REGINA – How did he do it? That is a question that’s been asked many times by Government House staff. It is also how the ghost Howie got his name.
In life Howie was a Chinese immigrant named Cheun Lee who served as the cook. Now, many believe that his spirit wanders the historic halls.
“He doesn’t seem to be a ghost that will jump out and scare the willies out of you. It’s just he will move things,” said John Callan. Callan is a Commissionaire who has been working at Government House for the past ten years.
Suspicious things the staff said Howie is responsible for include disturbing the set-up on the billiard table and occasionally activating an unwound music box.
Callan said that Howie also influenced a decorating choice.
“When they set up this display they thought it looked very appropriate with the table cloth on it. When they came back the next morning, and actually for several mornings after that they would find the table cloth all bundled up and thrown to that end of the room.”
The table cloth in question currently is draped over a small table, near the location Howie is believed to have thrown it.
Other spectral sightings have been reported at Government House, including a woman dressed in Victorian clothing who has been seen looking through a second floor window and reports of a baby crying when no children were in the building.
Another ghost is believed to inhabit another building on Dewdney Avenue in the warehouse district.
The Strathdee Building, which is home to Bushwakkers Brew Pub, is believed to be haunted by the original building manager James Strathdee.
Strathdee was involved in a car crash in the 1930’s and began suffering depression shortly afterwards. He eventually shot himself near the building.
Over the years numerous people who work in the building have reported paranormal encounters.
“Our brewer at the time was down working on the boiler and all of a sudden objects started being hurled right over his head and obviously there was nobody in this room except for himself and apparently someone or something else,” said Bushwakker manager Grant Frew.
This is not the only encounter to be reported in the basement that became physical. Another took place in the grain grinding room involving the current assistant brewer.
“So he was just standing here for a moment having a little pause while the grain was grinding down and all of a sudden someone pushed him on his back and he actually went forward a little bit,” said Frew. “He thought it was just one of his coworkers, and when he turned around. There was nobody there and the doors were closed.”
The brewer claimed that he went to the bathroom after the incident and said he could see what looked like the imprint of a hand on his back.
Several other notable Regina buildings have had reports of ghosts over the years including, Darke Hall, the former Assiniboine Club which is now Krave Kitchen + Wine Bar, and 1800 College Ave where the Computer Clinic is located.