The list of amenities in a typical house purchase doesn’t normally contain much out of the ordinary. But every now and then, homes come with something a little more strange.
Having been in the real estate business for more than 25 years, CREB® president Becky Walters has witnessed countless transactions between buyers and sellers. One instance stands out as distinctly different. Walters said the occupants of this particular home were convinced they had a ghost as a roommate.
“You know full well that any house that’s been around for more than 30 or 40 years has likely had someone die in it,” said Walters.
In this case, “It was a native male in turn-of-the-century 1900s ceremonial dress that scared the daylights out of the basement tenants, who were quite sure that this man was standing at the top of the stairs,” said Walters.
Walters was skeptical, but the spook was confirmed by the home’s owner. Having seen the ghost himself, he viewed the apparition as a friend rather than a frightening foe.
“The owner of the house wouldn’t believe them normally, except that he’d seen it himself going down the stairs,” said Walters. “So he’d open the basement and… here’s this large native man standing in period dress at the top of the stairs – not in a threatening way or anything.”
Eventually Walters said the owner and tenants came to accept the uninvited guest as just another feature of the home.
“He had no qualms whatsoever with the fact there were ghosts,” she said. “He just said that was his resident ghost.”
Having sold the home long ago, Walters has yet to hear any stories of any terrified tenants or owners running screaming through the streets of Calgary after a ghostly encounter.
“I expect he’ll be there forever. The house has been renovated, but I don’t think [the ghost] cares about that.”
Of course there are far more famous stories of ghostly encounters in homes around the city.
Prince House, now located in Heritage Park, might be the city’s most famous haunted house. Built in 1894 by lumber magnate Peter Anthony Prince, the home has been the subject of many supernatural stories.
“Mostly it’s the presence of a woman that people feel,” said Barb Munro, communications specialist for Heritage Park.
Relocated to the park in 1967 from its original location in Eau Claire, the home’s ghostly presence has also reportedly caused tape recorders and video cameras to stop working.
Another story of Prince House includes sightings of the third floor lights in the house at night. The home doesn’t even have light sockets on the third floor, with the only working light in the building in the dining room.
The reason for the frequent sightings of a woman in Prince House could be attributed to the fact Prince had four wives. He lost one to diabetes, one to tuberculosis and one to cancer. His fourth wife, Emily, survived Prince by 19 years, eventually passed away in 1944.
The ongoing happenings at the park, which include ghost sightings in Eugene Coste Park, the train stations, the Canmore Opera House and Airdrie House, have proved so popular that they’ve been incorporated into a book about ghost sightings around Alberta.
Elsewhere in the city, people have reported seeing ghosts at Suitor House and Deane House in Inglewood, where phantom laughter is sometimes heard echoing through the rooms.