While in the area of the Screaming House near Indian Head, we decided to make a second stop before heading back to Regina. I wanted to include the Bell Farm in this Haunted Photo Hunt series as the history of the location seems to line up with the Screaming House, so I can’t help but think that they are connected in some way, even if the original owner of the Screaming house was considered a “squatter”.
The Bell Farm was originally built around the same time as the Canadian Pacific Railway moving across southern Saskatchewan in 1882. It was originally called the Qu’Appelle Valley Farming Company, as it was a corporate farming experiment that was being supported by the federal government; in particular, Sir John A. Macdonald. The original corporate farm was said to include 53,000 acres with over 100 buildings. These buildings were for various farm equipment, workshops, and homes for the people that worked at the farm. Some of these cottages were even linked to the first rural telephone system in Saskatchewan in 1884.
The Bell Farm got its new name from the general manager of the company, Major William R. Bell, who came from Ontario to manage the construction of the experimental farm. The company also purchased the Indian Head townsite to provide support services back to the company. The large amount of land was split into smaller sections, with a small stone house built for the employee that worked that section of land and their accompanying family. Unfortunately, the farm did not see a lot of success, and was sold in pieces from 1886 until 1895, when Bell left the area following his wife’s death and the creditors seized the remaining land.
Now, the original farmhouse and round barn are no longer present on the original homestead. The house was demolished and has been replaced by a newer home. Some of the original stones from the round barn can be seen in the old location, but much of the materials were used to rebuild the round barn to the north of the original location. The original round barn was demolished in 2008 and reconstructed at its current location. A small, one-floor building was also built on the site, similar to the cottages that had been built for the families of the employees.
This new location is the one that we visited after taking a walk by the Screaming House location. It was difficult to find exact documentation, but it looked like the Screaming House could have belonged to one of the squatters, which were families that homesteaded on a piece of land that was meant for the original farming company. This caused some conflict and legal disputes on who actually owned the land, causing the original Bell Farm acres to be changed slightly. The land that the Screaming House is on is also near land that was designated to CPR, so it’s hard to say for sure when the land was actually homesteaded.
For this location, I couldn’t find any accounts for hauntings. This could be because the original buildings are no longer present in the original location.
If you have any interest in the Bell Farm round barn or the experimental farming in Saskatchewan in the late 1800’s, I highly recommend that you review the two sources I used for this research: Bell Barn Society (https://bellbarn.ca) and Dictionary of Canadian Biography – William Robert Bell (http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/bell_william_robert_14E.html).
Until next time, my ghouls!
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These haunted photo articles are a hobby of mine, but they cost both money and time to do since I physically visit the sites. I am hoping to buy more equipment and start interviewing people with ghostly experiences, so any donations are extremely appreciated! Love you my ghouls!