Today I have a short story about a majestic hotel that is located in the town of Saint Andrews By The Sea in New Brunswick, a province on the east coast of Canada. Built in 1889 by a Boston architecture firm, It has been rumored to be haunted by a long-dead bride who inhabited the hotel on the last night of her life. I was lucky enough to find someone who told me an old tale that her aunt had experienced and this is the story I am about to relate to you here.
The story took place around 1925, the lady I interviewed had a rather refined aunt who was from a well-established family and she loved to travel and stay in regal hotels. She was without children at the time and would frequent various hotels with girlfriends as they did weekend getaways about the province. The Algonquin had additions added by 1908 and 1912, plus a casino in 1923. The aristocratic aunt was a girl in her mid-twenties at the time, but as she recalled her tale, our regal aunt was a much older lady.
During her tale it was the roaring twenties, a time of the speak easy and economic prosperity for the province of New Brunswick and the world all over. German Expressionism and Art Deco lead the way in film and design, but yet the world still held on to the older, more rigid procedures. For purposes of this story, we shall call our jet-setter aunt, Viola. Viola was traveling from the town of Saint Stephens to the big city of Saint John and she and her friend had decided to stop at the Algonquin Hotel. There she would have an experience that she would never forget.
Viola and her friend had checked into their rooms for the night and being tired from their journey decided to retire early. During the evening Viola was suddenly awoken by a strong sense that somebody was in her room. She woke to find, curiously, a young woman standing in the hotel room seemingly unaware of Viola’s presence. She was pacing in the room and suddenly turned and walked right out the closed door. Viola raced out of bed to see what was the matter and as she did she could hear the woman’s footsteps continue walking down the hallway. She then heard the opening and closing of another door and an ominous weeping that echoed down the hallway with the footsteps. However, when she went to investigate she found no one at all.
Viola went back to her bedroom perplexed, but since she had been a believer in card reading and spiritualism, she was convinced she had experienced something quite paranormal. So the next morning when she went down to the hotel restaurant to have breakfast she decided to enquire about her experience with the staff. She simply asked the waitress, “Is this hotel haunted by chance?” and as you’ve probably already guessed it, the waitress answered an immediate and solid yes.
The waitress declared that the hotel was haunted by a rather sad ghost of a bride that was murdered by her husband in room 473 of the hotel. However, upon research one will immediately hear different versions of the tale, such as the bride had been left at the altar and in devastation had taken her own life in the room, or had died later on after she had stayed in the hotel. The tale never gives a name or a date of the bride’s death, so it made searching death records of the area rather difficult. It is also said that the story and hotel were part of the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining, amongst other locations.
Does the Bride really haunt the hotel at Saint Andrew’s By The Sea? Is she there re living her tragic demise over and over only for the very sensitive of souls to witness? This is a hard question to answer definitively. Viola had told her niece her experience in 1957, long before popular television shows would document the “top 10 haunted” hotels of Canada and use the location as a popular tale to gain ratings. In fact, Viola’s niece, who told me this tale, had been watching an episode of the TV show Creepy Canada in the 2000’s and realized that they were featuring the same hotel that her aunt had told her a tale about all those years ago.
The tragic feature of “The Haunted Bride” of course is not limited to the hotel in our story, but features in many local legends and folklore tales around the world. Could it be that such a figure is so embedded in our collective psyche that it is bound to show up in specific locations or traditions over, just waiting for the right moment to manifest to a perceptive person? It is hard to say one way or the other. But we can rightfully say that the haunted bride’s eerie cries still echo the hallways of the Algonquin Hotel to this day. We have no doubt that this archetypal figure echoes her tale all over the world as well.
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