8092 9 Avenue SE
Status: Former School; Fire Site; Urban Legend; Empty Lot
Per a documentary made in 2017 there was an actual school here in the past. Unlike all of the other locations that were once considered as the possible location for the stories; at one point there were over 30 locations that claimed to be the real Devil's Playground.
Despite some of the stories saying the school burned at the turn of the century – the 19th to the 20th that is – the school was active in the 1950’s. It is also likely the school was burned by a trespasser after the school was closed down.
However, no matter what history says, there is no denying the reports of paranormal activity at this site. In fact, one of the ways this location was narrowed down as the true site was due to the number of reported encounters with the paranormal.
The house that was on the site has now been demolished but some of the stories the previous owner told are very alarming. People looking for ghosts not only entered his property without permission but some attempted to break into his house and some came armed.
Just a reminder do not enter Private Property without permission. As for attempted breaking and entering and being armed you’d think that would fall under common sense not to mention felony law.
The most common activity reported here is the phantom sound of children playing and laughing. People have also reported spectral hand prints on their cars especially on fogged in windows.
The apparition of a girl with long dark hair in a white dress has been seen on site.
Leading to the general creepiness – not mention urban legend – of this site is the animal bones, books and strange graffiti.
(Riley Park Health Care Centre)(Riley Park Village)
1408 8th Avenue NW
Status: Former Hospital, Former Women’s Health/Maternity Clinic, Being Repurposed
Grace Hospital was opened in 1926 as part of the Salvation Army’s system of caring for unwed mothers.
Many women, with no where else to turn, were helped over the decades at Grace. Grace became known as the best maternity hospital in the city – much more peaceful with a family like setting. In 1996 it was closed by the Provincial Government citing rising costs and budget issues.
Four million dollars was collected in 1994 to keep the hospital open but in the end but was ultimately stopped due to low admissions. Despite the Government’s efforts to make the former hospital into one of the clinics designed to replace Calgary General – which they had also closed down – the supporters won and it was changed to a women’s health centre.
The site was up and running as late as 2020 but is now listed as permanently closed with plans to convert the site into senior’s housing.
The former hospital’s maternity ward is said to be haunted by Maudine Riley; whose family owned the land the hospital is built on. She is said to have died during childbirth with the baby also not surviving.
She is often enough seen in the building – most commonly in the delivery room she ‘died’ in – with her apparition always holding her baby in her arms. She is also said to be responsible for banging on pipes and other poltergeist activity.
There are far too many consistent reports of paranormal activity in the old hospital to be dismissed. Like most hospitals, it is very likely that this building is haunted; but not be Maudine Keen Riley. Maudine did not die in childbirth.
Maud went to school and became a teacher, got married and had 3 children – none of which died being born. Maud went on to be one of historical pioneers in women’s rights and social work in Alberta history.
1503 4 Street SW
Status: Former Residence; Former Funeral Home; Former Restaurant and Pub; Closed
This house was built in 1909 by a lumber baron and politician from Ontario called David Davidson. He lived there with his children and wife, Dora.
Both David and Dora did die in the house and they both had their funeral in the house; as was normal for the time.
When Dora passed her husband’s brother lived in the house for 5 years before selling the house to Park Memorial who converted it into a funeral home in 1935. At some point McInnis & Holloway – who I actually worked for but not until 1999 – purchased the house and also ran a funeral home until 1986.
Shortly afterward the building was converted again and opened as the Rose and Crown Pub.
In early 2023 the pub was closed permanently due to the rising costs of being in business.
The most famous ghost at the pub is that a little boy who most think dates back to the days of the funeral home. He even appears in a photo taken outside of the pub. Its not mine to share but can found else where on the internet.
The apparition of the boy is seen throughout the pub and is often seen in the basement behind the furnace where it is believed the cremation oven was when the funeral home was running.
The boy is also said to be responsible for the sounds of someone walking on the empty third floor; the family who ran the original funeral home lived on the third floor – it is not being used now. As well, he is thought to be the one who flickers the pub’s lights late at night long after the last staff have gone home.
The ghost of a middle-aged woman in a flowing white dress is also reported throughout the building.
The apparition of a man in his 40’s is also seen who is described literally as non-descript.
They say any staff member – former or current – has had at least one experience where they suddenly felt as if they were not alone even though there is no one visible. Numerous customers had also reported this experience.
It is said you should always bring a buddy when you go to the washroom at the Calgary Rose and Crown.