To some, Calgary lacks magic – but most locals know that there’s plenty more than meets the eye! In 2009, A mysterious notebook containing 200 city-centric phenomena was found at MacEwan Hall and this April, a short documentary exploring the journal’s origins and what has come to be known as the ‘Gideon Keys’ will premiere at the Calgary Underground Film Festival.

Written by an anonymous author, the ‘Gideon Keys’ are still disputed, tried and discussed on social media and in conversations between both skeptics and believers.

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From portals only revealed to those who follow instructions, to a pen that only writes the truth – these unusual entries have gotten people to explore, wonder and experience the city in a whole new way.

While we may never know where the book came from, they’ve provided many with a sense of much-needed whimsy and honestly, the hope is that it’ll stay that way, as the film’s director Nicola Waugh, explains.

“The essence of the Gideon Keys is to be mysterious,” she told Curiocity.

“The person that found the notebook started posting it on 4chan. It was very appealing to people that were interested in the occult phenomenon and horror and has become what we know today as ‘creepypastas.”

Photo via Kinosum / Nicola Waugh

Eventually, the 4chan died down but it wasn’t long until it was posted back on Reddit, Wikidot and even more recently, TikTok.

“It’s this beautiful thing where you’ve got the myth of this thing in tangible form, but it’s appearing on the internet and the internet is sort of woven into the story.”

“We know Calgary is not exactly the most magical exciting place in the world, but then we’re faced with this body of work that just injects a new life into it.”


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If you’d like to see the short documentary for yourself, you can check it out when it premieres Friday, April 28th, 2023 alongside the full-length film Satan Wants You, an investigation into the roots of moral panics, cult conspiracies, and the making of contemporary legends,

It’s going to be a good one, Calgary, so don’t miss it!


When: Friday, April 28th, 2023
Where: Globe Cinema – 617 8 Ave SW, Calgary
Time: 6:30 pm
Cost: $11.42