Saturday, February 15, 2014

Batoche - A national Historic Site

Batoche if you don't know is a historic site in Saskatchewan. A beautiful, scenic and historic location. If you live in the Saskatoon area then you have probably been taken there on a field trip or two along with its neighbor Fort Carlton. However if you haven't heard its also apparently the site of a ghost or two.

Some history on batoche:


"In 1870, The Northwest was brought into Canada as a new territory. The Métis people were a half native, half French group of people who lived in these lands with no formal government or laws. They immediately reacted to the arrival of Canadian authority by challenging that authority and declaring that they should only be brought into Confederation as a province with recognized authority and representation. Louis Riel led this movement and the birth of the Province of Manitoba was the result.

The Métis did not end up with the retention of the freedoms they valued and many moved further west into the Saskatchewan areas as Manitoba was populated by new immigrants from Ontario and the Buffalo, which were the lifeblood of the Métis life style, were killed off.

By 1884 the railway had pushed further west n the new Métis areas and an armed uprising led by Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel erupted. Many local native bands joined in the uprising and violence flared throughout the area. John A Macdonald reacted by dispatching an armed force under General Middleton to suppress the uprising. The rode the train, marched across the land were shipped on boats and made their way west. In April of 1885 they arrived in the Saskatchewan area and sought the Métis forces in order to engage and defeat them in battle.
The Battle of Batoche, which was fought from May 9-12, 1885, was the last stand of  Louis Riel and the Métis. Their defeat by the Canadian Government forces marked the end of the Northwest Rebellion. This site is a National Historic Site and presents restored buildings from the period and the land that this last great battle was fought on.

The site also represents the settlement of the area by the Métis and examples of lot settlement as well as information about the native groups that participated in the rebellion."


So from what I can gather from all this history is there must be some hauntings right? Beautiful batoche is a site that you can visit during the summer. Some old buildings remain and you can read about the history. I am told that the most haunted building in batoche is the church.

I remember going to this place for field trips as a kid and I was never comfortable. I love old buildings, historic locations and beautiful scenery but there is something about this place where history almost comes alive. So why not take a visit and see for yourself?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Plains Hospital (SIAST Regina)

Plains Health Centre, April 1993.
Pat Pettit (Regina Leader-Post)

The Plains Hospital, also known as SIAST Wascana Campus in Regina. This beautiful 11 storey brick building was built in 1970-74 for 9 million dollars. It served as both as a hospital and was used as a university training hospital. It has large private patient rooms and was known for its architecture. It handled all the major branches of surgery and medicine but was recognized for its training centre. In 1987 is started to slow its training program and its support for sugery's. In 1992 it was slated to close and in 2998 it was decommissioned at the cost of 21 million and converted into SIAST (Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology) which it is still today.


This hospital may not have been open long but it had many patients, many of which passed away in this building. Today it is a bustling school - a school that I attended for 2 years. During the day with so many students around the school its hard to even think about its past or the possibility of it being haunted but when it gets late and the students have all gone the building becomes quiet. Of course the whole building is completely converted and its hard to tell what was where when it was a hospital but most people know someone that was in the hospital and can remember where everything is. Of course the morgue is down by the loading/receiving dock (easy access to move bodies out of the building as with most morgues). There is a nursing floor that was never converted - why change it when it was a former hospital. You can still see signs of its previous life and the feeling does change when you take a moment to sit and look around. It must have been quite the site when it was open.

I highly suggest walking around - who know's what you may see.. or think you see..

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fort San - Haunted: Building or Land?


As most of you may know Fort San Sanatorium has been demolished.. for the most part. There is a chunk of the main building remaining but it is boarded and both pasqua and mission lodge wings have been demolished. All the nursing houses, extra buildings, power plant and other buildings are gone as well. Of course there were many other pavilions back in the day that have been gone for many years.

I suppose your wondering why I am telling you this?

The topic of "tainted land" arises when a building is demolished. If a building is demolished, do the ghosts disappear? This leads to the question, do ghosts haunt the building or the land? I used to believe that ghosts were attached to the building, this changed after spending time in Weyburn Mental and Fort San. Both are major facilities were many people lived together and stayed until they died. Fort San of course had many more deaths but both locations have a long history in this province until there demolition.

I can remember the feeling I got while inside Fort San - a feeling that cannot be explained. The highway going by the facility was fine but as soon as you stepped on the grounds the feelings changed - its a very emotional and spiritual place. I have gone back to see the demolition of Fort San and have watched it slowly disappear but you know, that feeling I got never went away. Today I still get the feeling when I am on the grounds which leads me to believe those strong spirits that haunt the buildings are still around. They have made not just the building but the land their home and even though there home is gone they stick around.

You may not be able to experience ghosts closing doors or hear voices down long hallways where patients once lived but you can feel that emotional feeling attached to the grounds.