The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.

NPI Marketing Team
NPI Marketing Team


Haunted Places: The Deane House

Location: Calgary, Alberta
Architectural Style: Foursquare, aka Cornbelt Cube
Built: 1906

In our latest installment of NPI’s Haunted Places Series, we’ll take a closer look at the Deane House, one’s of Calgary’s most intriguing haunted places. With a history marred by tragedy from its earliest construction, the Deane House has earned its reputation as a hub of ghostly activity for over a century.

Fort Calgary and the Deane House
Established at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers in 1875, Fort Calgary became the region’s command post of the North-West Mounted Police. Keeping order in this time period was a tough prospect, with the area populated with whiskey traders, outlaws and other colorful characters. As rail lines were laid, trade increased and the city of Calgary grew around the fort.

In 1906, the fort’s superintendent, Captain Richard Deane, had a home built for his wife, Martha, on the grounds of the fort, as he believed that the existing accommodations were unfit for family living. The home was constructed by prisoners of Fort Calgary. Martha, however, wouldn’t live to see the home completed—she died of an undisclosed illness shortly before construction of the house was completed.


The Deane House Moves
After Fort Calgary closed in 1914, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway purchased the land and tore down every building, except the Deane House. Transformed into the station agent’s living quarters, the house was moved to the property’s southeast corner where it sat for the next 15 years.

In 1929, the home was purchased by C.L. Jacques, an entrepreneur who planned to use the building as a boarding house. To accomplish this, the Deane House was moved once again, this time across the Elbow River to the opposite shore. The house was later sold to Alex Brotherton, who continued to run the property as a boarding house called the Gaspé Lodge.

Tragedy Over the Years
During the Deane House’s years as a boarding house, many tragic events occurred. In 1933, a 14-year old boy committed suicide in the attic after being bullied at school for his epilepsy. In 1952, a tenant named Roderick Umperville stabbed and strangled his wife Irma while his children looked on, then killed himself in one of the home’s apartments.

A History of Hauntings
After Alex Brotherton died in the house in 1968, the Deane House’s violent and tragic past cemented its reputation as one of Calgary’s most haunted houses. One famous story tells of an old telephone that occasionally rings despite not being connected (and without any inside wiring!). Other visitors claim to hear voices and footsteps, smell cigar smoke and hear an antique piano play by itself.

Staff members have also reported dark apparitions missing legs below the knees floating down the stairs and disappearing. In the attic, storage bins appear to have blood stains on them that can’t be scrubbed away. The ghost of a native man, his hair in a single braid and wearing a long-sleeved shirt and vest, has been seen haunting the home. One witness to this spirit said that the man warned her that she shouldn’t be in the house because it is a sacred place.

The Deane House Today
The Deane House currently operates as a fine dining restaurant and wedding event space. If you stop by for dinner, be on the lookout for any unexplainable phenomenon and let us know what you find!

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