Haunted Locations of Victoria, Vancouver Island

My new book The Haunting of Vancouver Island is now available. Many of these stories are told in full, complete with images.

The following is a list of haunted locations in the Greater Victoria Area. There is a separate post for the rest of Vancouver Island.

The list is source based, meaning locations have been added as they’ve received published recognition. The list is organized geographically. It begins in the Oak Bay neighborhood, then proceeds downtown before crossing the Bay Street Bridge. The final haunted location listed is in the Langford area. At the end of this list, I’ve included other paranormal reports that may or may not be considered hauntings.

A lot of people have left comments about their own experiences at the bottom of the page. If you’d like to share yours, please feel free to do so. Subscribe to the blog if you want to be notified when new posts are available.

Ross Bay Cemetery photo by Brandon Godfrey. 2009.

Victoria Golf Course, Oak Bay An apparition has been seen that is believed to be Doris Gravlin. She is also referred to as “The April Ghost” due to her usual appearance at this time of year. Ghost lights are also reportedly seen. There are incredibly high witness counts as the apparition often appears to groups or several people at once. Unmarried couples who see her are said to never marry. Might be a good way to get rid of that clingy someone once and for all!

  • The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn (2017)
  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Favourite Ghost Stories by Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria (1997)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Haunted Canada by Pat Hancock (2003)
  • Creepy Canada: Season 2, Episode 3

Tod House, Oak Bay (heritage site/private home) This site is no longer active. An apparition of a First Nations woman in chains was reported. Presence was also felt. A skeleton was later found on the property of a woman in chains believed to possibly be of First Nations descent. The haunting discontinued.

  • The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn (2017)
  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Favourite Ghost Stories by Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria (1997)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)

Shelborne Street, Victoria (south of Hillside Center) There are claims that the entire street shifts to an earlier time, a phenomena known as “retrocognition.” Lone drivers have made this claim saying it occurred during the month of October.

  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999) 

Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria Apparitions have been reported that some people believe are those of David Fee and Isabella Ross. An elderly couple has also been seen. Blog post.

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria (heritage site) The castle itself does not acknowledge that the building may be haunted but rumours persist. An apparition of a little girl has been reported by volunteer staff, as well as the image of a maid. Woman’s feet have been seen running down the stairs. Music has been heard and the odor of candle wax is said to occur inexplicably.

  • The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn (2017)
  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Video (not on haunting)

Langham Court Theatre, Victoria (open) The apparition of “the Lady in the Loft” is reported. The theatre publicly acknowledges the ghostly presence.

  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Langham Court Theatre: About

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria At one time, an apparition of a blonde woman would appear to joggers. She would look to be struggling with someone, or something, and screaming silently. Reports came from NW corner of the park. Later, in the same spot, a woman was murdered with dark hair. The apparition is then said to have taken on her appearance after the murder and is no longer a blonde woman but a brunette. This apparition is often called “the Doppelgänger of Beacon Hill Park.” Also, an apparition of the lower half of a male – from the waist down – has been reported as well.

  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Favourite Ghost Stories by Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria (1997)
  • The Doppelganger of Beacon Hill Park (great blog post)

Emily Carr House, Victoria (heritage site) A presence is said to linger on the stairs as well as in the room of Emily Carr’s mother.

  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)

James Bay Inn, Victoria (open) Auditory phenomena is reported. Unexplained electrical occurrences are also said to occur. Apparition, possibly of Emily Carr.

Helmcken House, Victoria (heritage site) The apparition of a woman is seen in the upper floor window, believed to be Cecilia (Douglas) Helmcken. Piano music is also heard. Poltergeist activity is said to have occurred. This house is on the grounds of the Royal BC Museum.

  • Haunted Canada by Pat Hancock (2003)
  • Creepy Canada: Season 2, Episode 5
Haunted Locations of Victoria
British Columbia Parliament Building photo by Ryan Bushby. 2007

Parliament Buildings, Victoria An apparition has been reported and is usually believed to be architect Francis Rattenbury.

  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)

Empress Hotel, Victoria (open) Apparitions are reported in the hotel, the most famous believed to be architect Francis Rattenbury. The Empress is very near the Parliament Building. The apparition of a woman who is seen on the 6th floor is believed to be a former maid. An apparition of an older woman has been seen, as well. An apparition of a construction worker who was found hanging has also been seen.

St Ann’s Academy, Victoria (heritage site) The apparition of Emily Carr has been reported. She really does get around doesn’t she?

  • The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn (2017)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • The Canadian Encyclopedia Blog: A Field Guide to Ghost Hunting in Victoria

Cherry Bank Hotel, Victoria (open) Apparitions of a woman and a little girl are reported. A girl has been seen running in the hallway. Poltergeist activity.

  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Creepy Canada: Season 1, Episode 4

Pioneer Square (Location of Old Quadra Street Cemetery) Apparition is seen who is believed to be Adelaide Griffin. Another apparition believed to be Robert Johnson – who committing suicide – is reported here as well. Also, the apparition of a dark-haired woman in a white dress has been seen.

  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Favourite Ghost Stories by Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria (1997)
  • Favourite Stories From Lantern Tours by Old Cemeteries Society (1998)
  • Creepy Canada: Season 2, Episode 6

Royal Theatre, Victoria (open) An apparition of a man has been reported. Witnesses also claim to feel “psychically stabbed.”

  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Ghosts: More Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (2006)

Roger’s Chocolates, Victoria (open) Claims that the apparitions of Charles and Leah Rogers have been sighted. Also, an unexplained child’s handprint was found.

Bedford Regency Hotel, Victoria (open) Two apparitions are reported by employees. Staff call them “Lady Churchill” and “Brady.” Lady Churchill has also been seen across the street at Camillo’s restaurant.

  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Canadian Ghost Stories: Volume 2 by Smitten, Thay, Jarvis & Oickle (2003)

Bastion Square, Maritime Museum & surrounding buildings, Victoria (open) An apparition of a bearded man is reported believed to be Sir Begbie the “Hanging Judge.” A lady in white is reported here as well. Bastion square in general, and Helmcken Alley, generate reports of various levels of activity. Tour guide John Adams gives downtown ghost tours every evening. Bastion square is the epicentre of many of these tours.

  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Favourite Ghost Stories by Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria (1997)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Ghosts & Legends of Bastion Square by John D. Adams (2002)
  • Creepy Canada: Season 2, Episode 3 (Bastion Square)

Old Morris Tobacconists, Victoria (open) Poltergeist activity has been reported. Unexplained sounds have been heard.

Pounders Restaurant, Victoria (open) A female apparition has been witnessed on the stairs. Items have also been inexplicably moved.

  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Ghosts & Legends of Bastion Square by John D. Adams (2002)

McPherson Playhouse, Victoria (open) A male apparition and a lady in grey have both been reported at different times. Items are moved, and audible unexplained voices have been reported. Apparition of a “Frenchman”  is seen on the outside corner of Government and Fisgard on October mornings.

  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Ghosts: More Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (2006)
The Skull-Faced Bishop: The Horrific Image of One Vancouver Island Ghost. St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Victoria The Skull-Faced Bishop and the spirit of David Fee are believed to haunt this location. For the full story, click on the image above.

Fan Tan Alley, Chinatown, Victoria A ghostly presence pushes people aside. Sources claim that the entity is Chung, who once murdered a sing-song girl who scorned his affections.

Gorge Road Hospital, Victoria The apparition of a lady in white has been reported. White lights have also been seen.

  • Favourite Ghost Stories by Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria (1997)
  • The International Directory of Haunted Places by Dennis Hauck (2000)
  • Ghosts: More Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (2006)

Point Ellice House, Victoria (heritage site) The apparition of a woman in a blue dress has been reported believed to be Kathleen O’Reilly. The apparition of an older woman has been reported on the property believed to be Carolyn O’Reilly. A man’s voice has been heard. Poltergeist activity is often reported.

  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)

Old Point Ellice Bridge, Victoria Ghost lights are reported at the tragic scene where the old bridge collapsed. This incident claimed 55 lives. A red light is reportedly seen, hovering “18 inches” off of the ground.

  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Favourite Ghost Stories by Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria (1997)

The Princess Mary Ship Restaurant, Victoria (closed – no longer exists) An apparition of a woman had been reported. Unspecified unexplained occurrences had also been claimed at the time.

Spinnakers Pub, Victoria (open) An apparition of an older woman with longer grey hair has been reported along with unexplained noises. Presence is said to have become less active in recent years.

  • Ghosts: More Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (2006)
  • Ghostly Walks: Links

Ye Old England Inn, Esquimalt (open) An apparition of a man with a beard has been reported as well as that of “a beautiful woman.” Unexplained music has been reported and items have inexplicably been moved.

  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Ghostly Walks: Links
Haunted Locations of Victoria
Hatley Castle photo by Merry Kisses. 2006.

Royal Roads University/ Hatley Castle, Colwood (open) most activity is reported in Hatley Castle (aka Hatley Park). This includes the apparition of an old woman who is possibly Laura Dunsmuir. “Freezing cobwebs” have also been reported as well as the apparition of a man.

  • The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn (2017)
  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Strange History: the Haunted Castle. Article (2014)
  • Creepy Canada: Season 2, Episode 11. Video
  • A Close Encounter of the Paranormal Kind. Video

Craigflower Elementary School, View Royal (closed 2013 due to road work) Doors are said to open on their own. Bells have been said to ring inexplicably. According to sources, manor is also said to have activity.

  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)

Four Mile House Bar & Grill, View Royal (open) The apparition reported in the gardens is believed to be that of Margaret Gouge. Another apparition of a man in a suit is also reported. Also, a ghost said to be Jake Matteson is seen. This is also the pub mentioned “near Christie Point” by authors who wrote of the apparition of a soldier crawling across the highway. Noises and poltergeist activity has been reported, as well as people claiming to have been touched. There is also a connection to the Thetis Cove Lady in White.

  • The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn (2017)
  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Ghosts: More Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (2006)
  • Creepy Canada: Season 1, Episode 5

Thetis Cove, View Royal The apparition of a lady in white is reportedly seen on the beach. She is said to be a woman who died awaiting her husband’s ship to return. Apparently, she’d often spent time at the old Four Mile House Inn (above) where there’s actually a stain glass image of her. There is a stain glass image of the White Lady of Thetis Cove at the Four Mile Pub.

  • The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn (2017)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Ghosts: More Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (2006)

Six Mile Pub, View Royal (open) An apparition of a man has been reported. Unexplained footsteps have been heard.

East Sooke Road, Sooke An apparition of a lady in black has been seen along the side of the road and is believed to be May Stiff – although some have said it cannot be her. A pretty young woman in white has also been reported.

  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Ghosts: More Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (2006)

China Flats Highway, Sooke The highway described in accounts is likely #14 Highway, Sooke Road. An apparition of a Chinese man has been reported and is said to jump into traffic. No one is present when vehicles stop to investigate, however. He is believed to have been a man who was struck and killed in the 1940s while trying to get medical attention for his wife.

  • A Gathering of Ghosts by Robin Skelton & Jean Kozocari (1989)
  • Ghosts: True Tales of Eerie Encounters by Robert C. Belyk (1990)
  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)

Ma Miller’s Goldstream Inn, Langford Retrocognition has been reported at this site. Old Inn has been seen, even though it was no longer physically there.

  • Ghost Stories of British Columbia by Jo-Ann Christensen (1996)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)

Other Miscellaneous Reports from the Victoria area:

Burning Ghost Ship, South of Vancouver Island A burning fishing vessel with a UFO-type object above it was observed and reported by the Japanese ship Meitetsu Maru in 1957. There were also several other reports of unidentified lights in the area at that time. No missing boats were ever reported, nor was any wreckage ever found, even after a large-scale American and Canadian Coast Guard search.

  • Canadian UFO Report: Volume 2, Number 5 (1972)
  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)

Thetis Lake Monster Victoria, Vancouver Island Generally believed to have been a hoax, a monster was reported similar in appearance to the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I so want to believe this actually happened!

  • Ghost Stories & Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia by Barbara Smith (1999)
  • Canadian Ghost Stories: Volume 2 by Smitten, Thay, Jarvis & Oickle (2003)
  • Wikipedia entry

Sea Serpent Caddy, Vancouver Island Coastline A sea serpent is said to haunt the coasts of Vancouver Island, having been reported by multiple witnesses since at least 1932. Some speculate that the sightings may be of a surviving creature such as the plesiosaur, others that it might be an oarfish (video) There have been multiple reports of the serpent from all around Vancouver Island. “Caddy” is named after Cadboro Bay in Victoria following an early account. The bay was named after an early HBC vessel the Cadboro.

For a list of other Vancouver Island Haunted Sites please visit Haunted Locations on Vancouver Island This other list includes Sasquatch Sightings (which have also occurred in the Victoria area), and UFO reports as well. 

If you know of any other haunted locations in the Victoria area, leave a comment, or send me a private message. Thanks to you who already have!

Until next time, darkest nods!

The Eight Stages of a Poltergeist Haunting

Poltergeist – Therese Selles. 1911

The eight stages of a poltergeist haunting has been taken from Rupert Mathews’ book Poltergeists. For anyone interested, Mathews’ book is well researched and a great read. He covers the many different characteristics of what we would now consider to be the classic poltergeist haunting. Mathews does not necessarily subscribe to the common poltergeist theories of ghosts or psychokinesis, but instead offers many other possible explanations such as fraud or misidentification. Within the book, Mathews covers historic and modern cases, investigations and scientific experiments, as well as famous early mediums and fraudsters. Mathews concludes there are generally eight stages to an “idealized poltergeist visitation” or haunting where fraud has not been detected:

Stage One: Beginnings

The activity usually begins with faintly registered sounds. This is usually a scratching noise, which may be disregarded as being made by rodents or to be the sounds of water pipes. These noises are usually only heard at night.

Stage Two: Noises

These sounds will then become harder to ignore. These noises resemble knuckles knocking on wood or other objects such as glass. Sometimes, very loud cracking or unexplained banging noises are heard but this is less likely. Objects can sometimes be felt to vibrate. At this stage the activity may also be heard during daylight hours.

Stage Three: Moving Objects

Mathews does state that sometimes Stage Three begins at the same time as Stage Two. Objects may be moved inexplicably. Stone throwing, or lithobolia, is very common. Objects may disappear and reappear. This activity usually focuses around a certain type of object such as a specific ornament or keys. It’s rare to actually see the item be moved. Items may be hot to the touch immediately thereafter.

Stage Four: Apports and Disapports

When an object appears from out of nowhere it’s called an apport. When an object disappears “into oblivion” it is called a disapport. These types of activities are extremely rare but have been reported.

Stage Five: Communication

In some cases communication is established through a code of knocks. This may be two knocks indicating a “yes” and one knock indicating a “no” or some other established pattern. Sometimes speech is achieved. In almost all of these cases there seems to be a gradual process which starts with whistles, slurps, growls and so on. At first, mutterings or distant voices will be heard. Next, the voice will be said to sound robotic. Finally, witnesses will claim regular speech is achieved. The poltergeist will then be able to speak as a normal person and will begin to make statements. Claims by the poltergeist about their identity are usually grande. They may claim to have been a murderer, a victim, a suicide, or even a famous person. When claims are checked out they will usually be determined to be false. According to Mathews, it is rare for a poltergeist to have knowledge of events outside of what is widely known within the community. Mathews does not mention this, but it is interesting that many claimed spirit-contacts through a Ouija board also share these same characteristics of deceit[i].

Stage Six: Climax

The poltergeist activity will suddenly increase to a point it had never reached before. This may last several hours or several days. If the poltergeist can talk it may state that it’s going to be leaving soon. Unlike previous claims, however, this will generally turn out to be true.

Stage Seven: Decline

According to Mathews, “the decline is almost always much shorter than the build-up.” The poltergeist will lose its abilities in reverse and gradually become weaker.

Stage Eight: Endings

The activity may slowly skip to an end. Sometimes, this poltergeist activity will reach a dramatic conclusion. In many cases, exorcisms or blessings may prematurely kill the activity. Sometimes, the focus person leaving the premise may cause the activity to cease.

Other Features

The “idealized” poltergeist haunting will usually have a focus person. According to Mathews, this focus person is usually a teenage female but may be of any age or gender. Some investigators believe that this poltergeist activity will center around one person but this is not always the case. Mathews also states that, “it is often said that focus people are usually in a stressful situation of some kind.” Examples given within the book are a divorce and an attempted rape.

Also of note, poltergeists sometimes manifest physically. This apparition may be smoky or misty. Sometimes it will take on a human form. Sometimes the apparition may appear very strange such as in an animal or part animal form. Wet spots may also manifest which smell like urine. Sometimes this manifestation can be seen as it is occurring and seems to come out of nowhere.

Witnesses will sometimes claim to have been harmed by the poltergeist entity. Scratches and bite marks are often reported to have appeared on the person’s skin without explanation. In some cases, animals will perish. Fires will sometimes start in the home inexplicably. In the Bell Witch case the poltergeist claimed to have killed Jack Bell. In one case – which is not in Mathews book – a woman named Doris Bither claimed to have been raped by a poltergeist. Witnesses later supported her claim. The Bithers’ poltergeist account and investigation was made into the 1981 movie ‘the Entity’ starring Barbara Hershey. For the full interview of Doris Bither’s surviving son please go to: ghost theory

It’s important to note that the poltergeist distinction is not as clear as many imagine. The characteristics of these hauntings often share many similarities with conventional hauntings. The word poltergeist basically means “noisy ghost” but has come to represent a specific idealized type of haunting. Many individuals separate poltergeists from traditional ghosts because they believe that the spirits of the deceased causes other types of hauntings and there are psychic explanations for poltergeist activity. One early theory was that poltergeist activity was caused by uncontrolled female teenage sexual energy, an unfounded belief that persists to this day.

Poltergeist Haunting

[i] For more on the apparent deceptive nature of spirits consider reading Hungry Ghosts by Joe Fisher 1991, which is a very interesting study.

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