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Winnipeg's friendly Masonic Temple ghost

It was the Irish pagan festival of Samhain, a night when the dead and the living edged near one another, whence came Halloween. On the night of Nov. 1, and with the dying crops, souls returned to walk the earth. Spooked pagans bolted their doors and extinguished the cooking fires that attracted witches. A rap on the door came from villagers dressed as dead relatives: "Trick or treat?" Best give the souls a treat lest they do something rotten. Canadians have kept the ancient belief in souls haunting the living alive, telling frightening ghost tales for the past 50 years, and not just on Halloween.

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Employees at a Winnipeg restaurant converted from an old Masonic Temple believe the place is haunted. Some refuse to be in the building alone because lights flicker on and off and objects move by themselves. But the ghost doesn't seem to mean any harm. In fact, when wait staff return to work in the morning, it's as though he's had a party in the restaurant overnight. Salt and pepper shakers have been moved and napkins used.

One manager who has heard footsteps in the attic says, "It really only leaves you one conclusion, that there is some type of spirit in the building."
• Parapsychologists say ghosts rarely appear during hauntings. When one does, it most often reveals itself to a person who's alone.

• Apparitions vary in appearance. Some look like humans, others are transparent, hazy or white. Often, ghosts wear what they would have during the time they lived and reappear in the same outfit.

• Hauntings can also be horrific, where a ghost appears with a missing head or limb, or re-enacts a violent death.

• A ghastly presence can also manifest as an "elemental haunting," in which there is a strange smell, noise, sensation or change in temperature.

• Some people believe pest invasions or wild plant overgrowth are forms of elemental hauntings.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Aug. 28, 1979
Guest(s): Greg Chapiel, Bryn Phillips, Tom Sacco
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Terry Matte
Duration: 2:24

Last updated: September 23, 2014

Page consulted on September 23, 2014

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