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This article was published 4/10/2018 (957 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The owner of the Ninette Sanatorium hopes that money collected during an upcoming paranormal investigation will help fund the building’s upkeep.
"It will help repair the roofs — they’re in major need of it," Ronnie Aschenbrenner told The Sun on Monday. "It’s kind of sad because the longer it sits, the worse it gets."
After Aschenbrenner’s dream of making the Ninette Sanatorium into a resort for artists didn’t pan out, she put the property up for sale.
It’s been up for a couple of years now, she said, with an asking price of $575,000.
"I just can’t be responsible anymore for the deterioration of it," she said.
Although her goal was originally to make it into the resort, financial and physical obstacles got in her way.
"I kind of got struck down," she said. "It’s pretty hard to even open up the doors at this point until you have the roofs and stuff completed and get it up to date."
The building would still be a great location for a tuberculosis museum, she said.
"I know there’s a lot of places that have got a lot of equipment that was used in their facility that are sitting in the back and they want them out — they want the room now, so instead of having them all be scrapped, I think it would be an excellent idea to bring them all here."
Last summer, Gerald McIvor, whose brother was kept in the sanatorium, hosted a smudging ceremony on the property; something that Aschenbrenner said she would be open to doing again.
The Indigenous population was disproportionately represented with the province’s sanatorium population, and were known to remain at the health centres for longer periods of time.
From Oct. 19 to 21, Ottawa-based paranormal investigator Elliot Luijkenaar and his Phantoms of Yore teammates Eric Oickle and Jael Henri will be on hand, hosting adult-only and kid-friendly sessions. The evening events will get a lot scarier, Luijkenaar said.
"Everybody wants to have that spooky experience," he said. "Everybody wants to experience ghost hunting, so we put people in the dark, we put a infrared camera in the guests hand and kind of give them the feeling of what it’s like to ghost hunt."
In addition to infrared cameras, they will have equipment that measures electric magnetic energy, a DVR camera system that records in infrared and a toy teddy bear that talks and senses motion and temperature change.
The Ninette Sanatorium opened in 1909 to house and care for patients living with tuberculosis, according to the Manitoba Historical Society.
It initially held 60 patients, but within thirteen years, that number reached 240. It became the largest facility of its kind in the province, with more than 12 buildings peppered through the property.
Since its closure, some buildings have remained vacant while others were torn down.
From other paranormal teams that have investigated the property before, Luijkenaar said he has heard some stories; some of them concerning.
However, they always take things like that with a grain of salt unless they can find historical records to connect to the stories. The evening sessions will begin at 7 p.m. and end close to 1 a.m or 2 a.m.
The afternoon event on Oct. 20 will be tailored more toward younger kids.
"We’re going to have a walk-in event," he said. "People can just show up, we’ll do a ghost tour, show the equipment and talk about the history."
The investigative team will be arriving at the site four days before the public comes to do some work beforehand. Luijkenaar said that they will also be sleeping in the sanatorium.
"We’re investigating, preparing, collecting footage, collecting data finding evidence for the event on the following weekend."
As for who the event will appeal to everyone, Luijkenaar said.
"Everybody is curious about the afterlife," he said. "Some people come because they’re critical minded, because they want to disprove whatever it is. We’re not really about the proving or disproving, it’s more about experience, and having a good time. It’s Halloween season, people enjoy themselves and get spooked."
Tickets are available online at eventbrite.ca via the Phantoms of Yore Facebook page for $50.
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