Listening for the Dead Bells

Marian Bruce

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Marian Bruce will launch her new book Listening for the Dead Bells on September 22 from 2 to 4 pm at the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead in Orwell. This collection of folklore about ghosts, witches, seers, and forerunners aims to nurture the storytelling tradition on PEI and inspire others to collect more tales before they are forgotten.

Mysterious lights, howling dogs, ringing sounds in the ear: these omens of death are part of a treasury of supernatural beliefs transmitted through centuries and across the Atlantic Ocean. Part memoir, part oral history—Listening for the Dead Bells reflects on stories about bad fairies, witch control, bòcans, second sight, divination, healing incantations, attitudes toward death, and other links between Prince Edward Island and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Marian Bruce, a former journalist, is the author of six books. Her book on farm horses, Remembering Old Dan, won the PEI Book of the Year Award for non-fiction in 2012. A descendant of 19th-century immigrants from the Isle of Skye, she grew up in a community influenced by Highland customs, beliefs, music, and supernatural tales. After decades of working in cities across Canada, she now lives in High Bank, in the farmhouse where she was born and raised.

Join Island Studies Press and Marian Bruce in celebrating this new book. For information about the book or launch, contact Bren at or 902-566-0386.