Halloween tour lets you experience Vancouver's most gruesome history

Oct 9 2019, 8:00 am

This Halloween season, follow the bobbing lamplight of your guide through winding cobblestone streets and the forgotten alleyways of the past as you journey into Vancouver’s gothic history on The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour.

Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours is staging the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour every night this Halloween season. Guests will delve deep into the heart of Victorian Gastown to experience Vancouver’s earliest and most gruesome stories. 

Do not expect a ghost tour or conventional walking tour – this is a performance theatre experience let by one of the company’s cast of professional actors. The piece follows the fictional story of one of Gastown’s earliest residents, George Turle or Sarah Briars — depending on whether your walking tour is led by a woman or man.

As the character’s story unfolds you’ll discover the events that shaped our city’s earliest years, from the Great Fire, to smallpox outbreaks, to unsolved murder.

Will Woods, Founder and Chief Storyteller at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, says “the experience is designed to be taken on dark foggy nights…many of the alleyways and back streets have hardly changed in 120 years and the spirits of Vancouver’s past hang thick in the air around you.” 

Gastown in the 1880s was a ramshackle outpost on the edge of a vast continent – its residents menaced by smallpox and ravaged by fire. For many years there wasn’t even a city cemetery to bury the dead.

“Every story is based on documented accounts from our city’s earliest years – you’re reliving this gothic history with a compelling storyteller as your guide.”

The Sunnyside Hotel — Water Street, Gastown — 1888.

Now in its eighth year, the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour has become a must-do Vancouver Halloween experience for Vancouverites.

This Halloween season, George Turle is played by one of Rowan Jang, Eric Regimbald, or company founder Will Woods. Sarah Briars is played by one of Janet Glassford, Tracy Jennissen, or Erikka Griffiths-Keam.

Water Street in 1890. Credit City of Vancouver Archives 677-777.

The experience takes place every night between October 14 and November 2, with multiple tour start times to choose from. The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour sells out fast so book your tickets online now at ForbiddenVancouver.ca. Adult tickets cost $28, and $25 for students and seniors.

Watch the 90 second trailer for this experience here.