Campfire Ghost Story: Keeha Beach Vancouver Island
This is a personal account of an unexplained experience I had on Keeha Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island during the late 90s. Keeha (sometimes Keaha) Beach is part of “the Graveyard of the Pacific,” a stretch of water that has claimed thousands of vessels and lives. To the south of the beach is Pachena Point, where people have reported seeing the ghost ship SS Valencia, and to the north is an abandoned First Nation village some have claimed is haunted as well. Many people have claimed to have had “spiritual” experiences here.
Towards the end of the video I also share the release date of my upcoming book!
The 25-foot Amanda Anne plows through the frigid February waters of the Juan De Fuca Strait. Somewhere in the darkness ahead of us are the islands habituated by a wolf many in the Songhees First Nation believe is sacred.
Campers were the first to report a lone wolf on Discovery Island, east of Victoria, in 2012. Conservation officers dismissed the sightings as mistaken identity. Perhaps a dog had been abandoned on the island? While coastal wolves have been known to swim short distances, it seemed unlikely that this one would have swam the five km. from the city of Victoria.
However, Songhees First Nations members and conservation officers have since confirmed that the skittish animal is a coastal wolf. Discovery Island is part marine provincial park, part Songhees reserve land, but the wolf has also been spotted on various other islands nearby, including First Nations reserve lands such as the Chatham Islands. It has been dubbed Staqeya by the Songhees, which means “wolf” in their Coast Salish Dialect.
For decades now, people have been claiming to see the apparition of a headless woman near the old Lenora town site on Sicker Mountain (1900-1907) There aren’t any buildings left standing any more — and the exact location is hard to find — but the ominous ghost story persists just the same.
The local legend says that an early miner found his wife cheating on him and killed her, either by accident – when he tried to kill the other man – or on purpose. The husband then cut the woman up and scattered her remains across the site. Ever since, it is said that she’s been searching for her missing head.
History & Building:
Stories claiming that the century-old Heriot Bay Inn is haunted can be traced back for decades, but strange tales have always been a part of the inn’s colourful past.
In Quadra Story, author Jeanette Taylor says that it was Hosea Arminius Bull who first established the Heriot Bay Inn in 1895. After only a few years, however, a fire burned the original building down to the ground. The Heriot Bay Inn was soon rebuilt, but it was consumed by a second fire in 1911. The current Inn was then built in 1912. In the late 1920s, owner Charles Webster removed half of the building for unknown reasons. The other half remained in place, and is now the dining area and the loft above it. When Webster lost the property, residents rejoiced and immediately brought back either the same piece or a similar piece restoring the inn to its original glory.