PORTAGE la PRAIRIE, MB –
Mostly mothballed since the 1990’s, the old Institution Complex in Portage la Prairie’s north end seems to be coming back to life according to several nearby residents.
“We started hearing these strange noises back in the summer,” Portage la Prairian Maude Templeton said. “We’d be sitting on the front step in the evening and we’d hear a very faint and muffled howl. It was hard to tell where it was coming from at first.”
Others thought the sounds were from neighbour’s televisions turned too loud but the volume and frequency of the noises slowly increased until they could be heard almost every day.
“I think it was late September when I first heard them,” Sharon Blake said. “My neighbour, crazy Maude, pointed them out to me. I thought it was a couple of animals crying out to each other. Like a mating thing. It made the hair on my legs stand up a little.”
Numerous reports of a moaning, wailing and screaming noises have been made to local Police who have not been able to discover the source or confirm the sounds exist.
Templeton and her neighbours live directly next to the complex known as The Institution and believe the sounds originate within the collection of buildings originally built in the 1960’s. Templeton has lived here since 1965 and has childhood memories of The Institution.
“As a kid I always found it kind of creepy. It was military installation but you rarely saw anyone in uniform there. They had guard towers and that high fence, and we believed as little kids that anyone caught breaking in would be exterminated. “
The Institution states on its website it was a former Canadian Armed Forces research and training facility during the Cold War. While it doesn’t specify the type of research or training that happened there it is widely rumoured to have been a secret “listening post” to monitor Russian and Chinese communication. According to federal government sources The Institution is still owned and maintained by the Government of Canada and a small portion is still active as an “inner earth” research facility.
No one from the government would comment about the facility or any of the strange sounds reported by neighbours.
“They are definitely getting louder,” Blake shared. “You can hear them almost every night and it’s like there is more of whatever is making the sounds.”
During our interviews, CIPP-TV crews could hear some kind of animal in distress sound coming from the general direction of The Institution. Slight vibrations were also noted that seemed to occur at a regular interval. Police suggested the vibrations may have been nearby freight trains rolling through town but no trains were noticed at the time of the interview.
“I pretty much can’t sleep with my windows open any more because of the screams,” Templeton said. “In the winter it’s no big deal but I don’t know what to do about these noises. It would be nice if someone could get in there (The Institution) and find out what it is.”
“They (the noises) freak me right out,” Blake said. “I have nightmares where those voices are coming after me so it’s really affecting my sleep. I don’t even go in the yard at night anymore.”
CIPP-TV will have more on this developing story as continue to investigate.
Cover Photo Credit – Anne-Marie Dufour
Woman Photo Credit – Eden, Janine and Jim
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