The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, has welcomed guests for over 125 years. The Castle of the Rockies, as it’s 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 significant error from the contractor. A room was built with no windows or doors, which 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.
Haunted Room 873
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 stairs 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 a 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 seen the woman on the staircase where she lost her life.
Staff members have also reported strange noises coming from the bridal suite, even when the suite is vacant.
Sam Macauley is perhaps the most popular of all the Banff Springs ghosts. He was a bellman at the hotel in the 60s-70s.
However, not much is known about how or where he died, his spirit is said to haunt the hotel to this day. He has been known to appear in his 1960s uniform, helping guests enter locked rooms, turn on room lights, or help with carrying bags.
He’s often witnessed on the 9th floor. He will vanish if you try to start a conversation or attempt to tip him.
As well as the more popular reports above, the hotel has a little more to offer!
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!
Banff Springs Hotel History
The Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, was built in 1888 and was originally a wooden structure. It was created out of necessity when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) stretched westwards, and a high-class hotel was needed for people traveling along the root.
The Vice President of the CPR [William Van Horne] saw the hotel as a stop-off point and a world-class travel destination. With its breathtaking mountain scenery and natural hot springs, it had a lot to be proud of. A major fire in 1926 completely devastated the building, and a complete reconstruction was carried out. The new construction was loosely based on a Scottish castle with 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.
About the Hotel
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 outdoor activities, including downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, skating, a 27-hole championship golf course, hiking, fishing, river rafting, horseback riding, and lots of other exciting activities.
If you want to relax after a long day, there is the Willow Stream Spa, located in the center of Banff Springs. It caters to families with a wide choice of activities for children, as well as kids clubs, menus, and babysitting. There are many places to choose from to enjoy a sit-down dinner or to grab something quick. There are also many cuisine choices, with restaurants offering Canadian, Italian, Bavarian, Japanese, and health-conscious meals.
As well as the wide choice of restaurants, the hotel offers a selection of places to have a quiet drink, with pubs and bars/lounges.
Visiting the Banff Springs Hotel
There’s a wealth of activities available when staying at the Banff Springs. There are various 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 various 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.