Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Believe It or Not ...

It is very seldom that I get totally caught up doing research as it’s not exactly my favorite thing to do. But type in the words unexplained phenomena into Google and it provides you with hours of entertainment. I decided to go one step further and add the name of my home province, Saskatchewan, to the search and Google came up with a host of interesting sites related to mysterious paranormal activity right here in my own province.

It all started with the approach of Halloween, a thought about world building, and my desire to tell a tale of my Grandmother’s. The story occurred on one of her return trips to the country she immigrated to Canada from, she and my Grandfather had the opportunity to tour a house she had visited as a child. The house was under renovation and being painted top to bottom, including some of the floors. As they passed one the rooms, my Grandmother saw a gentleman lying on a cot in the corner. She remembers his chest moving like he was breathing. The unfortunate part - he was being painted into the corner. There was no way for him leave the room without crossing the freshly painted floor. My Grandmother looked around at the other people touring the house expecting to see looks of confusion only to see nothing of the sort. No one else had seen him.

I believe the story for two reasons. First, my Grandmother was the least likely person to say she’d seen a ghost and secondly she would never have told a lie. I may have to take Connie’s advice from yesterday and incorporate this real life tale into a novel.

I learned a couple of other interesting facts surfing around the net. For instance, I learned there are people you can call if you are experiencing strange happenings in your home. We are home to a society of Ghost Hunters and a paranormal research center. My brain is being pummeled with ideas for future stories.

Further investigation proves Saskatchewan is a hotbed of paranormal activity. There are ghosts spread out all over this fine prairie province. In fact, one of Canada’s best ghost stories revolves around the Fort San Sanatorium in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.

The Fort Qu’Appelle Sanatorium opened in 1919 and was Saskatchewan’s first healthcare center built to combat the contagious disease, Tuberculosis. At its peak, it accommodated 358 patients. By the time it closed in the early 1970’s, thousands of people had passed through its door. Tragically some never left.

Fort San is said to be the home of Nurse Jane who was often seen folding linens or pushing a wheelchair down the hallways. It is also said to house Mr. Stiff, the undertaker who attended to cases at the sanatorium. Whether these two are the cause of the slamming doors, loud noises, missing or moved articles – no one knows.

In later years Fort San became the Echo Valley Conference Center and was open to groups. Both my husband and son have participated in overnight trips to Fort San without incident. It is now scheduled to be demolished.

This province is also home to Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa and its mysterious, curative waters. It comes with a beautiful Cree legend called the Manitou Legend that explains why people believe the waters have healing powers. My Brotherhood of the Arrow series will have a lake or special pool of water said to possess healing powers. Water from this source will also be used in certain ceremonies.

We also have more than our share of crop circles. Crop circles have a way of appearing in Saskatchewan farmers’ fields. The Canadian Crop Circle Research Network’s blog shows a picture of this year’s second crop circle reported outside of the city of Moose Jaw. We’re becoming known as Circle Central. Some day I will have a heroine or hero that works for the CCCRN.

Hope you enjoyed your peek into a few of the examples of unexplained phenomena that occurs in my neck of the woods. How about you, do you have any ghost stories? Have you experienced an unexplainable phenomenon lately?


Ban said...

Very much so Karyn :) I'm dying to see how you incorporate these 'tales' into your own stories, make them yours. It's amazing where we find inspiration eh?
I've got a spin off of the work posted on BB that involves Wendigos - I've got a thing for Native American lore.

Karyn Good said...

Hi, Ban. Glad you enjoyed the tales. Inspiration comes from the most interesting and unsuspecting places and now my mind is going in a hundred different directions.

Wendigo legends are fascinating and I can't wait to read your spin on things!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karyn,
One of the places reputed to be haunted by ghosts here in Winnipeg is the Fort Garry Hotel. It's a big, beautiful old building built around the turn of the last century by the railroad. Many people over the years have reported hearing strange noises, slamming doors, footsteps and the like. One guest room in particular is said to be haunted.

Back in the late 1800s there was a medical doctor in the city who held seances to make contact with the dearly departed. Apparently he was quite famous for his study of the occult. How much fun would it be to go to a seance!

Love the story about your grandmother. It's always the ones least likely.


Karyn Good said...

Hey, Jana. I've heard of the Fort Garry Hotel but have never visited it. It sounds like a wonderful historical landmark. I wonder what happened in that guest room? It reminds of one of the ghost stories surrounding the Banff Springs Hotel (a 100+ year old hotel/castle nestled in the beautiful Rocky Mountains for those of you visiting from afar). A bride fell down a staircase on her wedding day and died. Upon occasion, a ghost of a bride can be seen dancing alone in one of the dining rooms in the middle of the night.

I love the fact that it was a medical doctor conducting seances and the idea of mixing science with the occult. And I think it would be a blast to attend a seance.