I first heard about this haunted house in Heritage Park Historical Village, Calgary, Alberta, Canada on an episode of Celebrity Hauntings on the Biography Channel. Actor Drake Bell talked about his experience there while working on a movie with John Cusack.
Evidently a number of buildings were transported to the park and preserved as part of the display of a late 19th and early 20th century village.
One of the buildings transported was the Deane House. The home was built on the corner of 9th Avenue and 6th Street in 1906 as the official residence for the Superintendent of the Royal North West Mounted Police.
Evidently quite a few people died in the house over the years. A man died after falling down a staircase, a young lady committed suicide by jumping out of a second story window, a young boy committed suicide in the attic after being tormented by bullies at school because of his epilepsy, and a man was murdered by bullets on the front porch in 1933.
One of the most horrifying occurrences took place in 1952 when Irma Umperville was stabbed and strangled by her husband, Roderick, before he took his own life. Their children were witnesses to this horrendous tragedy.
Drake Bell and a friend decided to check out the haunted house one day when they had some free time. They took a video camera with them and caught some interesting footage when they approached the empty house. The curtains on a second floor window were flung open and stayed open for several seconds as if someone was peering out at them.
A few nights later, John Cusack decided he wants to check out the house. A group of people including John and Drake Bell went with the caretaker of the home to see the Deane House.
As the caretaker approached the house with his dog, the animal refused to go into the building. The caretaker decided to stay outside with his dog and told everyone else to go on in. They walked up to the second floor with their flashlights as there was no electricity inside the building.
As they ascended to the second floor, the mood and vibe changed. Drake went to the room where the curtain had lifted a few nights previously, and claimed that it felt “very spooky.” Almost immediately, although there was no electricity in the house, all of the lights in the room turned on, even the gas lamps that were only in the room for show.
Drake saw a woman dressed in colonial clothing standing in the room. He ran out of the room screaming, “let’s go,” and everyone followed him out of the house.
The caretaker was standing outside waiting and showed them a picture of the house from the newspaper that clearly showed a woman standing in the second floor window, although the house had been empty at the time the picture was taken.
Other paranormal activity reported in the home includes a bloodstain in an attic cupboard that won’t go away and often changes in size and color, items levitating, piano music, blasts of cold air, laughter, empty rocking chairs that rock, an apparition of a man floating down the hallway with his legs missing, the smell of pipe tobacco, an antique phone ringing, and the apparition of a Native American man who tells people to leave stating that they are on sacred ground.
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