There are many unusual myths that surround Vancouver's peculiar history. From the paranormal to hidden treasures, there are stories that will bewilder the mind and give you goosebumps. Whether these tales are true is hard to say, but they have survived the ages. If you are as curious as you are brave, then perhaps you can see for yourself whether these legends are of any real substance.
Gather your most fearless friends, and check out these spooky places if you dare. For those extra adventurous, bring a ouija board so you can attempt to communicate with the other side. Apparitions or not, you are certainly in for a thrill and quite possibly, a shiver down your spine.
1. Gabriola House
This mansion lies on the corner of Davie and Nicola Streets. It is the only remaining house of the original West End, built in 1900 for the founder of the BC Sugar Company. Legend has it that there is an underground tunnel leading from the house to a former nearby nightclub. It was used for bootlegging during the prohibition period.
After the death of the original owner, the home was turned into an apartment complex before undergoing changes yet again, becoming a restaurant known as Hy's Mansion. During this time customers reported cutlery levitating in the air. Later, the house served as Romano's Macaroni Grill, where the ghost of a young man was encountered on several occasions. An old man apparition has also been spotted on the property over the years.
2. Haunting at 1058 Nelson
In an old brick building on Nelson Street, the stories goes that some time ago a Korean man got a Japanese woman pregnant. Instead of helping her raise the child, he fled back to Korea. The woman was heartbroken and killed herself over the ordeal.
Supposedly the Japanese woman haunts the corridors of the building to this day, but only makes herself known to Korean men. She is said to make those who see her feel guilt stronger than they've ever felt before.
3. Slumach's Gold
Slumach died on the gallows in New Westminster in 1891. He was buried in an unmarked grave in St. Peter's Cemetery in Sapperton. Before his death he professed knowledge to the whereabouts of a gold deposit near Pitt Lake.
He never told anyone the location before his fate. Since then, there has been an open discussion as to where the gold could possibly be, though it has yet to be discovered. Some say this lost gold mine is protected by Slumach's spirit, and only those deemed worthy shall find the riches.
4. Deadman's Island
Today a small naval base just off Stanley Park, but historically, a ghostly place of grim and horrific proportions. The island received its name because it once housed smallpox victims and later became the city's first graveyard. There is no way of knowing how many sick were buried there.
Royal Canadian Navy sailors stationed on the island have to endure long nights to the sounds of chains being dragged across the courtyard. Perhaps the the dead were never properly cared for on this small island.
5. Salmagundi West
Gastown's famed antique store on 321 West Cordova Street is a trove of strange furnitures and odd knickknacks. One of the oldest building in the area, dating back to 1889, makes it the perfect home to many spirits. Weird happenings are frequently reported and the owner, despite being a skeptic, admits there are just some things she cannot explain. A tarot card reader also operates out of the store because there is charged energy about the place.
6. The Ghost of West 16th Avenue
On your way towards UBC from Point Grey, there is a mysterious female hitchhiker who haunts the dimly lit road through Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Her story is one of the most enduring ghost tales in Vancouver.
According to the legend, many years ago the woman was left on the side of the road in the middle of the night after having a fight with her boyfriend. While attempting to hitchhike back to campus, she was hit by a passing car and killed. If you come across a lonely young lady, especially at night, and you stop to pick her up, she'll get into the back of your car without saying a word and hand you a piece of paper with the UBC Library address on it before disappearing into thin air.
7. The Lady in Red at Hotel Vancouver
Book a room on the 14th floor at the Fairmont Hotel and you may very well see the city's most famous ghost – the Lady in Red. She is said to be Jennie Pearl Cox, victim of a fatal car accident mere steps from the entrance of the hotel in the 1940s. She has been spotted many times since, apparently making the hotel her final resting place.
Most of the sightings occur on the 14th floor, but she has also been seen walking through elevator doors in the lobby. Lights sometimes flick on without explanations, and one Japanese family even went back down to the lobby after thinking their room was double-booked, only to find out later that the Lady in Red was no longer in the room when the manager investigated the confusion.
8. The Seawall beneath Lion's Gate
Before the waterway was properly dredged in the 1910s, the shipping canal beneath the later constructed Lions Gate Bridge, known as First Narrows of Burrard Inlet, was once some of most hazardous waters in Canada.
The shallows stirred up wild waves and unmarked snags, resulting in the sinking of many ships, taking with them their passengers and crew. These souls make their presence felt on the shores in which they attempted to swim, but never to any avail.