Extra research for Season 3 – Episode 3 – The Hanged Man
One of the most haunted spots in Lethbridge, Alberta is the Genevieve Yates Memorial Centre. Built on the site of RCMP barracks where a man was hanged in 1911, the centre, which opened in 1966, is a hot spot for encounters with the spirit world.
There have been paranormal sights and sounds, including visions of children playing in the aisles and seats of the theatre, and the sounds of children running and playing when no one can be seen. Choirs have been heard singing from the empty stage.
One story goes that two little girls went into the “Pebble beach” room, which had a gravel floor, and the door locked behind them. They were never seen again…unless they are the children playing in the aisles. The girls are even said to sometimes leave the smell of perfume behind, something often associated with spirit activity.
But the spirit who identified as “W” and conversed with Jeff, Michaela and Paula may well have been Wasyl Chobotar, a man who was convicted of murder for shooting Alex Lazaruk, his romantic rival, in 1910.
According to newspaper reports from the time, Wasyl was having an affair with Alex’s wife. The judge sentenced him to death by hanging, which may have been what the psychic medium Paula heard when she saw three male spirits discussing a hanging judge and a trauma when she was at the Genevieve Yates Memorial Centre. Jeff, meanwhile, had a dream about the number 12, which in his deck of tarot cards, coincided with the “hanged man” card.
Wasyl was hanged on Saturday, January 14, 1911, at the age of 41, which is the age he told our team his spirit was, and according to the newspaper, died instantly. His was the first hanging in Lethbridge, but by no means the last. The Lethbridge Provincial Gaol opened later that year and over the years 18 prisoners were hanged, the last in 1956.
There are also rumours in Lethbridge about the Fritz Sick Pool, which is on the same block as the Genevieve Yates Memorial Centre. Strange bubbles have risen in the pool, perhaps a sign that Wasyl is there, going for a swim, too.
— Sarah MacDonald