Edmonton woman introduces tour groups to city’s haunted history

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WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton is filled with eerie tales. Community reporter Morgan Black takes a look at the history of haunted places in the city – Oct 31, 2020

If you’re looking for a few stories about Edmonton’s haunted history this Halloween, a local tour guide is ready to welcome you back to the past.

Nadine Bailey runs historical ghost tours through the Old Strathcona and University of Alberta area. Bailey said the tours are extra popular this year, because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“They are outside, there is lots of space to social distance and so I have seen a steady increase in numbers,” Bailey said,

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After more than 13 years investigating tales to fuel her small business, Bailey is a historian of hauntings.

“A lot of my research comes from good old fashioned archives and older newspapers,” she said. “For example, I’ll find that there was a murder in 1952 in a particular Edmonton house. Once I find that factual information, I dig a bit more.”

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Bailey’s tour of the University area begins at Rutherford House.

“It’s a very historical home, but it’s also a very haunted house. There is one ghost, a young boy, that is often seen and heard running and whistling throughout the second level of the home. Staff say when they go to investigate, no one can find him.”

One of her spookiest tales is set at the Princess Theatre and tells the tale of a young woman who died by suicide in the early 1900s.

“Staff I have spoken to tell me when they are working they see a woman in white wandering around the central lobby and the grand staircase,” Bailey said. “They believe it is that same woman.”

Bailey’s best material comes from stories shared with her over the years.

Click to play video: 'Family fun at the Royal Alberta Museum this Halloween' Family fun at the Royal Alberta Museum this Halloween
Family fun at the Royal Alberta Museum this Halloween – Oct 29, 2020

“People come on my tours and say ‘I live here or I work here’ and they tell me personal stories about their own experiences…that’s how my stories have grown over the years.”

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The guide said tour groups have indeed encountered some mysterious moments.

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“I was standing in front of Rutherford House and doing a tour. I know there’s nobody inside and all of a sudden a light flicked on upstairs,” Bailey said. “It just freaked everyone right out.”

Whether it’s curiosity or skepticism that brings you out on Halloween night, Bailey is happy to be your guide.

“Anything that brings people to an area and gets people interested in an area is a positive thing. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story?”

You can book a tour with Bailey here.

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