Saint John — The Port City’s premier tourist attractions have been eclipsed by a new and exciting allure: a sewer-hole haunted by the ghost of famous Saint John actor Walter Pidgeon.
The Pidgeon Hole has been quietly advertised in American show-business gossip magazines such as the popular Stars in Bars, the penetrating Poopy Scoop and the celebrated Private Lives of the Famous Dead.
Peter Hawke, a self-proclaimed Walter Pidgeon gossip hunter, read about the Pidgeon Hole at his home in Texas, and immediately booked a train to Saint John, as that is the mode of transportation Old Walt used. It was supposed to be a 2-week trip, but it took 3 to make the trek due to the deplorable state of rail systems in the two countries. “Walt would have made it in a week,” said Hawke, “back in the ’30s.”
Upon arriving in foggy Saint John, Hawke immediately took a cab to the Loyalist Plaza to stand on the hole. “If you raise your arms to the heavens and sing one of his songs, Walter Pidgeon will sing with you, and when you’re finished, he will give you sage advice.”
Hawke sang “A Hundred Years from Today” and Pidgeon’s ghost could be heard by our reporter singing along. At the end of the piece, Pidgeon’s ghost said, “In a hundred years, you’ll be dead.”
“It was great,” Hawke told this reporter. “My life is now complete.”
Michigan native Eunice Ermine wasn’t so impressed. She sang “What if I do?” and Walter Pidgeon replied, “I don’t care if you do, but thanks for standing on my hole in a dress.”
“Imagine!” she exclaimed.
Nobody is sure how Walter Pidgeon’s ghost got trapped in the hole, but it makes sense when you consider the actor was trapped in a hole much of his life. His most famous quote is, “I was like a kept woman during my 21 years at MGM.”
Interestingly, Pidgeon’s boss at MGM was another Saint Johner, Louis B. Mayer. Perhaps this relationship explains the common practice today of keeping Saint John employees in holes.