Plans for the first sanatorium began in 1911 and it was to be built in Western Canada, called the Fort San sanitorium in Fort Qu’appelle, Saskatchewan. It was completed following the WWI. Many veterans came home with tuberculosis and were in need of treatment. 1919 saw the facility finally open, with returning soldiers occupying over half of the available beds.
In 1972, this western sanatorium closed its doors and it was sold to the provincial government for a dollar. In the eighties, the property began serving some use as a school of the arts and a convention center. It still operated at a deficit and the buildings began to fall apart. At this time the Department of National Defense agreed to move their Western Canadian Sea Cadet Training Program to the site, and the sanatorium had a new lease on life.
Today the place still displays the old-fashioned windows and hospital-white walls. This building remains one of the most haunted places in Saskatchewan. One of the first stories came from a man who had attended a summer music camp. On this day, the band members had gathered outside for practice. The young man forgot his music in his room and returned to retrieve it. As he was going through his baggage, he heard the sound of a woman singing. The woman’s voice was loud and clear and surprising, since this lodge was assigned to the men. The singing was accompanied with the sounds of running water. The young man walked over to the doorway and saw a woman, young and pretty in a conservative dark dress that fell past her knees. The taps were running, and as she washed, she was looking at her reflection in the mirror. The young man called out to her. “Excuse me? Lady? I think you are in the wrong lodge.” She gave no indication she had heard him. Instead of turning towards him, the woman backed away from the sink and out of his range of vision. He then entered the bathroom and she had vanished.
The sounds as if someone was dragging heavy chains and slamming doors while walking up and down the hallways can also be heard. One very common apparition at the Conference Center is known as “Nurse Jane,” or “Jane, the folding ghost”. She had been called the folding ghost as she was often seen folding linens. On other occasions, she seems content to push a wheelchair around the premises. According to folklore, Jane was a distraught nurse who committed suicide while working at the sanatorium. In the doorway at the end of a long hallway, a shadow of a wheelchair could be seen. The ghostly shadow was so distinct that it always drew someone down to investigate. By the time they’d reach the end of the hallway, the apparition would disappear.