Fairmont Banff Hotel: 129 Years Old Hotel has More Guest who checked in but has Never Checked Out
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel considered being a shining example of Canadian hospitality since its inception. While the guest continuously check-in and out and the staff move on, the hotel has become associated with numerous ghost stories, some of them being quite helpful while others are fiery.
Initially constructed as a French château-style hotel, the Banff Springs mostly welcomed European guests, who made their way to the Rockies by boats, train, and lastly by a horse and carriage to the hotel doors. With the outbreak of a severe fire, the hotel was constructed as a Scottish Baronial castle.
By the1860s some of the eastern provinces were tiring from the British rule and a movement buzzed for Canadian independence. The British government in the worry of losing Canada similar to the United States passed legislation establishing the Dominion of Canada. At the same time, the North-West Territories famously known as Rupert’s Land was a foreign land to the eastern parts of Canada.
The life out to the west was yet primitive without laws and a couple of dozens of people residing in the area. However, in the effort of solidifying the Dominion, the government bought the North West territories back from the Hudson Bay’s Company in 1867.
British Columbia, in 1871, agreed to join the Dominion with a condition, and agreement of the federal government would build a railway linking the fledgeling province with the rest of the country.
The General Manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, William Cornelius Van Horne, recognized the potential for tourism in the Canadian West and believing that traffic on the railway system required to be increased. For accomplishing his aim he decides for constructing succession of lavish and luxury resort hotels along the line through the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains.
He commissioned the layouts for an impressive hotel that was supposed to be situated at the convergence of the Bow and Spray Rivers. The construction began in 1887 and the very next year, in 1888 the Fairmont Banff Springs welcomed their guests, becoming one of the top three mountain resorts in North America.
The hotel underwent several adjustments from the 1900s to the 1920s for updating it and its offerings in keeping its longstanding status. The World Wars were not easy and with the prohibition of the North Americans and Europeans to travel, the hotel forcefully shut its doors in 1942 and opened after the Wars ceased in 1945.
Although the hotel spent most of the 1950s and 1960s, for reclaiming its original status as one of the famous resort gateways, the world wars failed to ruin its former charm. Significant changes adopted to the economics of its era provided it with a new life.
1970 became the turning point of the hotel came when it opened its doors for the guests, engaged their guests with several winter activities. The 1980s saw more renovations and expansions, providing the guests with the most recent and comfortable accommodations and amenities of the time.
Fairmont Baff Hotel Mystery:
Numerous haunting myths are circling The Springs, and two of them seem to be more persistent than the others and one of them centring on the missing room 873. Many supposed that the room has been dry-walled, and when every floor of the hotel has room ending with ‘73’, this floor misses it.
According to the folklore with mysterious details, a family of three, mother, father and their only daughter was murdered in the room. Even some stories claim that the father went mad and assassinated the mother and daughter, while some others provide different spins on the story.
While the actual reason remains indefinite, people ruminate that Stephen King’s book The Shining, which later turned into a movie, was based on the stay of his family and the legends that haunted The Springs.
Visitors staying in the hotel reported hearing violent screams and blood stained handprints on the mirrors at the dead of the night. However, it is reported, in 2017, room 873 remains inaccessible from the hallway.
The second persistent haunting rumor floating around The Springs is of the “Doomed Bride” or sometimes called the “Ghost Bride” and probably the most famous of all the specters residing in the Fairmont Banff Springs.
The story of the bride dates back to the late 1920s or early 1930s, describing the ill fate of a bride who slipped down on the event of her wedding. The story says that on the young couple’s wedding day, the bride, decked in her wedding gown descended from one of the hotel’s stairs.
She was startled by something, which caused her to slip and fall. Some say that her heel caught the hem in her dress, while others say that her dress brushed against a candle flame. Whatever has happened, she died on those steps.
Since then, the staff and guests reported seeing a veiled figurine moving up and down the stairs. Some even reported that they have seen a bride in her wedding gown dancing in the ballroom, pinning for the dance with her husband that she never had.
Ghost of Sam the Bellman:
There is said to another ghost in the hotel, famously known as Sam the Bellman. The stories of Sam McAuley, a genial old Scotsman, the head bellman of the hotel during the sixties and seventies, wander the property since he passed in 1975. People state Sam to be a helpful spirit and stories involving him mentions Sam providing some service to the staff and the guests.
An incident, reported by the staff, involved two elderly women calling the bell desk for assistance after they found their key failed to work. The regular bellman was involved in other duties and did not respond for 15 minutes and when the other staff arrived by the door, they found it to be unlocked. One of the women reported that an older bellman in the plaid jacket helped them, which matched completely with the description of Sam.
Other stories describe guests seeing Sam haunting his old office, which has been transformed into a guest room, on the mezzanine floor, as well as seeing apparitions and feeling cold spots on the sixth, seventh and ninth floors of the hotel.