Heritage Park: Where Calgary’s history can be a bit haunted

Calgary’s haunted story: Dominic Terry, strategic communications manager of Heritage Park Historical Village poses in the living room of Prince House in Calgary, Alberta, on Nov 21, 2023. (Photo by Kenneth Cheung/The Press)

Ghost stories add a fascinating layer to Calgary beyond its rich western cowboy culture.

Tucked away within Heritage Park, the historic Prince House is said to be bursting with ghostly tales, contributing to Calgary’s haunted history.

“If you step into the house and get a weird feeling, you just know something is in there with you,” said Dominic Terry, strategic communication manager of Heritage Park Historical Village.

Built in 1894, the house was owned by Peter Prince. Originally located on Fourth Avenue S.W., in the Beltline for the first years of its life, the home was one of Calgary’s first with electricity and indoor plumbing.

The Prince House was relocated to Heritage Park in 1967. 

“They basically cut the house in half and brought it here, putting the first-floor frame back down on it,” said Terry. “They took off the bricks that were on the outside one-by-one and numbered each of them, so when the house was put here, the second floor was reconstructed to be precisely the way it was before. The third floor was put on top of the cupola afterward, and then all those bricks were put back on exactly as they were.”

While the house is home to much history, it is also rumoured to be home to the paranormal. Workers and visitors alike have claimed to see these spectacular spooks themselves. The most famous of these haunts is the Lady in White. 

“There’s a great story about a woman who came to visit the house and went upstairs, and when she walked past the bedroom, she saw a lady who was dressed in white holding a baby, and she saw her putting the baby down in the crib,” said Terry.

“At first, she didn’t feel frightened because she thought it was one of the workers playing the part of the people who used to live in the house, but after she shared the story, she found out those rooms are blocked off and no workers would roleplay in there.” 

The tale of the lady in white has fascinated many enthusiasts of the supernatural, drawing people to seek it out. Despite the plausibility of a ghost from the Prince’s family haunting their residence, speculation suggests that the Lady in White has no direct connection with the Princes.

Instead, it is though that she became drawn to one of the objects within the home and followed it.

“Some paranormal investigators have talked about how that might be the idea of, the house itself is not haunted, but the things in it might be haunted,” said Terry

 “It could be anything, like maybe the throw on the bed could be the one the lady in white used for her kids, or she was using it while dying in childbirth.”

Terry mentioned the lady in white has also been spotted in the house next door, known as the Sandstone house, so the possibility of her following objects while they are being moved from house to house is high.

“There have often been people who say that they’ve been walking down the street in front of the house and would look up in the second-floor window on the right-hand side and see the lady in white holding the baby,” Terry said. “It’s these kinds of story that makes the park more and more fascinating and mysterious to visitors.” 

Calgary’s haunted story: Dominic Terry, strategic communications manager of Heritage Park Historical Village, poses on the staircase in Prince House in Calgary, Alberta, on Nov 21, 2023. (Photo by Kenneth Cheung/The Press)
Inside of the Prince House. (Photo by Kenneth Cheung/The Press)
About Ngo Yen Kenneth Cheung 4 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Ngo Yen Kenneth Cheung is working as a writer for The Press in 2024.