Lougheed House, Calgary Alberta

Lougheed House, also known as Beaulieu, was home to Senator James Alexander Lougheed, Lady Isabella Hardisty Lougheed, their six children and staff.

This grand sandstone prairie mansion was built in 1891 and enlarged in 1907; the impressive scale and the high quality of the design, materials and interior furnishings of the house reflected the wealth and prestige of the Lougheeds. An article in the Calgary Daily Herald claimed it was "one of the finest residences in the Canadian northwest."

In their day, when the population of this pioneer town was under 4,000, the Lougheeds were among Calgary's most influential citizens; they would remain so for decades. Their house was a political and social hub of this young and fast-growing prairie center, and received many renowned visitors.

We spoke at length about my ideas, methods of investigating and my devotion to investigating homes with possible spirits. Shortly thereafter, we were granted an all-access evening to investigate the home and the grounds.

James Alexander Lougheed

This was the first investigation myself, JJ, Ray and Cher conducted as a group. Unfortunately, our good friend Angela could not make the time commitment. For the others it was an evening of awe of the history, majesty and mystery this grand mansion provided.

It was first time any of them had stepped into Lougheed and my second. The team was oblivious to the location until the final minute and heard nothing of the history or rumored haunting. For some it would provide a déjà vu experience, while for others it would only add to their skepticism. 

This was the first investigation myself, JJ, Ray and Cher conducted as a group. Unfortunately, our good friend Angela could not make the time commitment. For the others it was an evening of awe of the history, majesty and mystery this grand mansion provided.

It was first time any of them had stepped into Lougheed and my second. The team was oblivious to the location until the final minute and heard nothing of the history or rumored haunting. For some it would provide a déjà vu experience, while for others it would only add to their skepticism. 

It was first time any of them had stepped into Lougheed and my second. The team was oblivious to the location until the final minute and heard nothing of the history or rumored haunting. For some it would provide a déjà vu experience, while for others it would only add to their skepticism.

When I first spoke to the director of Lougheed House he explained that his house is not really considered haunted and being a historic and cultural centre he did not want the property exploited for the sake of entertainment.

History of the Mansion

Entertaining at Beaulieu
Lougheed House received important state visitors on many occasions. In 1912, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and their daughter Princess Patricia stayed at the house. In 1919, the Lougheeds entertained the Prince of Wales at a garden party. Prince Edward visited again in 1923 and 1928. Other notable visitors included Prince George; Governor General Lord and Lady Byng; Prince Erik of Denmark (1928); Lord and Lady Willingdon; and the Right Honourable Stanley Baldwin.

Lady Lougheed & Daughter Marjorie

James Lougheed was appointed to the Senate in 1889, and worked to grant provincial status to Alberta in 1905. Following the Conservative victory in 1911, he held a number of key portfolios. He was knighted in 1916 for his role in establishing hospitals and services for Canadian veterans after the Great War. Successful in business and property development, Lougheed also supported the arts, building Calgary's Lyric and Grand Theatres.

The End of an Era
Lougheed House Conservation Society Sir James died in Ottawa on November 2, 1925 and was brought back to Calgary for burial at the Union Cemetery. The Anglican Cathedral couldn't hold all the people who wanted to attend the funeral service. At the time, it was said that "no other individual played as large a part in the actual building of this city."

Following the onset of the Depression in 1929, the Lougheed estate was unable to pay the property taxes on its real estate holdings. In 1934, the City took legal title to the house, one of the many mansions that it acquired during that period. Lady Lougheed was permitted to remain in residence at 'the Big House' until her death in 1936. A public auction in 1938 saw the contents of the House distributed into the winds. Lougheed House Conservation Society is particularly interested in the whereabouts of items purchased at that auction!

As history goes, Lougheed House has continued to play many public roles since that time.

Training Centre
In 1939, the house was made available to the Dominion-Provincial Youth Employment Training Program. Almost 40 young women lived at Lougheed House in each of two sessions, and learned home nursing and housekeeping skills.

Canadian Women's Army Corps
During the Second World War, Lougheed House served as barracks for the Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWACs). Women lived at the house and worked in the military base offices and stores and drove military vehicles.

Canadian Red Cross Society
Later in the war, the Canadian Red Cross Society established a blood donor clinic in the basement to help the war effort. When the war ended, the house became a dormitory for returning service women until they could find other housing or could return to their pre-war homes. In 1947, the Red Cross rented the house as their Calgary and southern Alberta headquarters.

Province Takes Ownership
The Province of Alberta designated the house a Provincial Historic Resource in 1976. By 1978, the Red Cross moved to a building at the west end of the block while the provincial government took ownership of Lougheed House.

Community Action saves Lougheed House
In 1988, the Historical Society of Alberta researched the possibility of restoring Lougheed House. The province approved its plan and created a provincial advisory board. In 1993, the City of Calgary purchased the original formal garden and pasture, and the entire historic estate property was in public ownership.

Lougheed House Conservation Society
During the 1990s, the Historical Society of Alberta continued to raise public awareness about the site and its potential, creating the Lougheed House Conservation Society in 1995. Since then, the Society has spearheaded the project to restore and re-use the Lougheed estate, a project completed with the formal opening of Lougheed House in 2005.

Already a Provincial Historic Resource, Lougheed House was designated a National Historic Site in 1995. During the following decade of dedication and hard work, the House was faithfully restored to its Victorian and Edwardian splendour. It opened in May 2005 as a Public Heritage Centre. The historic gardens on the estate have been beautifully recreated as well and are now designed, planted and landscaped to a different theme each year.

Today, it's yours to discover and enjoy.

The Investigation

We began our investigation by assembling on the main floor and then proceeding to the basement where we sat in the main room, and proceeded to feel out the energy. We set up a recording unit to record any possible communication with the other side via EVP. I also set up a stationary video camera to record any possible activity.

We decided to sit on the floor in a circle and remained focused. I began by asking if anyone was with us and if they could speak to us.

I felt a sense of children playing and this feeling was confirmed with all those present. To me it was not the feeling of a child ghost, but the knowledge that the basement held the energy of children and play. This feeling was later confirmed, as the Lougheed House, has programs for school-aged children.

Cher indicated that she could also feel children and she also pointed out a cold spot around her. Upon investigating the cold spot further, both JJ and I determined that the cold spot had a natural explanation. Immediately behind Cher was a door leading outside and a cold draft was entering the room through the door. Cher choose to ignore this obvious explanation.

The basement remained quiet and no EVPs or activity was recorded. We then proceeded to the first floor where Cher mentioned that a ghost had followed her up from the basement.

As we proceeded to go to the 2nd floor an EVP was recorded: “She is coming.”

Days before the investigation the team proceeded to meditate and Remote View the location. As JJ rounded the corner staircase he stopped dead in his tracks and commented that it was exactly what he had envisioned. He was rather stunned by this revelation and began taking pictures.

On the 2nd floor we split the team up into different rooms and turned out the lights completely and tried to communicate with the spirits on a one-on-one basis. Individuals were allowed to pick their own room and with recorders, cameras and video cameras we proceeded to try to feel more from Lougheed House.

JJ chose the main bedroom in the front of the house where he later commented: “It was very quiet; a sense of sadness. At one point I could not tell if it was with this room or not. Very, very sad though. It feels like the longer we are here, we've been here long enough. Like we overstayed. Not 'Get out'...but I am not sure, an uncomfortable feeling.”

Ray chose another bedroom near the rear of the house and said that he “...did not feel alone, but nothing had happened.”

Cher said she could not choose a room and was drawn to several areas, so I placed her in the back bedroom which the curator said was recognized by others as a place of interest.

Cher later said that she picked up on the name of Edgar and nothing more. Edgar, however, was a name that was in large print on one of the museum boards. Perhaps Cher had glanced at the board and subconsciously brought the name forward.

During the time the team had split up I was pulled to the 3rd floor. I was drawn almost immediately to a door near the front of the house. I tried to open the door and found it locked. I sat down in front of the locked door and concentrated on what was inside. Slowly a name came forward – Sarah. As the name revealed itself I felt a great deal of sadness wash over me. It is interesting to note that directly below me in the bedroom JJ felt sadness as well. As I sat in the darkness I felt compelled to cry and holding back tears I felt a chill run up and down my spine. Suddenly, the feeling vanished and a sense of calm took over. I was perplexed by the range of emotion and once again the name Sarah had come forward.

After our investigation it was revealed that Sarah Lougheed, aged 13, had died in the house, in the locked room. The room was supposed to be unlocked for our investigation. Does Sarah haunt this particular room? There is certainly no evidence to suggest this is so. The room held an emotional energy and not what we would consider a haunting. There is also no record of any kind in regards to Sarah, or a younger girl haunting the location.

I proceeded to the 2nd floor and gathered everyone and said we should investigate the first floor as a group. Cher said that she got the name of Clarise who she believed was a spirit who was following her about the house. She also said she got the name Joseph Alexander and commented that these were the servants children who she said lived in the basement. However, later we learned that no servants lived in the basement and the names did not match anyone who had lived or worked within the Lougheed House.

In the main hallway I find that my camera light battery has totally drained, as with one of my camera batteries. JJ notes that his camera battery is very low as well. Both Cher and Ray's camera batteries are still functioning properly.

The first floor offered nothing of interest and we all felt as though we should proceed once again upstairs. As we got to the second floor landing an EVP was recorded: “I'll play.”

We gathered in the back bedroom to record an EVP session and also to communicate via Ouija Board.

The EVP session began and we asked several questions but nothing of note is recorded. Cher said she felt a cold spot around her, but both JJ and Ray said they cannot confirm it. I also entered the space and could not feel the cold Cher is said to be feeling.

JJ noted that every time he passes by the bed he feels he should not be near it. He sat away from it as we proceed to try communication with the Ouija Board. I set up two stationary video cameras to capture any activity. JJ, Cher and Ray proceeded with holding the planchette and asking questions. Immediately it begins to move and begins to respond to questions posed by the group. This was the fastest and most noteworthy activity I have ever seen.

I proceeded to take my main camera on my shoulder and zoom in on the action. As I do so, Cher indicated that she cannot proceed stating she is feeling very ill. The session is stopped as I put down my camera to assist Cher.

Later both JJ and Ray said they believed that the Ouija Board session was not authentic. The sudden stoppage when directly on camera makes me suspicious of the whole investigation. No EVPs nor any other photographic or videographic evidence were recorded.

After a short break and refreshment I ask Ray about his Remote Viewing Session to which he responds he felt he saw an older woman with short hair. I point out a photo of Lady Lougheed to which he says it looks similar to the woman he envisioned.

We proceeded to investigate the third floor where the team did not feel anything out of the ordinary. The house felt different even near the locked door where I felt emotional. The third floor offered us no evidence of a haunting and so we proceeded to the first floor while I gathered our stationary cameras.

We concluded the investigation of the Lougheed House.

When I reviewed footage of the stationary camera in the back bedroom I noted that the lights had turned on and off several times while were on different floors. Upon turning up the volume I also noted the definite “click-click” of the light switch. No one was in the room or on the floor, for that matter to have turned on an off the light. In fact, the door was closed to the room.

So is this proof that the Lougheed House is haunted? Our team gathered information and feelings from the house and several EVPs were recorded throughout the historic building. The house certainly has an aura about it and there is a feeling and energy of the past.

Witnesses have said they have seen a woman in the front window looking out. They describe her as old and in old-fashioned dress. The front window is where Mrs. Lougheed would sit and watch the bustling streets of Calgary in her later years.

Others have stated that in Mrs. Lougheed's bedroom they have seen movement out of the corner of their eyes, furniture moved slightly and footsteps when no one is in the room.

Children, who also visit the site through school programs have come forward and asked, “Who is the woman in the window?” to which staff and others cannot see what they are viewing.

The Lougheed House remains one of Calgary's historic mansions and offers tours as well as a fantastic restaurant on its first floor and well worth the visit!

Dining Room

2nd Floor Hallway

3rd Floor Hallway / Sarah's Room

Lady Lougheed's Room

JJ Going up to 2nd Floor

 Basement Floor

About This Blog

Out of the Dark: The Ghost Hunting Chronicles is a blog providing detailed investigations of the Out of the Dark team, paranormal news and editorial.

It will also feature the past investigations of paranormal investigator and author John Savoie.