FORT GARRY HOTEL

By Craig Mitton and Darkling Ghost

222 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB

(888) 855-4599

Status: Operational Historical Hotel

Website

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Photo Courtesy of Darkling Ghost


History

One of the glamorous railway hotels built across Canada to promote traveling by train in the early 20th century.

This hotel was constructed between 1911 and 1913 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. When it was completed it was the tallest structure in the city.

The hotel was originally to be named The Selkirk but it was decided to honour Upper Fort Garry which had once stood at the junction of the Red and the Assiniboine Rivers. A location that was the starting point when Winnipeg was laid out.

In 1979 the hotel was bought by a Winnipeg family and has been run as an independent hotel since then; albeit by different owners

 

Paranormal Activity

The hotel doesn’t deny that it is haunted; although it doesn’t seem to be exactly thrilled about it either. There is no mention of paranormal activity on the hotel’s website but the staff doesn’t deny it if asked in person. If pressed for details, though, they become a bit more reserved about ‘rumours and innuendos’ of events that happened ‘before their time’.

The hotel will allow you to book and stay in the haunted room.

The most famous paranormal legend in the hotel is that of Room 202. The story is that in the 1910’s or 1920’s a newlywed couple stayed in the room. The wife sent the husband out to get some pills for her headache. While completing his errand he was tragically struck by a horse and carriage and killed.

The woman – torn by guilt – is said to have hung herself in the closet ending her own life. The hotel expressively denies she hung herself in the closet; that detail may be too much for guests staying in that room. Legend says she now is trapped in Room 202 for eternity; forever waiting for her husband to return.

In Room 202 guests describe hearing footsteps walking – the floorboards are said to creak - around the bed. Wet squishy footsteps are also heard coming out of the bathroom. The phantom sound of wire hangers scratching inside in the bedside closet is reported as well. The disembodied sounds of crying has been heard. Both the TV and the light inside the closet are known to turn on by themselves. A cloaked dark figure has been seen standing at the bottom of the king bed in the room.

The most chilling report is that of blood running down the walls in a scene straight out of the Amityville Horror or The Shining. Liberal MP Brenda Chamberlain stayed in the room and reported an eerie feeling and an invisible presence getting into bed with her.

Apparently, there is a woman who regularly books Room 202 and swears a woman in a white ball room gown visits her there. There is a no more classic ghost story than the woman in white.

Beyond the famous – infamous? – Room 202 is the lesser known legends of the hotel. The ghost of a singer in the Palm Lounge who is known for giving witnesses headaches. In the Broadway Room a ghost is seen still enjoying his meal; last meal?

Other Activity: objects moving on their own; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen presences; electrical disturbances; light anomalies; disembodied voices; cold and warm spots and feelings of uneasiness, being watched and not being alone.

Per Our Winnipeg Representative (Darkling Ghost):

When the hotel was being built the guy installing the elevator fell down the shaft to his death. His spirit has been blamed for the elevator acting weird, such as the lights rapidly flashing like the elevator is plummeting down but nothing happening. A nicer old lady was seen in the elevator striking up a conversation with a little girl then when the elevator opened the old lady walked out and vanished in front of the guests.

People have also reported a frightening old lady looking through the windows of the stairwells from the outside and when looking up she'll be looking down at you.

In the Fort Garry Hotel, the lady in white roams the first floor lobby, too. I've seen her in a mirror for a moment before she disappeared. Looked like she was standing against a wall waiting for the west side banquet hall to clear of people. Very pretty and not scary at all.

This is the mirror I saw her in, at this position. With how mirrors reflect the area in front of you when you're looking at it from the side, she would've been in standing just under that sconce. I saw her brunette ringlets and carrying a white fan, wearing a lacy white ballgown. She caressed a ringlet from her face. I couldn't make out exactly what her face looked like. The sense I got was that she didn't want any attention and felt I shouldn't mention it to anyone. I left keeping it to myself and didn't tell anyone for a year.