Canadian folklore

Ghost Train

An Alberta Ghost Story 

retold by

S. E. Schlosser

I was a railway fireman back in those days, working on the CPR line in Alberta. I did a hard day's work and earned me a fair wage. I was young then, and my pretty little bride was just setting up housekeeping in the little cottage that was all we could afford. Life was good, and I thought everything would continue rolling along that way.

Then came that fateful day in May of 1908. I was working nights that month, and my buddy Twohey was the engineer. We were about three kilometers out of Medicine Hat when a blazing light appeared in front of the engine. It was another train on a collision course with us. Twohey yelled at me to jump, but there was no time. The light was right on top of us. I thought we were dead. Then the oncoming train veered off to the right and ran passed us, its whistle blowing and the passengers staring at us through the windows. But there was only a single track in that stretch of hills, and it was the one we were on. I looked over at the shrieking, rumbling Ghost Train and saw that the wheels were not touching the ground!

Well, we were mighty spooked by the incident. Twohey decided to take some time off from engineering and began working in the yard; but I kept working the night shift as a fireman, not wanting some Ghost Train to drive me away a job I enjoyed.

A few weeks later, I was stoking the fire for an engineer named Nicholson when we heard the shrill whistle blast through the calm night air. We were on the same single track just outside of Medicine Hat, and the brilliant light of the Ghost Train burst out of nowhere, blinding us. Nicholson gave a shout of terror and I thought my heart would stop. As before, the Ghost Train veered off to the right at the last possible second. I saw it race passed us on tracks that did not exist, its passengers staring curiously at Nicholson and I from out of the windows.

That did it. I wasn't about to go back on the tracks after that. I did yard work for the rest of the month of May and a few weeks in June. Finally, I decided that enough was enough, and I gritted my teeth and resumed my role as fireman.

I was firing up an engine in the yard one evening in early July when the report of an accident came in. The Spokane Flyer and a Lethbridge passenger train had a head-on collision on the single track three kilometers outside of Medicine Hat, on the exact spot where the Ghost Train had appeared. The Lethbridge locomotive had derailed and its baggage car was destroyed. Seven people were killed in the accident, including the two engineers. One was my buddy Twohey, and the other was Nicholson.


You can read more Canadian folktales and ghost stories in Spooky Canada by S.E. Schlosser.



it is not a true story according to me

its good;

Very Freaky!!


its great

what the? so all this time they were dead?


very scary and freaks me out

Nice,nice.. ^_^

its great

Very nice psychological trick to fade the truth that actually those two engineers were ghosts all along
Ver very nice...I like that

never knew they were ghosts all the time

...i dont understand

wow that was freaky and awesome

They were ghosts the whole time? I must be brain dead.

it was a good story

All I can think about when I read this was that song Ghost Train, by the Gorillaz

That was creepy!

That was creepy!

omg wow if it is a true story im sorry but thats a good story imma tell it to my friends

It's like the train is giving the man a warning

I don't think they were dead it was a story of things that were gonna happen remember in the end his friends were working and were killed while on the job after his encounter with the ghost train

no. they're not ghosts. the accident happened in a July. the apparition of the ghost train happened in May and in June... right?

The engineers were not dead the first time they saw the ghost train. It was a premonition of what was to come. The author just happened to ride with the two ill-fated engineers on those two nights.

That was creepy, I didn't know they were ghost. i thought it actually happened.

weird but good story

woa,that is scary and i mean scary

Where is this i want to see if this is real. . . but i think this is fake.

its a good ghost story


Good story, Crazy how the train showed before his fellow engineers died..Maybe a Death Omen and he was just there to see it happen to them..?

Wow that waz cool

yo, that did not make sense to me, but it was weeeiiirrrddd!!!!

"I see dead people" that was a GOOD movie.

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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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