Whether you believe it or not, there’s nothing more fun than a good ghost story, especially around Halloween.
What many people may not know is that Vancouver’s beautiful landscape has its own share of ghosts, haunts, and things that go bump in the night.
So, for all you ghastly aficionados, here’s a list of Vancouver’s most haunted spots.
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West 16th Avenue from Point Grey to UBC
Ever get an eerie feeling while heading to campus? And no, not just because you didn’t study enough for a midterm.
Local folklore claims that a hitchhiker was accidentally killed in the 1960s. Now her ghost enters the backseat of vehicles driving along the road, leaves a slip of paper with the UBC Library’s address on it, and vanishes.
Hotel Vancouver’s ghost tale circles around the Lady in Red, the city’s most enduring ghost story. She’s described as the kindest ghost in the city, was a visitor of the hotel in the early 1930s, and is believed to occupy between the 1st and 14th floors.
Interested in hearing more about the tale? Check out our interview with one of the hotel’s employees.
Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown
While it sounds like a joke (because who haunts an Old Spaghetti Factory?), it’s said that there are at least four ghosts who take residence within the restaurant’s walls.
The restaurant’s various apparitions include a streetcar conductor, a talkative girl holding a balloon, a young boy named Edward, and a mischievous red-headed fellow known as “little red man.”
Or perhaps a few diners just ate one too many meatballs.
Even if Vancouver’s Waterfront Station was a hotbed for the paranormal, it might just be too crowded for anyone to tell.
Many have, however, reported three elderly ghost ladies who keep waiting for a train that never comes (same).
Other entities include a 1920s flapper girl and a decapitated brakeman. If they haven’t hurt anyone, it seems they’re more Harry Potter-type ghosts than Paranormal Activity.
The Vogue Theatre
The Vogue Theatre is the last in a long line of theatres that once filled Granville Street, making it a ghost in a different kind of way.
If you’re looking for real ghosts, however, simply step inside. Former Vogue employees have reported hearing distant yet distinct footsteps. Many of them report seeing a tall tuxedoed man lurking in the shadows.
The Orpheum Theatre
Another theatre, out to battle Vogue for the title of most haunted. It’s long been reported that the ghost of an acrobat who died while performing on stage continues to haunt the theatre. If there’s anything scarier than a distant pitter-patter of ghostly footsteps, it’s 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 the apparition describe it as a big orb of light.
24 Water Street
24 Water Street was once an antique shop, but its history is full of twists and the paranormal. Decades ago, the store’s owner claimed to have walked into the store and found pieces of furniture turned upside down.
Another story tells of a man who was fatally shot in a poker game gone bad.
The Sea Wall, directly beneath Lions Gate Bridge
Surprisingly enough, one of Vancouver’s most stunning landmarks has a chilling history of its own. Apparently, for many years around the 1910s, there were dozens of drownings in the area due to infamously choppy waters.
Some say that on cold, foggy nights, you can look around and spot a ghost ship and its crew on the water.
It’s a fact that when Chinese immigrants came to Vancouver, they buried their dead on the shores of what would later become Stanley Park. It was all but an official graveyard.
Years later, it allegedly became common to dig up the bones from the ground and send them back to China for a final goodbye. Did it have the right intention? Arguably, yes. Did it also have the potential to incite ghost anger? That too.
Those who spend their time there now – the staff and guests at Vancouver Rowing Club – have reported numerous ghosts in the area.
The park is also home to an unsolved murder that took place around the 1950s. Two young boys were found deep in the park six years after their murder had taken place. All that’s known is that they were both male and between the ages of six to 10, but otherwise, they’ve remained unidentified.
UBC Point Grey – Main Library
Story has it that UBC’s main library is haunted by an elderly woman in a white dress. There’s little known about her origin story, except for that if you approach her, she vanishes.
The real question is what’s scarier? The ghost, or the countless midterms and finals you’ll be studying for.
–with files from Alex Southey