When I stumbled upon this Youtube video featuring Spooky Ghost Stories from Fernie I watched with interest.

If you believe in ghosts, you’re not alone. Cultures all around the world believe in spirits that survive death to live in another realm. In fact, ghosts are among the most widely believed of paranormal phenomenon: Millions of people are interested in ghosts, and public polls have determined that almost half of Americans believe in ghosts.

I’m not sure which half I belong to however I did have a undefinable experience in Downtown Fernie. In the late 90’s I renovated and created retail and office space in the Ingram Block building on Victoria Avenue. My interest in history was stoked by the many artifacts and tunnel exits discovered hidden in the building behind the many walls constructed over the past 90 years. Mike Pennock, a Fernie historian, knew a great deal about Fernie’s boom years and introduced me to others who had first hand stories from those wild days.

The building was built in 1908 by William Ingram and has a very colourful history. Fernie local Bill Quayle remembered Ingram and relayed stories of watching travelling boxers fight for money in the second floor gymnasium. Bill’s parents had told him to stay away from the building however, he told me that he’d sneak up the stairs during the day and watch the boxers train for the evenings cash fights. The main floor hosted a barbour and cigar shop, men’s only, and the basement generated stories of gambling, secret tunnels, rum running, late night dancing, and a tunnel to the brothel next door. Ingrams story ends with tragedy, he was murdered on Dec 8 1939, and this is where the story gets interesting–I have no relation the the murderer however share the same last name.

I never saw a ghost, multiple times I clearly heard footsteps approaching my office door when nobody else was in the building. Others who worked in the same space shared similar experiences. We all knew that something else was present.

Local musician Troy Cook, who rented studio space in Ingram Block’s second floor in the 90’s, suggests that the building is haunted by the spirit of William Ingram. I would have to agree.

Do you have a Fernie ghost story to share?

Dan Savage

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