Location: Banff, Alberta, Canada
Ghost report by Heather on October 31, 2015:
“This happened in June of 1990. My husband and I had gone camping for our one year anniversary, but we decided to spend the actual anniversary night at the hotel where we’d had our wedding reception, the Timberline Hotel which was just outside of the Banff townsite, and is now known as the Juniper Lodge. We parked our trailer in the lot and came in, kind of late in the evening.
We got to our room only to find that it was roasting hot. We called for assistance and a maintenance worker showed up, but he couldn’t turn off the heater, it just kept blowing hot. We tried to sleep, but after an hour or so realized that even with the window open and the air conditioner going, it was too hot to sleep.
We headed back to check-in, and were told that there was another room available, but that this one had a problem with the air conditioning unit – it was stuck on. After the heat of the last room, we were happy with that.
Unfortunately, it was just blowing cold air. It was making an unbearably loud sound that made it impossible to sleep.
We went back to the front desk to ask if it would be ok to set up our trailer in the parking lot (it was a tent trailer), but they decided on chancing us in another room.
The staff discussed the room for a bit before offering it to us, because, as they said, it was only used for storage so it might be a bit dusty, the bed wasn’t made, etc. We said we didn’t care. Someone went in and quickly made the bed and we quickly climbed in and settled down to sleep. That’s when the fun started.
It was absolutely pitch dark in the room. The left side of the bed was pushed up against the wall, and I was lying on the outside part of the mattress. I heard footsteps approaching down the hallway and then the sound of someone putting a key in the door. I sat up to tell whoever it was that the room was occupied. I thought it was a staff member coming to get something out of storage, but although I heard the door open, the room remained pitch dark. It must have been someone going into the room beside us. I settled back down thinking that I didn’t remember the walls being so paper thin when we were there before, but then we’d never stayed in that wing before.
Then, I heard someone walking around in the room. I sat up again, thinking maybe the door really had been opened, and the hallway light had been out so I hadn’t realized it in the dark. But then I realized that although it sounded like someone was in the room between me and the window, I didn’t see any silhouette as this person walked around in front of the window.
Once again, I assumed it was someone in the room next to mine, and settled back down.
I closed my eyes again, ready to sleep, when I heard a loud sigh right beside me, not from my husband’s side of the bed, but from right beside me in the room.
I was starting to feel confused, I didn’t believe in ghosts, but clearly this wasn’t a sound coming from another room.
Then “someone” sat down on the bed. I moved as close to my husband as I could and tried to wake him by kicking him, but I was so afraid I was finding it hard to move and was only able to nudge him with my foot, and he just kept sleeping.
Now the “person” beside me sighed again, and laid down on the bed, close to the edge. I slowly reached my hand down beside me and felt the mattress. Slowly moving my hand along the mattress, I could feel the spot where it started to sink down, as a mattress does along someone laying on it. There was clearly somebody there, and this wasn’t just my imagination.
With my left hand, I started pinching my husband and poking at him. Mostly, I just held my breath and tried to keep still.
Finally, finally, “it” sighed again and sat up. I slowly turned my head towards the window and realized that, once again, I couldn’t see anyone’s silhouette or outline between me and the window. But there was very clearly someone sitting on the bed right beside me. Then it stood up and walked towards the door.
Once again I “heard” the sound of footsteps and the door opening, but, once again, no light came into the room from the hallway as the door opened.
Now I sat up, turned on the room light, and woke up my husband. Since he had slept through the whole thing, he wasn’t too keen on checking out right then and there, and insisted on going back to sleep.
I sat up with the light on for the next three hours before I finally woke him again and insisted on leaving.
To make it even weirder, when we checked out (no charge, obviously), the staff repeatedly asked us if anything ‘weird’ had happened. We kept saying ‘no’. There was no way I wanted to stand there talking about it, I just wanted to get away from there.
They offered us a notebook to write about our night in, but I was not interested, and we left as fast as you can when pulling a trailer behind. We kept on driving until we got home to Edmonton around 9 or 10 o’clock where finally got to sleep.
Years later we went back and had lunch at the now renovated Juniper Lodge. At the front desk we stopped and asked if they had a guest room that was just used for storage, and I finally told someone at the hotel about our night. The staff said they had never heard of anything odd happening there and that they definitely did not keep a notebook behind the counter for guests to write in.
I’m still not 100% on board with the existence of ghosts, but unless I was hallucinating that night I guess that’s what I encountered.”
Update from Lori on September 28, 2016:
“I stayed in the Juniper Hotel, the same one in the story above, a couple years ago and had a very similar experience. I had NO previous knowledge of this hotel at all. I still talk about this story to this day and finally thought of looking up online if there were any other documented ghost stories from this hotel. This is clearly an older hotel that has been renovated. When my boyfriend and I checked in for a 2 night stay, I noticed that the floors in our room were very creaky.
During our first night, I was awoken by the very sound of someone “pacing” in the room at my bedside between the bed and the wall. My back was toward the sound, but the sound and presence of someone, or something, was very distinct. I then experienced the same feeling as the above writer described…not being able to move or make a sound loud enough to wake my boyfriend. I was facing his back and I just hid my face in his back and must have fallen back to sleep.
Upon waking, I didn’t initially recall this event. During breakfast in the hotel, I suddenly remembered and told my boyfriend. I then decided to share my story with the waitress to find out if there were any other strange events in the hotel. Unlike the above story, she quickly told me that yes, people regularly have strange experiences in the hotel and shared the fact that the land the hotel was built on was actually sacred Native land and that when it was purchased, the Natives sold the property with the understanding that they could come back and continue to have their ceremonies on the land, which was still happening at that time. I’m not sure why this wasn’t shared with the above couple.”
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