What binds Banff, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Calgary and Dunvegan? Ghost stories. As this celebration of horror approaches, Le Franco invites you to rediscover Alberta, through these five ghost legends. Brrr …
In Banff, a haunted luxury castle
Built in 1888, the Banff Springs Hotel is the favorite spot for affluent tourists. It would also have been the scene of bloody dramas and ghosts. From its construction, a detail announces the baroque side of the place. A room, without window or door, is built. A crazy idea from the hotel owner? An oversight on the part of the site manager? Neither of these two hypotheses can be confirmed. It was during a fire in 1926 that this room was discovered. From then on, ghosts invented themselves in the hotel.
The other mysterious room of the Banff Springs Hotel is the famous room 873. According to a legend which circulates on the web, a father possessed by a furious madness would have killed in the middle of the night his wife and his daughter before committing suicide. Strange events would have followed: prints of blood on the clothes of the occupants of the room, cries of distress, appearance of the said killed family… The hotel formally denies this rumor.
A museum that does not only house works of art …
Before welcoming culture enthusiasts to its premises, the Galt Museum & Archives from Lethbridge received a whole different kind of visitors. Indeed, the establishment in which the art gallery is currently located was a hospital. At that time, a room was dedicated to children. It is now converted into a workspace for employees. It is rumored that small fingerprints sometimes appear on some computer screens. A bad joke between colleagues? According to employee testimonies, this option must be swept out of hand.
The Bowman Arts Center ghost stories don’t end here. The elevator doors would open and close autonomously. This anecdote which appears to be a technical problem has an entirely different nature when it is put in relation to the story of George. George was a patient who had to undergo an operation in the 1930s. But, he was never able to benefit from the said operation: an elevator fell on his head and died. Does he haunt the place to take revenge for his death? Is it because he didn’t like the hospital’s Red Jell-Bones?
Teacher of the Hereafter
For many teachers, their job is their vocation. This is the case for a teacher at Concordia University in Edmonton. Founded in 1921 to train future Catholic priests and teachers, the school seems to have formed another category of professions: that of shadow teacher. The teacher in question has decided never to leave the premises. Even after his death … This is how since the 1960s, he would have fun walking the corridors and scaring the students by shaking the doors. In addition to causing the temperature of buildings to fluctuate, the spirit would occasionally join with other spirits singing in the walls of student residences.
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One ghost, one cup of tea at a time
In Calgary, theHotel Fairmont Palliser offers a refined black tea called the Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling. This name honors the memory of the one who kept her promise to never leave the tea plantation.
This Margaret’s father, a Mr. Bagdon from London, had tea plantations in India. In the 1930s, he decided to invite his youngest daughter to visit the place. The young woman falls in love with the beauty of the place and expresses her desire to stay there for life. A desire that cannot be realized. She must return to London by boat. On the way home, she falls overboard and drowned. Sadly, his father renamed the plantation the Garden ‘Margaret’s Hope. Since that day, the specter of a young woman has been seen in the plantation …
A bridge that links two worlds
Dunvegan, a community in northwestern Alberta, settled along the Peace River. In November 1960, a bridge was built to allow the community to cross the river. Today, this bridge would also be a way to get in touch with the spirit of a woman.
The winter following the inauguration of the bridge, two men cross it by car. Despite the snowstorm that hits the region, a detail catches their eye. They perceive a woman who wears a coat with a large hood, but who is barefoot. The car slows down at its height. But despite this mark of attention, the woman shows no sign of interest in the two men. Having succeeded in crossing the other side of the bank, the two men stop the car. One of them decides to go and meet the woman. If the car’s tire tracks are still fresh in the snow, those of the woman are non-existent …
Hypotheses on the origin of this mysterious woman circulate: she would be a nun of an ancient time or a bride.