Canada's Most Haunted City
Posted 31 October 2009 - 08:13 AM
Canada's most haunted city?
Winnipeg, MB - There's always been some mystery to Winnipeg and just two nights before Halloween; I decided there was no better time to go for a classic ghost hunt - a decision I now regret, as I sit alone in my hotel room contemplating how I'll survive the night.
Earlier this evening, I set off with Muddy Water Tours and Heartland Travel for a ghost hunt in Winnipeg. Our group's trusty guide, Kristen Verin-Treusch, has been leading these tours since 2001 and has seen more than her fair share of unbelievable things.
Our first stop - the Manitoba Legislature. The building was opened in 1919 unfinished and $7 million over budget. Even today, elevator shafts remain empty. We entered the hallway to the right of the grand staircase, an area known for its paranormal activity. Ben, a 27-year veteran security guard at the legislature had always felt out of place when he entered an office room on the second floor. One evening, several mediums informed him that in that office, the ghosts of three men have meetings every night. They asked that Ben would knock and stop interrupting their meeting. Ben now knocks every night. Another ghost known to haunt the legislature is that of a man in a suit with a top hat often seen on the grand staircase.
Besides the telling of ghost stories, Kristen and her team bring electronic thermometers to test for drop in temperatures as well as pendulums and divining rods used for dowsing and communicating with spirits.
Next, we visited the St. Boniface Museum, founded in 1845 and the oldest building in Winnipeg. Kirsten tells us about how past visitors have been known to hear monks chanting, a choir of women singing, or children running around. Perhaps a coincidence, then again - the building was as a convent but also operated later as an orphanage, a residential school, and senior's home. More recently, one staff worker tells about one night when she was closing the museum. She heard water coming out of the taps in the ladies' room. She went in to turn them off - and the door shut suddenly behind her. She attempted once, twice, to open the door but distinctly remembered the lights flickering on the other side of the door. Finally, a third attempt, and the door swung open and the lights stood still.
The Muddy Waters Team and Kristen advocate the practice of safe communing with spirits. This is done by gently inviting spirits, not provoking them. Kristen is also always sure to protect group participants by imagining bright white light around each person. Unsafe practices? "Ouija boards," she says, "Most people who use Ouija boards invite spirits and don't know how to responsibly protect themselves or ensure that they go back to their side."
The third stop was Elmwood Cemetery where Kristen has made a strong connection with the ghost or spirit of Joseph, a child born in 1909 and died before the age of three in 1912. All that is known about Joseph is that he died in a Friday and was buried on Monday. Here, the ghost of Joseph often comes out to play and if you're there on the right night, you may experience the fog phenomena often photographed at this site - swirls or concentrated figures of fog thought to be the manifestation of spirits.
The last and final stop of the Haunted Winnipeg Investigates tour - and the real show-stopper - is the Fort Garry Hotel. The hotel's haunted piece-de-resistance is a story about room 202. People who have stayed in this room, including one Ottawa government official, have reported the ghost of a woman in this room. She can be heard walking around and felt getting into bed with you when you're falling asleep. It's said that she was a bride that was murdered in this room - and her name was Kate. Another man told of his experience: he was waiting for the elevator when he caught the glimpse of a man's face pressed up against the window, eyes blackened. Deciding to take the stairs instead, the man was quickly running down when he looked up and saw the same man staring at him from a few flights up. The last story from the Fort Garry Hotel is that of Theodore, the phantom diner. Theodore came to eat at the Fort Garry often because he was in love with the lounge singer. Ultimately, he was shot in the back of his head by his brother - they were fighting over the same woman. She is said to haunt the Palm Lounge near the grand piano.
Is Winnipeg the most haunted city in Canada? The goose bumps still on the back of my neck say yes.
Muddy Water Tours and Heartland Travel offer three haunted tours of Winnipeg, the Historical Haunted Winnipeg Tour for beginners; the Haunted Winnipeg Investigates for novices; and Vigils for those gutsy - or crazy enough - to stick it out overnight. For more information, go to: Haunted Winnipeg Investigates.
Krafted with luv
Posted 14 November 2009 - 02:11 PM
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