City Name
A Guide to the Ghosts of Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Haunting 101: A Guide to the Ghosts of Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Ever had a chance to crash at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel? If you have, you’ve probably soaked in all that beauty and luxury. But did you also happen to encounter some eerie experiences too? 

Trust us, you’re not imagining things – it might just be true! This hotel has been welcoming guests for over 130 years, with a mix of celebs, royalty, and, well, guests of the ghostly kind strolling down its corridors.

Who are the ghosts of Fairmont Banff Springs? 

The most famous ghosts of Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel are Sam the Bellman, The Bride, and the ghosts of Room 873. Less famous spectral inhabitants are the apparitions near the so-called secret room and other “staff ghosts” like the ghostly bartender and occasional ghostly musician.

Sam the Bellman

Sam the Bellman

Sam Macauley was an elderly Scotsman and served as the head bellman at the hotel during the 1960s and 1970s. Although he passed away in 1975 (details surrounding his death remain unknown), his spirit has continued to make appearances at the hotel. 

Those who have encountered Sam describe him as remarkably helpful and kind, with some claiming that his spirit has genuinely assisted them. One particular incident stands out among the many stories.

In a famous tale, two women sought assistance from the front desk after their guest room key failed to work. The regular bellman was occupied and did not respond immediately. After waiting for 15 minutes, the women returned to their room feeling defeated. 

However, when the regular bellman eventually arrived, the women reported that the issue had already been resolved by another bellman. When asked to describe the man, they provided an exact match to Sam Macauley.

Additional stories involve guests witnessing Sam’s ghost haunting his former office on the mezzanine floor, which has since been converted into a guest room. Some have even claimed to see his ghostly figure on various floors of the hotel, including the sixth, seventh, and ninth floors.

The Bride

The Bride

Perhaps one of the most famous ghost stories from Banff Springs Hotel is about “The Bride,” and it goes all the way back to the 1920s. 

The story goes that there was this young couple who decided to tie the knot at the Fairmont Banff Springs when it first opened. The bride looked stunning in her white wedding dress as she came down the hotel’s staircase. 

But something weird happened – she got spooked and ended up tripping and falling to the floor below. Some say her heel got stuck on the banister, while others claim a candle nearby brushed against her dress. 

Whatever the case, she didn’t make it. Since then, lots of people have said they’ve seen a veiled figure gliding on the stairs, with her shadow looking like a fancy gown. 

People have even spotted her ghost dancing in the upstairs ballroom, still waiting for her first dance with her beloved.

Room 873

Room 873

Due to significant paranormal activity in room 873, the hotel management took the step of permanently closing it down by sealing it off with walls. 

The story surrounding room 873 varies, but the common thread involves a tragic incident where an entire family was murdered. The father took the lives of his wife and daughter before ending his own.

Guests who spent the night in this room have reported being startled awake by screams. Upon turning on the lights, they claimed to witness bloody handprints on the mirror. 

Depending on who recounts the story, the handprints either disappeared before hotel staff could clean them or stubbornly refused to be removed. 

Regardless, if you visit the floor where the room used to be, you’ll find it entirely concealed and inaccessible from the hallway.

Secret Room

Secret Room

While constructing the original wooden hotel, a notable error was made by the contractor. A room was unintentionally built without windows or doors, and even the hotel owner was unaware of it. 

The discovery of this room only happened after a fire in 1926. Since then, apparitions are commonly observed roaming the hall outside this peculiar room.

Other Ghosts

Other Ghosts

There’s also the ghostly presence of a bartender, witnessed by both staff and guests. If a guest happens to indulge a bit too much, the spectral bartender is known to advise them to call it a night. 

Additionally, a headless musician has been spotted playing the bagpipes. People have also reported seeing apparitions and experiencing cold spots on the 6th, 7th, and 9th floors of the hotel.

History of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

History of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

With numerous stories about various ghosts and haunted rooms at this beautiful historic hotel, one might naturally be curious about the history of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Here’s a quick glimpse for you!

The Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, was established in 1888. It was just a wooden structure then, however. Its creation was deemed necessary as the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) expanded westward, requiring a high-class hotel for travelers along the route. 

In 1926, a major fire completely ravaged the building, leading to a comprehensive reconstruction. The new design drew inspiration from a Scottish castle, featuring towers and stone walls, earning it the nickname “Castle of the Rockies.” 

The Banff Springs experienced a surge in popularity during the 1930s, attracting celebrities and royalty such as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. 

Today, this remarkable hotel stands as a year-round luxury mountain resort, offering golf courses in the summer and skiing in the winter. 

With 757 guest rooms and suites, event spaces for conferences and weddings, several dining rooms, a grand ballroom, a spa, and a terrace garden, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel continues to be a cherished destination – even with the ghost stories!

Leave a Comment