October is upon us and Halloween is creeping its way in. For those looking to be scared, there are haunted houses that are staged by set designers and actors. But, did you know Canada has something a bit less staged in every province? Alberta already has so many places of note, including the local legend of Goatman Road. For this peek at a real haunted house we are travelling to the province of Saskatchewan.
Weyburn community, located in south-eastern Saskatchewan, was host to a psychiatric hospital named Souris Valley. Built in 1920, it was one of the largest buildings in the area. During its time, it was highly utilized. At its peak, over two thousand people were being held in its walls. Experiments done here varied from light treatments to highly controversial therapies, like electrotherapy and LSD usage. Souris Valley was the stuff of true nightmares, ones that horror stories are inspired by. The building was closed to the public years later in 1971. It remained standing with an air of unease to those who looked after it.
Stories from former workers always include the feelings of unease and immense sadness they had while in the building. And when the workers went home after the building’s closing, Souris Valley still had uninvited guests. Common stories talk about a lady walking around the fourth floor. Strange noises are even heard in its unattended halls. Perhaps the patients’ spirits are still there, suffering.
The building was demolished in 2009, but Souris Valley still places at the top every year for the most cursed and haunted buildings in Canada. While the hospital no longer stands, the tales of horrible treatments and ghostly screams from the unwell remain.
If you find yourself wanting to explore these lands this Halloween, you might find something more than a person in a costume jumping at you, like a chill, uneasy feeling of a tainted past seeping into your soul. That, or the wind is extra breezy. That’s for you to decide.