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October 30, 2016

Ghost of Hockey's Past


 Did you know that the Hockey Hall of Fame is haunted?

The Stanley Cup, the major trophies and Hockey Hall of Fame honoured inductees all reside in the Great Hall. It is a refurbished 125 year old bank at 30 Yonge Street. With it's beautiful stained glass dome and dim lighting, it has a cathedral-like feel. Although, the old bank vaults make it down right haunting.

Maybe it's not the vault. Maybe it is the Hall's other resident: Dorothy, the Hall of Fame's ghost.

The legend of Dorothy is shrouded in mystery. Her family will not talk about it, believing people are making fun of her plight. It has only led to many myths, from her being a victim of a botched bank robbery, to her taking her own life due to an affair with the bank manager, to her involvement in an embezzling scheme gone wrong.

The most popular story has the beautiful young teller Dorothy caught in a love affair with the bank manager. Supposedly when he ended the relationship, she was so heartbroken that she shot herself with the bank's pistol.

That is the spooky story, more or less, as told in the Toronto Star on March 14th, 1953, pictured to the right.

So just who was Dorothy? The Toronto Star's Paul McLaughlin found out much more about her damsel last October.
Although Dorothy has been written about in numerous books and articles, she has never been given a last name. Nor was the reason for her death confirmed.

Until now.

The Star has learned that she was Dorothea Mae Elliott, 19 years old. She shot herself early in the morning of Wednesday March 11, 1953 and died 22 hours later at St. Michael's Hospital.
You can read McLaughlin's full story here.  Through digging in various newspaper archives, he believes Dorothy, a tall, beautiful woman who was very popular especially with men, did kill herself out of heart break. Despite the story above mentioning her boyfriend leaving to work on a boat, McLaughlin believes in the theory of the affair with the bank manager.

He talked with former employees who spoke of Dorothy's character. One person, who wished to remain anonymous, backed the whole story of the affair with the bank manager with great assurance.

Hall of Fame employees and visitors as well as employees and visitors of the bank (it was still used as a Bank of Montreal up until 1993) have reported creaking noises and cold spots in the vault area where she is said to have died. There have been sporadic reports of doors and windows mysteriously opened, odd sounds, and even a rare sighting of our ghoul friend.

It is an eerie thought - tonight the Stanley Cup and the Hall's honoured members will all rest assured in the shadows under the watchful eye of Dorothy - the Hockey Hall of Fame's very own ghost.

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