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Halloween in Victoria

As the oldest city in the Pacific Northwest, Victoria has a ghostly history that comes to life in the month of October.

The brilliant colours of fall hint at a plethora of vibrant and spooky Halloween-inspired activities in British Columbia's most haunted city.

Haunted Places

Dying to be scared? Up the fear factor and visit one of the city's haunted sites. Here are some unnerving spaces to add to your to visit:

Beacon Hill Park

Near downtown is a place of history, beauty and ghosts. The "Screaming Doppleganger" appears on an outcropping of rocks near the corner of Douglas and Superior streets. She’s the ghost of a woman whose murdered body was found nearby and is seen standing atop the rock at sunrise.

Bastion Square and Helmcken Alley

Easily the most haunted part of Victoria. Each building and alleyway around the historic square has a ghost or two. The old Supreme Court building is said to be the most haunted, as it was built on the site of the city's jail and first gallows. Many of the men who were hanged in the tree beside it still lie buried beneath its foundation.

Market Square and Chinatown

Market Square and Chinatown have many stories of ghosts and the supernatural. Their secret tunnels might be myths, but their hauntings are real. The ghosts here long ago frequented the saloons, brothels and gambling dens that lined Johnson Street, Victoria's once infamous red light district.

In Chinatown, feel the paranormal energy in Fan Tan Alley as you walk past its abandoned opium dens and gambling halls, but feel safe under the Gate of Harmonious Interest which is decorated with symbols to scare away evil spirits.

Ross Bay Cemetery

Ross Bay Cemetery has the distinction of being the most spectacular Victorian cemetery in British Columbia. Its winding, tree-lined carriageways, magnificent tombstones with poignant epitaphs and the distant views to the Olympic Mountains make it a memorable place to visit. The cemetery is noted for several resident ghosts, including Isabella Ross (the first woman in British Columbia to own land, whose farm stood where the cemetery is now).

Parliament Buildings

British Columbia's Parliament Buildings are haunted by many ghosts, most notably Francis Rattenbury, the architect who designed them in the 1890s. His body rests uneasily in an unmarked grave in Bournemouth, England, where he was savagely bludgeoned to death by his wife's lover. It is believed Rattenbury returns to haunt his most famous edifice to seek the recognition he craves.

Hatley Castle

Hatley Castle, a 565 acre Edwardian estate, is haunted by ghosts of the Dunsmuir family who once owned it.

Fairmont Empress

The Fairmont Empress is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria. The apparition of thin mustached man walking the halls with a cane is thought to be of the building's architect, Francis Rattenbury (he gets around!).

A maid has been seen on the sixth floor still cleaning after her death and guests have reported an elderly woman in pajamas knocking on their door. When guests try to help her find her room, she leads them toward the elevator before vanishing.

Craigdarroch Castle

Craigdarroch Castle does not acknowledge that the building may be haunted, but rumours persist. An apparition of a little girl has been reported by staff, as well as the image of a maid. A woman's feet have been seen running down the stairs and music has been heard.

Rogers Chocolates

Rogers Chocolates at 913 Government Street is a National Historic Site. It is also Victoria's oldest and most haunted chocolate shop. Look for the ghosts of Charles and Leah Rogers, the founders, who often slept in the kitchen of their old store and who reputedly never left.

Chateau Victoria

Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites was built on the site of the historic white mansion of Miss Victoria Jane Wilson and her family.

Soon after opening, the staff began to notice a nicely dressed, old-fashioned lady at the main floor bar—now Clive's Classic Lounge—who would promptly vanish in front of them. Guests would sometimes be delayed when Victoria Jane would ride up and down the elevator with them, stopping at each floor.

Victoria’s Ghosts

The Doppelganger of Beacon Hill Park

A woman was spotted, arms outstretched, face to the sky, on a large rock outcropping in the corner of Beacon Hill Park closest to St Ann's Academy.

She didn’t acknowledge her friends as they passed by, and when these friends mentioned seeing her later on in the day, the woman would deny being anywhere near the rock. In fact, she often had firm alibis to the opposite. One morning, the woman went missing. She was found at the base of the rock, murdered. This woman's death is a long standing, unsolved case in Victoria.

Doppelgangers are known to be omens of death—a portion of your spirit arriving ahead of you, which, when reunited with the rest of your soul, leads to your death.

Ross Bay Cemetery Ghosts

Ross Bay Cemetery is the oldest surviving formal landscape design in B.C. and is a superb example of a Victorian-era burial ground.

The cemetery is noted for several resident ghosts, including David Fee (who was murdered on the steps of St. Andrews Cathedral on Christmas Eve 1890), Isabella Ross (the first woman in British Columbia to own land, whose farm stood where the cemetery is now) and a mysterious, elderly couple who are dressed in fancy Victorian attire and who are seen from time to time gliding along the western side of the cemetery.

Spirits at St. Ann's Academy

Deeply concerned about what would happen to the school they erected, the original sisters of St. Ann's Academy couldn't leave and have been spotted in front of the building with troubled expressions.

They had seen the building fall into disrepair after they moved out and to this day don't believe that the honour of housing the Ministry of Education will last. It was also rumored that Thomas Hooper, St. Ann's architect, killed people and had them poured into the foundations to give his buildings "souls." When taking a stroll past the buildings, their eerie presence is undoubtable.

Bastion Square Eternal Inmates

Haunted by its dark history, Bastion Square is home to the ghosts of prisoners who found their neck in a noose, or who were tossed into the jail's graveyard.

Before the jail was demolished in 1885, one of the prisoners died in Helmcken Alley after a beating from a guard. To this day, a man in old prison attire with chains shackled to his wrists and ankles follows visitors and locals down the alley with heavy footsteps. The spirits of some of his old cell mates are still trapped in the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, considered British Columbia's most haunted building.