Tuesday, 14 February 2017 08:00

Empress Theatre’s spirits investigated through television show The Other Side

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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The Fort Macleod Empress Theatre may have some spirits within its walls. The Other Side is a TV show that featured the Empress Theatre on one of their episodes in 2016.

Producers and the hosts visit locations across the prairies to see if they can sense spirits and find out why they are there.
Michaella Shannon, co-host of the show, says her visit to the Fort Macleod Empress Theatre was her first time in that community. The crew visited and did the filming from May 27-29 last year.
“The Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod was my second favourite location that was visited,” says Shannon. “The moment I walked through the door … I felt like I went back in time. Its rich history, majestic character and haunting stories brought it all to life placing you back to the early 1900s.”
Shannon shares her experience when she walked through the Empress Theatre.
“Immediately after entering the building, I knew that our investigation would be a memorable one. I felt the presence of a vigilant, benevolent spirit that had an attachment to the theatre,” she explains.
“My favourite moment at this location was the moment I picked up the picture that was sitting on top of the piano in the green room only to discover that it was Blanch, a name that was given to us using the K2 Meter. Something … drew me to the picture the moment we stepped foot into the green room, but it wasn’t until we were closing our investigation that I looked at the picture. If I had ignored my instinct, we would have never made the connection.”
In April 2016, Shannon began working with the show as a researcher and investigator for season three. She says at the beginning of 2016, her resolution was to gain a deeper connection with her spirituality and to strengthen and develop her intuition.
When the show was looking for a third host, she knew this was the opportunity to fulfill what her spirit was seeking.
“Everyone possesses a gift of intuition. Some people choose to utilize it and others are afraid of it or choose not to utilize it. I chose to utilize it at a very young age, but like most people, as I got older, my connection grew weak.”
As a child, Shannon played with “little people.”
She says stories about little people are commonly shared amongst all indigenous tribes. She remembers her mother taking her to an Elder to protect her and make sure she understood not to go with the little people.
“I have always known things without being able to explain how I know them. I’ve saved my mother’s life by preventing an accident I felt was coming. I knew my eldest brother was going to pass three months before his life was taken,” adds Shannon.
When Shannon’s eldest sister passed way, her spirit came to visit her and it frightened Shannon.
When her grandmother passed away, she came to visit Shannon as well. Since the passing of her eldest brother more than a year ago, Shannon says his spirit has not yet visited.
“It’s a combination of experiences and a life-long connection that has guided me to my involvement in the show. Nothing is a coincidence. I knew I was on the right path the moment the opportunity presented itself. My involvement with The other Side is a part of the journey that was set out for me,” she adds.
The most interesting location Shannon has visited with the show so far was the Muscowequan Indian Residential School, which aired as the season three finale.
The reason why the crew from The Other Side visited the Empress Theatre was because they received a video that one of the theatre’s security cameras captured.
“It was a video that caught the eye of many — a video taken by one of the theatre’s security cameras captured an unexplainable phenomenon. There were various stories shared by a number of different people that left us wondering — ‘is there a message to be told?’”
Shannon says death shouldn’t be something people fear.
“Death should never be feared for it is only a transformation from our physical plane of existence to our home in the spirit world. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience.”
People can view full episodes on the show’s website at: http://aptn.ca/theotherside/. The Fort Macleod Empress Theatre was featured on Episode 9.

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