The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, has been welcoming guests for over 125 years. The Castle of Rockies as its fondly known, has seen many guests pass through its doors, some famous and some royal, but guests of another kind still walk its halls…
During the construction of the original wooden hotel, there was a big error from the contractor. A room was built with no windows or doors, a fact that wasn’t ever shared with the hotel owner. The room was only discovered after a fire broke out in 1926. Since then, apparitions are often seen roaming the hall outside this room.
This room was reportedly the scene of a tragic murder of a family. Its door has since been bricked up and made to look like the rest of the wall in the hallway. Guests have reported seeing apparitions outside this room, possibly members of the family that were reported to have been murdered here.
The Burning Bride
Stories suggest a woman dressed in her wedding gown lost her life on the staircase. There were candles on the staircase when the bride was walking up them, when suddenly her dress caught fire, in a panic she tripped and fell down the stairs, dying from a broken neck. Many people have reported seeing her ghost in full wedding gown, often dancing in the ballroom. Guests and staff have in some cases witnessed the flames from her dress as she dances. Others have witnessed the woman on the staircase where she lost her life.
Staff have also reported strange noises coming from the bridal suite, even when the suite is vacant.
Perhaps the most popular of all the ghost at the Banff Springs is Sam Macauley. He was a bellman at the hotel in the 60’s – 70’s. Although not much is known about how or where he died, his ghost is said to haunt the hotel to this day. He has been known to appear in his 1960’s uniform, helping guests get into locked rooms, turn on room lights, or help with carrying bags. He often witnessed on the 9th floor. If you try to start a conversation or attempt to tip Sam, he will vanish.
As well as the more popular reports above, the hotel has a little more to offer too! The apparition of a bartender has been witnessed by staff and guests alike, often informing guests that they have drank a little too much and perhaps it’s best of they go to bed! Perhaps more spectacular is the apparition of a headless man playing the bagpipes!
The Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, was built in 1888, and was originally a wooden structure. It was built out of necessity when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) stretched westwards, a high class hotel was needed for people travelling along the root.
The Vice President of the CPR [William Van Horne] saw the hotel not only as a stop off point, but also a world class travel destination. With its breathtaking mountain scenery and natural hot springs, it had a lot to be proud of. There was a major fire in 1926 that completely devastated the building, and a complete reconstruction was carried out. The new construction was to be loosely based on a Scottish castle, with the towers and stone walls.
The Banff Springs enjoyed an upsurge in popularity in the 1930’s, when celebrities and royalty began flocking to the hotel. It quickly became known as the Castle of the Rockies.