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The Deane House

The Deane House

Case #: 12-10/11/2012

Status: Ongoing

History: The Deane House was built in 1906 for the Fort Calgary Superintendent Captain Richard Deane. He wanted a larger house for his wife as he felt the previous military issued quarters were not suitable. It was built using prisoners from the guardhouse and local carpenters. The cost to build the house was around $6,200.


The Deane House was first located near the corner of 6th Avenue and 6th Street SE facing east towards the barracks and parade square. The house was moved twice since then. In 1914 after Fort Calgary was purchased by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway the Deane House was moved to the southeast corner. Then it was moved again in 1929 after being purchased by C.L. Jacques. This move was far more extensive as they had to cart the house over the Elbow River to its present site. The method of moving the Deane House was in an issue of the 1930 Popular Mechanics.


The house was also known as the Gaspe Lodge until 1973 when it was purchased by the City of Calgary. From there it had many faces. At one point it was artist and author creative studio known as the Dandelion Gallery, as well as being the home for a few different restaurants and bistros. Being the only remaining building of Fort Calgary left standing The Dean House was made a Historical Building in 1978.


Currently the Deane House and its neighbouring Hunt House have undergone an extensive rehabilitation process. Retaining walls were put in place to protect the house from possible future floods like the one that hit Calgary in 2013. The newly revamped Deane House will have an all new restaurant and programs to teach children how to grow and prepare their own food.


Stories surrounding the Deane House


Call Servpro!

In the attic closet it is said there is a stain of blood that no matter how hard you try to clean or remove it, the stain will return bigger and brighter.


Stories of paranormal blood stains are nothing new. It is trope of paranormal culture. Blood stains are said to be a warning or a residual haunting of a violent death.

Some books cite that a reappearing blood stain as a staple in determining if your house is haunted. For example in thechildrens text Osbornes World of the Unknown: Ghosts (ISBN 0-86020-148-1) published in 1977 lists Mysterious Blood stain as number nine in things that can occur in a haunted house.


“9: A bloodstain on the floor cannot be removed. No matter how many times it is washed away, it always returns.”


The blood stain as seen in the pictures taken by CAPI could be the result of oxidization caused from moisture and a rusted nail that grew over time. A combination of the type of wood and the woods natural tannins will produce the dark red colour. We won’t know for sure unless the Deane House allows us to take a sample. Note: Ask Deane House for sample of blood stain.

The Case of the Unhappy Landing

In 1920, a man walking down the stairs was hit by an unseen force. He fell to his death. There is no factual proof of this happening. No witness reports, obituaries or newspaper articles. CAPI searched the historical records of CN Rail, newspaper archives and police records. This is an urban myth.


Bullet to the Face

Apparently a man had debts with a local loan shark with mobster ties. One day while the man sat on the front porch with his gal a car drove by mowing them down using tommy guns. Once again there is no actual evidence of this happening. In addition the story changes from a mob hit to a jealous ex-boyfriend. Some say it was a tommy gun, others say it was a pistol while certain versions say it was a drive by while others say the killer walked up to his victim shooting him point blank.


Secret Window

According to legend you can see a ghost of a young girl in the attic window. It is said she jumped from the attic window into the Elbow River shore when the Deane House was on the opposite side of the river. Others claim it was during the 40's and she fell face first into the garden. There are no records to evidence to support this.


Jack the One Time Ripper

Some say a prostitute was murdered sometime in the past at the Deane House. Never happened.


House of Death?

Several suicides were said to have happened at the Dean House. The first was in 1933 of a fourteen year old boy who suffered from epilepsy. This was reported by the Fort Calgary Quarterly a magazine that ran from 1979-1988.

In 2000 the Calgary Herald reported of a suicide on Valentine’s day in 1952. The suicide was the result of unrequited love. Sad eh? Well both never happened. No proof could be found in any newspapers, obituaries or records.

The third case was a murder/suicide. This however did happen. A Mrs. Umperville had fled with her children to escape her abusive husband. He had found a way to track her down to the Deane House where he snuck in and murdered Mrs. Umperville before killing himself. The children were the first to find their bodies. This was recorded in the Calgary Herald on March 25th and 26th 1971. This is a tragic heartbreaking event and are two the only factual deaths to ever happen at the Deane House.


There is a record of a man dying of natural causes in the main parlour. It is believed that the man was Alex Brotherton who owned the house from 1954 until his death February 21, 1961


Black Friday

A local documentary The Mystery Of: The Deane House Vortex claimed that the Inglewood area was cursed by a mystical vortex located on the second floor of the Deane House. The documentary claims it has a connection to Albert Dick survivor of the Titanic as well as other “murders” in the area. The director of the film credits CAPI for its information and has been shown to make up their facts and witnesses. The original director of CAPI at the time states:

"The person who made that film never asked CAPI for permission to use anything, including the name or logo, and the person claiming to be from CAPI is completely unknown to me or anyone at CAPI. I actually had YouTube remove that video years ago."


The documentary synopsis reads as follows:

“On the second floor of the one hundred year old Deane House in the community of Inglewood, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, lives an energy force that defies explanation. The existence of the energy force or more accurately the "vortex" in the Deane House has been confirmed by paranormal organizations and psychics. It is responsible for at least three murders, one suicide, and several mysterious deaths. It also keeps the dead from crossing over and as a result the quaint neighborhood is teeming with ghosts. The vortex is connected to incredible historic incidences such as the sinking of the Titanic and the World War Two prison break known as the "Great Escape". Murderers have complained of being possessed by an evil force they had no control over. Most intriguingly, the ghosts the Vortex keeps chained to Inglewood have been seen, heard, and photographed. Written by James Woodland”

Source imdb:

They also claim this vortex was responsible for a man named Philippe Laurier Gagnon to be driven insane. He would apparently commune with spirits haunting the bushes and fields of Fort Calgary and the Deane House. Gagnon spent some times in these areas communing with them. These spirits apparently convinced him to end his life which led to a shootout with police across the street from the Dean house. A tank was eventually driven through his house and Gagnon was killed.

In reality, on December 20th 1974 Philippe Laurier Gagnon walked into a local corner store asking for airplane glue. When the shopkeeper denied him the glue Gagnon became abusive. The shopkeeper called police and nearby patrol officers followed him home to 1034 9th Street S.E. There Gagnon fortified himself in a garage converted into a garden suite. When the police approached the building Gagnon fired at them from a covered floor pit.

The officers called for backup marking the beginning of a siege that lasted many hours. Tear gas was ineffective due to Gagnon’s damaged nasal passages. After thousands of rounds were spent and the police running low on resources they had to come up with another tactic.

The police called the military asking them if they could use on of their armoured personal carriers. The APC drove up to the site and drove through the garden suite Gagnon was pinned down in. Gagnon ran out of his hiding place and into a hail of police bullets killing him.

During the siege several police were injured (possibly from friendly fire) and one Detective Boyd Davidson was killed by a bullet from Gagnon. Davidson left behind a wife and five children.

The garden suite had to be torn down due to neighbours and sight seers trying to collect souvenirs in the rubble.



Brenton Harding is a Calgary writer and was a junior reporter with the now-defunct Albertan covering the events of December 20, 1974.

To start the garden suite was not across the street from the Deane House. It was in fact a six to eight minute walk away.

There was no evidence proving that Gagnon ever spent time in the Fort Calgary Park or area talking to spirits. In fact he abused model blue which short term effects include:

  • Slurred speech

  • Drunk, dizzy or dazed appearance

  • Inability to coordinate movement

  • Hallucinations and delusions

  • Hostility

  • Apathy

  • Impaired judgment

  • Unconsciousness

  • Severe headaches

  • Rashes around the nose and mouth

  • Heart problems

  • Death

One of the things we have to research when doing any form of paranormal investigation is to make sure those involved do not have a history of drug abuse of mental illness. Seeing how Gagnon was a severe addict there is no way to verify if he ever “saw or spoke” to ghosts.

Our findings point to a documentary film maker trying to thinly connect his fantasy guised as real life factual events. It is a dispicable move to earn 15 minutes of fame using not just our cities tragedy but the horrific nightmare of the Davidson Family. 


Note: Even though the documentary and accounts claim there is a “vortex” in the Deane House, the term vortex is meant to mean unknown cold spot that can interfere with magnetics. Not a mystical portal to the demon realm. In fact the aforementioned “vortex” exists between three main power line towers in an enclosed triangle possibly creating an invisible fear cage. These are known to affect EMF’s, equipment and the environment in general.


On Site Investigation: Ongoing


Hypothesis: Yet to be determined.

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