The St. Catharines Poltergeist – Strange Goings-On At 237 Church Street

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
April 24, 2020
Last Updated
October 3, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
Supernatural, Ghosts & Hauntings

Although it is little spoken of today outside paranormal circles, an apparent poltergeist incident in February of 1970 in St. Catharines in Canada would, for a time, captivate much of the North American continent, with newspapers and news channels in both Canada and the United States running features on the case.

A picture of a boy in a chair that is floating blended with a picture of the property as it is today

The haunting on Church Street appears very credible

The person at the center of the bizarre activity remains anonymous still to this day. Known only as “Peter”, he was an 11-year-old boy at the time of the incidents, and his whereabouts like that of his family is unknown. The incidents that would take place, as one of the witnesses would say years later, were like something “right out of The Exorcist!” And we should perhaps note, the events took place several years before The Exorcist had been unleashed in movie theatres.

The police officers who would find themselves at the center of this most bizarre case have spoken several times publicly, however. Most researchers, while always erring on the side of caution, tend to be satisfied that the case is most likely very credible.

In The Middle Of A Paranormal Incident By Pure Chance!

The incident we are about to examine first came to light on 6th February 1970 [1] when police officer, Bob Crawford was leaving an apartment at 237 Church Street. He had gone there regarding a domestic dispute incident. However, as he was about to leave, a lady from another apartment in the building, Barbara Page, approached him asking for help.

She led him to her apartment, and the sight that confronted Crawford was a scene of absolute chaos. The reasons for the carnage, though, were even stranger.

According to the lady, objects in their apartment – and even furniture – were moving of their own accord. And what’s more, this had been taking place for around 10 days. To say Page was disturbed by the events would have been an understatement.

A TV reproduction of the table floating in the air

A TV reproduction of the table floating in the air

Realizing something strange was indeed taking place, Crawford sat down with the lady, along with her husband, John, and their two sons, 11-year-old Peter and 8-year-old Mark, and asked them to detail to him the events. It was a conversation he would not forget.

As well as the moving objects, furniture had been completely tipped over – one of which, a chest of drawers, Crawford witnessed himself in the kitchen. The police officer felt he had no option but to contact a local priest. And when he did, he would discover that whatever was behind these strange incidents, it had been in the building for some time.

Strange Incidents Witnessed By Multiple People

When the priest from the local Roman Catholic Church, Father Stevens, met with Crawford a short time later at the home of the Page family, he would inform him that he had experienced strange activity in the apartment previously. On that occasion, several days earlier, he witnessed a bed move away from the wall as if by an invisible force. He would then defiantly push the bed back only for it to move once more.

As they were talking of the incidents in the kitchen, Crawford would recommend they reconvene in the living and take a moment to calm down. As he left the room, the police officer moved a chair back into position at the kitchen table to allow him to pass.

A TV reproduction of furniture moving by itself

A TV reproduction of furniture moving by itself

When they were speaking, however, a few seconds later, they heard strange footsteps walking from the living room and into the kitchen. As if an invisible person was walking right by them. By the time they returned their focus to the kitchen, the chair was pushed back away from the table and back into the middle of the room.

As they were attempting to get their head around just what was happening, another police officer, Bill Weir arrived as back-up for the domestic incident he believed Crawford to be investigating. Needless to say, he was not at all prepared for the information his colleague was about to relay to him. Like the priest, though, it would come to light that Weir too had previous experiences in the apartment complex.

Peter! The Focus Of The Paranormal Disturbance!

He would inform Crawford that on the evening of 15th January, he had arrived at another apartment in the building in response to a call.  On that occasion, the tenants had informed him of hearing strange noises at all hours of the day. Weir would log the incident. He would also check with the relevant departments in the area that the building was structurally sound. It was.

Following this, utility companies were asked to check their relevant areas of the building to check for anything that could be responsible for the strange noises. However, everything was working as it should and no explanation was found.

Now, Weir would witness the strange activity for himself a short time after arriving at the apartment to back up Crawford. For example, he would witness the clock on the kitchen begin “sliding upward” as if being pushed by invisible hands. Perhaps strangest of all were the several bowling trophies sat neatly on a shelf that simply fell to the floor, one by one.

A TV reproduction of the haunting

A TV reproduction of the haunting

It was around this time that Crawford noticed something intriguing. When the 11-year-old Peter walked through the room, it appeared he brought with him a paranormal energy. The police officer would recall that pictures on the wall began “swaying” as he walked past them. It would appear to Crawford, that the focal point of the bizarre entity causing the chaos, was Peter.

This was seemingly confirmed to the officers and the priest when they witnessed the invisible presence physically push the young boy against the wall of the room. Perhaps strangest of all, though, was seeing the boy, who was sat in an old-style, heavy wooden chair, being lifted several feet off the ground and hovered there for several seconds.

More Strange Events The Following Evening

This was far from the only disturbing incidents witnessed by those present. One officer recalled how the younger son was at one point sat on his knee when what felt like invisible hands attempted to grab the child. It would take a second officer to ensure the child did not fly from where he sat.

On another occasion, one of the children’s beds levitated from the floor, as did a sofa with several people sat on it. The entire scene was one of confusion and mind-blowing events. Doors would open and close, pictures would suddenly drop from the wall, and heavy furniture would topple over.

Perhaps bizarrely, it would appear to the officers that it was only a crucifix and a painting of the Virgin Mary that experienced no strange activity. Although they would note and file a report, there was little they could do at that particular moment.

A TV reproduction of the young boy being raised into the air in a chair

A TV reproduction of the young boy being raised into the air in a chair

However, the following evening, Crawford, this time along with fellow officer, Richard Colledge would return to the apartment complex once more. And once more, their reason for being there was another domestic dispute in the same apartment as the previous evening. On this occasion, they would arrest one of the people present.

Crawford asked Colledge to take charge of the arrested man. He would then take the witness statement of the woman involved. As he was doing so, however, another woman rushed into the apartment to find Crawford. She would claim to have come from the Pages’ apartment. And what’s more, she had witnessed a bed “floating” in the air. Crawford would immediately follow the woman back to the apartment. Upon arriving, he would witness the bed floating in the air just as the woman had said.

It was at that point when Crawford went to find Colledge.

Increasing Number Of Witnesses!

By the time Colledge and Crawford returned, the bed had returned to the floor and all appeared calm. However, given what Crawford had witnessed the previous evening, the officers opted to remain in the apartment to see if any further strange activity took place. It duly did a short time later when a picture that was solidly on the wall suddenly crashed to the ground.

The officers would make the decision to return each day to the apartment. This way, the could keep a record of the strange goings-on. They would also take the decision to not release details of the incidents. And certainly not the names of those involved.

They would notice further evidence that the strange activity appeared to revolve around the 11-year-old Peter. For example, when Peter was sat on a large wooden chair one afternoon, he was suddenly tipped out of it and sent crashing to the floor.

A newspaper clipping of the incidents

A newspaper clipping of the incidents

On the afternoon of 11th February, though, before Crawford could carry out his daily visit with the Page family, the police would receive another call from them. Three officers would arrive at the apartment, including Weir from several days earlier. According to the details of the distressed family, the strange activity had gone on all day.

Furthermore, there were now several different people in the apartment, as well as several others who had visited the family. The strange events once more continued as the officers and onlookers looked on in awe. And more than a little fear.

The following day, however, things took a drastic turn for the Pages.

A “Leak” To The Press!

Whether it was an unknown police officer or one of the many family members and friends who visited the Page family during the strange activity, it would appear that someone leaked the details of the incident to the local newspaper, The Standard. Under a large headline that read Ghostly Presence In An Apartment On Church Street, the article went into details of the bizarre happenings.

Within days, paranormal investigators, reporters, and those merely with a sense of curiosity would descend on the apartment complex. Interest would even extend to the radio and television networks who would run several segments and features on the incident.

Due to the constant harassment from people wanting interviews or to view the apartment themselves, as well as those who would mock and ridicule the family, they would ultimately hire a lawyer in order to take charge of such requests and phone calls.

They would eventually leave the area temporarily to stay with friends in Montreal, finding the attention much too intrusive and exhausting. Interestingly or not, they would not experience any strange activity while away.

They would eventually return to their apartment. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, the activity did not recommence.

It is uncertain where the Page family resides now. They would never speak publicly of the incident. And the location today is Pete’s Pizzeria (which you can view in the video below). [2]

A Connection To The “Cycle Of The Moon” And Paranormal Activity?

There is one interesting detail from one of the officers present at much of the activity. Officer Weir would note the strange events appeared to last exactly 28 days and then ceased. He further notes that this is one lunar cycle. Might there be a connection to the Moon during these opening weeks of 1970 and the bizarre activity that followed?

We know, for example, that the Moon does have the potential to bring out strange reactions in some people. Even if we don’t fully understand why this is. Might it also be true that the Moon, perhaps combined with other phenomena that we don’t yet know about or understand, could result in the manifestation and strange activity at 237 Church Street?

Might it even have been a reaction to the Moon by Peter himself? And, in turn, if we subscribe to the psychic internet theory, then manifested the poltergeist activity?

The cause of the strange activity remains a mystery. It is, however, one of the most credible and best-documented cases in history. Even now, half a century after the strange events unfolded, researchers still turn their attention to the case. Perhaps hoping a detail might stand out to them that it hasn’t to others.

Check out the video below which looks at poltergeist activity in general.


1 The Poltergeist of St. Catherines, Ontario, Hystoria, October 26th, 2017
2 St. Catharines property with poltergeist connection listed for sale, Gord Howard, The Standard

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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