Does the sound of your leaking faucet or flickering lights keep you up at night? Are you the kind of person that runs up the basement stairs immediately after turning the lights off, while running the risk of tripping on your face? Then you should look away and read no further—unless you want to sleep with one eye open for the rest of your life.
Why’s that? Because Kentwood Ford is about to share with you a list of areas within the city of Edmonton most notably known for being haunted. Being one of the longest-running Ford dealers in town, we’ve had our fair share of close encounters with the supernatural around this time of the year, and some of the historical landmarks in this city still send chills down our spine at the thought of these places and the lingering spirits that inhabit them.
If you’ve kept reading up to this point, it’s not too late; but going further seals your fate and you’ll wander the city streets as a sleepless creature of the night. There’s no turning back now.
The Princess Theatre
While most people today know the Princess Theatre as the quaint little independent movie theatre on Whyte Avenue, it’s known ever more by its haunted past. Built in 1914 as part of the princess block, it was primarily a large residential building before converting into a movie theatre. Local legends have said that a bride was left at the altar took her own life in one of the rooms, leaving her presence to haunt the corridors ever since through electrical interferences, and sometimes, moving objects. Today, moviegoers have reported seeing the bride materializing in all-white, hovering in the projector room with despair on her face, and photographic evidence to help with their case.
La Boheme Restaurant
While this restaurant may have recently closed, the story of La Boheme’s remains one of the most compelling across the province and its spirit may haunt the halls of what will be built on top of the old rubble. Before it became a bed and breakfast restaurant, La Boheme was a luxury apartment complex built in 1913. After an altercation between the owner and his wife, he pulled her down a flight of stairs, where she hit her head and died, leaving her husband to rid of her body down into the furnace. Guests and patrons of the restaurant have previously reported hearing thumping sounds across the halls and even apparitions of the women during their stay.
Before moving into their latest location, the CKUA Radio Network was located in a building on 105th street and Jasper Avenue until the spirit that inhabited it made working there unbearable. According to the staff at the time, the halls were haunted by a man named Sam, who served as the building’s caretaker in 1950 and had strange aspirations of killing former Alberta premier, Ernest Manning. Some say he died on the job while others suggested he was lobotomized by the government, but his body was found in the building and has haunted it with the smell of cigar smoke since.
McKay Avenue School
One of the city’s notable historical landmarks, the McKay Avenue School was built in 1905, which was the same year Alberta became a province. While the current legislature was being built, the provincial assembly had to use some of the school’s quarters to conduct its proceedings. A custodian for the building did some research with an ouija board and found out that a ghost named Peter died in 1912, working construction in an extension project by falling from the rooftop. People in the building previously reported unexplainable sounds, messes, chairs being thrown in rooms, and doors closing on their own. The scariest of all? Mysterious scratches found in classroom walls.
The Fairmount Hotel Macdonald
Known for its lavish and traditional stylings, the Fairmount Hotel MacDonald not only accommodates celebrity guests and rich out-of-towners, but it also houses a select number of undead spirits throughout its existence. In 1915, while concrete was being poured into the foundation of the building, one of the overworked horses stumbled into the mixture and perished. Since then, guests throughout the years have reported hearing galloping sounds in the middle of the night, and even seeing a spectral horse wandering the halls while pulling something behind it.
Outside of these notable locations, you’d be surprised to find out how many other areas in Edmonton have been claimed to be haunted—but that’s another blog, for another time. From all of us here at Kentwood Ford, sleep tight . . . if you still can.