Tag Archives: Canada

Happy Halloween

31 Oct

Now this may just be because I am procrastinating and avoiding writing a paper for my Seminar in Business course or actually because I had thought about doing this 3 months ago when I was packing away all of my stuff in St. Andrews… but in the spirit of Halloween I feel the need to share with you the stories of my ghostly encounters while working this past Summer at The Algonquin hotel in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada!

As soon as you Google ‘Canada’s Haunted Hotels‘ you will find many many lists of places to go and things to see. The Algonquin pops up on many of those lists, before going there for the summer, I had no idea; even Creepy Canada has episodes from the hotel. Now I have never previously had any sort of ‘encounter’ (I don’t think the weegie board ever counts or saying ‘Bloody Mary’ in the bathroom counts) but I have a feeling that lucky streak may have ended this summer.

There are various stories about different ghosts that haunt the hotel:

1. The Bellmen

2. The Lady of the Dining Room

3. The Crying Bride

4. The Playing Child

Guest rooms, dining rooms, and even our staff areas are said to be haunted by these spirits and until half way through the Summer I would have never believed it.

Many times I had gone to the basement and heard the sound of a bouncing ball, I thought it was strange due to the fact that there was no one else down there and above was no place children would be playing. I did what I needed to do, got back up stairs and thought nothing of it. One night back at home I was telling some other friends about this occurrence and immediately I could see something wrong in their faces. “HALEY!! Didn’t you know, there is a child that haunts that area and people that have had encounters with him say it is like they hear a tennis ball bouncing on a wall.” One of the other girls who had heard about this before, but never experienced it herself wanted to come with me the next time I had to go down there. I was sure to grab her, but together we heard nothing. The rest of the summer I was totally afraid to go down alone but never heard it again.

Many people come travel to hotels for the ghostly experiences and when my family came to visit me at the end of the summer, I had the pleasure of staying in the hotel as well. Early in the evening I was sharing with my family about The Crying Bride. There is a series of rooms she is said to haunt as she was stood up by her fiancé and was said to take her own life. Her spirit came back to the place that caused her to die of a broken heart. Personally I had spent time in the ‘haunted’ room and nothing happened. The evening we stayed in the hotel we were strangely awoken in the middle of the night to an unexplainable fire alarm, evacuated and then let back inside once it had been determined there was no fire. Again I thought nothing of it and comfortably went back to bed, my Nona on the other hand strongly believed that it was The Crying Bride because she had heard us talking about her earlier and wanted to prove she was still around.

The Bellman is said to be someone who makes his presence known in the winter. He usually greets guests at the elevator without saying a word and helps them with their luggage. When he takes them to their room they go for their wallet to give him a tip and he is already gone. When guests inquire at the front desk to leave the tip there, they are informed that during the winter months there is no bellman on staff. SPOOKY!

Others have had stories told or real experiences with The Lady of the Dining Room. When setting the restaurant people have said with no windows open full settings have been moved around with no one else in sight. This have never happened to me but I can sure believe it.

If you want to see the Creepy Canada episode I think you can find it online!

Happy Halloween!!

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Here Goes Nothing!

20 Apr

Recently I have realized that for the last few years I have basically been living my life in 4-Month Increments. And the way my life is currently playing out, that is going to carry on for the next couple years. Before I get started on the present I think I need to fill you in on the past…

From September 2008 – December 2008 I was at school in Calgary, where I originally planned to stay put for the next two years (in the back of my mind I did know that an exchange to Australia could be possible, but never in a million years did I even think it would happen).

Brighton Beach Houses, Melbourne Australia

Well January of 2010 I was off on my first 4-Month Adventure with the Global Exchange Network (GEN). “To where?” you ask… AUSTRALIA! Other than a few trips to Mexico and the United States with school the family it was my first worldwide adventure alone. I have to thank Australia for doing a few things for me:

  1. Biting me with the travel bug (It stung me very hard, and if I hadn’t signed a contract to come back to school in Calgary I most likely never would have),
  2. Giving me a great appreciation for WINE (during my time there I participated in a 4 month Wine Studies course & did in as much wine tasting/drinking as possible), and finally
  3. Allowing me to realize that you can be 18 hours away from those who mean the most to you & things may go incredibly wrong, but there will always be a support system surrounding you (the Australian people and exchange partner were wonderful)

Upon returning from my exchange I had one year left at school, but knew that I wasn’t really ready to be done yet. I met amazing people the summer before school started in September 2009, specifically during my volunteering at the World Skills Calgary competition. That experience and those people I met inspired me to become more involved, to the point where I began training for competing with the SAIT Skills Team in 2010, and try for my spot on the 2011 Canadian National team who will be going to London, England this October.

September 2009 to December 2009, I was at school in Calgary, nothing to exciting here so we will just fast-forward…

Table Dressing at Skills Alberta Provincials

January 2010 to May 1010 was when I was now officially training to compete in my very first skills competition for the SAIT Restaurant Services team. Long story short, I won Gold at Provincials in Edmonton and then was off with the Skills Alberta team to Nationals in Waterloo. Here I competed in the two days of intense competition, hoping that I would be on the podium & receiving a spot with the Skills Canada Team. Sad story, I finished 5th. So that adventure was over & I was on to the next one.

However I learned lots about myself during the Skills experience. I learned that I could compete very well as an individual under extremely high amounts of pressure (prior to this, I had only ever competed in teams). A very hard pill to swallow was the fact that I lost; I really thought I was at least going be on the podium. I quickly learned to realize that winning isn’t always everything (even though Charlie Sheen seems to think so). Similar to Australia, I also found out how great it is to have a strong support system surrounding me, and I tip my hat to the SAIT Skills Team, Team Alberta, and my friends & family for being so supportive.

Quick fast-forward to the end of the summer in 2010 where I picked up and moved from Calgary to Victoria where I planned to spend the next two years (also in the back of my head knowing that another exchange was possible, and thinking it was never going to happen).

September 2010 to April 2011 I arrived in Victoria with way too much stuff (Australia definitely didn’t teach me how to pack). Little did I know that this next year was going to be unreal. A few pretty awesome things include:

  • Beyond Pink, YWib Conference in Vancouver
  • Halloween Weekend (dressed up as Jessie from Toy Story with a Buzz & Woody, four nights in a row & we won Canucks tickets the last night)
  • One of my bestest friends from back home came to Victoria for a weekend, so I got to show her around the sights & take her out on the town
  • Had a shopping/sight-seeing adventure to Seattle (the fish were not flying however, so I will have to go back someday)
  • Got to show my Mum & Sister around Victoria

    Hole 12 at the Fairmont Algonquin Golf Course

  • Epic trip to Cancun for Spring Break with an amazing group of girls from Calgary & met an amazing group of guys from Edmonton
  • Found out I was accepted to go on exchange, AGAIN! (Where I’m going is a surprise for now)
  • Found out I was accepted to be apart of the HR JDC West Team for 2012
  • Lasted through my toughest year of school yet
  • Landed a summer co-op job at the Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews, New Brunswick
  • Went to Tofino to celebrate the end of the year in the most outrageous way possible with all of the wonderful friends I had met in Victoria

That basically brings us to now. I am sitting in my residence room and have decided that I will have enough time this summer to write a blog. These next 4-months will be spent on the beautiful Canadian east coast, where I will be slowly but surely become an honorary Maritimer. The quaint town of 1800 residents will grow to about 3000 over the summer months with the peak being in July. There is a dollar store, hardware store, drug store, liquor store, a bank, and a few shops/restaurants. I couldn’t even buy a pillow for my room! I am sure this adventure will be filled with fun times, new experiences, and many laughs.

Cheers to the next 4-months & please forgive me as I am still learning this whole blogging business… here goes nothing!