Blog/ A History of the Haunted Fairmont Banff Springs October 25, 2018

A History of the Haunted Fairmont Banff Springs

Halloween is coming, right around the corner with less thank a week to go. Today we’re taking a look at the history of the one of the most haunted places in Canada, Fairmont Banff Springs.

The Banff Springs Hotel, as it’s commonly known, first opened in 1888 in Alberta, built by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The city of Banff and the hotel were named after the first European settler in this region of Canada, William Davidson, who was born in Banff, Scotland.

Since it’s opening, the hotel has welcomed guests from the British Royalty, to Marilyn Monroe, to Winston Churchill. 

It’s a 4-star hotel, now managed by Fairmont, nestled in picturesque valley beside the Banff National Park. It looks more like a giant castle than a hotel; it’s easy to see why royalty, celebrities, and commoners alike choose to stay at such a beautiful place.

But is it haunted?

There are many haunting myths circling around about the The Springs, but two seem to be more persistent than the others. The first centres around the missing hotel room 873. 

Hotel room 873 has supposedly been drywalled over, and while every one of the hotel’s floors has a room ending in ’73’, this floor does not. According to lore, and while the details are murky, a family of three – mother, father, and daughter – were murdered in this room. Some stories claim the father went mad and is the perpetrator, others provide different spins on the story. And while it is not confirmed, many speculate that Stephen King’s book (which later turned into a movie) The Shining is based on his own family’s stay here, and the legends that haunted The Springs.

Guests have claimed to hear violent screams in the dead of night and seen bloody handprints on the mirror.

Either way, as of 2017, room 873 was still inaccessible from the hallway.

The second persistent haunting rumour that floats around The Springs is that of the so-called “Doomed Bride” (sometimes called the “Ghost Bride”). There are a variety of stories regarding the doomed bride, but the most commonly heard tale is that in the 1930s, a new bride fell down the curved staircase at The Springs to her death before her wedding festivities were to begin. Some say she also caught fire due to a candle or open torch, others say she simply died from her fall. Regardless, staff and guests alike have reported seeing her dancing in the Cascade Ballroom or walking up and down the staircases. The Ghost Bride even has her own collector’s coin and stamp from the Royal Canadian Mint.

Is The Springs really haunted? Anecdotal tales from guests and staff alike seem to confirm it may be. But we’ll leave it up to you to brave a stay at the beautiful hotel, and decide for yourself.

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