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Canada

Preserve the Haunt aims to digitally record and document the experiences, sounds, and landscapes of various haunted historic sites across Canada. Our collection features interviews and transcripts from local managers, staff and historians as well as numerous audio recordings of different haunted spaces and surroundings.

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The East Coulee School Museum

The East Coulee School rests near the Red Deer River in the Canadian Badlands. Connected to the coal rush in Drumheller Valley, the community of East Coulee developed in 1929 to accommodate workers and their families from the Atlas and Empire coal mines. In 1930 the school opened and featured a standard layout with four classrooms catering to grades 1 to 5. Expansion of the school continued in 1934 with another set of four classrooms to accommodate additional students in the surrounding area. After the coal rush ended, the town of East Coulee experienced a steady decrease in population as natural gas replaced coal in Canadian productions and homes. Today the small hamlet of East Coulee supports a population of 160 from the once bustling town with a record of 3,800 people.

A collection of unusual incidents recorded by previous site managers also detail unexplained lights appearing in the basement of the school near the old coal furnace, hearing footsteps walking around on the main floor, and seeing two child-like apparitions. One experience, recorded from a previous manager of the school, documents seeing a bright apparition through a hole in the coal storage room in the basement. Strikingly, most of the paranormal occurrences seem to fixate on this specific area of the basement to the left. In particular, one manager recalls watching his dog, who has accompanied him in the building numerous times, stop a foot into the door of the old furnace room, refuse to enter further, and later recoil from the entrance to the basement altogether. This is also the same site in the East Coulee School Museum where the trickster spirit of a ghost named George is said to reside.

The School Room and the Mining Room also have other phenomena. Justine Wilton, a heritage interpreter at the East Coulee School Museum, remembers a group of People to People student ambassadors, ages 10 to 12 from the United States, describing a man sitting in the corner “one hundred percent positive that they had seen something.” However, the staff at the museum have always felt relatively at ease in the museum and do note that the old building does have the creaking floorboards, drafty windows, and old doors that one would expect in any historic building often misinterpreted as ‘ghostly phenomena.’

The East Coulee School Museum is a family-friendly location offering field trips, overnight stays, and guided tours. Donations and entrance fees help maintain educational programs for all ages as well as provide necessary conservation repairs to the building. As of September 2014, the East Coulee School Museum won approval to be designated a municipal heritage site in Canada and is listed under the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program and Alberta Register of Historic Places.

 

The East Coulee School Museum

359 2nd Ave, East Coulee, Alberta

1 (403) 822 - 3970

ecsmuseum@gmail.com

ecsmuseum.ca