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Banshee on Canadian 25 cents

The third and final coin in the Royal Canadian Mint’s “Haunted Canada Series” has been released. The 35 mm, plated steel 25 cents celebrates the legendary Ghost of Bell Island. Mintage is 20,000.


The Bell Island banshee is shown in lenticular technology on the reverse. It can be viewed both as a beautiful woman or an aging hag, exactly as described by those who have experienced her in marshes near Dobbin’s Garden on Bell Island.

Bell Island or Belle Island or Belle Isle is variously located in Newfoundland and/or Labrador. Local legend holds that little people, some say fairies, others pixies, once claimed the life of a young woman who ventured into the island’s marshes. Although townspeople heard her cries for help they ignored her for whatever reason.

The soul of the doomed woman has been trapped forever in the form of the Hag with Two Faces: one young and beautiful, the other grotesque and aged. Anyone entering the marsh after dark may well meet her.

Men prove particularly susceptible to the Hag. Those who enter the bogs often go missing for days. When they subsequently emerge they seem unaware of any passage of time. But they remember all too well a smell of death and decay and the sudden apparition of the banshee either as an attractive maid or an aged crone – in fact, just as depicted on the new coin.

This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.

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