There's something haunting about Alberta. Driving down a lonely gravel road in the middle of summer, dust kicked up on either sides of the car, you feel like you'll never see another soul. The mountains evoke a similar feeling... vast and sprawling, intimidating in their size and colour, it's very easy to feel lost and alone while standing amongst them.
Perhaps that's why Alberta's ripe with so many ghost stories. Tales of hotel hijinx and abnormal occurrences in the province's many ghost towns mean you can't travel too far without coming across someone who will share a morsel of shifty folklore - or their own paranormal tale.
In fact, people around the world make the trek to Alberta to do a bit of ghost-hunting themselves. The Banff Springs Hotel, about an hour-and-a-half outside Calgary, is linked to thousands of apparent ghost sightings and strange happenings.
Check out Alberta's best ghost stories in our slideshow below... if you dare. (Text of slideshow continues after the gallery)
Ghosts Who Haunt Alberta
1. Calgary - Old Grace Hospital
The maternity ward of the old Grace Hospital was rumoured to be haunted by the spirit of Maudine Riley, who's family is believed to own the land the hospital was built on. Riley lost her baby, and died herself while giving birth. The old maternity ward is now a health resource centre, and surgery patients at the facility still claim to see Riley appear in different rooms and hallways holding her baby.
2. Banff Springs Hotel - Room 873
As the story goes, decades ago a family was murdered in room 873 of the Banff Springs Hotel. When the investigation was over the room was redone and visitors to the hotel continued to use the room. Guests would wake up to hollow screams, flickering lights and bloody handprints on the mirrors. The doorway to the room was eventually sealed over and to this day staff at the hotel will not talk about the room with guests.
3. Edmonton - McKay Avenue School
Once a school - and home to Alberta's first two legislative sessions - this downtown building is now a museum, houses archives and is rumoured to be haunted. Objects move around mysteriously and lights often turn on and off on their own. Employee Ron Hlady claims to have used his Ouija board to communicate with a spirit who says he's a worker that fell of the roof during construction and died.
4. Lethbridge - Bowman Arts Centre
The Bowman Arts Centre used to be Bowman School. As the tale goes, a young Chinese girl was mistaken for a boy while wearing traditional clothing in the women's washroom. She was beaten as punishment. Sounds of a young girl crying are often heard in the women's washroom to this day.
5. Calgary - The Deane House
The Deane House was built in 1906 as the official residence for the Superintendent of the Royal North West Mounted Police, Richard Burton Deane. There are rumours of several unusual deaths taking place at the residence, including a young woman jumping to her death from the second storey and a man being gunned down on the porch. Staff at the house say they sometimes see a man smoking a pipe in Deane's study, hear ringing from an antique phone that's not plugged in and can smell tobacco, even though the house is non-smoking. Legend also has it the attic is home to a bloodstain that reappears, changing shape and size, no matter how many times it's been washed.
6. Banff Springs Hotel - The Doomed Bride
The legend of the doomed bride has two different versions. The first version is of a bride tripping on her wedding gown and falling head-first down a flight of stairs. The second version is of a bride whose dress caught fire on some nearby candles, causing her to fall to her death. To this day, people report seeing a woman in a wedding dress walking down the stairs of the hotel and also seeing a woman wearing a wedding dress that is on fire. In both sightings, the woman often vanishes into thin air.
7. Taber Hospital - Taber
Paranormal activity at the Taber hospital became noticeable once the facility closed down. Mysterious lights were seen and strange noises heard coming from the nurse's residence next door, despite their being no one in the abandoned building. People began to call the suspected ghost "Maynard" and many believe Maynard made the move when they opened the new Taber hospital, and now haunts a different building.
8. Frank Slide - Crowsnest Pass
In the spring of 1903 the face of Turtle Mountain came loose, causing a massive landslide and covering the town of Frank below. Seventy-six people were reported dead, some bodies never recovered from the rubble. People often report seeing mist and eerie apparitions when looking at the wreckage from the slide. Many think ghosts frequent the area because not all of the bodies were recovered and they are still looking for their loved ones.
9. Stirling Haunted Mansion - Stirling
After moving into the Stirling House in 2000, a family was so creeped out by the strange occurrences they decided not to fight the spirits, but instead join them and turned the historic home into a haunted house. According to the family, there are at least three ghosts living in the house - an older lady and gentleman as well as a mischievous teenage girl.