10 of the most haunted places in Vancouver

Oct 24 2017, 10:22 am

There’s something about living in a place with a long history.

European cities bake it into their modern DNA: We have a history here, and we’re not forgetting it – in fact, we’re gonna bring it up any time we can and sell tourists on it.

In this case, we’re just selling you on your own city, and its own long and (un)storied haunted history.

We scoured all the darkest corners of the internet – and the library. And apparently, ghosts, ghouls, and other supernatural villains descend upon the city on a daily basis.

It is a beautiful city, after all.

So, for all you ghost hunters out here, this is the compiled list you’ve been looking for.

West 16th Avenue from Point Grey to UBC

Pacific Spirit Park (File)

Pacific Spirit Park (File)

Ever get a chilly feeling headed to campus? Yes? Well, it’s not just because you didn’t study enough for your midterm – although you didn’t.

The area’s best (or worst) story? Legend has it that a hitchhiker back in the 60s was accidentally killed on the road. Now, her ghost enters the backseat of your vehicle without saying a word, hands you a slip of paper with a UBC library address on it, and vanishes.

One interpretation? You should study more.

Hotel Vancouver

The Hotel Vancouver in 1939. Image via the City of Vancouver Archives: AM54-S4- Str P149.

Ah, the Lady in Red. Arguably Vancouver’s must enduring ghost story. It’s said that she – like virtually every other ghost – haunts the many rooms and long, Shining-esque corridors in this old hotel.

Interested in hearing more about the tale? Check out our interview with one of the hotel’s employees.

If it helps, the hotel’s got a great Yelp score.

Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown

Inside the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown. Image via Kris Taeleman.

This might sound like a joke (because who haunts an Old Spaghetti Factory?) but it is not. It is said there are at least four ghosts holed up there.

The restaurant’s various apparitions include a street car conductor, a talkative girl holding a balloon, a young boy (who is apparently called Edward), and a mischievous red-headed fellow known as “little red man.”

A real life talkative girl holding a balloon sounds scary enough. Maybe it’s time for a break from spaghetti altogether.

Waterfront Station

Are these the ghosts of the three elderly women who haunt Waterfront Station? Captured on camera in 1983. Image via City of Vancouver Archives: CVA 784-291.

Of course Waterfront Station is a hotbed for the paranormal. All that traffic? All those people? If there were no ghost reported, I’d think there was a massive coverup.

Luckily, many have been reported, including three little old (ghost) ladies apparently waiting for a train that never comes. That makes us all little old ladies sometimes, doesn’t it?

Others include a 1920s flapper girl and a decapitated brakeman. If they haven’t hurt anyone, it seems they’re more Harry Potter-type ghost than Paranormal Activity.

The Vogue Theatre

The Vogue Theatre. Image via www.thevisiblecity.ca.

The Vogue Theatre is the last in a long line of theatres that once filled Granville Street, making it a kind of ghost of another time, in a way.

If you’re looking for real ghosts, however, they can be found inside. Former Vogue staffers have reported hearing distant, yet distinct footsteps. They have seen a tall tuxedoed man. They have seen a shadow person. A shadow person.

Now it’s clear why they’re former staffers.

The Orpheum Theatre

Another theatre, out to battle Vogue for most haunted. It has long been reported that the ghost of an acrobat who died performing on stage continues to haunt the theatre. If there’s anything scarier than a distant pitter patter of ghostly footsteps, it’s got to be the horrific thud of a performer falling on stage, or seeing a way-too-flexible ghost.

If it’s any consolation, most of the sightings of him describe him as a big orb of light.

Don’t go towards the light.

24 Water Street

24 Water Street, Gastown, in the 1960s. Image via the City of Vancouver Archives: CVA 780-512.

The history of what was originally an antiques shop at 24 Water Street is chock-full of twists. However, there is a favourite. One morning the store’s owner came in to find much of the furniture completely upside down. Rightfully, he freaked out.

Personally, it’s conceivable the ghost was just going for a little feng shui, and who is an antiques store owner to judge?

Another story tells of a man shot in a poker game gone bad. Not as cool, honestly, and probably not (but maybe!) an argument about the store’s poor feng shui.

The Sea Wall, directly beneath Lions Gate Bridge

The Stanley Park Seawall and Lions Gate Bridge in 1948. Image via the City of Vancouver Archives: CVA 447-129.

You know the feeling you get when you realize – upon hitting the Lions Gate Bridge spot – you’re not even halfway around the scenic Sea Wall? That moment when you wish for sweet death, because that’s a better alternative than navigating rollerbladers and bikers for another half an hour?

Maybe that feeling comes from something else.

Apparently for many years, around the 1910s, there were dozens of drownings in the area due to its infamously choppy waters.

Next time you feel that chill come on, look around for a ghost ship and ghost crew.

Stanley Park

The entrance to Stanley Park and the Vancouver Rowing Club in 1928. Image via the City of Vancouver Archives: St Pk P54.

It is fact that when Chinese immigrants came to Vancouver, they buried their dead on the shores of what would become Stanley Park. It was all but an official graveyard.

Years later, it was not uncommon to dig up the bones from the ground and ship them back to China for a final goodbye. Sweet? Yes. Has the potential to incite ghost anger? Oh yes.

Those who spend their time there now – the staff and guests at Vancouver Rowing Club – have reported numerous ghosts in the area.


UBC Point Grey – Main Library

UBC clocktower and library (EQRoy/Shutterstock)

UBC clocktower and library (EQRoy/Shutterstock)

Old libraries need elderly ghosts in white dresses right? No? Well, too bad, UBC’s Main Library has got one.

No one knows her origin story, and the only note about her is if you approach, she vanishes.

…So approach, right?

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Alex SoutheyAlex Southey

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