Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: Human-Shaped Disaster Window

A church window was blown out by a massive explosion in 1917 -- and left the shape of a human profile! The church says that it's the profile of an 18th century reverend, but the truth may be less miraculous and more ghastly.

St. Paul's Church

1749 Argyle St., Halifax, NS, Canada
In St. Paul's Church. Downtown, on the south side of Halifax Harbor. Between Barrington and Argyle Sts, just north of Prince St. It's the third upper-level window from the north end of the church.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Human-Shaped Disaster Window

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Horrible Explosion Relics

The oldest Protestant church in Canada (1750) was built in the Palladian style (imported from Boston I believe) as a chapel for local Haligonians and for the garrison troops stationed there at the time. It survived the largest pre-Hiroshima man-made explosion in human history when on Dec. 6, 1917 a Belgian relief ship, Imo, collided in the harbour with the French munitions ship Mont-Blanc, which was carrying over 400,000 pounds of TNT and various other volatile effects. The explosion leveled the north end of the city, killing over 2,000 people, and injuring 9,000 more. But a souvenir has been preserved -- one window at St. Paul's broke neatly in the shape of the silhouette of a man's head and shoulders (very George Washington-esque I remember).

I asked a local Anglican priest type at the church how it happened, "Was somebody standing near the window?"

He said "No, it wasn't like a Bugs Bunny cartoon!" Oh well. But still it's very mysterious.

In a park somewhere in town is part of the anchor shank of the Mont-Blanc that flew 2 miles from the site of the explosion (I've read that the barrel of one of her cannons landed 3 1/2 miles away in the opposite direction).

[Rob L, 06/18/2003]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Theodore the TugboatTheodore the Tugboat, Halifax, NS, Canada - < 1 mi.
Largest Hammock in CanadaLargest Hammock in Canada, Seabright, NS, Canada - 18 mi.
Mastodon, Flintstones House, Halfway MarkerMastodon, Flintstones House, Halfway Marker, Stewiacke, NS, Canada - 36 mi.
In the region:
Resurgo - Zombie Ship Captain, Moncton, NB, Canada - 116 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the US and Canada are our special obsession. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

March 29, 2015

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Nova Scotia Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, Mississippi (Mar 23-29, 2015)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now