The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, has been welcoming guests for over 125 years. The Castle of Rockies as its fondly known, has seen many guests pass through its doors, some famous and some royal, but guests of another kind still walk its halls…
Ghosts of Banff Springs Hotel
During the construction of the original wooden hotel, there was a big error from the contractor. A room was built with no windows or doors, a fact that wasn’t even shared with the hotel owner. The room was only discovered after a fire broke out in 1926. Since then, apparitions are often seen roaming the hall outside this room.
This room was reportedly the scene of a tragic murder of a family. Its door has since been bricked up and made to look like the rest of the wall in the hallway. Guests have reported seeing apparitions outside this room, possibly members of the family that were reported to have been murdered here.
The Burning Bride
Stories suggest a woman dressed in her wedding gown lost her life on the staircase. There were candles on the staircase when the bride was walking up to them, when suddenly her dress caught fire, in a panic she tripped and fell down the stairs, dying from a broken neck. Many people have reported seeing her ghost in full wedding gown, often dancing in the ballroom. Guests and staff have in some cases witnessed the flames from her dress as she dances. Others have witnessed the woman on the staircase where she lost her life.
Staff have also reported strange noises coming from the bridal suite, even when the suite is vacant.
Perhaps the most popular of all the ghosts at the Banff Springs is Sam Macauley. He was a bellman at the hotel in the 60s-70s. Although not much is known about how or where he died, his ghost is said to haunt the hotel to this day. He has been known to appear in his 1960’s uniform, helping guests get into locked rooms, turn on room lights, or help with carrying bags. He often witnessed on the 9th floor. If you try to start a conversation or attempt to tip Sam, he will vanish.
As well as the more popular reports above, the hotel has a little more to offer too! The apparition of a bartender has been witnessed by staff and guests alike, often informing guests that they have drunk a little too much and perhaps it’s best if they go to bed! Perhaps more spectacular is the apparition of a headless man playing the bagpipes!
The Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, was built in 1888 and was originally a wooden structure. It was built out of necessity when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) stretched westwards, a high-class hotel was needed for people traveling along the root.
The Vice President of the CPR [William Van Horne] saw the hotel not only as a stop-off point but also a world-class travel destination. With its breathtaking mountain scenery and natural hot springs, it had a lot to be proud of. There was a major fire in 1926 that completely devastated the building, and a complete reconstruction was carried out. The new construction was to be loosely based on a Scottish castle, with the towers and stone walls.
The Banff Springs enjoyed an upsurge in popularity in the 1930s when celebrities and royalty began flocking to the hotel. It quickly became known as the Castle of the Rockies.
Surrounded by pristine wilderness, snow-capped mountains, and magical lakes, the Banff Springs is truly one of Canada’s most majestic hotels. As well as world-class surroundings, the hotel also offers world-class service and amenities.
Its 768 guest rooms are all superbly appointed, with cozy rooms tucked away in the quiet corners of the castle, to the open suites overlooking Alberta’s mountain-tops. The Banff Springs offers a vast array of activities for all seasons including downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, skating, 27 hole championship golf course, hiking, fishing, river rafting, horseback riding, and lots of other exciting activities.
It caters to families with a wide choice of activities for children, as well as kids clubs, menus, and babysitting. If you want to relax after a long day, there is the Willow Stream Spa that’s located in the center of Banff Springs. There are a number of places to choose from to enjoy a sit-down dinner or to grab something quick. There’s also lots of choice in cuisine, with restaurants offering Canadian, Italian, Bavarian, Japanese and health-conscious meals.
As well as the large choice of restaurants, the hotel also offers a choice of places to have a quiet drink, with pubs and bars/lounges.
- Arcade/game room
- Air conditioning
- Coffee shop or café
- Coffee/tea maker
- Babysitting or childcare
- Full-service health spa
- Hair salon
- Health club
- Complimentary newspaper
- Gift shops or newsstand
- Golf course on site
- Picnic area
- Pool table on site
- Satellite TV service
- Shopping on site
- Spa tub
- Steam room
- Swimming pool – children’s
- Swimming pool – indoor
- Swimming pool – outdoor
- Tennis on site
- Video-game console
- Wired (high-speed) Internet access – surcharge
- Area shuttle (surcharge)
Things to Do
There’s a wealth of activities available when staying at the Banff Springs. There’s a variety of snow-based activities with access to some of the best ski slopes in Canada. There’s also a championship golf course on-site, and the surroundings offer a vast array of activities, such as fishing, hiking, horseback riding and more.
Just steps away from the hotel are the authentic mountain town of Banff, Alberta. Enjoy year-round Banff – Lake Louise events and attractions, local galleries and museums, the Banff Gondola and mineral-rich hot springs.