Haunted Fraser: Exploring the Crooked Creek hauntings
The wind would have been howling as a whiteout storm slowly layered mounds of snow in front of the a Fraser saloon back in 1909. Those still trapped inside, hiding away from the great blizzard, are huddled together for warmth in front of a furnace.
Among them is a prostitute named Rosie, the daughter of one of Fraser Valley’s first homesteaders. She’s joined by her colleagues and a handful of customers who were left stranded. But disaster is about to strike.
While stoking the furnace a fire broke out and everyone, including Rosie, was killed.
Today Rosie haunts the halls of the Crooked Creek Saloon, built a quarter of a century later on the same site. At least that’s how the story goes, according to owner Toni Hallgren.
“Probably my first experience here was nine years ago when I bought it,” Hallgren said. “I was going through some old files and things like that. I sat the file folders on a desk on one side of the room, and I was sitting on the floor. The file folders actually levitated and came down next to me.”
This is just one of a myriad of ghostly stories Hallgren could tell about her experiences running the saloon. She offers tales about phantom phone calls, the disembodied voice of a boy singing, and glasses flying off the bar among other phenomenon. She said often employees and herself will hear footsteps when they’re alone in the bar, or walking up the stairs when they’re in the upstairs office.
Hallgren also said there have been many sightings of ghosts in the saloon. She described multiple spectres. In the basement glowing orbs seem to orbit. A dark, wispy woman glides like smoke across the dining room. A figure shrouded in yellow and orange once steps into a photograph with a cheerful, Texas family.
Perhaps the most entertaining tale comes from the birthday celebration of Winter Park’s famous call girl Mary Jane.
“They always have a parade for her and celebrate her birthday,” said Hallgren. “A lot of people came in dressed as Mary Jane and they were toasting her and drinking to her. My computers all went town and a pipe randomly broke in my kitchen…
“I told everyone in the bar that we don’t really celebrate Mary Jane here, and that this is Rosie’s place. They all toasted Rosie, and all my computers came back on. We all had a good toast and laughed.”
Despite numerous unnerving experiences, Hallgren maintains that the ghosts are friendly and helpful. She also believes that her’s aren’t the only ghosts in town.
“There’s so much history in this town,” she said. “That’s why I love Fraser. I’m sure there’s more out there. There’s too much history for there not to be.”
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