Situated just southeast of the Island of Montreal, rising to a height of over 1300 feet above sea level, Mont St-Hillaire is part of the Monteregian Hills, a group of mountains that rise around and within the city of Montreal and its suburbs. While the mountain has an interesting and unique geological history, its human history has been equally interesting, leading to many legends and a reputation as a hot spot of paranormal phenomena to this day.
In the late 1700s, the fertile soil at the foot of the mountain led to the settlement and agricultural cultivation of the area. Since most legends surrounding the area have been passed down through oral tradition, an exact time frame of when they began is hard to pin-point.
Many of the legends of Mont St-Hillaire share traditional European characteristics, and, in effect, characters. One such story involves three fairies, immortal, living happily in a cave on the mountain, until falling in love with mortals and choosing to leave the mountain and by doing so, giving up their immortality.
Another story states that there is a gate to hell located somewhere on the mountain.
In modern times, Mont St-Hillaire has a reputation of being somewhat of a paranormal hot spot, especially with regards to UFOs. The area has a far higher frequency of reported UFO sightings than any other semi-rural area within the province of Quebec, exceeding that of the semi-rural areas along the Ottawa River in the Outaouais, which is also known for having a rather large concentration of UFO sightings.
One of the more interesting cases from the area comes from the 1970s; a family were watching what they thought was a boy scouts outing in a field nearby, when suddenly, the "tent" shot up into the sky at very high speed.
Mont St-Hillaire and the surrounding region remains a fascinating area for those with interests in folklore, history, and Fortean subjects, and being close to Montreal, is an easily accessible excursion.