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Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – the splendid “Castle in the Rockies” and all its stories~

4 min read

Even if you’re not from Canada, you’ve likely heard about “The Castle in the Rockies”. Fairmont Banff Springs is one of the world’s most iconic hotels, and it is located high in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta.
It was built in 1888, because this area was a stop along the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and this turned out to be a wise decision, in fact the regions’ natural beauty attracts thousands of tourists from around the world every year.
The first structure was built of wood and tragically burnt down in 1926.
Below, the original hotel:


When the hotel was rebuilt, it was modeled after a Scottish castle, and has been totally modernized with a swish spa, luxe pool and renovated rooms.
Many famous people have stayed at the Banff, including Marilyn Monroe, and the hotel has more than a few residents who’ve checked in but never checked out. Some are legend, of course, but others appear to be true ghosts.


Oh, there is a mysterious ghostly bartender who, when guests have had too much to drink, encourages them “to call it a night”, but also a wandering bagpiper who is looking for what he lost. His head.
But the one of the most popular is a friendly spirit of a former employee of the hotel. Sam McCauley, who was a bellman at the hotel for many years, retired in the early 1970s. It is stated he told his peers that he “would return.” And, when he died in 1975, he did precisely this. Stories of this genial old Scotsman have been circulating around the hotel since his passing. Supposedly, Sam is a helpful sort of spirit, and most stories involving him mention some service he’s provided to staff or guests. One incident involved two elderly women calling the bell desk for assistance after they found their key would not work. The regular bellman was occupied with other duties and didn’t respond for 15 minutes. By the time he arrived at their door, it was unlocked. One of the women said an older bellman in a old-fashioned plaid jacket, matching Sam’s description exactly, had helped them.
His ghost is most often seen on the hotel’s ninth floor, and guests who have encountered him state he is both polite and helpful. In fact, he helps people with their luggage, and hotel guests state that when they tried to thank or tip him, he just disappeared.


Another popular spectre residing in the Fairmont Banff Springs is that of a young woman dressed all in white. So famous that she’s even featured on her own stamp and coin (you don’t believe that? Look here!). Yes, a classic, and the hotel claims her story was spread as just a hoax. But many witnesses have seen and felt her over the years.
The power of suggestion is a formidable thing!
In any case, the story of the Ghost Bride dates back to the late 1920s and tell about a young bride from a wealthy family, that she was married in hotel’s grand ballroom. As her husband and she walked down the hotel’s marble staircase, it is said she tripped and fell, breaking her neck. She died instantly.
Another version of the same story states that her dress brushed against candles near the staircase, and when she struggled to put the flames out, she stumbled and fell. Whatever the cause, the end result is the bride died on those steps, and witnesses report feeling an icy breeze, as they descend the same stairs. Both hotel staff and guests alike have reported seeing a veiled figure moving up and down the stairs, or seeing a figure in a wedding dress dancing in the ballroom upstairs, pining for the first dance with her husband that she never had.

There is another legend, yes, another classic, but much more macabre. Interestingly, Room 873 is missing from the eighth floor of the hotel. And this is true.
It seems this room has been closed off, and one continuous wall with no door blocks this guest room from being entered. The reason? The creepy event that occurred to a family when they stayed in this room.
For some unknown reason, the husband murdered his wife and daughter and then killed himself.
Once the bodies were removed, several maids were cleaning the room when they saw something that terrified them: one maid discovered the murdered daughter’s fingerprints on a mirror and, when she wiped them off, they immediately reappeared.
Another maid tried, and the same thing happened.
It is said that, after this, the hotel decided it would be best to close this room permanently. However, ever since, it seems that guests have seen apparitions in the hallway outside this area and others have heard the cries of a woman and child.

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