Built over 125 years ago, in 1888, by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Banff Springs Hotel was meant to be a luxury stop for train travelers. It’s supposedly the most haunted hotel in Canada nicknamed The Castle of the Rockies. Since being built, there have been many people pass through the door to the hotel, including royalty and famous people, who have all enjoyed its luxury.
The hotel was built out of necessity as the railroad stretched westward. William Van Horne, the V.P. of the rail company chose the location with breathtaking mountain scenery and natural hot springs. He saw a lot of potential at this particular location. The construction was loosely based on those of a Scottish castle, having towers and stone walls.
During construction of the hotel, the contractor made an error, building a room with no windows or doors. The presence of this room was not mentioned to the hotel owner. The room was kept hidden to cover the contractor’s mistake, and was only discovered after a fire broke out in the hotel in 1926. Since the discovery, apparitions are often seen roaming the hall outside of this very room as well as bizarre noises in the area.
The fire that broke out (in 1926) completely destroyed the original wood structure. At that time work began on a new, sounder, hotel. It was built in the same plan as a Scottish castle, however, the thick walls were made with stone instead of wood. The hotel was back up and running by the 1930s.
In room 873, there are reports of a family that met their demise. The father reportedly murdered his wife and young daughter, then committed suicide. Once the police had completed their investigation, the hotel staff tried to clean the room. Fingerprints of the small girl murdered still lingered on the mirror in the room.
Afterward, any guests in the room would wake up to hear horrible disembodied screams and shrieks from the dead family, see the little bloody fingerprints on the mirror. This resulted in the hotel management choosing to close off the room, making it completely inaccessible from the hallway.
Since the room has been sealed an impression of a small child sometimes appears on the wall where the door should be. The image has reportedly been successfully photographed by some guests. Reports of the dead family still haunting the hallway in front of the now bricked over room persist and the doorway now appears as part of the wall.
Another story tells of a bride who fell down the staircase breaking her neck. It is said that there were candles on the staircase, when she was walking up them she caught the back of her dress on fire. Her ghost has been seen on the staircase where she died and in the ballroom dancing. When seen, many report that the back of her dress is in flames.
Staff and visitors have reported strange noises coming from the bridal suite when it is vacant, as well.
Back in the 1960s & 1970s, there was a bellman who served at the hotel. Sam McAuley, is reportedly the most popular spirit in the hotel. The Scotsman passed away in the mid-1970s. It is unknown how or even where he passed away, but he still offers his services at the hotel to this day. He appears to people as a real person.
Still dressed in his 1960’s style uniform, he likes to help guests to their rooms. He often turns on lights, carrying bags and unlocks doors for them. If you try to talk to him or give him a tip, he disappears. He is often most witnessed on the 9th floor of the hotel.
There is one particular story involving him where two elderly women had called the desk for assistance as they could not get their key to work the lock to their room. The bellman on duty was busy, unable to respond for 15 minutes.
He arrived to find their door unlocked. The ladies told him that an older bellman in a plaid jacket (matching Sam’s description) had helped them. He has also been seen in his old office on the mezzanine floor.
Inexplicable cold spots are felt on the sixth, seventh and ninth floors of the hotel have been reported.
There is also an apparition of a bartender, seen by staff and guests, often telling patrons they have drunk too much and they should probably go to bed.
Then there is the headless man who plays bagpipes.
Guests have reported to staff that pillows are yanked out from under their heads while they sleep or even being pushed off of beds by unseen entities.
Strange lights, orbs, unexplained noises, and ghostly images have all been recorded making it hard for some to be skeptical about the ghostly goings on at the hotel.
Have you had any experiences at the hotel that you would care to share? Please comment below this article and let us know.