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The Haunting History of the Hose & Hound

The Hose & Hound is built in Calgary’s original Firehall #3. The building was constructed in 1906, for what was then an enormous amount of money, $3000. It was used as a firehall from 1906 to 1952. When fire trucks became too big to fit through the doors, the building was replaced by a new Firehall #3 a few blocks away. From 1952 until 1982 the old firehall was used as a community center, as a furniture store and finally became a derelict flophouse for drug users and “B Stroll” hookers. Inglewood wasn’t always the nice place it is today.

In 1982 someone had the idea to open a fine dining restaurant in the old firehall. The building was gutted and rebuilt from the inside out. The brick façade was just about all that was kept. An extension was built on the back and a skylight was added to the roof.

As you can probably imagine, a fine dining restaurant in the middle of what was then the “B Stroll” faced definite challenges and the place ate up the investment of seven different owners over the next ten years. Finally, in 1992, the fine dining idea was abandoned and the restaurant was converted to a pub, called the Hose & Hydrant. The interior was completely redesigned to reflect the historic nature of the building.

From 1992 until 1996, the Hose & Hydrant was owned by two sets of owners. During that period it went through the usual ups and downs of a new pub in a redeveloping community. As Inglewood became a safer and more stable neighborhood, the pub’s popularity increased.. The current owners bought it in 1996 and it has seen steady growth since then.

In 1997, a retired firefighter’s social club in Burnaby, B.C. took issue with the use of the name the Hose & Hydrant. They claimed the name for themselves and had the copyright to back up their claim: the name was changed to the Hose & Hound Neighborhood Pub and so it remains today.

Stories of the various ghosts that inhabit the Hose & Hound began even before the building was retired as a firehall. Calgary’s first Fire Chief, Cappy Smart, had a fixation about collecting animals, and it seems that a few of his collection have lived on at the Hose & Hound. The first ghost to inhabit the fire hall was a horse, named Lightning, who died in the building as a result of a fire. Occasionally, early in the morning, you can still hear the clopping of Lightning’s hooves in the front area of the pub. Cappy also kept a pet monkey, Barney, at the pub. One day, while the crew was away fighting a fire, Barney was left behind, tied to the flag pole out front. A family, out for a walk, happened by and, when the young son tried to offer Barney a treat, the monkey attacked him and caused some pretty serious cuts. Apparently Barney had developed a mean streak as a result of being teased by the firemen. The attack on the little boy was the end of Barney’s career as the Firehall #3 mascot, but perhaps not the end of Barney. The firemen had to put him down, since he was a danger to the neighborhood, and they buried his remains in the front of the building. Ever since then, strange things happen in the building.

There are stories of pails of baking soda flying through the air in the kitchen, the dishwasher turning itself on and spraying the kitchen workers, oven doors opening and slamming shut with nobody anywhere near them. The potbellied stove upstairs has been known to move between closing at night and re-opening in the morning.. One morning the opening cook complained that he had found his shoe laces untied at least a dozen times in the first two hours of his shift.

The Calgary Paranormal Society spent the night at the pub a few years ago and took some fascinating photos. They found orbs in several places and a very strange reflection in one photograph that looked like the silhouette of a monkey. On another occasion, a self-proclaimed psychic even claimed to see Cappy himself in the pool room area.

The Hose & Hound has been featured on the television show, “Creepy Canada” and is mentioned in numerous books on the subject of haunted places. In the years under the current owners, there have been many unexplained occurrences, but none of an evil or malevolent nature. Late at night, if you are the last one to close up, you might feel a ghostly presence, but it is not an angry or scary feeling.

We certainly hope that you will consider making The Hose one of your favorite haunts.