Before and After the Frank Slide
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The town of Frank was founded in 1901 in what was then the District of Alberta in the North-West Territories. The site was chosen at the base of Turtle Mountain due to the railroad and the discovery of coal.
Many considered Turtle Mountain to be very unstable with numerous rock slides in the past. Previous to the big slide miners had heard the mountain rumble and seen the wooden spars crack and splinter under the constantly changing pressure. In the end the mine was making money and it was cheaper to build the town close to the mine.
At 4:10am April 29, 1903 a piece of the mountain weighing about 110 million metric tonnes (121 million US Tons) of rock slid over the town. Witnesses claim it took about 100 seconds for the slide to come down the mountain meaning the rock was moving about 112 kilometres (70 miles) /hour. The slide was heard as far away as Cochrane 200 kms away.
Until the Hope Slide; it was the largest land slide in Canadian history. It is still the deadliest land slide in Canadian history – despite it not being as bad as it was initially reported – with between 70 and 90+ people dead.
Most of the people who died were completely buried and have never been recovered and it is questionable whether about 25 homeless people who were hanging around mine looking for work had left town or not. The death toll could easily be as high as 115 to 125.
The site is now a Canadian heritage site with an interpretative centre on site with over 100,000 visitors every year.
Apparitions have been seen wandering the rock field usually seeming to be in shock and lost for lack of better words. On rare occasions they have spoken to the living and seem to be focused – understandably – on finding friends, family and loved ones. They appear – aware or not of our time – to be trapped in the time period immediately after the slide.
There are numerous stories of phantom lights through the slide area. Some seem like lanterns going the debris field searching for survivors. Others seem to react to the living and will flee if approached.
Unexplained – described as eerie – mists fill the debris field frequently.
Unnatural energy – that is often described as ghostly – fills the entire area.
Disembodied voices – including entire conversations – have been heard both on and underneath the rocks slide area. There’s something very chilling about hearing people talk from an area that’s been buried under tons of rock for over 100 years.
People also report the feeling of unease, not being alone and being watched.