A century-old building in Regina’s Warehouse District has become a hotbed for paranormal activity, ghost experts say, and is drawing in tourists, wanting to connect with spirits.
The old Sears bargain centre dates back to 1918, when it was first built by Eaton’s. Then in the 1980’s Sears moved in, but closed its doors in 2017, leaving the building largely vacant.
“They were a major anchor in this place and so we were trying to find a way to keep the building thriving and the area itself,” said Chrysta Garner, manager of the Centennial Market. .
Now home to the Centennial Market, Garner says the building was first found to be haunted after finding an old room that had been boarded off, and a team of paranormal investigators were brought in.
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“You hear people talk about ghosts and they see this and they see that, but unless you’ve really been part of it you don’t believe it,” Garner said.
Once word got out that the building was haunted, Garner says it sparked the idea to give tours on a monthly basis.
Deb Mathias, known as Deb the Seer, now leads the charge. Seven days a week she can be found doing readings at Deb’s Cozy Cove, nestled away in Old Sears bargain centre at the Centennial Market.
“I tell people all the time I’m not a psychic — I can see,” Mathias said. “What’s the difference? Psychics basically know; I am clairsentient, so I can see, smell, taste, hear and feel when I’m doing readings.”
The goal now is to restore parts of the old building with money collected from the tours, bringing it back to its former glory — ghosts and all.
“There’s 13 of our regular ghosts, but we have about 100 spirits in here,” Mathias said. “I want people to understand that our people are people without meat suits. They’re people just like you and me they have personalities — they have feelings.”
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Like people, Mathias says ghosts also have needs. Which is why a museum is also in the works as part of the tour and is filled with items requested by spirits, such as an old radio, ballet slippers and old pictures.
“They want these things because it reminds them that they are appreciated and wanted and welcomed,” Mathias said.
Mathias is also writing a book based on the stories of the spirits, with proceeds eventually going directly to restoration.
Anyone wanting a tour can register in person or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tours start at 7:00 p.m. and cost $25 per person.