Many Calgarians may not realize just how active the city is when it comes to the spirit world, or that communities such as Inglewood and the Beltline are some of the most energetic.
At least that’s what some of the city’s paranormal investigators say.
There are a multitude of spooky tours that explore the cracks and crevices of Inglewood year-round, but October is always the busiest—for obvious reasons.
Robyn Condon, a medium and paranormal investigator specializing in Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) has been dabbling in the spirit world for years, often able to sense the deaths of people in the netherworld.
There are some parts of the city that she feels intense energies from, including Inglewood and Stephen Avenue. Often, she will walk through those communities with her recorder, picking up energy and voices and playing it back later. She keeps a collection of those on her website.
Condon says the Globe Cinema on 8 Ave. SW downtown is one of her favourite haunts.
She recalls a time she was doing a visit there with some other people, including a psychic. When Condon got to the projector room, she could feel a male presence, sensing he died from an aneurysm.
“That’s when (the psychic) pointed to the booth and she’s like, ‘There’s a man up there.’ I asked how he died and she said he died from a brain aneurysm.”
Digging into Inglewood’s paranormal activity
Condon says Inglewood is one of the most active areas in the city
“The older parts of the city are going to be the most active. Inglewood, to me, is a really busy area. I’ve done the ghost walks there and there is a lot of activity,” Condon says.
“In terms of energy, those older areas are the places where most kinetic energy from people has been in the city. And that is an area where spirits are drawn to since you have all these layers of history on top of one another.”
Fay Steinberg and Laura Olschewski, sisters who have been operating Ghost Gurus tours since last summer, agree that Inglewood is one of the most active areas when it comes to the spirit world.
“I lived in Inglewood in the ’90s… and I noticed even back then there’s definitely a lot of energy,” explains Steinberg, the older of the two sisters.
“Here’s the thing about Inglewood; not only do you have a lot of buildings that have been wonderfully preserved by the community, but you’ve also the geographical location of Inglewood,” she says, pointing to the nearby Bow and Elbow rivers.
“Water is an incredible conductor of energy.”
Condon agrees, saying the area where the two rivers meet creates a huge point of spiritual power.
“Basically, that whole area is very active because of what’s going on with the rivers,” she says, adding she thinks there are probably a lot of people buried in the area, too.
Sisters tap into their sixth senses
The Ghost Gurus sisters combine their special flair of authentic psychic abilities and extensive knowledge of the city’s ghost stories as they educate Calgarians about the city’s paranormal history.
Steinberg has been “able to see the other side” and has tapped into her psychic side since she was four. Her mother has the same abilities, though she tends to turn away from them while Steinberg embraces them.
Olschewski discovered her “sensitive” abilities later than her sister, but together the duo teamed up to create Ghost Gurus.
The tours focus on Inglewood because it’s loaded with history and riddled with spirits and ghosts. What sets them apart from other various ghost tours in the area is their extensive investigations into the real stories behind the legends.
Exploring the community’s darker history
When the sisters dig up obituaries of ghosts they’ve actually met, it makes things a lot more interesting.
“When we were doing our research, we discovered a large concentration of deaths in Inglewood,” Steinberg explains, adding there are two main reasons.
“There were hundreds of deaths in the Bow River (over the years). And… when the railway was first built, there was a big chunk of it that was right in Inglewood, and there were hundreds and hundreds of deaths on the railway.”
Condon agrees, saying that area was one of the most dangerous intersections in the city due to the number of deaths on the train tracks.
Despite all of that death, the historic buildings have been well-kept, Steinberg says.
“You’ve got all these wonderfully beautiful, beautifully restored, in some cases, historical buildings. And in a concentrated area, you’ve got a lot of death, so it just makes sense that you’re going to have a lot of paranormal activity to tap into,” she adds.
The Deane House
Steinberg says the Deane House is a perfect example of a place with tragic deaths but stories that have gotten lost in translation over the years.
“Some of the stories that are told on other tours are not accurate, because I think what’s happened is they’ve relied maybe on local legends instead of the research. And so you’ve got a couple of stories that are not true.”
That’s not to say it isn’t haunted. With 147 years of history, it’s loaded with spiritual characters.
“There’s definitely a lot of activity,” she says, adding there are stories she has researched and knows are true that she shares on her tours.
“There was a very brutal murder at the Deane House that is actually true. And then we have a number of deaths that were within a very concentrated time.”
She says there’s even a spirit that has wandered in from the railway.
“There’s definitely a ghost there that has just wandered in and said, ‘Oh, this feels good.’ So even though he died on the railway and his leg is amputated, one of the servers has actually seen him.”
The Hose & Hound
This former firehall-turned-Inglewood pub is known for having otherworldly visitors of both human and animal kind.
While there are locations in Inglewood with more paranormal activity than the Hose & Hound, there is something unique about the ghosts that haunt the halls, Steinberg says.
“There was an old captain that was very into collecting exotic animals,” Steinberg says.
“He had a pet monkey and he had tied it up out front in the ’40s and there was a child that was trying to feed it peanuts and the monkey attacked the child, so they felt that they needed to put the monkey down.”
Since then, people have reported feeling a tail brush past them. People have also reported hearing horses or feeling heavy breathing on their skin.
“People can feel animal energy in there,” she adds.
There’s also a newer ghost. How does she know that? She can feel him.
“There was a gentleman who passed away a few years ago that was kind of like the local legend, he would go there often. And I believe his energy is there.”
Tapping into your sixth sense
Condon conducts residential paranormal investigations at no cost and she can be reached through her website.
You can book tours with the Ghost Gurus and follow their adventures on their social media. They recently did an investigation at Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Saloon.
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