Ghost Stories of Alberta


173 pages
ISBN 0-88882-152-2
DDC 398.25'097123





Photos by Robert Smith and Barbara Smith
Reviewed by Susan Minsos

Susan Minsos is a partner of Duncan’s English Language Consulting Ltd.
in Edmonton.


If you remember Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and the chill you
had upon realizing that the villagers used a game of chance to decide
whom among them they’d stone for the sake of a good harvest, you’ll
know the feeling that you will get from reading Barbara Smith’s Ghost
Stories of Alberta. Smith recounts macabre incidents in a cheerful
voice, and though her collection doesn’t echo with the same archetypal
resonance as Jackson’s short fiction, her matter-of-fact tone made
this reviewer shudder with delicious apprehension.

Most ghosts mean no harm, Smith suggests. As Gryphon Books’ owner and
proprietor, Donna Tremblay, reacts to her ghost, most other haunted
people react as well: they “merely [accept] the inconvenience and
[work] around it.” Those who believe that Canada has a deficit of
ghosts will be interested to discover that houses and shops in Edmonton,
Calgary, Lethbridge—indeed, all over Alberta, even Kilmorey Lodge in
Beautiful Waterton Park—have suffered spooky visits from paranormal
sources. This is a good book to take with you on that motor trip around
the province.


Smith, Barbara., “Ghost Stories of Alberta,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024,