Getting into the Spirit- the Haunted Hotels of Canada

There’s nothing like a good ghost story to further chill a cold night.  Canada is revered for its cold nights, but it also has its fair share of haunted hotels which help guests get into the spirits.

British Columbia doesn’t miss out on its ghoulish delights. The mischievous ghost at Victoria, BC’s whitewashed James Bay Inn is said to be none other than Group of Seven painter Emily Carr, who died here back when it was a hospital run by nuns. Guests report phones ringing for no reason at ungodly hours and the distinct feeling of being watched. Carr’s deathbed was in what’s now the bar bathroom, so freshen up fast and pre-order stiff drinks, in case you need to forget what you see in the mirror.

Over in Saskatchewan it’s reported that a friendly old fellow in a gray fedora roams the banquet level of the Delta Bessborough, a majestic riverside castle in Saskatoon; which this year celebrates its 75th anniversary. The ghost smiles graciously at those he meets—usually after dark. He seems so real that guests don’t always realize he’s an apparition unless they mention him to staff, who will nod wisely and share their own tales of encounters. One theory is that he’s a former employee who died by falling seven stories into the lobby; there’s a crack in the marble floor where he allegedly landed. Watch that first step, it’s a doozy!

You can’t really go past Banff to ffrighten the wits out of you.  If you don’t run into Sam the Bellman at The Fairmont Banff Springs, a deceptively fairy-tale-like Rocky Mountains resort in Alberta, you may well get your supernatural fix from the Blushing Bride. Sam first: He’s kind of a dream ghoul, helping guests who’ve lost their keys and pressing elevator buttons for overburdened bellhops. You’ll know him by the 1960s uniform. The Blushing Bride is the ghost of a young lady who fatally tumbled down a grand staircase (which is fortunately closed to visitors today) on her wedding morning in the 1920s. She panicked after her veil caught fire on an ornamental candle. This one’s your standard scary-lady-in-big-white-dress spook – but she’s a little under-groomed.

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