PSICAN - Paranormal Studies and Inquiry Canada


"To walk through Fort Battleford is like stepping back in time. Cannon fire echoes through the fort and costumed staff tell stories of the settlement of the West as they wander through the fort's original buildings - where the ghost of a surgeon is said to haunt the officers' quarters.

The fort, built by the North-West Mounted Police at the junction of the Battle and North Saskatchewan rivers, is also the site of the largest mass hanging in Canadian history.

On Nov. 27, 1885, eight aboriginal men who were involved with the North-West Rebellion were tried for murder and hanged within the walls of the stockade. Their gravesite is just metres away, marked by teepee poles in a spot overlooking the river valley.

Odishaw acknowledges the site is not without controversy.

"The issue of creating a tourism site from a mass gravesite is not spiritually correct within the First Nations people, but yet it's part of our history," he said.

"None of us can be proud of what happened, but I think we all grow from past experience."

There have been reports of strange noises, some say war cries, heard in the area - but that may just be par for the course in the Battlefords."

Even the town hall, which once had an opera house upstairs, has a ghost, according to staff.

They say every once in a while the smell of cookies - chocolate chip cookies, specifically - wafts through the council chambers. Sometimes, there's the smell of a cigar around desks in the office area.

But no one is baking or smoking.

"It's Charlie," a town staffer says with a giggle. "That's what we call him."



Myths and ghosts lure visitors to heart of Canada's old northwest  by Jennifer Graham, originally published by THE CANADIAN PRESS


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