Historic Haunting October 25-29, 2011
By Larissa Barlow - Banff Crag & Canyon
In the darkness of the museum, with only flashlights to guide the way, anything can play tricks on your mind.
It could be the sudden appearance of a mountain lion from the shadows, or an eagle looking as though it's about to take flight. But these creatures have been still for many years, long ago put on display at the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site. They're not moving anymore. Are they?
It may be that there's a little bit of life left in them. Or the afterlife. And on an evening in the "dead animal museum" with darkness all around, anything is possible. It's possible to see some ghostly apparitions floating about, like the legendary Wild Bill Peyto, who may lurk in the corners of the museum after dark.
So if you're up for a little bit of ghost hunting, and learning a little bit of history, there's only one place to be as the Halloween season comes upon us.
"It's a special spooky after hours tour," said Laurie Schwartz of Parks Canada's theatre troupe Mountain WIT. "If you think this place is creepy in the daylight, you should see it with the lights off."
Mountain WIT has put together a program called History Comes Back to Haunt You for the week leading up to Halloween, where they'll take visitors on a tour the museum after dark, exploring its many hidden secrets.
Schwartz said you'll find out who is haunting the museum and why, and maybe get a scare as you discover the spirits that haunt the building. The show will include a guided tour, and you'll also be wandering through the historic site with just flashlights to lead the way.
"We're hoping this can be a regular installation in our National Historic Site and breath a little life into the dead animal museum," Schwartz said.
"It really is extraordinary to see this museum by the light of a flashlight."
History Comes Back to Haunt You will be held from Oct. 25 to 29, with two shows a night, one at 7 p.m. and another starting at 9 p.m. The cost is $10.80 per person.
Space is limited, so pre-registration is required by calling 403-762-1558. The show is recommended for families with children 10 years old and up.