Qualicum Heritage Inn: The Great Haunted Condominium Sale

Qualicum Heritage InnThe Qualicum Heritage Inn on Vancouver Island has long been reputed to be haunted. Robert Belyk found the stories so compelling he opened his 1990 (2002) book Ghosts, True Tales of Eerie Encounters with over ten pages of the Inn’s haunted past. Later, in 2002, OLN’s Creepy Canada also featured the Inn. Additionally, previous Inn guests have left tales of paranormal encounters on various hotel review sites online, while former staff members have made public statements regarding their own personal experiences within to online and print sources, as well.

The building started out as a boy’s college in 1937. The Tudor-style building continued to operate as a center of education for the privileged, until it closed in 1970. At this point, the school became the Qualicum Heritage Inn. Due to architectural and historical considerations, the Inn was eventually designated a Municipal Heritage Site on July 9th, 2007. In 2008 the Qualicum Heritage Inn closed its doors and has remained boarded up by developers ever since.

The reason the property was boarded up, was so that developers (who purchased the site for condos) could make several concessions before continuing the project. Most of these agreements involved the protecting, restoration and upkeep of the heritage site itself (which will actually be a smaller – yet central – portion of the overall condo development).

Interestingly, though condo units are already being sold on their website, Qualicum College Heights does not disclose the fact that the former Inn is considered to be one of Vancouver Island’s most haunted sites. Whether you believe in ghosts, or not, that might be something that comes back to – um – haunt them.

The list of haunting incidents reported at the former Qualicum Heritage Inn is long: full apparitions have been reported of a man in an old-fashioned military uniform, of a little boy, and of a woman. Voices have been heard predominantly on the fourth floor of boys talking, a consoling woman, “crying”, “moaning”, and “chanting”. In room 453 (later 459), furniture was said to have been moved on its own, while the bed was said to have looked to have been slept in when no one had access to the room.  A man’s voice was also heard in this same room, while blankets were reported to have been pulled off of at least one person who was sleeping in it. Elsewhere, lights were claimed to have turned off and on by themselves, while a TV was said to have powered on by itself. A piano on the main floor was heard playing by itself when no one was in the room by at least two separate workers. Multiple people have also reported feeling “watched”. There have been unexplained sounds of people running and doors slamming when witnesses could see no one present. One individual even claimed that an “invisible” person ran by them on the stairs and that they then had to move to get out of the way. Previous staff members named what they believed to be one ghost, “Buddy.” According to witnesses, Buddy would throw things around making messes on the main floor. This spirit was also blamed for the phone, printer and other electronics having “disturbances.” According to statements, a boy’s laughter was reported after some of these more mischievous incidents.

As if the list isn’t long enough already, it might also be important to note that many people believe renovations can actually increase the activity of a haunting, as well.


Recent American polls suggest that up to half of all Americans believe in ghosts. A 2009 CBS news poll suggested that 48% of all people believed in spirits, while a 2013 Huffington Post/YouGov poll claimed 45%. An older 2003 Harris Poll, on the other hand, claimed a whooping 51%! It’s hardly a matter of whether or not somebody believes in ghosts or not, however. Contrary to popular belief, no reputable scientist has ever come forward and said that the incidents described were not being experienced in all cases. Even after hoaxes, misidentification, and hallucination have been ruled out, there are still incidences of gathered evidence that have remained unexplained. It does not necessarily mean that what remains unknown at this time might not be fully explained in the near future through a greater understanding of physics, further replications of the “Philip Experiment”, a deepening understanding of the “Observer Effect” or through further academic statements from scientists such as Lombroso, it just means that these experiences have not been explained yet. Regardless, even if an understanding of these occurrences remains in the far distant future, the mere fact that up to half of the population does believe in the existence of ghosts should compel the developers of Qualicum College Heights to disclose this information to prospective buyers. In fact, I believe they have a moral and legal obligation to do so.

This isn’t just a Charter issue pertaining to belief either. American case-law already has a precedent in Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254 (N.Y. App. Div. 1991): where a house was sold that the owner knew was “haunted”… “the defendant is estopped to deny [the ghosts] existence and, as a matter of law, the house is haunted.” As we all know, when it comes to unusual Canadian legal cases, we do take precedence from both British and American rulings. While one could undoubtably argue that the owners never knew that the former Inn was reputed to be haunted, it might be hard to convince so many people – and the people who they’ve interacted with – to say under oath that no one in the sparsely populated area had ever even heard that the Qualicum Heritage Inn had been reported to be haunted for decades. It’s knowledge that a prospective owner has a right to know.

The stigma of a haunting on a home can be so negative, in fact, that in some places – like Hong Kong for example – there are actually databases that list them, which will affect housing prices up to 30%! Recently, one real estate broker’s signs in New Orleans even began to include whether or not the house was believed to be haunted!


There will be 8 condos for sale in the “Ashton Manor” portion of Qualicum College Heights (the old Qualicum Heritage Inn), but these are not being listed for sale yet. Perhaps, it isn’t just an accident that these suites will be finished very last – during “Phase 3” of the property development. There might even be strategy involved here. Maybe, just maybe, the developers want to see if anyone is paying attention. Then again, maybe they planned on doing the right thing, by disclosing the information, all along.

Do the Qualicum College Heights developers have a moral and legal obligation to disclose to their perspective buyers that their property’s believed to be haunted? I think that they do, and I believe if this one ever does goes to court, that our legal system would be forced to agree with me, as well.

Author: Shanon Sinn

The Spirit of Vancouver Island. Nature Beings, Shapeshifters, Ghosts & Ancestor Spirits. The Earth is Sacred.

19 thoughts on “Qualicum Heritage Inn: The Great Haunted Condominium Sale”

  1. If you enlarge the photo, there appears to be a man’s face, rather large, and wearing a tall black hat, in the window on the same floor as the dormer area with the sign. On the other side of that dormer, there seems to be a figure in that window as well. It seems odd there are so many open windows in a boarded up building. I have stayed in that building for my honeymoon in 1979 and another time for a business retreat. It was a beautiful place to stay and was called Qualicum College Inn. I never experienced anything although it did have a nervous energy type of feeling to it and it would not have felt out of place had I seen or heard evidencd of a haunting. I was found this forum because I saw an old house in Port Alberni that I am drawn to and would love to buy, however I have a gut feeling it may be haunted. I live in Australia at the moment and have lived in several haunted houses here, and one tends to adapt to their presence but it also feels like I either attract the spirits or they are attracted to me. I even miss the ghost we last had when we moved! When I was in Canada, I lived in a cabin for 6 months at Allison Lake, on the back road midway between Princeton and Merritt. The owner and I both lost full term babies about a month apart from each other. Her first husband had died some time much earlier, and the neighbour told us she used to drive to this cabin that she had owned with him, but she would often just sit in her car without going in. I heard a horrible, screeching sound emanating from the middle of the cabin, when my husband was at work on midnight shift. I had no car, phone or neighbours as it is a holiday summertime location and this was winter. I had no choice but to lay in bed with my head covered and go to sleep. My dog reacted to the noise but hadn’t barked. However he would often go onto the frozen lake and howl at nothing, was very freaky. The toilet flushed many times when we were both in bed, and the fireplace always smoked the house up. One night, after husband had left for work, the hot water tank ruptured and started to flood, as he was just leaving the yard and was gone, a long ways to work. I got a flashlight, took the dog and walked in the dark about a mile to the nearest phone both at a little cafe. I was very pregnant and fell once onto my stomach but kept walking. I called friends who were able to turn off the water and told me to wait at the cafe. It would take them an hour to reach me. They made me pack up an overnight bag and took me to their home. My friends were very upset that husband left me there all alone. They said the cabin was very creepy and didn’t feel right. Within weeks we had moved out, and I learned the landlady had lost her twins, stillbirths, full term. I lost my child a month later, stillborn, full term. I have never lost the feeling that her dead husband had interfered somehow with both our pregnancies, with perhaps an intense jealousy that she had remarried, and whatever this spirit had done to her, had affected me as well. That sounds bizarre, i know, but so was the coincidence of us both losing our babies so close together, and in an uncommon way. I wonder if things are still happenimg in that cabin on the lake. A photo taken of it in bright daylight developed as dark as early night. It was a dark atmosphere all around.

    1. After writing this, I decided to google for myself to see if anything has been written about the area. I was shocked, and dismayed, to see this tragic article https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/23-years-later-rcmp-renew-calls-for-information-on-homicide-of-newborn-twins-1.4342219
      My incident happened in 1973, on the same lake, not murder, not the same, except two more innocent souls taken. Very sad. There will never be a way to know, sheer coincidence or an evil power? I am sorry now that I googled it.

      Moderator, perhaps you should just delete both my posts. I am upset to see what has happened, i had no idea.

      1. I attended Qualicum College 1n 1952 as a second grader, At the time the “little boys” lived in the uppermost dorms. I never experienced any ghostly apparitions while there. There were many strange noises from the building settling as it was built on a sandy area. I visited the old place after the Inn was operating, but it a had sure changed from my time there.

  2. Hi: Everyone, I lived in the Qualicum College Inn, when it was a Private School for Boys back in the mid 60, and never saw anything out of the ordinary. Would love to go back to those time, had great friends, and good teaching masters.

  3. I lived in Port Alberni from 1956 to 2004 and in the mid 60s lived in ahouse that was extremly haunted.After a year of activety in the house I knew I had to leave.It was a year that will always be remembered. I will never forget what happened there.

  4. Hauntings are very real indeed and they are not necesserarily terrifying. Of course, if the paranormal activities increase to a point where we cannot share our home with our invisible tenants, then we must either leave or do what is necessary to free these spirits from this dimension. And yes, renovations of a haunted place are more than likely to increase the paranormal activities of the place. I know because I have experienced it directly myself to the point where we have had to ask for help. This is why I believe that the purchase of a haunted place should be conditional to your own capacity to live in a haunted home and in some cases, be willing to do what is needed to free yourself and the home of disturbing energies. 🙂

    These experiences have made of me a very, very, very humbled and grateful human being because now, I am fully aware that there are far more to the invisible than what the human eyes are willing to see or our analytical brain’s capacity to accept what it refuses to ackowledge as real.

    We all have access to the invisible realms. We must, however, be ready to unlearn all that was taught to us as unreal and relearn a new way of looking at our world in order to better evolve between the two worlds with more self assurance.
    In Loving Oneness,

    1. Was there yesterday….Building is still there.

      They are going to renovate the College Inn….eventually.

      Definitely not mowed down though……

        1. I can’t believe that they still haven’t finished the renovations! It would be a shame if it was torn down though.

      1. I was a student at the college from 1952 until 1955 and there were no ghosts there then. Just a cantankerous old woman Ms. Priest that scared the bejesus out of all of us.

  5. Lived in Qualicum area from 1987 – 1993, then moved back here 1999 to present.

    I too have been told by a few people that Qualicum College Inn was haunted.

    No secrets.

    When it was open, I used to go to the pub which was located around back of the building for a beer and some good food roughly about a dozen times overall.

    Have also been throughout the inside and outside of Qualicum College Inn numerous times, when it was open.

    Having said that, I personally had no paranormal experiences.

  6. I lived on the island from 1956 to 2004 and had known about the college being haunted. Almost all islanders had been told of it, sometime while living there. It was never kept secret to the public at anytime that I know of.

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