Only one tour in Calgary leaves guests with chills up their spines and racing hearts – Calgary Ghost Tours.
The 90 minute tours take guests through the city’s rich history of murder, death, and debauchery, and the spirits said to be left behind.
“Even if you don’t like the ghosts, you’ll learn some history, and even if you don’t like history, you’ll find out about the ghosts,” Johanna Lane, the tour’s creator, explained in an interview.
Lane was inspired to start the spooky tours after enjoying historical tours on a visit to Boston. When she returned to Calgary, she decided to learn more about the city she had lived in for so many years.
People began telling Lane local ghost stories, and the idea was sparked.
In the tour’s six seasons Lane hasn’t seen any ghosts, but eerie events have occurred on tours she has guided.
“I’ve had the hair on the back of my neck raised,” said Lane.
There is, for example, a story about a six-year-old boy who was killed under a bridge in Inglewood.
On one of Lane’s tours, she said a nine-year-old boy asked to play with a little boy he seen. Lane believes the boy the nine-year-old guest had seen was the ghost of boy who died under the bridge.
“We hadn’t even told the story about the boy being killed yet,” said Lane.
“That gives me chills.”
There are many theories about ghosts and the reasons they may be here.
Lane believes ghosts choose to be here.
“I think a lot of times [the ghosts] have memories whether good or bad that keep them there,” said Lane.
Tom Davis, executive director at the Centre for Advanced Paranormal Investigation (CAPI), said he is not sure if and why ghosts are here.
“What we are trying to find out is: are ghosts real? and if so, are they spirits? are they trapped on earth? those kinds of things,” said Davis.
Davis said approximately 95 per cent of the paranormal investigations CAPI has completed have been explainable. The noises people thought were ghosts turned out to be things such as pipes in the walls and noisy furnaces.
However, five per cent of the organization’s investigations are scientifically unexplainable.
Several of the unexplainable occurrences took place at the Deane House in Inglewood.
One the second floor of the house, Davis said he and his team found a magnetic anomaly that was spherical in shape, and approximately a meter in size.
“In that sphere our equipment would just do the weirdest things,” said Davis.
He witnessed closet doors in the house close by themselves, and had video footage taped in the house disappear. Davis was also physically assaulted by an invisible force in the attic of the house.
“I looked in the access panel door, and I was physically slapped across the face,” he exclaimed.
“It’s definitely something, but what specifically it is I cannot say, and I don’t think anybody can say,” Davis said.
Ghost Tours Calgary has also experienced paranormal activity at the Deane House.
“We have had a few people see a woman in white in the upstairs window,” said Lane.
She said one of the guests took a picture of the woman dressed in white on their phone.
“It did look like there was something up there,” she said.
Inglewood is the epicentre for paranormal activity in Calgary, said Lane.
“It’s a little creepier, a little darker, and it’s the oldest part of town,” she said.
Lane said most of the ghosts that haunt the city are harmless. However, “there are a couple of them that are a little angry,” she added.
Devino Wine and Cheese Bistro is known to have an angry ghost, Lane said.
She said the building used to be home to the spiritualist church which worshiped with Ojai boards and séances.
“It’s a gentleman, and he will actually moan and wail,” said Lane
Ghost Tours costs $15 per person and run until the first week of November.
The company also offers pub walks and psychic events in the winter. For more information on Calgary Ghost Tours visit their website.