In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints ... and gods.

STEVEN PINKER, How the Mind Works

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Location - Bekevar Church

What is it that haunts this iconic church south east of Kipling? Stories tell of church bells ringing on there own, a male presence who protects the church, strange smells and an uneasy feeling.

We decided to do an initial investigation of the location and learn what we could.

The Bekevar Church is a Municipal Heritage Property located within the Rural Municipality of Hazelwood No. 94, approximately nine kilometres southeast of the Town of Kipling. The property features a large, wood-frame church with twin spires, built in 1911, an iron gate adorning the property's entranceway, and a cemetery, all surrounded by landscaped, treed grounds.

The heritage value of the Bekevar Church lies in its architecture. Representative of the Hungarians who settled in the area, the property follows traditional church design, incorporating Gothic Revival-inspired towers and pointed-arch windows in the building. These elements complement an interior layout, inspired by the Great Church in Debrecen, Hungary, features a sharply truncated nave and an unusually large transept comprising the main body of the church, an uncommon arrangement in Saskatchewan.
The congregation is predominately seated in the transept in a semi-circular fashion around the sanctuary. Built between 1911 and 1912, the Bekevar Church is the last remaining building from the Hungarian settlement of Bekevar.

This trip we were just passing through and had not made arrangements for a tour or access to the building so out initial visit was just on the church grounds. While we were there we had no strange events occur. I try not to give my wife too much information on a location before we visit just to get her gut reaction to the sites. At this location she had felt like someone was watching her from the inside the church.

Hopefully I will be able arrange something for our next visit so we can investigate some of the stories attached to this amazing old church.



Good post. I am interested to hear how you discovered that Bekavar is haunted. Growing up I heard tales of the ghost of Bekavar. The stories I had heard actually kept me from going to visit the Bekavar site. I am not sure if they were truth or legend, but scary none the less. A friend of mine went with some people when we were in our teens and experienced some odd occurances. Not sure if you were aware, but the wood that built the haunted Moosehead Inn at Kenosee Lake was brought from a dismantled hall that used to stand at the Bekavar site. I look forward to hearing about your future investigations.

John said...

Strange smells and an uneasy feeling? That sounds like a place where I used to hang out.

Good article, Chris. I'm finally making some headway in getting my blog up and running. Just working on the coding and haven't spent any time with the design, but it'll be ready to go this week. I'll link to your site when it's complete.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see what else you can find out about the area as well, I am presently a waitress at the Moosehead, from what I have been told is that the Moosehead building its self in Kenosee used to stand near by the church. The Moosehead is also to be known as a haunted building and at times you can tell.

Lazyowl said...

Thanks for your post. I plan on returning to the site sometime in the next few months. Hopefully I will have more information to post.

I am interested in the Moosehead connection. Please send me a message regarding who I would contact there for more information. Thanks.

My email.

Tanya Reimer said...

I recently passed this church and it's magic sucked me it. I had to learn more about it. Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

the man protecting the church is said to be a minister that hung himself in the bell tower.

Bow Breeze said...

I have driven by this church many times on the way to hockey games, and always wanted to stop and check it out. One summer a few years ago picking the kids up from camp I decided to pull in and take a few pic's. Once I got out and started walking towards it I noticed the doors where open. A few seconds later a young boy around 14 came up to us, he said he sits out there incase anyone wants to check it out. So in we went..... As I was walking up I was thinking about how it would smell inside, once we got it all the doors where open and you could not even smell the faintest smell at all. After a few mins checking it out we hopped back in the truck. As soon as I pulled off the property I was overwhelmed by the smell in my truck. At first I though it was a smell that maybe hung to our cloths, bit that was impossible as you couldn't smell anything in the church itself. There was no mistaking the smell in my truck, it was smell of old man. ( I am sure you know what I mean, that smell can not be mistaken) Windows open in the truck did not seem to help, finally once we turned onto the highway, the smell disappeared. After I got home I did some research and about the priest that is said to guard the church ........

cj said...

Could be my Grandfather, who constructed the bells.