June 16th, 2024

U of L launches digital collection of ghost stories

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on November 1, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The University of Lethbridge launched a digital collection of Ghost Stories of Lethbridge recorded by local historian and storyteller Belinda Crowson just on time for Halloween.
The Ghost Stories of Lethbridge digital collection has been in the works since the beginning of the year and is comprised of 19 recordings of ghost stories.
Crowson spoke to media on Tuesday during the launch and said the project was in the making since last year when she was approached by the University of Lethbridge about it.
“The University of Lethbridge library reached out to me and asked about the interested in taping some of my favourite ghost stories of Lethbridge and southern Alberta, so last winter I sat and I taped a bunch and those are going to be going Live today and that will be part of the U of L library collection,” said Crowson.
She said she is hoping people can turn the stories on, listen to them in the dark and get creeped out by the ghost stories.
“I’ve been talking about doing this for a very long time. I have them all written, they’re not in a published form but they’re all written, but ghost stories are really meant to be told,” said Crowson.
 She explains that since it is impossible for her to go to every school and household in the city to tell ghost stories, having them recorded digitally is the next best thing.
 Crowson said that because the stories were recorded for the university, she recorded some that are located within the university, with one of them being in the library itself.
 “The university has some really fun ghost stories. One here in the library itself, there’s two down in U-hall, the old residences which they turned into offices and I’m thinking it is because the students didn’t want to live in them anymore,” said Crowson jokingly.
 When asked about her favourite ghost story, Crowson said it was one from St. Patrick’s cemetery.
 “When I was doing the St. Patrick’s cemetery during the flashlight cemetery tours we were focusing on history and it was very much you know true stories, but in the back of my head was always that ghost story going I hope we don’t see anything,” said Crowson.
 She said that no matter how rational you are, around Halloween the irrational part of your brain does take over with ghost stories.
 “We have as people been telling ghost stories for thousands of years. The thing about ghost stories is their way of helping us learn how to deal with being scared, but they’re also just fun and there’s something about making as a community and making us group together,” said Crowson.
 She said she hopes people take the stories as a way of understanding Lethbridge and our folk tales and our stories a little bit more.
During her presentation, Crowson told those in attendance the St. Patrick’s cemetery story she told media about prior to the launch. She explained the story takes place in the area of the cemetery that can be seen from Scenic Drive, in an area that is known as the unconsecrated side of the Catholic portion of the cemetery, where babies that died before being baptized were buried.
“The story goes that a mom lost her little baby girl and the baby was buried there, but at the time the baby died she couldn’t afford a headstone, so she saved and saved, and she finally got enough money to buy a headstone, but the records of that area weren’t really as well kept as  the rest of the cemetery, so she couldn’t remember exactly where her baby was buried. She and the monument maker go down the hill and they put the headstone where she believed her baby was buried. As they’re preparing to leave and climb the hill, they hear a sweet voice come over the wind ‘mummy I’m over here’ and they look at each other and realize they have both heard this. They go back down the hill and they move the headstone a few feet over to where the voice was coming from, and now as they’re preparing to leave as quickly as they can, they hear that same sweet voice ‘thank you mommy,'” said Crowson.

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