Calgary ghostly watering holes provide a perfectly spooky night out

You may be wondering what adults can do this Halloween without sacrificing the spooky excitement from past years.

Well, how about a haunted pub-crawl?

Calgary has more than its fair share of haunted locations all over the city. If you are a skeptic of the paranormal, these next three pubs might sway your mind to the supernatural and give new meaning to “old haunts.”

The Hose and Hound Neighbourhood Pub

This pub, located in Inglewood, is known for its many unexplainable occurrences. Built in 1907, it was Calgary’s original fire hall No. 3 up until 1953.

When managing partner Chuck Rose bought the place 18 years ago, he had heard rumours of some of its odd happenings. He wasn’t surprised when he and his employees started seeing things themselves.The House and Hound Neighbourhood Pub was built in 1907 and was originally Calgary’s fire hall No. 3, led by Fire Chief Cappy Smart.
Photo by Lauren Gilbart

“A chef of ours was in the kitchen one day and he saw the oven door open then close, open again, then close and then open one last time. He didn’t know what to think,” Rose says.

Rose says something is around — he’s just not sure what it is.

“We’ve had three paranormal investigators come in over the years and each time they have recorded strange noises and such,” Rose says. “I don’t have an explanation for it. But I do know what I see and hear, and it’s not normal.”

The Cat ‘n Fiddle Pub

What was once an old funeral home in the city’s northwest only 20 years ago is now a pub. But something strange lurks behind its lively façade.

When Gabrielle Primeau began working there three years ago, she was skeptical of the stories surrounding the place.

Staff at The Cat ‘n Fiddle Pub have decked the place up with creepy accessories to spook you this Halloween.
Photo by Lauren Gilbart
But one incident changed everything:

“My boss and I were chatting in the basement near a rack that held glasses,” Primeau says. “My boss was telling me that the spirits in the pub only want to be recognized and I had said loudly to her there was nothing here.

“A few moments later a glass flew off the rack and hit me square on my forehead. Needless to say, that caught my attention and made me believe. Ever since then, whenever I go downstairs I’m always like, ‘Hello, please don’t throw anything at me!’”

Primeau says that there is a lot that goes on there that people would need to see to understand.

“People can say it’s old piping, it’s an old building, or it’s this and that,” Primeau says. “But when you feel someone behind you or see things that make no sense, you just know.”

Rose and Crown Pub

Built in the 1920s, this pub was also once a funeral home. Up until 1960, the groundskeeper and his family lived on the fourth floor. It is said the son still roams the building.

Manager Dennis Madden has experienced various strange things over the years. But his employees told the spookiest story to him:

“About 15 years ago, there had been a birthday party here one night and a bunch of balloons, which were left over from the party, were stored on the second level,” Madden says.

“Our (bartender), Big Al, and some other employees relaxed at the bar afterwards. Soon a red balloon made its way from the second floor, down the stairs, and floated towards them. They didn’t really think anything of it, so they just put the balloon back upstairs. Then about five minutes later a balloon did the same thing.”

Manager of the Rose and Crown Pub, Dennis Madden says 12 years ago he did not believe in the paranormal, “But since taking it, I definitely believe. I’ve seen and heard too much for me not to believe.”
Photo by Lauren Gilbart
In an attempt to track the balloon, the employees marked an X on it. They went back downstairs to see what might happen. Five minutes later, that same balloon made its way back downstairs.

“It freaked them out so much that they didn’t even finish their beers; they left so fast,” Madden says.

When asked if he believes in the paranormal, Madden countered whether it’s possible not to. Over the 12 years of being manager, he’s had 15 paranormal investigators come into the building and everyone confirmed its activity.

“The way I see it, these people were here first. This had originally been a funeral home, so people had been cremated here. Maybe they didn’t want to leave. They’re not harming us, so I let them have their space.”

lgilbart@cjournal.ca

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of the story Al Hunter was identified as the head chef of the Rose and Crown Pub, he is in fact a bartender.