Saturday, March 16, 2013

Haunted Banff Springs Hotel

This luxury hotel is known today as the “Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.” It is located high in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. 

This hotel was built in 1888, as this area was a stop along the Canadian Pacific Railroad. This turned out to be a wise decision, for the regions’ natural beauty attracts thousands of tourists from around the world every year.

Original Hotel
The first hotel was built of wood and tragically burnt down in 1926. 

When the hotel was rebuilt, it was modeled after a Scottish castle, and became known as the “Castle of the Rockies.”  Many famous people have stayed at the Banff, including Marilyn Monroe. * The hotel also hosts several ghosts.

Some of the tales connected to the hotel are more legend, others appear to be true hauntings. 

One legend is that of a mysterious ghostly bartender who, when guests have had too much to drink, encourages them “to call it a night.” Another more fanciful legend is about a wandering bagpiper who is looking for what he lost---his head. 

A well-known friendly spirit that haunts the Banff is that of a former employee of the hotel. Sam McCauley, who was a bellman at the hotel for many years, retired in the early 1970s. It is stated he told his peers that he “would return.” When he died in 1975, he did precisely this.

Bellman Staff 1965
Sam is seated in the center.
His ghost is most often seen on the hotel’s ninth floor. 

Guests who have encountered him state he is both polite and helpful—but oddly, his uniform is very old-fashioned. 

He helps people with their luggage, and has been known to unlock doors for guests who have become locked out. Witnesses state that when they tried to thank or tip him, he just disappeared.  

Another ghost that has been seen is that of a young woman dressed all in white. The hotel claims her story was spread as just a hoax. But many witnesses have seen and felt her over the years. 

A young bride from a wealthy family, she was married in Banff’s grand ballroom. As her husband and she walked down the hotel’s marble staircase, it is said she tripped and fell, breaking her neck. She died instantly. 

Another version of this story states that her dress brushed against candles near the staircase, and when she struggled to put the flames out, she stumbled and fell.

This young bride has been seen in two specific places over the years. A young woman wearing a long flowing dress is seen in the ballroom waltzing. She is also seen walking down the marble staircase. Witnesses report feeling an icy breeze, as they descend these stairs.

Another legend connected to the hotel is much more sinister. It is about Room 873, which is missing from the eighth floor of the hotel. 

It seems this room has been closed off—one continuous wall with no door blocks this guest room from being entered. The reason for this-- is what happened to a husband, wife, and young daughter when they stayed in this room. 

For a reason not known, the husband murdered his wife and daughter and then killed himself.

Once the bodies were removed, several maids were cleaning the room when they saw something that terrified them. One maid discovered the murdered daughter’s fingerprints on a mirror. When she wiped them off, they immediately reappeared. 
Another maid tried, and the same thing happened. 

It is said after this, the hotel decided it would be best to close this room permanently. Ever since, guests have seen apparitions in the hallway outside this area. Others have heard the cries of a woman and child.

*The following is a photograph supposedly taken of Marilyn Monroe when she stayed at the Banff Springs Hotel.


Unknown said...

What a beautiful location!

Virginia Lamkin said...

It is considered one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Besides the views--this hotel is also incredible inside.