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The Prince House in all its haunted glory... so creepy.
the Gauntlet

Haunted Calgary

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Haunted houses, spooky set-ups, and eerie encounters are generally the themes of modern day Halloween. Guys dress up in attempts to be funny, girls dress up in attempts to be sexy, and ghost sightings are at an all time high.

Although the original holiday was intended as a Catholic day for the observance of saints, today it is seen as an opportunity to frighten or be frightened--that and to consume an ridiculous amount of booze.

However, the truth remains that Halloween or not, human beings have always been fascinated with the existence of paranormal activity. Even within Calgary's limits, chilling ghost tales have been identified particularly with Heritage Park, the Deane House and the Rose and Crown Pub.

The following guide to Calgary's top three haunted houses will leave you geared up and pants-crappin' scared just in time for Halloween. Or at the very least, you'll get a kick out of the tales.

The Deane House

History: The house was built in 1906 as the official residence for the Superintendent of the Royal North West Mounted Police, Richard Burton Deane. It was originally located on the corner of 9 Ave. and 6 Street S.E. In 1929, the Deane house was moved to its present location and became a boarding house for decades to follow.

During its time as a boarding lodge, the house became the site of a number of unusual deaths. Among them were a man falling down the staircase, a young woman jumping to her death from the second-story window and a man being gunned down on the porch. However, there were only two documented and proven deaths. These are the murder/suicide deaths of Irma and Roderick Umperville in 1971. Mrs. Umperville was repeatedly stabbed and strangled by her husband who later committed suicide. Their children found their bodies.

In 1973, the house became host to a gallery and a studio for local artists and finally, in 1978, was designated a "Registered Provincial Historic Site." Today, it remains a part of Fort Calgary as well as a restaurant.

Tales of Terror: The properties long existence and mix of prior residents lends itself to some pretty interesting ghost tales. The Calgary Association of Paranormal Investigations deems the Deane House as definitively haunted, due to a series of random and unexplainable events, sounds, and occurrences.

Many of the serving staff claim to have experienced some form of paranormal activity during their time at the Deane House.

Some recall hearing laughter in the front foyer, however upon checking, seeing no one there.

In the area of the house re-made to look like Mr. Deane's study, individuals have seen an image of a man sitting in the chair, smoking a tobacco pipe. Additionally, tobacco can be smelt although the entire house is non-smoking.

Also in the study area is an antique phone that has been heard spontaneously ringing, although not plugged in. Certain servers have become accustomed to this and state they simply go about their work, as they are aware the phone is "not for them."

Server Alez Jackci remembers working late one night and seeing an image of a man floating down the hallway, with the bottom portion of his limbs missing. Jackci stated the man didn't seem to notice him, and walked down the stairs and out the door.

Instances of loud, banging footsteps have been heard from the top floor, as well as a variety of paranormal activities occurring in the attic.

Legend has it there is a bloodstain in the attic that changes in size, and reappears regardless of the number of times it has been washed.

The reddish brown stain does in fact exist in a closet in the attic and staff members have said the closet containing this stain is always open, as the door will not remain locked even after continuous attempts.

Individuals have also seen children playing in the attic, and a tall black chair being moved. As well, the rocking chair has been seen rocking randomly throughout a given day.

One evening, during a Murder Mystery Dinner theatre held at the Deane house, a woman ventured into the basement to look for clues as to who was the alleged "murderer" of the play. She complained of an encounter with an old Native man, who informed her that she was on sacred ground and did not belong there. Upon returning upstairs, the women told the staff, who, in turn, went to the basement and found no one.

These are just a few tales of the alleged Deane House ghosts.

Heritage Park

Heritage Park, located in southwest Calgary, contains a number of haunted houses. Two of the most well known ones are the Canmore Opera House and the Prince House.

The Canmore Opera House

History: The Opera house was built in the late 1800s in Canmore, Alberta. It was initially used as a concert hall, however, in the late 1800s/early 1900s, there was an accident at the Canmore mine and approximately 700 miners were killed. As the opera house could hold the most amount of people, it was used as the morgue for the tragic event. Years later it became a movie theatre and in the mid-1960s was donated to Heritage Park and moved to its current location.

Tales of Terror: A number of individuals, including members of Alberta Theatre Projects, managers of Heritage Park, and members of the cleaning staff have reported seeing an old gentleman wandering about in the Opera House. During rehearsals, he would sit in the third seat of the third row, dressed in old-fashioned clothing, and simply watch. Additionally, after rehearsals, objects have been found repeatedly misplaced.

The ghost became known as "Sam" after Sam Livingston. Heritage Park was built over Livingston's farm, and the Glenmore Reservoir now covers the location of his prior farmhouse. It is said that "Sam" is simply wandering around the grounds trying to find his way home, while others claim it is the ghosts of the deceased miners that haunt the Opera House.

One gentleman also reported an incident during auditions held in the Opera House. While in the hallway, he heard a woman with a breath-taking voice singing in the main stage area. Upon entering the area, there was not a soul to be found, and witnesses did not see anyone entering or leaving the area.

The Prince House

History: The house was built in 1894 and owned by Peter Anthony Prince, a local, wealthy entrepreneur. The house originally stood at 4 Ave. and 2 Street, in the Eau Claire District. Prince was married four times, three of his wives predeceasing him. The first died of diabetes, the second of tuberculosis, and the third of cancer. Prince died in 1925 and the house was donated to Heritage Park in 1966.

Tales of Terror: There have been many questionable occurrences on the third floor of the house that is closed off to the public. One evening, a security guard noticed that all the lights on the third floor were on, although there was no electricity up there. The lights were extremely bright, while the first and second stories remained dark. He decided to investigate it in the morning but, the next day everything had returned back to normal without anybody entering the home.

Another evening a security guard was performing his nightly check and noticed the balcony window on the third level was swinging open and closed. He decided to go into the house with his guard dog. Upon coming back down the stairs, the dog froze in his tracks, his hair stood straight up, his ears went down and his tail went between his legs. He strained to run out of the house as if something or someone had spooked him. When he got outside, he returned to normal as if nothing had happened.

Other staff members have heard extremely loud stomping on the second level, and have noticed various misplaced objects.

Individuals have also reported seeing a woman dressed in a flowing white dress, playing with a baby in the nursery of the house, only to look again and see no one.

Certain members of the staff are now unwilling to enter the home alone.

The Rose and Crown Pub

History: The house was built in 1920 as a funeral home. In 1986, the house was turned into the Rose and Crown pub as seen today. The house consists of three levels and a basement. Although the entire home was renovated into a pub, the attic remains in its original state with the wallpaper, vanity mirrors and some old furniture still in place.

Tales of Terror: Dennis Madden, who has been a manager of the Rose and Crown for two years, recalls attending a funeral at the house in 1982. He remembers where the coffin was placed, where the viewing room was, where the chapel was and where the offices were.

Today, Madden reports reoccurring events that have him convinced the place is haunted.

Often, he would be closing up at night and would turn off the lights. Then as he walked to his car, he would see a light on in one of the attic windows and sometimes, a silhouette in the window. Upon returning to work the next morning, the light would be off. Across the street from the pub is a hair salon and some of the staff also attest to occasionally seeing this light.

Madden also recalls staying late to paint for several days last year. He remembers feeling an unbelievably strong presence in the room, as if someone was watching him during all three of those days.

The legend states there was a little boy who died in the house, and is now believed to haunt it.

Staff of the Rose and Crown have reported entering the basement and seeing a little boy hiding behind a furnace on more than one occasion.

A member of the staff nicknamed "Big Al" has been bartending at the pub for 15 years. He remembers working one evening in December when the pub was hosting a group party. There was about 15 balloons scattered in one area of the pub. Around this area, there was a hallway leading to the men's bathroom and a hallway leading to the second bar.

Big Al remembers seeing one balloon float slowly into the bar, down the hallway and into the kitchen. He grabbed the balloon and placed it back, however the balloon proceeded to float along the same path three more times. Whenever the balloon reached a doorway, it would jerk down a half of meter before it, float through the doorway and then bounce back up, as if being held by someone.

So the question remains, is there any truth to these alleged haunted houses? Does paranormal activity really exist?

Researcher and Psychology Professor at the University of Calgary, Dr. Greg Fouts has spent over 25 years investigating claims of paranormal activity, extrasensory perception or anything that's on the fringes of psychology.

"I'm not so much interested in showing that such phenomena exists or proving it," says Fouts. "My bit is to try to figure out why people believe that there is such phenomenon and to help them explain it or get rid of it."

He says there's generally a logical explanation for these and other paranormal experiences.

Dr. Fouts explains that many errors in judgement are due to a person undergoing stress in their lives, for example a death in the family, sleep disorders, sleep walkers and the relationship between people who believe such things and the way they interpret unusual events.

He has conducted almost 500 investigations in his spare time ranging from claims of poltergeists to ghost sightings to alien abductions. However, Dr. Fouts remains sceptical.

"Of the 500 investigations, there's only been about half a dozen that we can't explain," he says.

"I'm not willing to jump to any conclusions but the reason I'm still doing this is in case there is something out there. I mean I'd love to see a ghost."

With that said, whether or not these stories are fact or fiction, will just have to be for you to find out... Happy Halloween.

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Comments

Nice work Vern. I just read this alone in my own spooky house, and you gave me the creeps.

i think you should list more haunted houses aw well as hauntings in calgary for those of us who wish to learn more about them as well as our city.

Any one know of any ghosts in the Mission area of Calgary besides the Rose and Crown?

The Rouge Restaurant in Calgary is supposed to be haunted by a young girl. I watched Creepy Canada and it showed a piece on it. They claimed that you can sometime hear the girl's giggle and stuff.

we are going to calgary for the first time are there any haunting around kootney lake as we are from england and have never been to canada before.

I recently went to work at the Holy Cross Hospital. I decorated our floor with Halloween decorations I brought from home and shortly after my co-worker and I kept thinking we heard someone moving around by the elevators. It was not the sound of footsteps but movement. When I checked there was noone there. Since then, I have heard various rumors about a ghost that is known to haunt the hospital and there is a story in a book called Ghosts of Alberta. I have not been able to find a copy of this book but I am now totally fascinated with our ghost. Have you ever heard any stories about this ghost?

In 1973, as a visitor to Calgary,Alberta, I obtained a working visa and started a job at the Westgate Nursing home, We had a resident Miss Edie, she lived in a world of her on, from when she was a young girl. It all seemed so real to her, she new about drama in her day..
One Midnight shift,when I was doing rounds, Miss Edie, who was not an all night sleeper herself was up, in the hallway very upset about an accident that probably occured 50 yrs ago, but that night it was real, and it took place in her room......I went in the room with her, it was a private room,I tried to calm her down, but the only thing that helped was my pretenting along with her! The rooms had rafters on the ceiling, and Miss Edie insisted I climb up and help her friends down. Well, thats just what I did, there was a chair in the cornor, full of newspapers, so I tok the papers off th4e chair, put them on the bed, and climbed the chair, and proceeded to help everyone down, one at a time, by name, the closer I got to getting the invisibles down, the calmer Miss Edie got. I got her calm, gave her a glass of water, and she was tierd and ready to go to bed with no arguement...Whn I turned to leave the room, all the newspapers were back on the chair, I know I did'nt do it,nor did Miss edie, noone else was in the room.....from that night on, I checked a different wing, because I was afraid of what I really might run into , in the wing of Miss Edie.

we've had a few unexplainables happen to our family in our own home...from my younger kids explaining and drawing pictures of a little girl, to me being hit or bumped in my sleep to my locked door being opened for me when my hands were full and i was just getting my keys out....i was wondering if we could find a way to tell how many OTHERS are here in our house.I have had a few scary things happen too but i do not want to mention them as it hasnt happened in our home in a long time and i feel comfortable not inadvertantly starting anything.Do u guys have any info on this kind of stuff.....THANKS

Uh....none of these are scary....it is stupid to get married at the deane house!

For all fellow Calgarian whose love ghost story and haunted location, I encourage you talk to anyone that either worked at a funeral home services, Cemetery or health care worker, These are the folks that encounter death and suffering everyday. I could easily tell you about my own experience at different health care facilities.

1. Old lady with long grey curry hair in 1920ís hospital gown walking the hallway at the now demolished hospital (Colonel BELCHER Hospital) 5th floor. Lone staff felt someone walked by you at the hallway but once they turn around, there was always no one there to be seen.
2. Someone continuously Bouncing ball off the wall inside one of the room at 2nd floor (Same hospital)
3. Old Grace hospital at Kensington used to be a maternity ward and laboring mothers could hear a crying lady voice at night calling for her baby name.
4. Old Holy Cross Hospital front door (Used to be old St. Mary hall) along 2nd street S.W. A woman figure who in 1910 ~ 20ís nursing uniform could be seen walking around those Romanic columns at night. (ST. Mary hall used to be an old nursing training school and first cancer ward in Calgary.
5. At Rockyview Hospital The Chapelís organ would be playing by some one at night even when the chapel was locked from outside.
These are some of the stories or ìExperiencesî that I had encounter myself, I did worked at most of theses health car facilities above. I bet if you go ask around, you might hear some more very interesting stories.

Im writeing this because of one of the stories on this site, from the rose and crown ,just hit me and made me remember, and validated my experience.

Now , before I haread this article, I was unaware that the rose and crown used to be a funeral home, as well as being unaware of a child who had past there.

When I was there with my Husband ( my fiancee at the time) just having some drinks and talking to a bar tender my husband used to know.
While sitting at the bar, I had a good view of the staircase going upstairs.
I had tured for a moment and noticed a small child sitting on the stairs , hands grasping the slats and peeking through.
I turned back to my husband and said, "who would bring a kid into hear, is it the managers kid"? So Dave looked over and sisn't see anything.
About and hour later, I had this strange urge to look over again, and sure enough there the kid is again, but this time standing on the stair way, holding a balloon, and since he ws standing, I could see the child better.
It looked like a young boy dressed in clothing from like 1920-1930, almost like what Christopher robin looks like from the winnie the pooh books, and his hair was like what you would have seen on children during that time period, straight ear length hair, and flatt and bangs.
But he was all white, even the balloon he ws holding was all white, and his face white, bright white. like all this white blended together.

Then went up the stairs, and that was that.
It was only a few seconds that I saw this boy the second time, but felt like I was staring at him for 10 minutes.

No one else seemed to notice, my husbad, or anyone else in the bar.

The after the fact , my Husband had told that it used be funeral home.
Gave me shivers and I haven't thought about in since, that is until I came across your webpage.

So many validations for me as to what I saw! Now I can rest knowing that Im not as crazy as I think!

I went into The Deane House a couple of years ago. It took me a while to get up the stairs and as soon as I got to the first room I got a head ache like I've never had before. It was so painful! I yelled at my friend that we had to go because I felt like my head was going to explode... I've never been back there since. As soon as we got out the door and into her car my head ache gone and I felt normal again. Not sure why that happened but I haven't been back there since!
In the Prince House at Heritage Park, we were there for a school field trip and I remember that my friend and I heard knocking on the walls. No one else seemed to hear it. Freaked us out! There was also someone saying something but we couldn't understand what it was.
I've been to the Rose and Crown before... I don't remember seeing anything. I may have to go back again... I never knew it was a funeral home before it was a bar. Interesting!

Wow. I have definitely have had a couple of encounters in some of these places in Calgary. Okay. When I went for a field trip at Heritage Park with all of my Gr.8 classmates, I was not aware of the Prince House ACTUALLY being haunted. So I went in with my friend Shaylene. Right when I walked in, my head hurt a bit, and my stomach was upset. But I tried to ignore it. Then, there was a lady who worked there and handed me a couple of old pictures, which was of Prince himself and the house and everything. But, what really creeped me out about that lady was, she kept staring directly behind me, she was kind of frozen. So I looked down a little at the pictures and then all of the sudden, I felt something touch my nose, like a light tap. And then, my nose spontaneously started bleeding like crazy. Right when I looked up, I turned around to see what that employee was looking at, and I saw a faint image of a tall man standing directly behind me and ten vanished very quickly. Now, you try to tell me that, that house is not haunted..

hello, when i was 3 years old my mum and dad owned the king henry house next door 2 the rose and crown pub. i was hurted by a little girl from there and iam 26 now. i just wondid if you can tell me any thing about history of the restaurant please? i know it dates bk till the 15th century. thanks carrie

To all those that have not belive. Have you ever been up to the top floor? Even in the day time it is ICE cold. I have worked at the dean house and it is freaky anytime of day. If you ask me there is a real preasents in the house. This is there house respecet it.

I remember my mom took me to Heritage Park when I was around 13, one of the houses has a glass enclosure to see into the bedrooms on the top floor, we where just checking out the furniture then we seen a lady with a child wrapped in a blanket, she was in an old rocking chair, this was also a brighly lit afternoon, she did not move, I tuned to my mom and asked is that lady real, she looked real, wearing a long black skirt, wide band around her waist, white blouse long sleeve, and ruffles down the front, just like the period of that era, everyone that works in these places dress of the era, the lady in the chair never moved or blinked , then I said to my mom she is a very good actress, I thought of tapping on the glass to get her attention, she stared ahead and never once looked in our direction, we carried on back down the stairs I said to the employee of the house that lady upstairs is a very good actress, she said nothing to me, it was many years later that I found out that no one occupys the upstairs. I know what I saw and plan to visit it again to see if she is still there. This is not my first ghost, I have seen another, but that is another story. Anyone else seen this lady with child?