Posted on October 18, 2010
Vancouver Island Haunted Hot Spots
Is Vancouver Island haunted? Some think so. Read a few of these stories and decide for yourself…
As a young girl, I was fascinated with Unsolved Mysteries and kept my eyes glued to the TV each week, excited for the goosebumps that Robert Stack’s ghostly stories would elicit. With Halloween around the corner, I thought it would be interesting to explore some of Vancouver Island’s most famous supposedly haunted locations.
Being the Island’s biggest city, it should come as no surprise that much of the reported paranormal activity is centred around Victoria. I turned to the Vancouver Island Paranormal Society for more details on some of these terrifying tales. Read on if you dare…
Bastion Square and Helmcken Alley – Victoria
What is today a popular and charming tourist destination was once home to a jailhouse. And before that, local First Nations people believed that the spot held strong magical powers. In the 1800s, prisoners were often led down the main alley and hung in the courtyard. Today, locals experience chain rattling sounds, orbs in photographs and other strange activity, said to be the spirits of executed prisoners. [source]
Beban House – Nanaimo
Many BC timber barons called Vancouver Island home, one of the most notable being Frank Beban. His estate was sold to the City of Nanaimo in 1953 before becoming Tourism Nanaimo’s headquarters. Prior to that, a daycare centre was located in the home. Children attending the daycare often reported seeing a strangely-dressed child playing with a red ball – a child that would often show up in drawings and depictions the children shared. It’s thought that the child was a former servant that worked in Beban’s home, a young boy who had died in the house decades before. Inexplicable occurrences such as slamming doors and water taps that turn on and off are still reported to this day. [source]
Photo: Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Ross Bay Cemetery – Victoria
One of the most picturesque resting places in the capital region is home to a truly Victorian experience. Tree-lined pathways and hand-chiseled tombstones are the playground of several very notable ghosts. David Fee, who was murdered in 1890 on the steps of St. Andrews Cathedral on Christmas Eve, Isabella Ross and an unknown elderly couple have been spotted on a number of occasions throughout this cemetery. [source]
The Qualicum Heritage Inn – Qualicum Beach
For more than a century, a boarding house for boys built in 1835 operated as such before being transformed into an inn in the early ’70s. The Inn has since become a hotbed of activity, including mystifying computer printer and telephone performances, strange dreams that grip guests in the night, followed by frightening sounds. The staff at the Inn chalk these incidents up to nothing more than the boys from the former boarding house playing pranks on guests and staff. For an added scare, check out one guest’s experience at the Inn in 2005.
Victoria Golf Club – Victoria
Lapping the shores of Oak Bay, the Victoria Golf Club is said to be the scene of a grisly murder in the fall of 1936. Victor Gravlin purportedly strangled his wife Doris on the course before he himself died mysteriously not far from the golf course. Perhaps one of Victoria’s most well-known ghosts, Doris often appears as a white figure or twinkling lights, usually spotted near the seventh fairway or by the beach. Those that have encountered Doris report a sudden cold breeze and “a general sense of foreboding” when she’s near. [source]
Photo: Score Golf on Flickr
Schooner Restaurant – Tofino
One of Tofino’s most beloved eateries is also home to one of the Island’s “friendliest” ghosts. In the restaurant’s early days, a chef named Morris was the chief chowder man. Since his death, staff at the Schooner have reported a number of mysterious occurrences, all of which are credited to Morris’s presence which still lingers to this day. [source]
Photo: katie/king on Flickr
Has anything strange or spooky happened to you on Vancouver Island? Have you ever encountered something frightening at one of the places listed above? I’d love to hear your stories, so please leave them in the comments. To discover more of Vancouver Island’s spooky stories or to find out more about the Vancouver Island Paranormal Society, please visit their website.