With the return of our annual ghost tours, we decided to give you a sneak peek at what you might get to experience if you’re brave enough to book a tour. We talked with one of our long-time ghost tour guides, Natalie, about her experiences guiding tours and working in the Prince House.
Natalie has worked at Heritage Park in various roles for the past nine years and has been a ghost tour guide for two of them. Before she officially became a tour guide she worked as an interpreter in the infamous Prince House where she has many tales about her experiences working there. There’s even a running joke among the interpreters that if you want something weird to happen, hang out with Natalie!
Although Natalie has experienced countless unexplained happenings during her time working in the Prince House and as a tour guide, she says that they’ve all been fairly positive and harmless. She recounts frequently hearing footsteps on the second floor when nobody else was in the house and one time she even had a spiritual medium tell her that there were two spirits in the house and they [the spirits] enjoyed Natalie’s presence in the home. Despite the majority of her experiences being positive, it wasn’t always that way.
“I often like to say that the house is like its own person and some days the energy in there is great! But I’ve also been there on days where the energy just feels off. As much as I love the house and have a good relationship with it, there are definitely days where I would get that gut feeling that I’m not supposed to be in there.”
The Prince House has more spooky stories than many of the “haunted” structures on the Park but the most well-known spirit is the “Lady in White.” This spirit has been seen on occasion by guests and employees in the nursery on the second floor of the Prince House, holding a baby. There are many theories as to who the Lady in White is, the most popular being that she is Peter Prince’s first wife, Margaret, who passed away in 1898.
However, Natalie has a different theory to who she might be. Since Margaret did not have any infant children when she passed, Natalie thinks it might be more likely that this spirit is attached to one of the many artifacts displayed in the home, rather than being attached to the home itself, or even the land that the house is now built on.
“No children were ever raised in the home. By the time the house was built in 1894, the Prince children were adults. Which is why the Lady in White almost just doesn’t fit with the family story, especially the stories of her holding a baby.”
In addition to the infamous story of the Lady in White, there are many more stories you may hear about ghostly happenings at the Prince House revolving around the mysterious third floor, but it’s not the most common place for things to happen.
“There’s almost like this misconception about the third floor since its closed [to the public] that it’s super spooky, but in reality, a lot of our scarier stories, in my opinion, happen on that second floor.”
Some common occurrences from the second floor include hearing footsteps and doors opening and closing, when nobody else is in the house.
While the Prince House is definitely the most well known haunted location in the Park, it isn’t the only spooky location. Some of Natalie’s tour highlights include the Gledhill Drug Store and the Canmore Opera House, but those stories are saved for the actual tour. When asked why people should attend a ghost tour, Natalie only had one thing to say, “There’s nothing quite like being alone in a dark old-fashioned town and you can’t hear anything else around you other than the wind.”