Haunted Walk

Last evening, my daughter and I went on a haunted Winnipeg walk. It was a pleasant night for strolling around in the past.  We got to hear stories about various buildings around The Exchange District that had experienced ghosts. It was all good fun until we stood in front of the  Marlborough Hotel on Smith Street. A stranger joined the group and interrupted our speaker with unwelcome comments—but we managed to ignore him. Some people in our group, however, chose to focus on the intruder, rather than on our facilitator. An altercation occurred. It was frightening to watch the word fight quickly escalate into a fist fight and then a one-sided pummeling. Two men kicking a man when he’s down on the ground, is horrible to see. It’s hard not to believe that this was racially motivated. The uninvited stranger was First Nations and inebriated. He did not deserve the beating he got. 

It’s too close to what I’m reading just now about the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, where the Brown Shirt thugs would attack Jews, homosexuals, or others they deemed unworthy. 

Violence added a frightening dimension to an otherwise creepily fun visit to the haunted places of Winnipeg’s Exchange District. The injustices of the past continue to live on in the pain, addiction and poverty of the present. Yesterday’s ghost walk was an in-the-gut reminder of haunted lives. Bone-chilling violence does not belong on our streets...past or present.

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