For the past hundred years Regina has accumulated its fair share of spooks and spirits. Some of these ghosts are well-known residents, such as Howie the former cook at Government House, but the identity of others have been lost to time. While many people I encountered were hesitant to discuss their experiences with the paranormal, others were more than willing to share.
These are their stories.
One of the most active locations in Regina is Bushwakker Brewpub, a popular haunt in the warehouse district where the term “spirits” could be considered ambiguous.
Eighty years before Bushwakker was established, the street corner was home to a Chinese laundromat that was flattened during the 1912 Regina Cyclone. It is believed that the family inside did not survive the twister, and that their spirits may be responsible for some of the local supernatural activity.
A year later plans for the current building began. This building would be co-owned by James Strathdee, and was considered a “Cadillac” of a building which climbed an unprecedented five stories into the sky.
Two decades later, in 1933, James was involved in an automobile accident that resulted in severe head trauma, landing him into deep depression. In 1936, his body was discovered by the tracks nearby. His death was first ruled out as murder, but was later determined to be suicide by shotgun blast. However, he was known as one of Regina’s most elite figures, so there is still some controversy around his death, with many questioning the official story that he died by his own hands.
The building would change owners the following decades until the Robertson family purchased it in 1991 and opened Bushwakker Brewpub. Not long after, they began to experience unexplained phenomena. A spirit of who many claim to be James Strathdee has been spotted in 1930s garb, often accompanied by a sudden drop in temperature. Other incidents include staff members having coal thrown at them, bottles unexplainably rattling, lights flickering on and off and reports of people hearing voices when they are alone. Additionally there have been occurrences of doors opening and closing on their own, items being thrown across rooms and people being forcibly pushed.
Another haunted location is Casino Regina, which is one of the most active locations in the city by both the living and the dead. Built in 1912, it served as Regina’s train station for eighty years. The first recorded supernatural encounter occurred in the 1930s, when a ghostly image of a woman was captured in a photograph, even though the room was empty. This image is on display at the Casino today, but there is still no possible explanation for it. Eighty years later people still claim to see this woman on the balconies around the poker tables. Nobody knows who she is.
Below the Casino the mystery continues in one of the former holding cells. Rumour has it that one prisoner was so determined to avoid jail time that he committed suicide by hanging himself. His ghost is felt so often that many staff members refuse to even go into his cell, even though it is now used for storage.
Originally the economic center of the city, the old train station was connected by several tunnels to nearby hotels and shops, with many believing illegal activity might have also occurred in them, including the transportation of alcohol, narcotics and even people. Unfortunately, only one of these tunnels remains open today.
A third haunted location in Regina is the Saskatchewan Science Centre. Dozens of ghostly sightings have been reported in the building, with one of the most frequent being a little boy in a conductor’s hat. Teachers visiting the centre with their classes report seeing the boy often confusing him as one of their own students. But upon approaching him, he disappears.
Another spectre has been reported by several children during "Camp-Ins," events where children spend the night. The next morning many children report hearing a man yelling for help, although there was nobody in the building at the time. Another child reported being unable to sleep the previous night because “the woman wouldn’t stop watching me.”
This “woman” is apparently another frequent spirit in the building, specifically on the third floor. Who she is or what she wants is unknown, but many orbs have been photographed in the area where she supposedly haunts. Brad Zakreski of Ghost Tours of Regina, says this woman is a malevolent spirit that doesn’t like men, and follows them around making sure they’re doing their job.
Many cities worldwide can be known for its ghosts and hauntings, and Regina is certainly no exception. Next time you visit one of these haunted locations and perhaps feel a slight chill in the air or feel you’re being watched, know that you just might not be alone.