In the spirit of falling leaves and Halloween, I'm sure some of you guys like to being scared shitless. And I'm not gonna lie, I'm not a huge fan of scary movies and haunted houses, but these creepy places in BC will definitely entertain the thrill-seekers and the adrenaline junkies waiting for the next paranormal activity in their neighbourhood.
Instead of just re-watching episodes of the X-Files or binge watching scary movies this Halloween, actually scare yourself by going on a creepy road trip to one, or all, of these haunted locations in British Columbia.
Who knows, you might just feel, and possibly even see, the spirit(s) of Halloween.
1. The Empress Hotel // Victoria
Right at the heart of downtown Victoria facing the beautiful Inner Harbour is the iconic Empress Hotel. Being the oldest and most famous hotel in Victoria, it is known for hosting equally as famous guests, including a few who have since moved on to the afterlife. Guests and staff have claimed to have seen the ghost of a mustached man roaming the hotel with a cane. It has been said that this apparition is the ghost of Francis Rattenburg, the hotel's architect, who was murdered by his chauffeur (a.k.a. his wife's lover). Others have seen the figure of a hotel maid on the 6th floor still sweeping away after her death, a construction worker who hung himself, and an elderly woman roaming around in her pajamas, who's hotel room was replaced with an elevator.
2. Deadman's Island // Vancouver
Just south of Stanley Park in Coal Harbour (yup, just right behind the random Chevron station in the middle of the water) is Deadman's Island. Today it is a small HMCS Discovery naval base, but its past is pretty haunted. It was once a battlefield between Northern and Southern Aboriginal groups in BC, a "pest-house" for smallpox victims in Vancouver, and is said to be the city's first graveyards. With buried bodies of First Nations peoples, British merchant sailors, pioneer residents of Moodyville, Canadian Pacific Railway workers, and smallpox victims, nobody knows how many bodies were buried there to this day. Naval reservists have claimed to have heard chains being dragged around in the ungodly hours of the night, rattling bones, footsteps and movement of furniture when there isn't a person in sight.
Photo cred - The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
3. The Fairmont Hotel // Vancouver
Opened in 1939, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver was once the home of fancy and luxurious ballroom events (and still is). It is said that the hotel is haunted by the famous "Lady In Red", the ghost of a Vancouver Socialite, Jennie Pearl Cox. The story goes that a Japanese family that once booked a room there was confused upon seeing a lady in their hotel suite. They thought they had accidentally been double-booked, but when asked to describe this lady, they said she was wearing a long red dress and was told of the legend of Jennie Cox. Not too worry, guests and staff have called her a friendly ghost, but if you're looking for her, she'll probably be on the 14th floor.
4. Hycroft Manor // Vancouver
Located in the upper-class neighbourhood of Shaughnessy, Hycroft Manor is said to be the home of seven ghosts. Today it is owned by the University Women's Club of Vancouver, but previously it was a convalescent hospital with a basement that was a makeshift morgue for wounded soldiers and veterans of World War II. Recently, employees have noticed a different feeling while at work, saying that they felt unusual cold chills "not the ‘oh it’s cold’ kind, it’s the kind that you feel when there’s something there" (Robert Giardino, Hycroft staff). There have also been rumored sightings of a woman walking in the hallways of the 3rd floor and sounds of children crying.
Photo cred - Shutterstock
5. Hatley Castle // Victoria
Hatley Castle is located in Hatley Park at Royal Roads University. It now serves as an administration center for the university but was previously the house of the Dunsmuir family, turned military academy in the 1930s. You might be familiar with this site as it was prominently featured in the X-men franchise. But when it's not a film set, staff have reported that they've seen white figures floating throughout the building, Dunsmuir's son walking along the pond near the castle, and pots banging from within the kitchen. When it was a military academy, there were rumors of a lady tugging at the blankets of sleeping cadets.
6. East Kelowna Orchard // Kelowna
Legend has it, that a woman murdered five of her own children in an orchard in East Kelowna and then committed suicide, all with a knife. The exact location of the alleged killing is unknown, but it is rumored that if you visit the orchard at night, you can hear the shrieks of her dead children.
7. The Old Spaghetti House // Vancouver
Gastown is no stranger to ghost stories and apparitions. The Old Spaghetti Factory located on Water St. in Gastown sits on top of what was once an old underground railway where a tragic accident occurred. The staff has claimed to have seen a streetcar conductor sitting in the trolley inside the restaurant, seen cutlery strangely rearranged, a figure in the ladies bathroom, and a mischievous red-headed young man named Edward, who's also known as "the little red man". Though these spirits are allegedly very active, they tend to be more active during closed hours.
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