Located in the small coal mining town of Coalmont, B.C, The Coalmont Hotel, by reputation, hosts a myriad of ghostly tales from the past. The town of Coalmont was established in 1912, to serve as a “supply town” to the local Blackburn coalmine. Very similar to “gold rush towns”, the town of Coalmont’s economic peak has had up’s and down’s over its history. Currently, in an economic slump, the town hosts a population of 100 people at most.
Very much like the town of Zeballos I wrote about before, the Coalmont Hotel has left a haunted legacy as ghostly as the town itself. We had a great account come to us from a member of The Curious Fortean group on Facebook. Although the current hotel is experiencing a closure, we thought you would enjoy reading her account of an experience at this ghost town hotel.
I’ve not heard back from my girlfriend Michelle who was running the place then as I believe she may be out of town without phone and internet access. So I’d heard stories of strange things that happened to people at the hotel, which was built in I believe 1912. I’d also heard of strange occurrences and sightings elsewhere in Coalmont and at the cemetery just outside of town. Although I am probably one of the greatest skeptics of any supernatural or paranormal matters, I do know that I am one who is sensitive to the presence of energy not from this world. Thus I went to stay, with my partner Rudy and several friends for the first time in early 2011, with an open mind but recognizing the history of the hotel and surrounding area may indeed provide me an interesting experience or two. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Michelle had told me about a potato masher that flew off the pegboard at her head, strange noises, and other things. I read about as well, stories recounted to me by locals about Hattie McBride, the local lady of the night, who had been brutally murdered and burned at the end of the road. I had read about spectres and visions that occurred in the graveyard on the other side of the bridge over the river and talked at length with my former employer’s mother who took me to the home she was actually born in back in the late 30’s, a one-room house that at her family’s time of residence was off the grid- no power nor water.
Her father had built the house himself and following their families move to the lower mainland sometime in the late 40\s, heard stories about apparitions and figures not in the house itself but in the surrounding yard. Years later when returning to visit family, still in Coalmont, she was at a function in the hotel and saw an apparition at the very end of the second-floor hallway that she described as a very voluptuous lady in evening finery. Then poof, gone.
She always thought it was the ghost of Hattie MacBride. So she, in turn, began telling people about what she saw which resulted in conversations with others who had seen the same thing. Flash forward to 2012 when the Vancouver Paranormal Society was doing a weekend investigation at the hotel. They caught some incredible images, which I had the privilege of seeing prior to their departure, of a figure that one could only describe as a voluptuous lady.
The silhouette was in profile and was caught on, I believe, three frames moving diagonally towards the back of the pub. The cameras had been set up to capture heat, motion, and vibration (I believe) and there were no members present in the bar- it was closed for the evening and time stamped. I believe which showed somewhere very early morning.
Of particular interest is the fact that on this visit Rudy and I were staying in the room directly above where the T.V was in the bar and we were woken up at about 4 am by the T.V suddenly turning on below us, blaring sound.
In the middle of the night, if I wake up I always have to go to the bathroom, so as I was leaving our room to go to the communal toilet down the hall, there’s Michelle trudging dutifully to the stairs to turn the damn T.V off. She said previously this would happen from time to time, but this time it was loud enough to wake her on the far side of the second floor, where her bedroom suite was located above the dining room, the exact opposite side of the building. I heard her get to the landing then the sound stopped suddenly. I finished in the bathroom and not having heard her return to her room, decided to go down to check.
She’s a very ‘expressive’ gal and as soon as I got to the bottom of the stairs I could hear her cursing and swearing as she entered the pub. I saw her searching for the remote to turn the T.v off. The volume had been turned down to a barely audible level, not off completely, and one could not simply reach up to the power button. I instantly recognized the pub itself was considerably colder than the lobby and she had said that was always the case when the T.V had suddenly come on.
So the next visit our friends had completely filled the usable second floor leaving one friend without anywhere to sleep. We put him on the floor on Rudy’s side of the bed and pushed the bed right up against the dresser. Somewhere around 3 am I woke suddenly thinking someone had punched me in the arm, hard! My first thought was that I’d been snoring and Rudy tried to wake me, but there he is, and our friend below him, snoring like chainsaws. I got up as I now had to pee, with an arm still in pain, and trundled off to the bathroom.
There was a distinct red mark on my upper arm, consistent with where I would have been punched. But there is zero possibility anyone could have come into our room, let alone reach me on the bed that was pushed right up tight to the dresser. Seriously, Rudy would never punch me despite my sometimes loud snoring- NEVER-! So it was really strange. I’d even have had that thought!
Later that day, I’d rather forgotten about the ordeal after having told Michelle and another friend. I was talking to Michelle in the bar for a few hours, and a friend asked how I’d bruised my arm. Yup, I had a decent fist sized bruise coming on. (Sadly the picture I’d taken of it was lost with the phone I’d used to take it.) On another weekend there we’d been partying in the pub, a full house, and I left to go upstairs to get something. There was a metal gate that was locked nightly upon closing, to separate the rest of the hotel from the pub and the second I stepped through that doorway I felt someone grab my right arm. I looked down, fully expecting someone to be trying to freak me out BUT THERE WAS NOBODY THERE AND I COULD SEE THE DISTINCT OUTLINE OF A HAND PRESSING INTO MY SKIN. And I mean DISTINCT!
It was not hard, nor painful, but a voice in my head told me to not go upstairs right at that moment. Then it was gone. Rudy had gone to the bathroom which was down a short hall just behind where I was and he saw me standing there and asked what I was doing. I remember finding it very difficult to articulate what had just occurred but I do remember him saying something along the lines of ‘oh don’t start this shit’ and saying he’d go upstairs and get smokes if I wouldn’t. This really bothered me badly and when he’d come back down I told him his words had not been appreciated and that I was not drunk and that it really happened and he looked so puzzled and he asked me what I was talking about.
I told him that ‘Oh don’t start this shit’ wasn’t necessary and he absolutely swore up and down that he had never said that and was quite shocked that’s what I heard when he claimed to have said ‘ok I’m out too (of cigs) I’ll go up to the room to get more’. On another day there, I went past Michelle’s suite and saw the door open a crack. She always kept her door closed and if she was elsewhere, locked, as it was her private space. Before I had the chance to fully open the door I caught a reflection of something moving past in front of the mirror of her dresser, so I knocked and asked if she was decent. No answer. I knocked again then heard footsteps coming down the hallway and there she was!
I told her what had happened and she wasn’t overly surprised, but it was at that moment I had the gut feeling that I should not buy her antique bedroom suite, which we’d spoken about earlier. It had taken me a couple days to convince Rudy that it was an exceptional deal and he had agreed to buy it for me as a gift. There was just some unidentifiable reason that we should not have it and I struggled with how to tell Michelle we wouldn’t be taking it after all. Well, she had given it some thought it seems and suggested to me that perhaps we ought not to buy it. Yes it was still for sale, but she was just a bit concerned about the sale to me. She was unable to articulate precisely why other than she’d decided to not sell it! Later I found myself realizing there was something attached to the bedrrom suite that would follow it. And I believe that’s what I caught a glimpse of in the mirror.
Are you a Curious Fortean reader and have a great tale of a hotel, bar, pub, Castle etc. that you would like to share? Please feel free to send us your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org and perhaps you will see it up on our blog one day!
Please support us on Patreon at www.patreon.com/thecuriousfortean