Banff Springs Hotel definitely tops the list of haunted places Iíve written about in terms of beauty. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, even in pictures. I would be in heaven if I had the privilege of staying there for even a few days.
Unfortunately, beauty does not guarantee prevention against ghosts and spirits appearing, and more often tends to be a magnet of the paranormal.
William Van Horne, a high official with the Canadian Pacific Railroad, had the enormous plush hotel built in the Rocky Mountains near Alberta, Canada in the late 1880s. Van Horne had been sent to the scenic location to oversee the building of the railroad through the mountains.
Somehow the contractor who built the Banff Springs Hotel made an error in calculations, and an extra room without windows or doors was created with no oneís knowledge (other than the builders). The empty room was revealed during a fire in 1926. Some believed it was this hidden room that was responsible for the unusual sounds and sightings in the hallway near the room.
Another strange room in the hotel is number 873, which actually is no longer in existence. It is said that a family was murdered in that room, and it is no longer used. A childís small handprints would often appear on the mirrors inside the room, and they could not be removed. Eventually the room was totally sealed off and covered to look like part of the wall, although the outline of the door can still be seen.
An apparition often seen by customers and staff at the hotel is that of Sam, the bellhop. Sam once worked at the hotel until 1967, and usually materializes wearing his uniform. He sometimes opens hotel doors for patrons who have lost their keys, and turns on lights when needed.
Other spirits occasionally glimpsed include a bartender who has no qualms telling an inebriated customer to discontinue drinking and go to bed, a headless bagpiper, and a flaming bride.
The bride was accidentally set on fire by candles lining the staircase she was descending in her wedding gown on her special day in 1926. When she tried to put out the blaze, the young woman lost her balance and fell down the marble stairs, breaking her neck. Her spirit is often seen floating down the stairs in her wedding dress. Sometimes the gown catches fire before she vanishes. Occasionally, on a good day, she can be observed dancing in the ballroom.
The fire of 1926 consumed a large portion of the wooden structure, and it was subsequently rebuilt of stone in the style of a Scottish castle.
The Banff Springs Hotel is in operation today, and you can check out the gorgeous pictures and other information at: http://www.banfflakelouise.com/choose-accommodations/hotels/the-fairmont-banff-springs?gclid=CL-pjtuN7ZoCFQ3yDAod42RVBg