There are many places to learn about the history of the mountain towns in the Bow Valley. From the mining tradition displayed at the Canmore Museum to the arts and culture displays at artsPlace and the ski history at the Nordic Centre, Canmore is proud of its heritage. But there’s a darker side to Canmore’s historic streets, filled with stories that are seldom told. For this kind of history, take a Ghost Walk with Theatre Canmore!
Our walk met at Good Earth Coffeehouse on Canmore’s Main Street. We met Miss Candy, our tour guide for the evening. Miss Candy has lived in Canmore for over a decade and has accumulated a fair share of stories from locals, psychics and even guests on her tours. Every story told on the tour has been verified by multiple sources, “Which is our way of weeding out the duds,” she explained.
She took us on a scenic walk of the town, that included trails, back alleys and main streets. The stories she told ranged from wild to scary to heartbreaking to absolutely hilarious. Miss Candy told us about the mining heritage of the town, and of the unnamed ghosts who still haunt the mining locations. She took us to the water and told of a little girl who loves music and visits the Rec Centre and the bookstore downtown, usually to cause mischief. A scenic walk along the boardwalk through the marsh brought more stories of a disappearing man and some strange energies that come off the water.
The Opera House in Spring Creek is full of stories, as theatre spaces usually are. If you ever see a show – and I recommend you do – make sure to respect the reserved seat in the third row.
Miss Candy told us about lost spirits finding their way home, and certain souls leading strangers to their remains. There were several ghostly hitchhiker stories, going up the Trans-Canada near Calgary all the way down to Highway 40 in Kananaskis. The downtown stories included locations, such as the NWMP Barracks and the Rocky Mountain Soap Company. Guests have reported seeing activity at these sites during the tour! People commonly see someone in the window of the empty NWMP building, or they hear someone rush the glass while standing nearby. Spooky!
My favourite story was a ghost at a local hang-out, built in 1907 for the mine manager. This spirit just wants to be included in the party. He’ll tap you on the shoulder if he wants a beer and he’ll make sure nothing bad happens while you visit. Whenever locals go to this particular spot, they make sure to bring extra beer for their ghostly friend.
We ended the tour where we started, back at Good Earth Coffeehouse. It was a pleasant evening for a wonderful walk and some scary stories. These walking tours run on Friday and Saturday nights, with a special walk on Halloween. If you’re looking to hear some of the town’s history, and get your bearings in this beautiful mountain town, try a Ghost Walk with Theatre Canmore!
Are you afraid of ghosts?