Ghost Stories and Hauntings in British Columbia
Updated: Feb 6
Who doesn't enjoy a good ghost story? With Halloween just around the corner, ExNews thinks it's time for a primer.
Let us begin in New Westminster British Columbia, At a secondary school named after its home town.
A security guard working late at the New Westminster Secondary School reported he saw a boy's body floating in the school's swimming pool, located in the building's basement. Before he could act, the apparition disappeared.
Did the guard see the ghost of a boy who drowned in the same pool in the 1970s?
The paranormal stories at the school don't end there.
School security cameras have recorded what has been described as "flying orbs" in the music room.
Security cameras have also recorded images of what some say is the ghost of a boy who died in a shop accident back in the 1980s. Does his spirit walk the school halls at night?
There's the tale of a new bride whose wedding day ended in tragedy. As she descended the grand staircase at the Banff Springs hotel her gown was accidentally set on fire by decorative candles lining the stairs for the ceremony.
Her dress ablaze she panicked, tripped, and fell to her death.
The bride's ghost is said to roam the halls of the Hotel, still wearing her wedding gown.
At an ice rink in Canmore Alberta, there are stories of a ghostly man who watches skaters and staff from an observation room high above the ice. The man is invisible to people who enter the room to investigate but at the same time can be seen by those observing from the ice below.
At one time it's said there was an extremely steep staircase that led to an old wing of the Jasper Park Lodge. A man climbing the stairs fell and broke his neck.
The man's bitter ghost is said to haunt the old staircase, pushing people down the stairs or causing ghostly cold drafts.
Animals are said to fear the staircase.
Around the corner from the staircase, some say they've seen ghostly apparitions of people dancing or eating in the hotel's dining area.
Many ghosts are said to be haunting Burnaby Central Park's, lake, stadium, and forest.
Occasionally after darkness falls, a small boy has been seen playing alone by the lake. The boy vanishes when approached.
In another area of the park, stories tell of a distraught woman yelling unintelligible gibberish. Some say its the ghost of a woman searching for children she lost in the park way back in the 1930s
Hat Creek Ranch, North of Cache Creek is said to have unexplained goings on.
Stories of curtains that move when there's no breeze, strange banging noises, glowing orbs, and the sound of an anvil being struck with a hammer in the dead of night are common. Some claim they have seen the ghostly spectre of a person standing near one of the ranch's doorways.
Just outside MacKenzie British Columbia, some say the screams of a young girl who drowned in nearby Morfee lake can still be heard. There are also stories of an eerie white apparition that haunts the area.
Tuberculosis is a serious disease. Before antibiotic drugs, TB was often fatal.
People with the disease were often put into hospitals known as TB sanitoriums.
Many people died in those special hospitals, making them a prime location for ghost stories.
Tranquille Sanatorium in Kamloops was once a TB sanitorium.
Some of the buildings are still standing today.
Stories of unexplained ghostly white lights that circle near the property's entrance gate or ghostly figures in windows are just the beginning.
Tunnels that connect the buildings still exist. The tunnels were once used to move the dead bodies of those who succumbed to the disease.
It's believed those tunnels are haunted by victims of TB to this day. The buildings may also be haunted by the ghost of a nurse said to have been murdered by a patient many years ago.
The Hotel Vancouver's elevator is said to occasionally stop on the 14th floor where a ghostly lady in red enters
At UBC, is the ghost of a woman who was struck and killed one stormy night while hitchhiking back to the university still trying to finish her journey? When it's dark, and the weather is stormy, a mysterious woman has been seen hitchhiking toward UBC. When a car stops to give her a ride, she jumps into the back seat, then vanishes.
In Vernon, BC, a back room off the Beairsto School gymnasium is said to be home to several spirits. There have been stories of unexplained voices coming from the room late at night.
At the O'Keefe Ranch in Vernon, BC, there are stories of a lady who watches from an upstairs window. Some staff at the ranch say they can sense a woman's "presence" when they are alone.
Vernon BCs Towne Cinema has many unexplained occurrences.
Some moviegoers report their hair being pulled. Others hear voices. Some even report they've seen the ghostly apparition of a man. Does the ghost of a dead projectionist walk the theatre's isles as some believe? Incidents are so frequent the pesky ghost has been given a name, "Old Lloyd".
In Kelowna BC, the DeHart House is said to be haunted by the original owner and his family.
When Francis DeHart, former mayor of Kelowna died in the mid-1930s the family home was sold to former BC Premier W.A.C. Bennett.
Bennett family members are said to have seen strange things happening, things that defy explanation.
The specter of a young man thought to be one of the DeHart boys who was killed in battle has been seen sitting on a bed in one of the heritage homes' many bedrooms.
There are also stories of noises coming from a hallway outside bedroom doors late at night. The noises once started the family dogs barking in a most frightening way.
One brave soul who spent the night in the house alone said he was awakened by shuffling footsteps and laboured breathing slowly coming up the stairs outside his bedroom door. The shuffling and heavy breathing ended with a loud knock on the bedroom door.
Needless to say, he did not investigate.
At Bredon Hill heritage house in Summerland British Columbia, stories are told of a ghostly old man with a white terrier making himself at home in the house's kitchen.
There have also been unexplained scraping sounds coming from the attic.
Sightings of the old man, the white dog, and the unexplained noises from the attic were so frequent a Catholic priest was brought in to perform an exorcism.
The specter of the man and his dog continued to appear from time to time. as do the scraping noises.