Orb in the Fort Garry Hotel (Heartland Travel)
I've always had a fear of haunted houses. I probably watched too many slasher films as a teenager. I thought that if I ever had a ghostly experience, I'd run the other way. That all changed back in the late 80s when I worked at Mother Tucker's Food Experience. It was housed in the old Masonic Temple on Donald Street.
The restaurant had several different rooms - dining areas, foyer, salad bar area, pie kitchen and prime rib bar, and upstairs on the second floor was the lounge.
I was a hostess and stood in the foyer area to greet customers most nights. But late during the evening when customers were few and far between, and waiters were hanging out near the kitchen, I would lean, bored most times, on the hostess stand.
And that's where I would stay until I heard a customer come down the stairs from the lounge. Then I would stand up straight waiting to greet him or her as they sauntered down the stairs. But no one would ever come through the doorway.
The first few times this happened, I chalked it up to a staff member changing their mind and going back up the stairs. Getting really sick of these footsteps on the stairs, I decided, one night, to chase after the person who was doing this. I bolted up the flight of stairs and ran into the lounge. The startled bartender jumped when I shouted out "Who just came through here?" "No one," was the reply.
I began to run up to the third floor of the old Masonic Temple. It wasn't in use at that point. Half way up that third flight of stairs and into the darkness, all the stories I heard about the hauntings came flooding back to me. I paused. Turned. And ran down the stairs, faster than I came up them. Okay, well maybe I did run the other way after all.
I continued to work there for another six months or so. I continued to hear footfalls on the stairs, but never did go look for who or what was making the sounds ever again.
Rumour had it that the ghost had something to do with the building's former occupants - the Masons. The hauntings have been going on for years and sometimes in spectacular fashion. And sometimes it was just as simple as the phone lines lighting up and footsteps on the stairs.