There’s something haunting about Alberta. Driving down a lonely gravel road in the middle of summer, dust kicked up on either sides of the car, you feel like you’ll never see another soul. The mountains evoke a similar feeling… vast and sprawling, intimidating in their size and colour, it’s very easy to feel lost and alone while standing amongst them.
Perhaps that’s why Alberta’s ripe with so many ghost stories. Tales of hotel hijinx and abnormal occurrences in the province’s many ghost towns mean you can’t travel too far without coming across someone who will share a morsel of shifty folklore – or their own paranormal tale.
In fact, people around the world make the trek to Alberta to do a bit of ghost-hunting themselves. The Banff Springs Hotel, about an hour-and-a-half outside Calgary, is linked to thousands of apparent ghost sightings and strange happenings.
In 1932 an anonymous young bride, who died of a broken neck on her wedding day, has also reportedly been seen by patrons within these grounds. Dressed in her wedding gown, she was descending a staircase. She tripped on her gown and fell down the stairs. Her ghost can reportedly be seen dancing alone in the dining room, only to burst into flames. The apparitional resident is reportedly a former employee of the hotel. A bellhop who died after announcing his retirement in 1976, Sam Macauley, has lived on in the eyes of some guests and hotel staff members who claim to have seen visions of the man in full uniform, helping out guests just as if he had never left. They have reported sightings of a bartender’s ghost telling customers that they have drank too much and need to go to bed. An apparitional headless male bagpiper has been occasionally haunting here.
Fort Saskatchewan. Many male convicts were hanged at the Northwest Mounted Police outpost on this historic site in May 1923, but only one woman. Florence Lassandro was dubbed the “Mob Princess“, and her specter is one of many apparitional figures seen wandering the grounds and in the preserved buildings. It was featured on Creepy Canada.
Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper. There is a very steep staircase in one of the signature cabins, Point Cabin, that is haunted by a housekeeper who fell and broke her neck on it. She has been known by visitors to push people on the staircase as well as being responsible for the chilly winds that sometimes blow down it. People have also reported a feeling of being watched on the staircase and in the connecting hall and animals are said to be very hesitant about going on the stairway. Security guards have claimed to receive phantom calls from the cabin only to arrive and no one is there. A senior couple dressed in old-fashioned clothing have been seen by patrons either dancing or sitting at a table in one of the restaurants. Children’s hand prints appear on the window in the main ballroom and people have noted an eerie feeling of being watched in the ballroom.
Lake Minnewanka in Banff. An ancient Stoney First Nations legend says that a demon half-fish and half-man is inside this lake. It has taken the lives of many tribal members from the lake’s shores. A white mustang’s apparition has also been seen by visitors on the shores. There is also a report from visitors about a spectral First Nations warrior who wanders the lake edge still looking for skulls left over from a major battle between two tribes long ago in this area.
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in Tofield. Most famous of the ghosts is a wagon master who rides through town pulling a wagon seeking for workers to go on a ride with him. Other paranormal activities are light anomalies, spooky footsteps, disembodied voices and glimpses of apparitions. It was featured on Creepy Canada.
Lac La Biche Mission in Lac La Biche. An anonymous specter of a young priest walks both into and out of the church. He lost his life in a tornado that swept through this settlement in 1920. Visitors have reported the strong feeling of being watched from the church’s empty windows. Light anomalies and ectoplasmic mists have been seen and photographed by tourists. Objects move by themselves as well as disappearing and inference and malfunction of electronic devices have also been reported by visitors. It was featured on Creepy Canada.
27 Apr, 2016
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