Small, vibrant communities are often said to be haunted by the spirits of ages past – prohibition smugglers, lost miners and gold hungry prospectors. Whether one believes in the ghoulish residents of the past or not, here are the top three ghost stories from Crowsnest Pass:
Two American prospectors: a man known only as Blackjack, and Frank Lemon (a.k.a. Lemon), allegedly found gold in a small stream running through the area. Fearing his partner would betray him and reveal the information, Lemon murdered Blackjack and blamed his death on a local Aboriginal tribe. Lemon then disappeared shortly before his crime was uncovered, but anyone searching for gold in the area since that time, is said to fall victim to the hand of Lemon’s ghost. Today, campers can stay at the Lost Lemon Campground, but local legend advises to look elsewhere to find a fortune in gold.
Well over a century later, spirits are said to be wandering the debris field, searching for their lost friends and loved ones. Some visitors have reported feeling uncomfortable in the area, followed by cries in the wind and unexplained lantern lights at night. Spooky.The site of one of the most notable events in the history of The Pass, Frank Slide, left a deep scar on the landscape. On a chilly spring night in 1903, the town of Frank felt the ground tremble as the side of Turtle Mountain came crashing down on the sleeping town. Between 70 and 90 people were buried by the landslide – and their remains were never recovered.
One of the most widely accepted ghost stories of Frank is the tale of Montie Lewis, a popular prostitute in the early 1900s. The local madam had a fondness for extravagant jewellery, and wore it at all times – even to bed. One morning, she was discovered murdered in her home and had been stripped of her trademark jewels. The townsfolk accused and hanged a newcomer to the town, just before Montie’s lover confessed to the crime. Montie’s spirit is believed to still wander through the town, bemoaning her early death and luring lost hikers away from the safety of the trails. Crowsnest Pass’ long, and sometimes dark history, yields many more folkloric tales, and stories of spirits and hauntings, and residents continue the tradition of recounting the tales to visitors who dare to ask.