October is a sinister month and while well-decorated houses and macabre effects are good and fun, there’s nothing more terrifying than the real deal. Some of the many buildings where you can get into the spirit of things this year? The GRAND Theatre, Doll Block and the Deane House in Calgary, all of which are ‘haunted.’
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Believed to be the largest in Canada when it opened on February 5th, 1912, the project was a “true marvel of modernity” thanks to its electric lighting, automatic sprinklers and running water in its dressing rooms.
From Fred Astaire to Nellie McClung, icons happily took the stage to entertain large crowds – though Calgary was only home to around 50,000 people at the time.
Years later, it’s still a hotspot – but not only for art lovers and event holders. According to Calgary Ghost Tours, there’s also a ton of spooky activity on the premises.
“The office manager would hear someone yelling in the lobby,” CGT guide Johanna Lane told Curiocity.
“Thinking they had left the door unlocked by accident she would try to find out who was making the noise. All doors were locked and nobody was to be seen… but sometimes the glassware would rattle until she told them to settle down…she would get them a drink later.”
Others have reported seeing a ghostly woman walking into the theatre space.
“She’s always dressed the same. Flowered dress, heels and long dark hair. They would chase after her and there would be no one in the space. They would call the office and everyone was accounted for.”
Where: 608 1 St SW, Calgary, AB
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Built in 1906 for Captain Richard Deane’s first wife, the Deane House has a rich and mysterious history.
“Deane’s first wife Martha died before she could move in,” Lane continued, adding that Deane had married two more times to women who famously threw huge parties in the house.
“It then became the station master house for the Grand Trunk Railway and was moved closer to the river. Then in 1939 it was bought by the city and moved across the Elbow River where it became a boarding house and numerous restaurants.”
Since then, there have been reports of a woman standing in the upstairs window (even when the attraction was closed.)
“It might be one of Deane’s wives or Mrs. Umperville who was killed in the house by her husband,” she shared.
Where: 806 9 Avenue SE
A watchmaker and jeweller, Louis Henry Doll could often be found hard at work in his store on 8th Avenue in Calgary with his daughter, Florence.
Sadly, she passed away from diphtheria and Doll gave up on his business.
“People will see a gentleman and a young girl in the upstairs office, sitting on opposite sides of the table as if they are still working together,” Johanna told us.
“One staff member was getting ready to close up when a young couple came in with their daughter. The daughter sat on a chair near the door while waiting for her parents to finish their shopping. They left, but the daughter stayed put.”
“The clerk went to the child and stumbled a bit. She put her hand out to steady herself and it went right through the child and onto the chair. Shaken she went out to the parents and while she was explaining what was happening, they both became visibly upset and the wife started crying.”
Where: Doll Block, 116 8 Ave SE #200, Calgary
Spooked? Perhaps you’ll see something for yourself upon visiting the Doll Block – or any of the above for that matter.
You never know what you’ll hear or feel in the many haunted places around Calgary – so check them out and beware.
This city is truly spooktacular.