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Exploring Ghosts and Legends in Saskatoon

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by Lisa Gulak (subscribe)
Traveller, physical fitness enthusiast, and freelance writer living in the beautiful country of Canada.
Published January 24th 2013
The X-Files on the Canadian Prairies
The prairie city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada has an interesting ghost history. This article will feature four locations that are rumoured to be haunted.

The Bessborough Hotel, which is now under the name Delta Bessborough is considered to be haunted. The hotel stands 10 storeys and is widely recognized for its castle-like appearance. Locals commonly refer to it as "The Bez". The hotel was built between 1928 and 1932 by the Canadian National Railway. However, due to the Great Depression and the financial hardships that ensued, the hotel did not open until 1935. The first guest was named Horace N. Stovin and today, the lounge is called "Stovin's" in his honour.

The castle-like Bessborough Hotel seen from the east bank of the South Saskatchewan river. Photo credit: Lisa Gulak

The haunting at the hotel is by a silent man in a grey suit and fedora, who is seen on the banquet floor and smiles at those who pass by. Guests and staff who have seen the man in the grey suit are struck by his life-like appearance and are unaware that he is a spirit until they report their encounter to those who are aware of the phenomenon. Another legend about The Bez is the large crack in the marble floor in the lobby. Legend says that a former employee fell seven stories to his death after trying to deal with some party-goers, who threw him over the balcony.

Interior of The Bez, the grand design is consistent with the other railway hotels. Photo credit: Lisa Gulak

Another haunted place in Saskatoon is the Marr Residence. It is located in the lovely Nutana neighbourhood and was part of the original temperance colony. The house was built by Alexander Marr in 1884 and was used as a field hospital to treat wounded soldiers during the North West Rebellion. The house is now a museum and heritage site. A few ghosts are rumoured to inhabit the house - some friendly and not so friendly. The not so friendly ghost is considered to be a cranky gentleman that lives in the basement and sulks. Visitors to the house have reported hearing laughing children in one of the bedrooms. Other sightings include witnesses reporting figures walking through the house at night when the museum staff have gone home.

The Marr Residence. Photo credit: Lisa Gulak

Woodlawn Cemetery is another popular place for stories about hauntings. The cemetery was established in Saskatoon in 1905. A ghost of an old woman has been spotted floating through the cemetery between graves at night. The cemetery is also home to a malevolent presence. This presence materializes as a man with a long, dark ponytail and eyes that glow either green or red.

Woodlawn Cemetery. Photo credit: Lisa Gulak

The Nutana Pioneer Cemetery at Diefenbaker Park is also the site of supernatural phenomena. It is the city's first cemetery and was officially recognized in 1889. Ghosts of pioneers are rumoured to walk in the cemetery. Pioneer life was difficult and is evident in the fact that many of graves in the cemetery are of children - of the 144 graves identified at least 51 are babies and 14 are of children under the age of sixteen. Cries of children can be heard on still, dark nights.
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Why? Explore some of the rich, local history in a prairie city focusing on hauntings and local legends.
Your Comment
Interesting article. The Bez reminds me of the Stanley Hotel in Colorado (inspiration for The Shining), which has a very similar story.
by Erin (score: 2|560) 3071 days ago
I was driving through spadina and I saw a soldier walking with a machine gun, this was at 7am, i am very sure that was not normal. And a week ago me an my son were driving same place a big orangy orb flew in front of our car from left to right, this was about 1 or 2am!! Scary but true. I want to know if other ppl have seen something weird there.
by Thali (score: 0|2) 3006 days ago
The only thing I've ever noticed on spadina are really cute girls in the summer.

But pioneer cemetery is the most haunted place, followed by Hallmark Place Tower, I lived in that effing building for 6 years terrified of what was going to happen next, from lights flicking themselves on and off to random voices in my ear while sleeping waking me up, to what seemed like someone punching my closet as hard as they could inside my suite, the building floors and walls are all solid concrete, so it came from within my suite.
by Talie (score: 0|2) 1557 days ago
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