In life, there are more stories than can ever be told; more than can ever be known. Each person lives out their own story while adding to others.
When they pass, parts of their story will inevitably pass with them. Small moments in time that were never shared or not remembered.
Not all will be forgotten though. Remnants will endure, passed on through photos, tales, sometimes even legend. Those who believe that stories don’t end with death, say the soul of a person will carry on; will continue in death as they were in life. Theirs will become a ghost story.
Medicine Hat has its fair share of ghost stories. They are scattered across the community, much like people are. There is one spot however, that is home to many stories and the ghosts that fuel them.
Nestled in the Historic Clay District, Medalta Potteries has been part of many stories throughout its 109-year life. It is rumoured that some of the souls who spent time there during life, now take residence there after death.
Many of these spirits are believed to be former workers who each played a role in creating the high-quality pottery Medalta is known for.
Current employees tell of their experiences with the spirits. They say they hear voices calling when no one is there. They tell of objects that move and doors that slam.
Pamela Irvine recounts how, during an event at Medalta, a guest had pointed out to her that someone was in the roped-off museum. She and the guest watched as a dark figure made its away across the room. When they checked, no one was there and there was no place they could have gone.
Irvine, who has been working at the site for more than eight years, has seen and heard her fair share of inexplicable things. She’s heard squeaky footsteps while alone in the building. She once heard her co-worker laughing, but upon investigating, realized the co-worker was not there. No one was.
Lisa Miklash, who has been with Medalta for 10 years, corroborates Irvine’s experiences, as she has experienced them, too. While working alone, often on the original machinery – pieces dating back to the early 1900s – her tools sometimes go missing. They then reappear moments later in a different spot. Sometimes she’ll trip, her foot hitting a metal object, the sound ringing out. When she looks down, there is nothing on the ground. On numerous occasions she has felt a tap on her shoulder but turned to see no one.
Now, Irvine and Miklash, who seem to be a favourite of the spirits, swap stories of their ghostly encounters, but they don’t feel afraid. Rather, they believe that Medalta’s ghosts have simply returned to a place that was an intrinsic part of their lives and an essential part of their stories.
, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News