Ghost Stories of Alberta Paperback – Sep 1 1993
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"This is one weirdly, unsettling book." --The Gleaner
Contrary to popular belief, ghosts do not necessarily reside in draughty old castles and ancient graveyards. In this book, the author has collected ghost stories specifically from Alberta where she has discovered strange tales of hauntings in schools, restaurants, theatres, hotels, government buildings and modern houses from Calgary and Edmonton to rural areas and the Rocky Mountains. Several spine-tingling tales are legendary accounts of native spirits who still inhabit the land.
In Edmonton, two former firehalls are widely reputed to be haunted; the McKay Avenue School is said to have at least half a dozen spirits; and employees of radio station CKUA have experienced a ghostly presence. "Alberta's Most Haunted Place" is probably the Deane House and Tea Room at Fort Calgary, where a number of different ghosts are taken for granted by the staff.
This eerie collection of supernatural tales includes, among others, the story of the Medicine Hat ghost train; the strange phenomena in a rural "castle" that cannot drive its owner away; the hauntings of the Banff Springs Hotel; the ghostly arsonist in a photograph at Chateau Lake Louise; evil ghosts of the Alberta Badlands; the beautiful lady in white who haunts Prince House in Heritage Park; the Canmore Opera House spirits; and the ghostly bookworm.
About the Author
Barbara Smith lives in Edmonton, Alberta. She writes full-time and has been published in New Trail, Today's Parent, Canadian Emergency News, Western People, and Teaching Today, among other publications.
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I debated rating this 4 out of 5 stars merely on the basis of my own pervasive disappointment. Ghost Stories of Alberta was well written and I enjoyed it. But what I enjoyed more than the ghosts themselves was the excellent sense of the hard work involved in collecting ghost stories.
There are stories from the beginnings of Alberta's settlement right up until the present day (in this case 1993), most of which were personal experiences. Telling someone your very own experience of the supernatural brings up feelings people dont necessarily want to relive, like fear or vulnerability. The author relates her entire story gathering process, so often enough people who wanted to tell her their story changed their minds at the last minute. I enjoyed this clear human element. No story was too small for inclusion.
Incidentally, the follow-up volume had more "meat" to it, so to speak, and i enjoyed it much more. Publishing Ghost Stories of Alberta really brought people out in droves to tell Ms. Smith their stories and I'm very glad they did!
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