Extra research for Season 3 – Episode 2 – Spirits Past
In a hotel people come and go, and so too, it seems, do spirits. Saskatoon has a number of hotels that spirits call home. The Other Side visited one such hotel last season; another one that is frequently visited by spirits is the Senator Hotel, which happens to be Saskatoon’s oldest hotel.
On Jeff’s preliminary visit a spirit knocked over a lamp in his room, giving him quite a scare, while the night before filming began for the episode Michaella was awake all night due to an inexplicable presence in her room. Some of the spirits even knew them by name. So who are these spirits who called out to Tom and Michaella?
There could be over a century of ghosts at the Senator. The hotel was built in 1908 by James Flanagan, who opened it as the Flanagan Hotel. By the 1960s it had changed hands and it was passed down through the generations to the present owner, Chris Beavis. He told The Other Side that over the years many people have reported different types of paranormal activity, from an old man appearing behind the bar and a stereo that turns on and off on its own to doors that opened and closed, and furniture that moves without any explanation. Many of these things are common signs of paranormal activity. One guest even complained about noises coming from the room next to his in the middle of the night, but when the hotel staff checked the room, not only were there no guests there, but it was under construction so it couldn’t be rented out.
One of the spirits which may be there could be that of Cindy Haldorson, a 19-year-old woman who was murdered in the hotel in August 1977. Employees found her lifeless body on the second floor. John Donald, 21, was later arrested in Winnipeg and charged with her murder.
There is a chance that some of the spirits even predate the hotel. While doing renovations in 2015, Chris and the construction workers found the beginning of a tunnel in the basement. Because of certain building limitations they weren’t able to dig into the tunnel so what, or who, lies beyond is still a mystery.
Though they didn’t give away too many personal details, these active spirits were keen to communicate when The Other Side visited. Jeff was able to reach out to some of them using Konxari cards, which help him communicate with the dead, and with a machine called an Ovilus. A number of the spirits identified themselves by first name, among them Jim, Pat and Adam. Some of them seemed to use the Ovilus to send their messages across to the investigators, mentioning Tom’s mother by name, and to Chris, letting him know that the renovations he’s made to the hotel are good.
We may never know exactly who the ghosts at the Senator Hotel are, but if you ever stay at the Senator Hotel, hopefully it will be the friendly ghosts of Pat and Adam who are there to greet you.
— Sarah MacDonald