Sunday, 30 September 2012


One incident in the spring of 2009 involved two young men who were leaving an all-night drinking party, and were parked in front of “Demon Hotel”. The following account is written by one of the victims himself, names have been censored.

As we approached his car on Hargrave, I was half-studying an abandoned, boarded-up, dilapidated red brick building.  It was, without a doubt, representative of the ever-increasing downturn of downtown as exhibited by the rampant bloody mayhem, zombie-themed vagrancy, and decaying architecture and infrastructure.  To be charitable, downtown Winnipeg has “lots of character.” Just as CENSORED had pressed the unlock button on his keychain remote, a female voice quickly interjected – seemingly out of nowhere. 

“Excuse me, you guys, I need some help!”

While our conversation of horse execution was engaging, it was not so all-consuming that I would fail to notice someone so nearby to us.  But yet, there she was all of a sudden.  As I turned around to see just who this troubled female voice belonged to, she continued with her request.

“I’m sorry to bother you, but I think there’s a man beating up a cat in that alley right there beside my building.”  She was pointing to a very dark corridor between two buildings, one being the nasty wreck of an abandoned building, the other being a basic three-story apartment. 

“You think there’s a man beating up a cat in that alley?” responded CENSORED, who, like me, seemed surprised by the request – a request that still had no task associated with it. 

“Yeah, I could hear a cat screaming and hissing, and I think I saw a shadow of male figure punching something, and it was just now going on right outside my window while I was studying” then she pointed at the spooky old building “seemed like it was right beside that abandoned apartment.”

I began squinting at the alley and asked “you’re sure it was the alley?  Could be some squatters or who knows what in that building.” 

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure the alley” she replied.

We all began to peer at the alley.  I couldn’t see more than three feet into it, with the tall weeds and partial fence.  I could see, however, that there was a tall fence at the other end, meaning there was only one entrance and exit.

CENSORED then began to ask some basic clarification question, such as what time this started, etc.  I was only half paying attention as I just began to take serious note of this young lady.  She was exhibiting the prototypical Beverly Hills hooker attire, sans the high heels.  Large breasts that were sitting firmly without a bra and her top low-cut was only high enough to barely cover the nipples which were hardened from either the excitement or the cool breeze.  She wasn’t entirely Caucasian either, possibly of Latina or Spanish decent… which I find exotic, erotic, and drastically out-of-place in the downtown Winnipeg setting.   Additionally, her thick-rimmed oval glasses satisfied the librarian genera, and her short jet-black hair suggested she was not a snooty valley girl.  

And come to think of it, why is she barefoot out on the sidewalk?  Perhaps it added some validity to her apparent urgency in finding Good Natured Samaritans to confront the cat beater; however, given her slutty wear, I also thought it likely that her being barefoot was merely her being accommodating to the ever-increasing foot fetishist population.

I continued to draw conclusions of her character based on her appearance as she was discussing the situation at hand.   She was mentioning how she was sitting at her window, studying when she heard the bizarre sounds begin. 

Wanting to get a word in, I asked “what are you studying?” which was, of course, entirely meaningless in this particular situation.

She looked at me and responded, in a slightly annoyed tone “philosophy,” then continued “but I’m just worried that he may kill the cat, or worse!”  She paused, gave CENSORED and me a pleading look, and finally specified the kind of help she was after.  “Would you guys go into the alley and put a stop to it.”

CENSORED and I took a few seconds to think about all of this.  Neither of us are ‘cat people,’ and something about this whole thing just didn’t seem quite right.

Am I to believe that this half-naked urban-themed chick was diligently writing some platitudes in deconstructing Plato’s Apology on a Saturday night?  Really?  The only thing more absurd than the clash between her sexy attire and supposed study was the thought of her homework session rudely interrupted by an unseen menace savagely beating a cat for recreation.

And why was this apparent animal-lovin’ young lady, dressed as a sultry sex bomb, approaching strangers on the street with a torrid tale of animal abuse hidden beside - or possibly inside - such a demonic darkened building. 

In fact, it seemed too good to be true.  She had almost all of my body-part-based fetishes covered.  How could this be?  What a fantastic random coincidence running into this barefoot, big breasted babe… some nice eye candy for me to save in the mental archive.  I should try and find out her name, would love to see the plethora of cleavage inspired photos she uploads to the wonderful web.  No doubt, she would have some social networking page dedicated to her shameless self-promotion.  She is, after all, a woman in The New Millennium under the age of thirty. 

Anyway, have got to keep some eye contact!  If she really is an eager student type, combined with her ethno and age demographics, and a philosophy student to boot, she would naturally be a passive new-age feminist at the very least.  While I enjoy the irony of her needing some help from men in a time of turmoil, I also wage an internal debate as to whether new feminism is compatible with massive displays of ripe cleavage.   I’ve had a few beers, so I easily convince myself that she is indeed some sort of a slut, she is obviously looking for male attention.

CENSORED was the first to break the silence, and asked “did you try and call the police?”

“No, I just ran out here, I’m all alone and there was no time to make a call, the cat needs help or he’ll kill it!”

Another brief pause, then I observed aloud “I don’t hear anything coming from the alley, maybe he left.”

“Yeah, but the cat could be hurt in there” she quickly quipped. 

CENSORED and I looked at each other, and I mentioned “well, we could maybe get a bit closer and see if we can see anything in there.”  I certainly wanted to convey an image of bravado, as it would be much easier to try and get some action from that chick as opposed to being the guy too afraid to take on a run-of-the-mill cat beater.

CENSORED nodded, and we slowly approached the entrance to the alley, with the barefoot breasted babe looking on from the sidewalk.  When she was out of earshot, CENSORED quietly told me “something about this doesn’t seem quite right to me.” 

I instinctively replied “yeah, I know, why would she be dressed like such a ready-to-go ‘bar star’ slut if she is all by herself studying?”

“No, I mean that there would be a man abusing a cat for no reason.”

“Ah, but this is downtown Winnipeg after all.  This is the kind of thing you read about in the In Briefs crime section of the paper, you know, two quick sentences like ‘man arrested for animal cruelty, caught beating on, or beating off, a helpless cat in darkened downtown alley.  He was released on his own recognizance shortly thereafter’.” 

CENSORED and I peered into the alley, but it was so dark, and additionally, the abandoned building’s exterior wall was not straight, but rather had parts of it further into the alley than others, creating many possible hiding spaces.

Then, unexpectedly, my more sensible line of thinking began to take hold, and I started to add up a likely scenario.  I told CENSORED “you know, considering that this is Winnipeg, there is good possibility that this is all part of a scam… think about it, a sexy looking girl exhibiting all her best assets out on the street after dark, conveying the dame in distress persona asks us to blindly go into a menacing darkened alley.  Maybe there is somebody waiting for us in there, who’ll mug us and such.”

“Yeah, I don’t want to head into there either, and I also don’t hear a man or a cat” CENSORED replied.

We headed back, and CENSORED began telling her that we are quite sure that there is nothing going on in there.  She seemed disappointed that we weren’t going to fully survey the alley “I’ll keep an eye from my window” she said, disappointed.    

At this time, I began feeling my buzz from the beer again, and got aroused while looking at her fantastic body.  Unfortunately, it would seem that I used up whatever I had for mental prowess in analyzing the cat beater and possible scam scenarios.  I tried to get her to laugh, but made the mistake of bringing forward some self-deprecating humour about how I failed phys-ed and didn’t want to get into a wrestling match with a crazed cat abuser.  

She smiled politely, and said “well, I guess I’ll head back then.” 

Then I found some confidence in myself “unless you want to get away from this scene.  Come on over to my place for some drinks!”

“I can’t, I should keep listening from my window and do some studying.”

“Maybe you want to have some drinks tomorrow or something?” 

She had a sly smile and said “sorry, but I have too much going on these days.”  Then as she was turning she said “thanks anyway guys.”

While CENSORED and I got into his car we reviewed how it all could have been a scam, and I made lewd comments about her physical attributes.  I went on to mention “too bad she wasn’t the easy slut that she appeared to be, I just wanted to take her back to my place, innocently pour teenage-girl-vodka-styled-drinks down her throat and then pound away at her pussy while she drifts in-and-out of blissful drunken consciousness.”

CENSORED thought for a moment, then stated “yeah, but I think she was probably more interested in studying and stopping animal abuse than getting drunk.”

“Yeah, I guess so.  And I certainly wasn’t all that swift in trying to get her back to my place.”

CENSORED chucked “yeah, best to stay away from insulting yourself.  While it is funny at CENSORED’s place, girls are more looking for the Alpha Dog type.”

As CENSORED started to pull away, I took one last look back at that perilous alley alongside the evil building. I also wanted one last look at that helpless babe, but she seemingly disappeared as quickly as she had earlier appeared.

Within seconds of pulling out of the parking space and onto Hargrave, CENSORED had spotted CENSORED crossing the street on his way back from CENSORED’s.  CENSORED pulled up and rolled down his window, and shouted “hey CENSORED, you’ll never believe what just happened beside that building right over there.” 

CENSORED pointed at the demonic looking structure, but CENSORED just waved, turned, and walked away quickly.  CENSORED asked me “why didn’t CENSORED come over.”

I smiled and replied “he probably just doesn’t like hearing his name shouted out on the street.”

As we drove away down Hargrave, I began replaying and overly analyzing and the scene in my mind.  Was there really a man with a cat?  If so, maybe he wasn’t in the alley, but rather in that old wreck of a wicked building… some vagrant squatter, or worse, teaching a disobedient cat a lesson.  Was it all a scam?  That chick certainly seemed only interested in getting CENSORED and I to go into the alley beside that building.   If we fully went in the alley, would we be beaten, stabbed, mugged, killed? 

But then I figured, why worry too much about this absurd encounter on Hargrave?  So I lit a cigarette, and made a meaningless comment about the song playing on the radio.

When asked for comment, a local paranormal investigator who asked not to be named suggested that the woman may have actually been a demonic spirit taking the form of someone the victim would find alluring, in order to lure the unsuspecting victim into the dark corridor. For what reason? We do not know.




The “Demon Hotel” of Hargrave Street.

Could an abandoned apartment building in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba be the site of paranormal activities?

A self-professed paranormal expert who refused to be named says there have been rumours of stories involving supposed supernatural occurrences.

There have been tales of sightings of demonic faces peering through the broken, boarded-up windows.

There have been witnesses claiming to have seen people crouching in front of the boarded-up doors, and when they looked back they had disappeared. Recently stories have circulated, purportedly originating among the Downtown homeless population, that a couple of transients who had sought sanctuary from the elements within the condemned structure have not been seen since.

One explanation considered by local Para-psychological theorists is that events at the Demon Hotel are linked to its vicinity adjacent to the Dalnavert house on Carlton Street.
The Dalnavert house, like many old Victorian and Edwardian homes, may have been haunted. There is speculation the house may even be built over an old Indian burial ground, perhaps even used to bury those thought to be possessed by “evil spirits”. When a museum was constructed around the property, any paranormal entities dwelling in the house would be displaced, causing them to relocate to the more accommodating abandonment apartment building across the dark back lane.

Since that incident unearthly graffiti appeared on the boarded-up exterior, with the unsettling warning: “Demon Hotel”. Concerned neighbours contacted city services who had the disturbing message painted over. A few days later the words inexplicably appeared again. Ever after other attempts to cover it up, the supernatural warning reappeared several more times.

Even more recently, sightings of the Demon Hotel warning have been reported by Downtown residents.