Just in time for Halloween: Five of Manitoba's spookiest spots
Most Winnipeggers are familiar with the Fort Garry Hotel's haunted room, but did you know about the Marlborough's ghosts?
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Manitoba has its share of spooky places, but there are a few that even the locals may not know about. Here are five to check out this Halloween weekend, courtesy of local researcher Chris Rutkowski, which appeared in his book Unnatural History: True Manitoba Mysteries.
Old Man Gimli and Thorgeir's Ghost
Kids at camps throughout the Interlake are often told the story of Old Man Gimli, who wanders the bush along Lake Winnipeg for sinister and macabre purposes. One story is that travelers who stopped their car along the highway north of town were shocked to see a dark, brooding figure leap out at their car and grab onto their rear bumper before falling away. As well, the tale of Thorgeir's Ghost is told by Icelandic settlers to the Hecla area, of a skinned bull who came back to life and has been seen roaming the fields between Gimli and Riverton.
The Woodridge Spook Light
Since the 1960s, it has been said that if you wait any night after about 11 just south of Hwy. 203 east of Winnipeg, you'll see the Woodridge Spook Light dancing at the end of the road along the railway line. It was actually seen as early as the 1930s, and is supposed to be a lantern carried by the headless ghost of a man who was killed by a train many years ago.
The building at 335 Donald Street was built in 1895 as the Masonic Temple, for a cost of $22,000. The Masons sold it in 1969 and it became home to Mother Tucker's restaurant until the 1990s, when it converted into a sports bar and then a nightclub. While home to Mother Tucker's restaurant, employees and patrons claimed to hear mysterious footsteps and voices, and cutlery and table settings placed carefully would be inexplicably moved overnight. It has been vacant for about 10 years.
The White Horse Plains
Along the Trans-Canada Highway near St. Francois Xavier is a statue of a White Horse. The figure is one of the few monuments in the world depicting a ghost. The story is that hundreds of years ago, a maiden escaped into the night with her lover astride a beautiful white horse given as a gift from her betrothed whom she was to marry the next day. They were pursued and killed, but the horse ran off and its ghost has been said to roam the prairie ever since.
This old stately building has a reputation as a place where people hear footsteps in empty rooms and see full apparitions of past patrons of the hotel. One particular ghost said to inhabit the hotel is that of Grace Edith Cook, a 16-year-old waitress who was strangled to death in her room on the 5th floor in 1943. Employees and patrons of the hotel report seeing Cook’s ghost still roaming the halls.