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
Horrible Explosion Relics
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.
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 Tugboat, Halifax, NS, Canada - < 1 mi.
- Anchor Shaft Blown Miles From Exploding Ship, Halifax, NS, Canada - 2 mi.
- Largest Hammock in Canada, Seabright, NS, Canada - 18 mi.
- In the region: Hopewell Rocks, Walk Into the Bay of Fundy, Hopewell Cape, NB, Canada - 95 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.
September 17, 2014
Nova Scotia Latest Tips and Stories
- Giant Hammock, Seabright, Nova Scotia
- Giant Fiddle, Sydney, Nova Scotia
- World's Largest Fiddle, Sydney, Nova Scotia
- Joe's Scarecrows, Cheticamp, Nova Scotia
- Theodore the Tugboat, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Latest Visitor Tips
USA and Canada Tips and Stories
- Feature: The Windsor Ruins, Port Gibson, Mississippi
- Alien Abduction Statue, The Woodlands, Texas
- The Most Absurd Bar in the World: A Sculpture, Dennysville, Maine
- Eerie Abraham Lincoln Hologram, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Camera Heritage Museum, Staunton, Virginia
Latest Visitor Tips