Here's the story of how Calgary's Historic City Hall became haunted

Oct 30 2020, 8:00 am

While it has long been known that Calgary’s Deane House may be home to some restless specters, there is another spot in Calgary that has reported some ghostly sightings: Historic City Hall.

The City of Calgary issued a release last year detailing the multiple ghostly encounters had within the old building’s walls, stating that two ghosts, a man and a woman, are known to haunt the hallowed halls.

Sightings of the ghosts were even immortalized in Barbara Smith’s Ghost Stories of Alberta back in 1993, with city communications official Don Morberg explaining some of the theories behind the unusual sightings in the book.

“The man may be a former prisoner who died years ago in the police lockup,” Morberg said.

“She’s seen on the old stairs,” he explained of the female ghost.

“We have no record of any female dying in the building. I’ve heard that she might be a former alderman’s wife or perhaps a madam who had been locked up in the basement cells at one time.”

The release also noted that Historic City Hall had actually doubled as a police station and city jail between 1911 and 1914, during which time two men had died in their cells.

The city cites the Albertan as stating that the first prisoner to enter the cells in 1911 was a woman named Kathleen “Kitty” Quinn, though rival newspaper Calgary News Telegram, had reported that the first prisoner was actually someone named Charles Munro.

When it comes to the actual identity of the alleged ghost, the city has a few guesses:

“There is no shortage of personalities whose energy and memory might permeate the very sandstones that make up Historic City Hall’s form,” the release states.

“Could the man be Rudolph Engle (circa 1876–1912), who installed Historic City Hall’s clock in 1910 and died in a hunting accident in 1912? Could the woman be Acting City Clerk Amelia Adcock, the City’s first female manager, who died relatively young in 1922?”

As these things go, there’s no true knowing the mystery behind the ghostly figures — until you catch a glimpse of one yourself!