The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada is a magnificent, luxurious structure. Nestled in some of Canada’s most beautiful surroundings, hotel visitors can expect to enjoy breathtaking vistas, comfortable accommodations, and friendly Canadian culture. If you stay at the hotel, there is one thing you won’t be able to do, however: check in to room 873.
As you wander the hallways of the stately building, you can’t help but notice that every floor has a room ending with the number 73 — every floor, that is, except the eighth. At the end of the hallway of that floor, you will find a place where a room should be, but instead of a door, you will find a wall and no explanation about what lies on the other side.
The mystery behind the missing room 873 is long and storied. According to one account, a family of three checked in to room 873 many years ago. They checked in, but didn’t check out, because the father inexplicably suffered a mental snap and brutally killed his wife and daughter before taking his own life.
The owners of the hotel — then known as the Banff Springs Hotel — cleaned the room and continued to rent it out. It wasn’t long, however, before guests began to report they were not alone in the room. Reports began to come in from troubled guests who woke up to find the bloody handprints of a child on the walls. Some were startled from their sleep by screams in the night.
As if this weren’t enough, the room seemed to attract other unwelcome visitors, as well. Several people have reported seeing the young woman who tripped while descending a staircase on her wedding night and died. Her ghostly form has been seen dancing alone many times since that fateful night.
Others have reported seeing Sam McAuley, the friendly old Scottish bellman who refused to retire and said he’d work there forever. Long after his death, guests have reported seeing old Sam, still working, always smiling, and helping out behind the scenes. Readers of this site will know of the Scottish disinclination to suffer fools easily and will be immediately suspicious of this claim.
After handling too many complaints about strange activities occurring in or centered around room 873, the owners of the hotel knew they would have to do something. Repeated refurbishments weren’t taking care of the problem, and tearing down the entire hotel seemed to be a bit of an overkill. Instead, the owners decided to seal up the room, drywall over the door, and pretend as if the room doesn’t even exist. You can see the result in this video walkthrough of the hallway with the mysterious missing room.
Room 873 may be hidden from view, but its legend has only grown. Some say that the corpses of the unfortunate murdered family remain entombed in the room, finally able to rest in peace. Others say that beyond the sealed door is a portal to another dimension, and if breached, the hotel will once again become host to mysterious visitors from beyond.
The truth of what is actually going on with this place may never be known. If you have the opportunity to visit the location of this fascinating mixture of beauty and mystery, don’t pass up the opportunity to walk down the long hallway of the eighth floor and to press your ear against the place that once permitted entrance to room 873. Perhaps the ghostly inhabitants on the other side will whisper their answers to you.