Devil’s Playground is One of Calgary’s Creepiest Ghost Stories
A group of young filmmakers are trying to find the real story behind one of Calgary’s oldest urban myths.
Behind the scenes of Devil’s Playground.
Calgary has plenty of ghost stories. Some stories are more believable than others. They all have different levels of creepiness, but usually they involve the elderly resident of an old building who has unfinished business. Most don’t involve the ghosts of multiple young children. The Devil’s Playground does.
The story goes that at the turn of the 20th century a schoolhouse on the edge of Calgary burned down, killing the children inside. The spirits of those kids are still here doing all sorts of creepy, haunting things. There are rumours that the first attempt to demolish the school resulted in almost all of the workers getting sick and equipment breaking down. The facts of the story, including how many kids were in the school, where the school was and how all of this happened, are sketchy.
It’s the kind of story the kids behind ParaShorts are all over. The group of young ghost detectives take paranormal questions and stories and does the research to either debunk them or support them in a series of online videos. The first season of ParaShorts covered electromagnetic fields, ectoplasm and the number 13, among other topics. The story behind Devil’s Playground is its latest and largest ghost mystery to solve.
The team has been working on solving this urban myth for more than a year, digging up eye witness accounts, news clippings and archive photos including some from Austin, Texas (you’ll have to wait for the video to see how that fits into the story). It was shot on location at Symons Valley Ranch and they managed to get some footage of the original location of the schoolhouse before construction began to make way for big box stores.
This month, the ParaShorts team has launched a Kickstarter to raise the final $4,000 it needs to finish shooting and secure the archive photos and documents.
Read more about ParaShorts’ Devil’s Playground project and check out its Kickstarter campaign here.
[Editor’s Note: This is an urban myth and the rumoured location is on private property. Remember to be respectful of that. There’s also nothing to see there. It is best to wait for the ParaShorts video to be released to hear the story]