On our Canadian cross country motor trip the antiquated Rosedeer Hotel was not on our agenda. Then a local guide whispered:...Rosedeer. Haunted. ’Tween bridges 9 and 10. Murder. Last Chance Saloon, best buffalo burgers ....12.8 km southeast of Drumheller.
The old flat-topped planked building is sandwiched between the railway track and the hills. Directly across the road is the site of the once active Rosedeer Coal Mine. Before the Eleven Bridges Road, everything and everyone came in by railroad.
Bullet holes in the saloon’s wall are framed above the piano, testimony to the time three strangers walked into the bar, ordered drinks and refused to pay. The bartender calmly walked back to the bar, pulled out a 45-calibre revolver and shot three bullets, each one over the heads of the headstrong customers who soon fled from the scene. This took place in the 1970s! Bar walls are crammed with memorabilia: a working band box, records, barber poles, stuffed animals, puppets...you name it.
We thought about staying the night in the haunted room. That was before current owner Dave Arsenault showed us a couple of photos on his cell of ghostly images taken by a patron a few weeks ago. For sure we saw two ethereal outlines just behind the bar.
Not to be outdone, the female bartender told us her paranormal story as we sipped bourbon like the oldtimers. While working the bar, she heard someone call her name several times. Despite her search, she never located the caller. When some of her bar help also mentioned they heard her voice calling them---and she wasn’t on the premises---they each chalked it up to another visit by ghostly auras.
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winner of the 2015 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award
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