Indoor, Outdoor & Kids' Trampolines

ParaShorts: Devils Playground


[Music] Once upon a time in the small village of
Calgary there was a school. It was a small school run by a nun named Jezebel
and a priest named Mark. Their students aged seven to fourteen were taught well
under their direction. After years of running the school together, Jezebel and
Mark fell in love. They wanted to be together and yearned for each other’s
touch. Disillusioned by her lust, Jezebel made a pact with the Prince of Darkness
Lucifer. A pact where she could be with Mark forever.
This pact meant a sacrifice involving the blood of innocents. So, one
day she had it all prepared. As they started working on their arithmetic
Jezebel slowly made her way outside. Once outside she chained the doors shut and
poured lantern oil all over the front of the school. She stood back and pulled out
a single match, lit it and threw it at the oil igniting it. The old school
burned quickly. The children inside panicked at the sight and smell of the
smoke. As the school burned you could hear the children scream as they banged
their hands against the windows in futility. After the smoke cleared, Jezebel
and her lover were never seen again. Years later, those who visit the site
could hear children laughing, crying and beating their hands against the glass
of the windows. Reminders of their unfortunate fate on the land now known
as Devil’s Playground. What a slow day. I feel like I’m
forgetting something. Something I’ve been working on for some time. Oh where to begin?
I first heard about Devil’s playground from my dad, who
heard it from his old high school friend Keegan. I heard about Devil’s playground
from a friend of a friend of mine. Hey that’s the title of the chapter!
Did I just hear Morgan Freeman’s voice? We drove by and weren’t 100% sure if it was the place.
So we drove by and I said I think that’s it, it looks exactly like how they’ve
been telling me! So we turned busted a u-turn and went and parked.
There was a little like parking spot beside it. Looked like a driveway almost.
We pulled up there and it looked basically like a row of trees. Actually
no, it looked like a box of trees. So there was just an area inside it, but
there was not really like a barbed wire fence but like a fence? It just had just like a
wired fence almost. We had to wait for all the cars to drive by as I didn’t feel
like getting in trouble. So, we hopped over the fence and we just we just went
Inside. Well we just went inside the little field area at first and it was, it
was weird. It wasn’t…it wasn’t super crazy but everyone was kind of chicken
to go inside the building. So we didn’t at first. We went back to the car and we just
Were like: “Alright well you know that was fun.” I’m up ten minutes later. I’m sitting in
the car trying to negotiate whether we should go in or not. We end up going in. I
went in second. One of my buddies, he went in first and when you go in it, I dunno if it
splits off or if we just split off? But I remember going right and immediately
when you entered probably about ten or so seconds you just felt heavy.
It’s the only way I can explain it. I didn’t hear anything, didn’t see
anything… I just felt heavy. I was like okay able
to do this is enough I don’t I don’t like it I don’t know what’s going on
here I don’t like it so I ended up leaving and that was it for that night.
But about two weeks later, ended up going back just…because. Ended up going back.
Ended up walking a little bit further in there and I don’t know if it was just
you know hearing rumors about it or hearing stories about it but it just
felt like somebody was in the room with Us. I didn’t like it! So, [laughs] so I
actually just packed up and I just left. So I haven’t really had any crazy
experience with it. But I’ve been there twice and both times I felt like you
just weren’t alone. I didn’t like it that’s it.
So do I get to meet Morgan Freeman? can I get his autograph? Is he, is he here?
Curious as to what Devil’s Playground was we took to the Internet. We found very little in terms
of evidence but did discover that a lot of people believed it was a real place.
They shared what they had experienced and heard on public forums and websites.
The most popular story that is found on public forums, is of how city workers
tried to tear down Devil’s Playground. Once they started they began to feel ill
and experienced creepy happenings. Their equipment stopped working on several
occasions and when they tried to bring in a wrecking ball the ball itself fell off
the chain and they abandoned all work. Exploring Devil’s Playground took a long
time and for a while we were too scared to approach the landowner thinking he
would shoot us. We did eventually talk to him and discovered he was a nice man. He
had lived on the land since the early 1900s and didn’t give much information
aside from that there was a school there at one point which he attended. He never
mentioned the school’s name or when it was torn down, but he did allow us to take a
look around, and soon we begin exploring the land and surrounding area.
We returned at one point to find his trailer empty.
We returned again later to find it gone. Having no idea where he went
we hit a dead end in our investigation. Over the years we have received many
emails from those wanting to share their Experiences. Some of these reports were
very rational where those interested did some research beforehand and acquired
permission to look around, which is promising but we aren’t going to talk
about those. Where’s the fun in that! I knew you’re up there! No she did not.
We received many strange, mysterious and outright insane stories. They ranged from
ghosts to demons too crazy nuns to Aliens. In many of the accounts the
number of children who died in the fire changed from two to four, while other
cite that no children died at all. One story was two teenagers who disappeared while
exploring the abandoned schoolhouse. Even the description of the school was never
Accurate. Some spoke of a one-room farmhouse while others talked about a
gymnasium in endless hallways. So, when we set out to find the school we imagined
something out of Silent Hill. Large, foreboding, dark and dank with old school
desks. Needless to say, we were greatly disappointed. This sucks. After this, we knew discovering the real
story was not going to be easy. We had a lot of bull to sort through. Most of
these reports are similar so I’ll just go through a couple to avoid repetition.
Ghosts seem to be a plenty at Devil’s Playground, but there is one human
character to the story. The farmer who is the landowner I mentioned before. The
farmers real name was Don Ellis. Don Ellis was a gentle kind man who never
harmed anyone. However, there are many tales describing
him as crotchety and prone to shoot trespassers. If he did end up shooting at
you it’s more than likely because you Know, you’re illegally trespassing and he
thinks he’s well within his right to do So. The more we investigated the more
we began to see that Ellis was trying to protect himself and his property.
Especially when you look at some of the statements like: “I’m bringing my
paintball gun in case I get shot at I can fire back” or “A buddy of mine had a
shank that you could pull out and it was a long knife why he had it I don’t know.” Devil’s Playground also feeds into our
urban fear of country residents, or some less sensitive individuals call them
“rednecks Hillbillies and country folk.” This irrational fear is once again fed
by the power of the media with horror movies like Deliverance and The Hills
Have Eyes. reinforcing that rural citizens are crazy, violent and inbred. One account
told of a spooky chair in the middle of a room or a spooky Bible sitting on a
Desk. Because you know, no human being could possibly place a Bible on desk
like that. Did I mention that most of these reports and accounts start off
with “so a bunch of us got drunk or high.” You did not. Well they do and sadly that
taints any reliable witness statement. Another account talks about a strange
crypt and tree near the property. A tree where they apparently hung witches even
though we have never hung witches in Canada, but hey who needs history.
Anyways an excerpt from the witch hanging tree segment reads like this:
“We started off at Devil’s Playground off McKnight Boulevard at the circle of trees
thing? We had a video camera though and we caught what seemed to be a face on a
tree where supposedly witches got hung.
We looked over the footage after that Night. It was messed. We walked through
the field long we went round to the back and you’ll catch what seems to be some sort
of concrete coffin type thing. I’m not sure what it was but it was kind
of freaky. As you go into the circle of trees which is not really a circle at
all, you see this tree that everyone talks about. The one that they say used
to hang witches off of. It looks like a scary-ass tree. Round two we were armed
with video cameras we went back in and filmed all over the circle of trees. We
focused on the tree where they hung witches and that coffin type thing. We
reviewed the tape and on three cameras there was what seemed to be a face on
that main stem of the tree. So one drunk night we went out at 3 o’clock in the
Morning. I was Mr. Tough Guy since I’ve been here a couple of times before.
It was pretty dark we didn’t have any Flashlights. I got my buddies behind me
just chatting away. I look up and all I saw was a distant figure maybe about ten
feet away from me like the ring girl. Head down hair covered face. I freaked
out I ran for my life back. I told all my friends JUST RUN! I would never return again.
I don’t understand how a girl with hair covering her face in a wet dress who
moves slowly can be a scary threat. oh my god I got her Wallet! Anyways the person who
posted this story also posted driving Directions. Following those we went to
the location of the crypt and witch Tree. The location was a great ways away
from Devil’s Playground. We found the spooky tree and a while it certainly was
a gnarly oak, it was still just a tree. As for the Crypt we were intrigued. It’s
not uncommon to find family burial plots on farmland. Especially farmland that has
been operated by the same family over several generations. When we found it
I was disappointed. It was a concrete water trough used for cattle. This was
the result of someone from the city not knowing basic farm equipment. Because
they mistook the trough for a crypt and found a creepy old oak on the site their
imagination did the rest. Or they could have been flat-out lying. This story has
been associated with Devil’s Playground, but in reality, has nothing to do with it.
No witches were hung. No crypt was there. It was just a waste of time. Well at
least we say we looked into it in case anyone asks. What about the flying cows? The what? The Flying Cows. Ugh I forgot about those…
There was this guy named Tim who went out with two of his friends to see
Devil’s Playground. When they got there they saw several unidentified flying
Objects. Nearby were a group of cows who the flying saucers were trying to kidnap.
Probably to be experimented on. But these were Devil’s Playground cows that belong
to a cult of satanic vegetarians. Wait! This is for real? Cuz they’d be trippin!
Alrighty then. Moving along. The cows used their cow like satanic powers to fight
off the alien menace. But the aliens were too strong. Luckily Bob… Wait, I thought his name was Tim? Bob, Tim at this
point who cares! Anyways Jon remembered he had an m-16 in his pocket. He pulled it
out and aimed it at the sky and screamed “Eat hot lead you alien bastitches!” as he
then shooted all of the bullets up in towards the sky. Flying saucers exploded
and crashed into the school burning it down. The cows
impressed by Steve’s bravery nodded in Approval. while Joel walked off with his
friends into the smoke covered Battlefield, looked back one last time and
nodded in return. I can’t believe someone actually wrote that grammatical Nightmare.

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I know what you’re thinking. Do these stories ever mention its exact location?
Well sort of. The consensus is that Devil’s Playground resides in the
Southeast, just outside Applewood Park. There are
other locations as well. This is another example of the urban myth. No one can
really agree 100% on where the school actually was. When we did some digging
there was a mention of Simon’s Valley Ranch. Simon’s Valley Ranch is a farmers
market located just out of town. It’s housed in a very imposing looking fort
like structure. When I first visited I found myself imagining an entire history.
My mind fills with Mounties and early Settlers. However I later learned it was
built in the 60s as a community center and was used for police and firemen
Balls. It proves that even I am not immune to my
imagination inventing urban fantasy. I sent Mack and Ellyn down to check
things out as we heard that Simon’s valley does have a haunted history. [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music]
So what’s the Difference? Well the clarinets about this long and
you just play it like this. You want to try it? I was
downstairs with my husband having supper. We were seated against the bench wall
and we were just sort of reflecting on the day. You know we just had our first
having her first drink and we gonna have supper there, waiting for a friend and
then I felt a brushing against my leg. And it’s like we don’t have a cat in
this place… and it just like or a kid it’s just
Weird. It’s just a brushing it was just okay. Then the second time was I was
in my fifth wheel with my husband we were watching TV and I have felt the
same thing. I felt a brushing I thought it was my cat but my cat was outside and
it wasn’t my dog. She was laying down beside me. And then I came to check the
water one night cuz I have to shut off the water. I had to shut off the water at
the time as we were having water problems. and then I I take a look at the camera
to see if there’s anybody that vicinity or if there’s anybody in the building;
I was just doing checks. And I take a look at the camera and
there’s an orb and it was going back and forth. One camera to the other for about
five minutes. But I it didn’t do anything else after that. But it was it was pretty
different. Sometimes when I’m downstairs doing stuff downstairs, I hear people
talking upstairs. I hear people laughing. Laughing and talking, chatting, laughing and
eventually I come upstairs, when I come here there’s no one upstairs.
You know. And sometimes I am upstairs and I hear people banging
downstairs you know, walking down there like they’re having a big conversation
and joking. And that’s the same thing, go down there nobody. No one is there.
Know what I’m sayin? You know this place is very creepy at night. Sometimes when
you come inside you feel like like somebody’s watching you. You
Know what I’m sayin? It’s very spooky he’s a very spooky place. Yes okay I just
get to understand a couple months ago that there was a school used to be here
and his burn down and a lot of people died in the school and kids are all of that.
Probably those spirits are still walking inside here. – We will be just
sitting in the desk or serving a customer and all of a sudden the lid
will fly off the top of the jar and smash on the ground and note they don’t
have suction. They’re just sitting on top. And customers have been frightened and
to say I think you have a ghost in here. And then things started to happen and I
would come by myself at night and the same thing would happen. And it’s just
the lip flies off and it’s never for any Reason. It’s not at certain times and
it’s always the lower ones which makes me feel like it’s a kid. A lot of times
when I am working here in the evening, I will hear sounds and it’ll be upstairs
mostly upstairs and they’re just really really odd sounds I can’t even tell you
what they sounds like. It just sounds like something’s going across the floor
rolling across the floor. And I’ll run upstairs to take a look and there’s
absolutely nobody nobody around. And so when I do work here at night I like to
always ask for the radio here to be on so I don’t hear these sounds because
it’s kind of frightening. You don’t, you don’t know what’s here
right? Then yeah so that was the candy store
it’s just another thing that happens When, when I’m here at night too. So
it’s just yeah it’s very unsettling Right? Because you don’t really
know what’s, what’s around. So one morning I came in and this whole section on the
floor here was wet and I’m like “somebody in my store and dropped a bottle of
water or something?” So I contacted you know the people at the market
management may came and checked it all over and there was there was water, there
wasn’t water from any any direction coming in. So I picked up the rock
and it was just dripping like it was holding all this liquid. And it wasn’t
going any further or anything and it was just dripping. And so I moved it and then
it went away and then I believe that’s when I brought back again and probably a
month later same thing happened. And it’s just it’s just weird. Like I can’t
explain why. It’s like what’s going on like where is this water coming from?
This was enough first to do an Investigation. Our goal was to see if
there was any connection to a burned-down school and if these events
are truly paranormal. Mack teamed up with our friends from CAPI the Calgary
Association of Paranormal Investigations to do an investigation. They spent the
night doing EVP sessions and exploring the location. During an EVP session when
Mack was asking questions they heard a loud bang from upstairs. What were you trying to do? [Music] They ran to investigate and found that
at tape roll had fallen from an upstairs Counter. It was confirmed by dropping the
roll several times to see if they could recreate the sound. It was indeed the
tape roll that did it, but was it a ghost or just coincidence? They experienced
problems with our equipment. EMF meters kept acting buggy. After the
investigation we discovered that Symons Valley Ranch sits between 3 cellphone
towers making it a hotbed for EMF’s. This could very well be the cause of some of
the strange activity. Symons Valley Ranch is still a great Halloween
location and I encourage people to visit it and make up their own minds. Talk with
the people and employees. Enjoy the good food and events. You never know who or
what you may encounter. Another more recent location to be
labeled as Devil’s Playground is David D Oughton. See because the city changes and
landmarks vanished, Devil’s Playground has eventually found a new home. One new
home is David D Oughton. It was built in 1953 and closed in 2005 making DDO too young
to be Devil’s Playground but this has not stopped people from labeling as such.
Since its closure the school has been left abandoned and over time it has fallen
into disrepair and is practically falling apart. In order to keep out
trespassers the doors have been sealed shut with chains and piles of dirt. This
has not stopped people from breaking in to explore taking photographs or fulfill
teenage dares. Sadly people don’t realize how dangerous this is
the school may look safe but in fact it is a deathtrap. [Music] He vanished! Where did we get all this maple syrup?
Yeah. It’s Organic. So DDO is gone and Mack and Ryan were
nearly killed. With all of these whacked-out false leads how can we know the real
Story. Mack and Ellyn ventured to the library to do some research. [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] What’s a dewey decimal system? Really, what is it? It was boring and extensive
but they couldn’t find anything on Devil’s Playground or a school in the
Area. Then I remembered something. One of our YouTube viewers mentioned the
school’s name and where he learned this Information. So we returned to the
archives with our newfound knowledge and sadly still found nothing except decades
of attendance records and minutes taken at the school. No photographs, deeds
titles or news articles. We called up our friends with CAPI the
Calgary Association of Paranormal Investigations as I heard they had done
An investigation into this before. So we talked to Tom Davis who was the team
leader at the time and discussed what they found. So Devil’s Playground is a myth. It, it does
not exist. The investigations we did back when CAPI was new, so close to 15
years ago, what we found at that time was that the location doesn’t exist.
Yeah we did actually. We knocked on his door and talked
to him for just a few minutes. We didn’t do any investigation of his property,
although we asked to do so and what he told us was that he had did annually
scare people off because they were trespassing on his property and claiming
something that that was not true for his Property. Which was that the
building that was abandoned on his property was first off haunted, it wasn’t,
and secondly that it was a schoolhouse which to the best of his knowledge at
that time when we talked to him which was almost 15 years ago now was
that it was not a school. It was to his knowledge used for storage
So there is a possibility that it may have been a schoolhouse but we could
not find any record, zero records on that Building. In that property as being a
Schoolhouse. When we, when we did the research for it,
we had heard 30 to 40 different stories and I’m talking different stories. And
the one story that or the one common theme, pardon me, that was with all
of these stories was that the Devil’s Playground was on the east side of the
City. Although we also heard some stories from various other different
localities in the city but the majority of them east side of the city. And that
the actual school building that that was haunted was just outside of the
city limits. Now all you have to do is look historically at how the city has
grown to the east and the various different stories that we had heard and
like say this is close to 15 years ago when we did this this research the
east side of the city of Calgary at the time was probably 30 35 kilometres long.
Maybe 40 kilometres long. It’s even longer now because for such a huge city
and the stories literally began when the the city limit, I can’t remember the exact
Route, but where that when the city limit was basically here. When we
investigated the city limit was here and today the city limit is here. So on and so on.
An actual growth of the city. And like I say by the time that we did our research on
this the
Devil’s playground somewhere along that, in various different locations, started
here just outside the city limits and moved here just outside that current
city limits and of things that I’ve even come across within the last year or so
city limits is now here. And it’s always just outside the city limits. Well that
can’t physically move. The city limits can physically move but the actual, you
know, building? But yeah that’s what I know
about the Devil’s Playground I’ve also heard that the Devil’s Playground
and I don’t know if you if you’ve heard this part but a second
a secondary major location for for the “Devil’s Playground” and I used that quote
for a reason…the second biggest location for it is up by Symon’s Valley
Ranch. And I mean there’s a lot of new communities that are that are going in
there and everything and once again to my knowledge there was never any school
that was up there. There was never anything that could even remotely be
associated with this Devil’s Playground.
So one of the theories that we came up with collectively over the,
over the years was that kids especially tend to be the ones who
create the stories and/or are the ones who believe the stories. Well this this
lovely building that’s right next to you, you’re not going to focus on it, there’s
lovely building that’s right next to you which is which is a garage. If it were
a house and nobody lived in it for five Years? Six years? People would start kind
of going well why isn’t nobody living There? And generally speaking and I’m
guilty of this as well cuz when I was 13 years old there was there was a couple
of abandoned buildings, and we of course believed that they were haunted and we
had heard the story because of my best friend. At the time his dad
had to make up the story because he was trying to scare us. So of course we took
that we told our friends et cetera, et cetera. So I believe that a lot of these
these haunted building myths are either started by kids and I include
teenagers in this, but kids trying to scare each other and or an adult trying
to scare the kids. Think you know it’s just a good story? Well you know
what will make them will make them shake in their boots? And then it just gets
perpetuated and perpetuated and perpetuated and built upon and built
upon and built upon so that yeah. That building is haunted man! We know it’s
haunted because that’s the story. And yet probably 90, 95 percent of those stories are
just myth. They’re just yes the the the factual part of that myth is the
building exists and that’s where it ends. Sadly even they couldn’t find the actual
history on the school. So my dad had the bright idea to phone the city they got
us in contact with a Ken Miklos who helped build a historical marker and
Elliston Park. He happened to be the son of Audrey who was woman credited on the
historical plaque. Finally we managed to track down someone who actually went to
the school. Thankfully she agreed to meet us and we were privileged interview her.
My name is Audrey Nicholas and I attended Rockland School. Yes, cuz I lived right beside the schools.
I went there for a while so yes I do. What fun it was. Everything was fun. We
didn’t worry about anything outside our little community that because we were
grades 1 to 9, so we had all ages and there was no segregation. that was just
like brothers and sisters going to school. There was a year there were 7 students
and I I’m not sure but I think that was the year I was the only girl. The teacher was
a female. Oh my is right. Would you
believe maybe one at that time? So you can see why we’re such good pals.
We were all there together. I am. Because you know we’re all in
our 80’s and many are deceased. My husband and I, he’s not from
Calgary but we went to all the social activities after we were adults and married.
So yes there’s still people out there that we see and visit with which is really
unusual. Half of the building was
once a community on the other half was the classroom. So a big
thing was wedding receptions because there was no other call that time, so
you’d hear the music, you know that sort of stuff, how it sounded so
Festive. No there wasn’t a fire. No.
A lot of builders came and asked for bricks. So they would buy whatever
amount of bricks. Most of them ended up in Sunnyside. And then it got so weak it
started to fall over. So my brother had a more active time as caretaker than
I had because the school had amalgamated and they brought students from bout four
other small schools around. And so they put in a furnace we didn’t have a
Furnace we just had this pot-bellied stove. So they put in a furnace and did a lot of updating.
So he was he was really a busy caretaker and I wasn’t. Then when the school closed
that’s he had all kinds of trouble vandalism and their guns and he lived
Right beside the school just like half a block away. Oh yes that was routine and the house
there is a lovely two-story house which was designated to go to out to Chestermere
As an Information Centre, I don’t think it’s in any shape. I don’t think it can
go now. Oh no this lovely hardwood floors an old house. It won’t be moved I’m sure. [Music]
Donnie rented it for a long time. He didn’t want to live in it. It’s too big
for him he said. Any tenants, I think you only had about two over the
years and they just loved that old house. It was fun to listen to them talk. Yes it was this was just right next
to the skating rink which was on the school and our property was right there.
And (???) You know those buildings that most of them have a round
roof and they’re constructed in one Piece. Like they don’t build buildings
with lumber too much around. These are just almost instant buildings.
My brother had one of those and he stored hiss machinery and whatnot.
Anyway, after he sold the farm the fellow the bought it rented it out.
Anyways he turned into a cop…a chop? What am I saying. A Chop Shop? Where they
steal cars and then they take them down and take them apart and sell the parts
here overseas. A terrible dangerous business for one thing. So when they
unearthed it of course they boarded up everything and then the vandals have had
a fine time getting in behind the board’s. Even though he lived in quite
Fear. Well the rest us were in fear for him because this old man. They had a field day frightening him.
A sad ending to a school. Well that was tied into vandalism
which can hurt people of course. There were so many buildings on the farmland
then they could wander just every which way and you know a great scene/place to
have adventures. If they had offered to Properly then it may have been maybe a fun
place to hang out. In old buildings. But it’s not the way it turned out when they started
arming themselves, blowing holes in all the buildings. But Donnie was stubborn that
was mainly it…he wasn’t going to move. It was five generations that had lived
there over the years. They weren’t gonna chase him out and they didn’t.
He lived there till he died. No I never heard about ghosts. I’ve talked to
A couple people I said did you ever hear Ghosts? No not until the school was
Closed. That’s the first time they remember
hearing and they live right in that community still today. And they say
first time we heard anything about ghosts, school was closed. And it,
you know, it’s a fun place to explore I’m sure. Because of at that time there’d
have been about four rooms upstairs I guess in the basement. I had
imagined off two or three rooms down there so they could rush around and have
themselves quite a time together. Today? Oh no I don’t think so no. I think that’s
just a good source of in humor writer material but how much vandalism still
going on I don’t know. I don’t know why they don’t tear those
buildings down. Make them tear them down. So there you have it.
We talked to an actual student of Rockland School and the facts prove that
this is purely an urban myth. I also find it interesting that David D Oughtons
children went to Rockland. I wonder if that is the connection people made to
label DDO the new Devil’s Playground or it could all be a coincidence. So now that
we know that it’s not true, where did the story come from?
Most of the emails received and blogs we read mentioned
that Devil’s Playground was covered by Unsolved Mysteries. I felt that this was
just a way to add credibility to the Myth. I was partially right. Unsolved
Mysteries never did an episode on Devil’s Playground no matter how hard people
believed they saw this mythical episode. They forget we can now look up every
episode of Unsolved Mysteries via IMDB and their website. We did just that. We tracked
on every episode and found nothing. However, there was one thread that spoke
of another haunting that was apparently covered in the same episode. The haunting
of a Toys R Us in Sunnydale California. Finally! Something to narrow it down. Once
again we searched Unsolved Mysteries database and IMDB and found nothing. We
did however find a reference to another show Haunted Lives. This show was in the
same format as Unsolved Mysteries. It was hosted by the late Leonard Nimoy and had
the same budget and film style as Unsolved Mysteries, complete with fully
produced re-enactments and witness Interviews. The series produced only
three episodes over the span of five Years. This series is obscure and
hard to catch reruns of. If you did manage to find it on TV, you could
easily mistake it as Unsolved Mysteries. In their first episode they covered the
haunted toys-r-us as well as a haunted school in the segment School Spirit. The
school in question was Metz Elementary in Austin Texas. It had a problematic
history filled with troubling racial Relations. Mets elementary opened in 1916
and served the community for nearly eight decades. However in 1989 the school
was considered too small to meet the growing demands of the surrounding
Neighborhoods. The school was set for demolition…During the summer of 1990
It’s ok Morgan I got this. During the summer of 1990 construction workers
began to tear the school down. During this time they encountered what could be
described as paranormal. When the first construction workers entered the
building to do the preliminary survey, they could hear children laughing and
door slamming. One day while in a classroom one of the workers could hear
chalk scraping the board behind him. When he turned to see who was there he
found that someone had written a greeting for him. As the work progressed
five pieces of heavy machinery used on the job failed. Upon further inspection
they found nothing wrong with them. Workers began complaining about unseen
forces shaking their ladders and throwing pebbles at them. Before long,
workers stopped showing up at work while others were falling ill. The construction company owner and
Foreman spent nearly $3,000 in repairs and lost labor. Even after trying to
remain logical and skeptical it was becoming too much for them. Then one
regular workday while preparing to demolish a wall. Witnesses state that an
unseen force seemed to push the wall over crushing one of the workers killing
Him. After the death of their comrade Foreman called the local psychic by the
name of Elaine Ireland. She helped in a spiritual cleansing of
the school and soon after the workers had no more issues with the school’s
Demolition. A new school was eventually built but students had a hard time
returning after the story of the death of a construction worker at the hands of
ghosts became highly publicized. It is said that the ghost no longer reside
there as the foreman in charge of the demolition took a tree from the site and
planted it in his yard. He says that occasionally he hears the laughter of
children coming from his yard. Maybe they decided to make a new home with him?
And there you have it. This Calgary urban legend isn’t even
from Calgary. This is clearly a case of someone seeing a story on TV and
applying it to a strange old building nearby. As I said earlier I am the
Coordinator of the Coordinated Safety Response Team. And that’s a component for
Calgary Police Service bylaw Alert Green Team who do the busts of marijuana
grow-ops. Alert Scan, Safe Communities and
Neighbourhoods, Alberta Health Services and my unit is Safety Response Unit
which is part of building regulations. And so what we do basically with these
these derelict houses, the vacant houses, is that we if we get complaint we do an
investigation and we look for safety infractions in all of the disciplines
that I’ve mentioned. So as an example Calgary Police will have
data on entries or call volume so will bylaw. The buildings are typically
in dilapidated condition and at times will find someone unauthorised in that
in that particular building living in an unsafe condition. Obviously because none
of the building functions are operable well because it’s because they’re not
really being maintained. Even though the house has been boarded to prevent that
entry you will have that occurring so you will find at times if it’s fire
damaged you might find the main floor gone. So if you’re entering at
night you could just fall through that that floor and they are in
dilapidated condition so even though it say they’re not fire damaged they’re
still damaged in some way. Plus there’s no smoke alarms in that so if
you stayed overnight in that particular property you’re in the risk of a fire.
You know we received numerous complaints on the Devil’s Playground
and it was you know illegal entry. And so as soon as you, as soon as we hear that
especially with…we did hear also that youth were entering this particular
Property. As soon as you hear that we’re very very concerned just for the various
Reasons. Anytime you go into a site like that as I mentioned earlier there’s a
risk and we don’t want anyone getting Hurt.
So what we did on that particular Property is I met with the ownership and in
cases like these, these unsafe derelict properties the processes is to issue
a Municipal Government Act order. An MGA order. And we gather all the
evidence or the information from the various players within CSRT, police, bylaw,
Alberta Health Services, Fire Department and ourselves and we create that order.
And the order is either to remediate or demolition or demolish the property. In
this case I believe there was about six buildings including an old farmhouse on
It, especially a farmhouse was being Entered. So I talked with ownership and
told them that our intent was to issue the MGA order. With that they wanted to
meet and when we met they had their engineer and their
contractor at the meeting and they developed a plan to demolish all of the
buildings within a two-week period. And so they did hold to that, to that
Agreement. To that timeline and that Devil’s Playground really doesn’t exist
Anymore. Which is good with Hallowe’en coming up. Well main message is don’t.
Don’t trespass and I think the message is really obvious in that if you do
trespass into one of these properties into these into these derelict or vacant
properties there’s a risk that you just don’t know
what’s in there and you don’t know who’s in there. – We may have not found any
spooks or Devils but looking back on this five-year journey I can remember
the laughter and the fun we had. We lost friends made new ones. Forged
bonds that will last a lifetime. We understand why a legend like Devil’s
Playground continued for 25 years. Everyone loves a good ghost story.
Something to tell around the campfire and scare each other. It delves into what
we as a community fear and dread. The loss of a child, the deep dark unknown,
but above all it thrives on the fact that we all want something to believe in.
Something that connects us with the possible afterlife. If Devil’s Playground
could be real then meeting someone we love from beyond the grave is that much
closer to reality. But reality is not as kind to our
Illusions. Devil’s Playground as a haunted or cursed location does not
Exist. Its folklore may be strong but it’s real history is stronger. A history
deeply rooted in Calgary. We as Calgarians have a proud history.
We have a strong community full of amazing diverse individuals and cultures each
with their own stories of history to Share. Which deserves to be celebrated
and allowed to endure and that is something we can all believe in. Not in
false history. Not in fake spooks and devils and sadly not in Devil’s
Playground. [Music]

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