Looking for an overnight getaway to scare the living daylights out of you?
Then it's time to check into the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg. Well known for its spirits and special guests, you can try to book room 202 and perhaps see for yourself. Numerous guests have reported seeing a cloaked woman standing at the end of the bed in this room as well as having seen blood running down the walls.
The haunted Fort Garry Hotel and its ghost stories have been widely shared and documented. Ask former hotel staffers and about shadows in the lounge, crying in the halls or clanging in the boiler room… if you dare.
Local business owner Heather Aeichele (HD Therapies) fondly remembers the grand old hotel and the time she spent working there in the 1990s. "We used to hear ghost stories all the time, a lot from the 10th floor, and some from the kitchens in the basement." While she didn't have any personal experiences with the ghosts that haunt the hotel, she recalls a movie crew filming on the 10th floor. "They had so many problems and things that went (inexplicably) wrong that they just canceled the production and moved elsewhere."
Tales of the haunted Fort Garry Hotel have made it to several Halloween lists, including Huffington Post's "Canada's Most Haunted Places."
I, myself, will swear to having had a ghost spirit visit me in the Fort Garry Hotel. We were in a 4th floor corner suite, and facing the Garry Street Keg restaurant several years ago, when i was pulled out of bed by a spirit and pushed to the window in the middle of the night. I felt hands on my back and had to overcome a force to get back into bed. Yes, it was extremely unnerving and no, you can't convince me that it didn't happen or that I was dreaming.
Ready for your next spooky stop in the city? Head over to the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg on Smith Street. They say that two actors from 1914 died a week after performing and have haunted the venue since.
University of Manitoba should also be on your list. Students and staff have been documenting ghost sightings there for decades.
If you'd like to head further afield on your getaway, I'll suggest the Delta Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan or the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff Alberta. Each has their own spooky tales of ghost children, and at Banff Springs a ghost bride as well.
This year, you can even book into the Banff Springs Hotel and participate in their Haunted Halloween Gala event. On October 29th, this adults-only event encourages you to dress in costume, participate in a haunted halls tour, and be ready for surprises.
All photos by Trish Fjeldsted