Saturday, June 15, 2013

Darke Hall (Regina)

Darke hall if located on the U of R Continueing Education Campus on College Avenue in Regina.  This area was founded in 1911 and was formerly known as the Regina College.

This location is home to at least three deaths.

Lets start with some history first. Darke hall is named after Frank Darke who was a Regina pioneer. He had various businesses and investments in the city which made him a very rich man. He donated money to the building of Darke hall and to the college. He passed away in 1940 and his funeral was held in the hall and later buried in the city's only mausoleum.  So what haunts Darke Hall? Well they say Darke himself is still around.

It could also be that this building was much more than a school. It had various changes during its life but for the most part it stayed a school of some sort. During the second world war it was an Air Training Center during WW2. The stories say that during this time there were many parties in the building. It is believed that a man was partying and fell to his death.

The old lecture theater was also converted into a temporary hospital to isolate students and teachers to contracted typhoid fever, which as the time had no antibiotics. It is believed that 68 students, 4 teachers and 6 staff contracted the fever. Eight students passed away

I found an interesting article speaking about the hauntings in Darke Hall in much more detail...

For the past few years, local historian Don Black has given an annual lecture about haunted College Avenue at the U of R Centre for Continuing Education.
The location of Black’s lecture has its own ghost stories. There were three notable deaths on or near the old U of R campus (then called Regina College), which was founded in 1911 
“When I hear that there are ghosts in this building, well who are they?” said Black. “If they are here, and I respect everybody’s chance to believe in them, I think they’d be one of the people who passed away from typhoid.”Q: Tell me about Frank Darke.A: He was a Regina pioneer and he was a cattle buyer and he set up a butcher shop ... His business did well so he invested in land and land was going crazy so he made a ton of money. He was also a great philanthropist so he gave the seed money for the Methodist college — Regina College — then he also donated the money for Darke Hall.Frank Darke died in 1940 and his funeral was held in Darke Hall. He lay in state in Darke Hall. Then he was buried in the mausoleum at the Regina Cemetery. It’s the city’s only mausoleum.
People say Frank Darke’s rattling around here. He’s probably resting pretty comfortably.Q: What about the pilot?A: (Regina College was taken over by) the Initial Flying Training School for British Commonwealth air training during the Second World War ... The guys lived in here and they also had parties. ... It’s been reported a few times that during one of these parties up on the tower, a young air guy fell off and died and that’d be a big surprise. Maybe that would make you be a ghost. I don’t know.Q: What’s the typhoid story?A: (People) say they’ve seen ghosts in the old lecture theatre, which is part of the original building, which is now condemned.When (typhoid) struck here, it was about eight or 10 years before there were antibiotics so there was no treatment for it. Typhoid was caused by the salmonella bacteria ... (It’s like) if you had the worst flu you’ve ever had for three weeks straight and then you died, dehydrated and diarrhea and sweating and you just die. So this bug was brought into the school through the milk supply because it was unpasteurized.
They converted the whole third-floor residence into a hospital and they isolated the school, they shut it down. ... Sixty-eight students, four teachers and six staff members contracted typhoid.
Eight students died. Put yourself in this school then. It was brand new. These guys are from all these small towns. They just started their first term in some cases. They’re excited, they’re happy ... They’re just kids. But the fall, November, it’s all gone for them and they’re taken away from this place. ... (One teacher, Roy Renwick) died; they had the funeral for him in the lecture theatre.
When you Google ‘what is a ghost?’ there are those two things: One, they don’t know they’re dead, or two, they just have so much unfinished business, it’s just such a shock that they can’t leave this place.
I think this is a real (ghost story).Q: Why did the typhoid epidemic happen?A: One of the (milk) handlers was a carrier of typhoid and that milk came in here and made everybody sick because it wasn’t pasteurized. City council, god love ’em, first thing they said, ‘I’ve been talking to my buddies who are dairy farmers. We don’t need to pasteurize.’ ... And people kept dying. Other people got sick.Finally all the doctors, my grandfather’s brother was one of them, got together and said, ‘Listen, pasteurize.’ So finally city council mandated pasteurization. ... So really if I was to see one of these ghosts here, of Mr. Renwick or one of the students, I’d have to thank them, because without their deaths, who knows how much longer it would have taken to get milk pasteurized here?
They lost their lives but I think they probably saved a lot of other lives.

Taken from: