 6pm (private)
October 13th – Haunted Pub Crawl at 3pm
October 18th – Haunted Griffintown at 6:30pm and 8:30pm (new)
October 19th – Haunted Mountain at 8:30pm
October 22nd – Haunted Griffintown at 8:30pm CANCELLED
October 23rd – Haunted Mountain at 8:30pm
October 25th – Haunted Griffintown at 8:30pm (new)
October 26th – Haunted Mountain at 6:30pm (new), 8:30pm
October 27th – Haunted Pub Crawl at 3pm
October 31st – Haunted Griffintown at 8:30pm

November 2019

November 2nd – Haunted Mountain at 8:30pm

December 2019

December 8th – Haunted Pub Crawl at 3pm
December 22nd – Haunted Pub Crawl at 3pm

New season of Haunted Walks 2018

I’m very excited to announce that I have been booked for another season of Haunted Walks with Montreal’s Haunted Tours. These are the dates I’m currently booked for, but I’m sure more dates will get added as the season progresses:

  • DONE – Friday, August 31st @8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown
  • DONE – Saturday, September 1st @ 8:30pm — Haunted Mountain
  • DONE – Friday, September 7th @8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown
  • DONE – Friday, September 14th @8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown
  • DONE – Saturday, September 15th – 8:30pm — Haunted Mountain
  • DONE – Friday, September 28th @8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown
  • DONE – Saturday, September 29th – 8:30pm — Haunted Mountain
  • DONE – Friday, October 5th  and 8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown
  • DONE – Friday, October 12th 8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown (maybe @6:30pm too)
  • DONE – Friday, October 19th @6:30pm and 8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown
  • DONE – Tuesday, October 23rd @8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown
  • DONE – Thursday, October 25th @8:30pm – Haunted Mountain
  • DONE – Friday, October 26th @6:30pm and 8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown
  • DONE – Saturday, October 27th, @6:30pm and 8:30pm – Haunted Mountain
  • Tuesday, October 30th @12pm  – Haunted Griffintown (private tour)
  • Wednesday, October 31st @ 8:30pm – Haunted Griffintown (private tour)

If you want to book a haunted walk, visit the Haunted Montreal website and book your spot, but do it quickly because there are a limited number of tickets available per tour!

If you cannot make any of the dates listed on the site, but you still want a private tour with me, you can contact Haunted Montreal with requested dates and if I’m available, we can make it work. Send an email to info@hauntedmontreal.com.

Montreal Haunted Walk 2017

I am pleased to announce that I have been booked as an official Guide for Montreal’s Haunted Tours. My first haunted tour will be of Griffintown on September 29th, 2017. I will also be giving haunted tours of the Mountain in October.

My haunted tour schedule is as follows (list will be updated as needed):

  • September 29th, 20h30: Haunted Griffintown (sold out!)
  • October 13th, 20h30: Haunted Griffintown (sold out!)
  • October 14th, 21h00: Haunted Griffintown (private tour)
  • October 20th, 20h30: Haunted Griffintown (sold out!)
  • October 21st, 20h30: Haunted Mountain (sold out!)
  • October 25th, 19h30: Haunted Griffintown (sold out!)
  • October 27th, 20h30: Haunted Griffintown (sold out!)
  • October 28th, 20h30: Haunted Mountain (sold out!)

If you want to book a haunted walk, visit the Haunted Montreal website and book your spot, but do it quickly because there are a limited number of tickets available per tour!

If you cannot make any of the dates listed on the site, but you still want a private tour with me, you can contact Haunted Montreal with requested dates and if I’m available, we can make it work. Send an email to info@hauntedmontreal.com.

UPDATE: The Montreal Gazette did a report on the Haunted Walk featuring yours truly as the tour guide! You can watch the video reporting piece by clicking here.

Storytime with Sophie and Jack

Back in 2009, I was telling stories at an elementary school in Montreal and I told a story that I originally heard from Priscilla Howe called The Ghost with One Black Eye. It has remained one of my more beloved stories to tell to 3 to 6 year old children.

I was visiting a friend recently and over breakfast, her son Jack and his friend Sophie asked me to tell them a story. I told them this ghost story, and to my great surprise, Jack’s mum Deirdre later showed me a video of these two kids retelling the story.

With their parent’s permission (thank you Agnes, Deirdre, and Jean), I can now share their telling of this story. Enjoy!

Bloomsday 2017, a review

This year at the Bloomsday Festival (Montreal, Quebec), I was asked to co-host (with Donovan King) an evening of Irish poetry and stories down at bar Kaffein on Bishop street. It’s not every day I get described as “magnificent”.

From an article about the event:

Now if the rest of the festival is equal to Tuesday’s event, An Irish Story (An scéal na hÉireann), which was billed as an evening of storytelling and poetry, hosted by Donovan King and the magnificent John David Hickey, who thrilled all those in attendance with his great stories (modern adaptations of traditional Irish folklore and legends), then everyone is in for a treat.
— Luc Archambault, June 2017

The Recipe for a Bard

by Melissa Keindel (amara_strega)

To make a bard one needs to find, the recipe to create its kind. Never easy, always changing, from culture to culture, recipes ranging. Below we find a simple mix, to make a bard, and learn his tricks.

So listen now, as i do tell, a simple bard creation spell:

  • Start with 1 cup honey, for the best stories come from honeyed tongues.
  • Add 1 cup mead to loosen the mind and mouth.
  • A dash of sass, a dash of pluck, a silver coin for good luck.
  • A teaspoon of sage, to impart wisdom
  • A teaspoon of pepper to keep stories spicy
  • A quarter cup of strong beer to add valor and bravado
  • A pinch of salt for flavor
  • A pinch of suger to sweeten the heart
  • A clove of garlic for strength
  • A sprig of Thyme so they may keep time in competition
  • A tablespoon of oats to add humility
  • A cup of spring water to keep the creativity flowing
  • Lastly add to the brew one sprig of eyebright to sharpen the wit and open the mind.

Add to a sturdy pot and boil over the intense flames of the bardic fire. Stir frequently, listening for the tell tale signs of bubbling and free-style rapping that tell you it is almost complete.

Once cooked, allow to cool and take on its natural shape, that of the master storyteller and keeper of sacred tales.

Support for Standing Rock

My friends down at the Mountain Ancestors ADF Grove are actively supporting our brothers and sisters who are defending Standing Rock. The folks up there need chainsaws: their Elders up there are getting cold and they can’t process the firewood fast enough with the tools they have. Now, we need to get winter clothes and winter lodgings together, as the cold descends.

Please consider making a donation to help them keep the Standing Rock Elders safe!

Here’s what this ADF Grove posted recently on their Facebook page:

Greetings, All! This is a #CallToAction with #FreeStuff for you!

As many of you know, our Casey McCarthy is heading to Standing Rock to bring some much-needed winter supplies to the Water Protectors. They are in need of supplies for the winter, and we need your help to get them!

Fellow ADF-member and celebrated Storyteller JD Hobbes is offering a free download of his album, a collection sure to entertain story-lovers of all ages, for all donations over $50. Click on his name for more information and some cool video clips.

Make your donation at MountainAncestors.org under Services.

Join us in supporting the Water Protectors during this time of unrest and uncertainty. #WaterIsLife

I am proud to support this cause and I hope you will join me. It is up to us to decide how this story will be told to future generations.