Ghost tour is raising ghouls for a good cause

Calgary Ghost Tours has partnered with Oops-a-Dazy Rescue and Sanctuary Society and The Food Lovers Urban Market for a tour of Inglewood’s haunted attractions.

Johanna Lane, founder of Calgary Ghost Tours and co-founder of The Food Lovers Urban Market, has been showing people around the city’s haunts for over eight years.

“I went, ‘okay, there’s got to be some cool stories [in Inglewood].’ I mean, you look at the houses and you go, “what happened?’” Lane said about her initial interest in the job.

Christine Campbell, the special events co-ordinator at Oops-a-Dazy, was drawn to working with the ghost tours because she had always wanted to do a tour herself.

Oops-a-Dazy has also worked with Haunted Calgary, a haunted house attraction, to raise money for the rescue society for the past eight years.

“It’s the perfect marriage between our haunted attraction at Haunted Calgary and Calgary’s real life ghosts,” Campbell said.

Approximately 30 people attended the ghost tour and fundraiser, which stopped at four paranormal hot spots including the Rouge restaurant, the Suitor House, the Hose and the Hound pub, and the Ninth Avenue bridge in Inglewood.

The Suitor House is one of Lane’s favourite locations.

It is thought to be haunted by a widow, Melonie, whose husband was crushed and killed while working in the nearby Canadian Pacific Railway yards.

“I love the Melonie story. I think that’s because of the railroads,” Lane said.

Though Lane gives tours regularly, she is still “on the fence,” about whether spirits really roam these supposedly haunted locales.

However, tour guests reported seeing an apparition on a tour of the Deane House, a development that still has Lane shaking.

“[I had] talked about the hangings, then we’d come across [the bridge] and this girl at the front goes, ‘what about the woman in white?’

“It took me a minute or two to realize that the four people in the front were seeing somebody in white in the upstairs window,” Lane said.

Regardless of a person’s beliefs, the ghost tour provides a unique look at the history behind some of Calgary’s oldest buildings.

In this case, it was to support two local organizations as well.

“We didn’t raise a ton of money,” Lane said about the Market’s experience.

“But we did raise a lot of awareness which is what we really need right now.”

Campbell had a different story for Oops-a-Dazy. “The fundraiser was a great success,” she said.

Over $1,000 will be put towards veterinary expenses for rescue animals that can usually average $20,000-$30,000 a month.

“Every penny helps to save more lives,” Campbell said.

It took me a minute or two to realize that the four people in the front were seeing somebody in white in the upstairs window. – Johanna Lane

Both Campbell and Lane said that they would be interested in planning another ghost tour fundraiser in the future.

“We are actively discussing repeating this event and we also have an idea for another great prelude event and fundraiser,” said Campbell.

Calgary Ghost Tours hosts tours regularly throughout the year, and books private tours of Calgary’s downtown and Inglewood communities as well.

Upcoming tour and fundraising events can be found on the Calgary Ghost Tours website.

About Sabrina Scarpino 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Sabrina Scarpino is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2014-2015 academic year.