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BC Hydro Service Road
Indian Arm Shoreline
Only Accessible Via Water or Walking/Bike
Status: Decommissioned Hydro Electric Station
Buntzen Powerhouse 1 was built at the end the 19th century to supply electricity to burgeoning city of Vancouver. The powerhouse opened in 1903 after digging a 13,000 foot (3,962 metres) tunnel from Coquitlam Lake – straight through Eagle Mountain - to the station 400 feet lower.
A host of federal laws were utterly ignored, and a number of workers died during the construction.
It was the first hydro-electric station to power the Lower Mainland. Previously, the city’s electricity had been generated thermally by burning wood or coal.
When the demand for electricity grew far faster than anyone thought possible – yes, there was a time when electricity was thought to be just a fad – a new power station was constructed.
This new hydro electric station was originally called Buntzen Powerhouse 2; it is now on Google maps as Old BC Electric Building. It is possible to access it by foot or mountain bike but much easier by water as it lies at the bottom of a rather steep cliff.
Both buildings cannot entered – the remain the property of BC Hydro – but they can be visited.
Buntzen Powerplant 2 – the haunted one – is a three hour paddle by kayak from Deep Cove.
If you find the building and/or area strangely familiar that’s probably because it is. It served as Crystal Lake in Freddy vs Jason (2003) and the home of a monstrous man-eating crocodile in Lake Placid (1999). The building also served as the lair of IT in the original miniseries (1990).
The old powerhouse is said to be haunted by both the workers who died building it and the tunnel as well as by the building’s architect; Francis Rattenbury. Rattenbury – who also designed the Empress Hotel and the BC Legislature Buildings in Victoria – was murdered by his girlfriend’s younger lover in England.
The most common report of paranormal activity is a feeling of uneasiness that surrounds the building and usually overcomes people as soon as it is in sight. It has given many people such intense chills they were unable to get close to it.
Unexplained mists have been reported as gathering around the buildings and barely visible figures have been seen moving through the fog.
Other Reported Activity: disembodied voices; unexplained noises such as scrapes and loud bangs from inside the building; light anomalies and feelings of being watched.
(BC Mental Health and Addiction Services), səmiq̓wəʔelə - Place of the Great Blue Heron (formerly known as Riverview)
2601 Lougheed Highway
Status: Former Psychiatric Complex; Film Locations; Outpatient Mental Health Clinic; Repurposed Buildings; Abandoned Buildings; Grounds Open Daily Dawn to Dusk
Opened in 1913 (although patients were housed previously in temporary structures) with 300 male patients housed in what is now called “West Lawn”. A farm was also run on site, mostly by patient labour. An arboretum, nursery and botanical garden was also created on the grounds for their therapeutic effect on the patients.
In 1924 an Acute Psychopathic Unit “Centre Lawn” and in 1930 a female unit “East Lawn” were opened. This was followed by the opening in 1934 of a Veteran’s Unit “Crease Clinic” and in 1955 a Tuberculosis Clinic “North Lawn” were opened. The 50′s marked the highest patient population at over 4,500.
In 1983 both West Lawn and the farm were closed due to cutbacks – a large portion of the farmland was later sold by the Province and became a residential housing development. In 1992 the Crease Clinic was closed followed by the East Lawn building in 2005 and North Lawn in 2007.
The provincial government has since ruled there will no more housing developments built and the site is to be saved. Part of the site still functions as a psychiatric hospital with 256 beds. This site is patrolled by security 24/7 and access to grounds is granted during the day.
This location has been featured in many movies and is called “the most filmed site in all of Canada”.
Apparitions of former patients and staff, shadow figures, the tunnels beneath the hospital are said to be so filled with energy they are nearly impossible to enter, feelings of being watched, general unease, not being wanted and being followed, phantom footsteps, disembodied voices, objects being moved on their own including doors and windows being opened and closed, touches, pokes and tugs by invisible presences and light anomalies.
Thank you to Caz.
For some unknown reason I cannot email you back so I wanted to post a thank you here.
“Came across the site “Haunted North America” and it asked if I knew anyone or if I had any paranormal experiences in the place. I was an actor on a film there back in 2004. We shot in the west lawn building and crease clinic. When I was not needed in set, was exploring the entire building, sometimes just me, other times with a couple other cast members. I had more than one bad feeling, and two separate visual encounters.
Two out of five floors Were the ones that got me. The basement tunnels. And the 4th floor. In the basement, I saw didn’t physically see anything. but I felt cold rushes. Bad presences and it did feel like I was being watched. On the 4th floor however… This being between midnight and 2 am over the period of six days… more than once after midnight at the same corridor on the 4th floor, the corridor would be completely dark, only the red glow of an EXIT sign at the far end of the hall. It would always If i would stand there long enough, I would see what appeared to be a transparent dog. running toward me, but disappearing into nothing before it got half way toward me. I didn’t believe it at first until I saw it three separate nights in the same corridor. I brought my camera everywhere and one night i took what appears to be a picture of a ghost. I said it probably just some kind of interference like maybe the movement of a camera, but the building liaison was on set while we were filming. I told him where I took the picture and he said it was called the “Candy Lady Ghost” The first two pics attached are the ghost pictures I took. (We have since lost these photos in the website crash)
All the lights in the entire building were out except on the first floor where we were filming. I’d had no luck shooting pics with the flash, so I turned the flash OFF to see if I’d come up with anything. this one room, I’d walked into was completely PITCH black. No light whatsoever. I felt COLD as soon as I stepped inside the doorway. I took a picture. and what I took was a completely black room but orange light EVERYWHERE and when i looked at the picture close up, it almost looks like you can see two eyes staring back at you. I have attached these pics for you to view. as well as some pics from inside the hospital. The last picture attached is of what the liaison called “The lady bug room” … this room scared the shit right out of me. the picture is nothing special as it just a picture of door from the corridor. but what you’ll notice about the door is there is NO DOORKNOB. The strangest thing about this room which was also on the 4th floor.. is that it was the only door in the entire building (And I checked em all) that was LOCKED. with no doorknob, I could not open the door, and the even weirder part.. is that it was the only room with the light ON. in the entire building. except for ON SET on the first floor. I couldn’t get my head around it. who knows how long that light has been on for. and with it being locked, and the building abandoned.. how was the light not burnt out? Looked in the keyhole.. could see a small part of the lit up room. nothing much. But more than once I swear I could hear breathing on the other side of the door freaked me out.
Before filming here, I’d never believed in ghosts. Now I do.”
31338 Dewdney Trunk Road
Status: Former Power Generating Station; Heritage Site; Tourist Attraction
By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/12063590@N06">Moy toy</a> - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/pentacube/2439559231/">Stave fall powerhouse</a>, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link
Using the 24 metre (79 foot) drop of Stave Falls for the production of power is an idea that dates back to 1890. In 1895 permission was given to officially study the falls and lake and in 1909 construction was began on the dam.
The first generator went on line in December of 1911, the second one in January of 1912, the third in 1916 and fourth one in 1922. A fifth generator was opened in 1925 when the height of the dam was raised.
Beginning in 1995 decommissioning of the old powerhouse was begun. In 2000 the new powerhouse with more efficient generators opened and the old powerhouse became a tourist attraction and a museum.
This location is considered by some to be one of the most haunted locations in British Columbia.
There have been many verified fatalities both at the site and in the waters surrounding it.
Shadow figures have been seen sliding along the walls in the building. Disembodied voices are commonly reported both in the building and in the surrounding forest and waters. People have reported hearing their names called in a faint whisper and right out loud when they were alone in the building.
The pipes are banged on by an unseen force. The ghostly barking of a puppy that drowned with 2 men whose boat capsized near the dam is often heard. Phantom footsteps are heard as well as doors slamming on their own when the building is empty.
319 Governor’s Court
Status: Former Federal Maximum Security Penitentiary, Formerly Abandoned, Demolished, Residential Housing
In 1874 construction began on this penitentiary. With the number of people coming to British Columbia once it joined Canada shipping federal prisoners back east was costly and no longer made sense. The first prisoners were admitted in 1878. The prison consisted of the Gate House – which still stands – and some wooden buildings surrounded by a wooden fence.
Between 1904 and 1914 the large concrete cell blocks were constructed by inmate labour. The wooden fence was replaced by a 30 foot rock wall – later a 40 foot concrete wall – and guard towers were built in all 4 corners of the wall.
Although the penitentiary was overcrowded in the 1950’s, the population had dropped considerably by the 1960’s. In 1979 a new facility was opened in Agassiz and it announced that this prison would be closed.
In May 1980 the prison was opened to the public for the first time ever – the prisoners had already been transferred - for a 2 week period. The prison was then closed permanently.
Today, most of the prison buildings have been demolished and replaced with residential houses with the following exceptions: the Prison Cemetery (overgrown but still in Glenbrook Ravine), the Centre Block (converted into offices) and the Gatehouse (now a Sports Bar).
Originally, prisoners were flogged for breaking the rules but gradually punishments lessened in severity and became solitary confinement, bread and water diets or removal of privileges.
Only 1 execution took place at the prison. Two prisoners killed a guard while attempting an escape; one died from injuries sustained during the escape and the other – Joseph Smith – was hung in the courtyard of the prison.
The reason there was only 1 execution here is that before Canada abolished the Death Penalty all executions took place in Provincial rather than Federal prisons. The official reason for having this execution here was it was easier.
There were numerous riots and related hostage taking incidents throughout the prison’s history. The last 10 years the prison was open were the most violent.
When the empty prison buildings were still standing
Apparitions of former prisoners were seen wandering the grounds. Pale ghostly faces were seen staring out of the barred windows. Shadow figures; cold spots; electrical disturbances; unexplained mists and feelings of extreme unease, not being alone, being watched and not being wanted.
In the residential neighbourhood after buildings were demolished
Apparitions dressed in prison uniforms in the streets (very few reports); unexplained mists; light anomalies (numerous reports); shadow figures and feelings of being watched and not alone.
In the prison graveyard in Glenbrook Ravine
The apparition of a glowing man on a hilltop and the phantom sound of gun shots – this activity is thought to be related to a man shot in the park in the late 1980’s
In the old cemetery itself people have seen light anomalies; had electrical issues and had feelings of being watched.
(Provincial Asylum for the Insane)(Woodlands)
Corner of McBride Boulevard and East Columbia Street
9 East Columbia Street
Status: Former Insane Asylum; Former School for Mental Defectives; Formerly Abandoned; Parkland and Memorial Garden
Reader Discretion is Advised: While Not Graphic This Article Contains Stories of Physical, Mental and Sexual Abuse to a Vulnerable Population and Children
First opened in 1878 on 100 acres of government land as the Provincial Asylum for the Insane in order to replace the asylum in Victoria (472 Peters Street) that was closing due to overcrowding. On May 17 of that year the first 16 patients were moved from Victoria.
In 1884 the North (East) Wing was opened. Patients at the time were admitted based on such illnesses as excessive masturbation, fright, nervous trouble, head injury, money issues, living alone and the all encompassing unknown.
In 1886 records indicate the institute produced 20,000 lbs of vegetables – easily done with free patient labour. Working on the farm was seen as part of their treatment not as employment.
In 1889 a third floor was added, new wings were built and gas lighting and hot water heating were added.
In 1894 a laundry facility was completed. Only Chinese patients were allowed (forced) to work in the laundry. This practice led to the first accusations of patient mistreatment and forced retirement of the medical supervisor.
In 1909 patients were finally allowed access to washrooms at night. Wooden perimeter fence replaced with a concrete one.
In 1945 the so-called School for Subnormals opened – later called The Old School
In 1950 the Institution renamed Woodlands School
In 1959 first patients transferred to Tranquille in Kamloops – recently closed tuberculosis sanatorium (see article on Tranquille Sanatorium in Kamloops on the BC locations page) – to alleviate over crowding.
In 1961 patient population at 1,436 highest ever recorded
In 1970 patient relocation to group homes begins
In 1982 plans are set in motion to close Woodlands School
In 1996 Woodlands School closes
In 1999 Provincial Government releases Woodlands property it’s assignment changes to surplus
In 2003 Provincial Government apologizes to former residents for mistreatment. Woodlands property is rezoned to residential and sold to a developer.
Unlike similar institutions in the United States like Pennhurst in Pennsylvania or Letchworth Village in New York no reporter gained access to the grounds and the roof was never blown open at any one moment.
At first the Liberal Provincial Government denied any abuse or wrongdoing and actually went so far as to say even though historical records prove the abuse happened; it never happened.
After a change in government the Premier commissioned a study into what happened at Woodlands. Records of abuse matched what former patients had reported including: hitting, kicking, overuse of restraints, removing patient’s teeth so they couldn’t bite, freezing cold showers, burns due to hot baths, bullying and extended isolation. Proof of sexual abuse was also found sometimes resulting in injury and pregnancy.
The major misconduct found was a code of silence from the staff. One nurse reported a staff member for being in bed with a patient – the nurse was fired and the report was buried.
Once the main building was abandoned there were issues getting a demolishment permit so a fire “mysteriously started”. The fire department came to the site and put it out. Later that same day another “mysterious fire” started – apparently this one was better thought out as it resulted in the destruction of all of the main building except the tower.
The Woodlands Cemetery was destroyed on government orders resulting in the grave stones being smashed (more on that below) but the remains still lie beneath the ground.
There is now a memorial garden where the cemetery once was. The recovered stones were replaced when they could be. There are over 3,000 bodies under the memorial garden.
The former site of Woodlands School is easily located – Google Maps even shows you where the main building once was – the grounds are now parkland as well as commercial and residential properties.
The destruction of the Woodlands gravestones and selling them to construction companies and garden centres resulted in pieces of these stones being distributed all over the Fraser Valley to unknowing customers.
Some people realized quickly noticing their stones had that certain sheen gravestones have or an actual date or name. Some people didn’t examine them as intently and ended up with sudden paranormal activity where they had installed these stones. This included disembodied voices, objects moving on their own, phantom footsteps and feelings of not being alone.
A wall in a nearby ravine and an apartment building in Coquitlam were the most reported locations.
Many people realized what happened and returned the pieces of the grave stones but many are just gone forever.
In the memorial gardens as well as the site where the school once stood – especially where the main building once stood – there are reports of paranormal activity. But it seems to be steadily decreasing in level and intensity. Perhaps the dead are getting the closure the survivors got when they finally knocked down the last piece of this house of horrors – the tower that survived both fires in 2011.
Because people actually live in the condos that were built adjacent to the cemetery the majority of the reports come from here. Activity in the condo buildings includes: apparitions of someone in your condo in the middle of the night, doors suddenly slamming on their own, disembodied voices and other unexplained noises, objects moving on their own, electrical disturbances and feelings of not being alone and being watched.
On the grounds and in the memorial garden reports include: apparitions of former patients and staff; shadow figures; disembodied voices; light anomalies; phantom footsteps; objects moving on their own; electrical disturbances; unexplained noises such as knocks or groans; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen presences and feelings of being watched and being followed.
Blood Alley Square
Status: Historic Haunted Alley
Blood Alley is so named because of the amount of blood and offal that was spilled into the street by the butchers that used to line this street - at least that's the story the tourists are told and it is part of story.
After the sun set in the early years of Vancouver there is also a different story which named this area. There was a very high crime rate here with multiple robberies, assaults, rapes and murders. It is thought that these acts left behind the powerful psychic energy that echoes on this street.
Powerful and overwhelming psychic energy is felt by anyone even slightly sensitive on this street especially after the sun sets.
Phantom cries for help and screams still echo up and down this area. Feelings of not being alone, sadness, terror, being watched, not being wanted and intense unease are also reported.
Rarely an apparition of a former victim is seen; most are still struggling with their mortal injuries.
(Deadman Island)(HMCS Discovery)
Status: Aboriginal Battle Site; Burial Site; Former Squatter Site; Naval Reserve
By J. Wood Laing - This image is available from the City of Vancouver Archives under the reference number <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Vancouver,_Canada.svg" class="image"></a> Vancouver Museums and Planetarium Association fonds, Public Domain, Link
At some point long before the European colonizers began to invade North America and the New World this island was the site of a massive battle between Northern and Southern Aboriginal Tribes. During the battle the Southern Nation took 200 women, children and elders of the Southern Nation captive. Three hundred male warriors traded themselves for the hostages and were slaughtered in response.
At some point between the arrival of the Europeans and the massacre the island was used as a tree burial cemetery. In 1860 – when the first European explored the island – red cedar boxes were found in the trees. When the explorer reached up to touch one it disintegrated and showered him in the skeletal remains of the occupant.
The island was used as one of Vancouver’s first burial grounds – not closing until Mountain View Cemetery opened – and in 1890’s it was turned into a “pest house”. Those that got Smallpox – during the epidemic at the same time period – were quarantined on the island. If the disease killed you, as it did most, you stayed on the island; if it didn’t, you allowed back into the city.
In 1899 the Federal Government leased the island to an American industrialist who wanted to log it. The locals were not happy with this arrangement – to say the least – who considered the island part of Stanley Park. The mayor of Vancouver brought almost the entire police force to block the Americans from getting to the island. This dispute continued until 1930 when the lease expired; the island was never logged.
In 1942 the island was taken over by the Naval Reserve of the HMCS Discovery. The island remains the property of the Department of National Defense.
This island is the burial location of Aboriginal Peoples, the early residents of Moodyville and Granville, the victims of the Smallpox epidemic, British sailors, CPR Railway workers, the victims of the Great Vancouver Fire of 1886 and probably a number of the squatters who used to make it home.
Reports of paranormal activity go back the massacre hundreds of years ago. Because the island has been DND property since the 1940’s the majority of reports come from Naval Reservists in modern times.
Reported Activity: loud clangs that echo through the island; the phantom moans, sobbing and screams of a woman; phantom footsteps as if someone is moving quickly-almost at a run; disembodied voices; unexplained mists; light anomalies; the sounds of furniture being moved around on the second floor when no one is present and an unearthly glow in the trees that condenses down to a human shape.
900 W Georgia Street
Status: Historical 4 Star Hotel
Close Up of the Windows the Lady in Red’s Been Photographed In
Photos Courtesy of Craig M
This hotel is the third to use the name Hotel Vancouver; the other 2 were operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway and built in 1888 and 1916 respectively. Both were located south and east on Georgia Street from the existing hotel.
Construction of this hotel began in 1929 but it wasn’t finished until 1939 due to financial issues during the Great Depression. It was the tallest building in Vancouver until 1972 when the TD Tower was put up.
It was built by Canadian Pacific Hotels – part of the Canadian Pacific Railway – and one of French Chateau hotels they built all over Canada in an attempt to promote tourism; traveling by rail of course.
The hotel also has gargoyles and relief sculptures done by some of Canada’s most prominent artists at the time.
In 2018 the hotel began a 4 year renovation project to rework the lobby and guest rooms. They also restored the 14th floor back to it’s original style in 1939.
The hotel has 17 floors with 557 rooms, 2 suites, a spa and a swimming pool.
The hotel only has one known ghost. The beautiful and benevolent “Lady in Red”.
Many believe she’s the Vancouver socialite Jennie Pearl Cox who danced many a night away in the hotel’s ballrooms shortly after it opened. Jennie died in a car accident in 1944 and may have moved into her favourite night spot to spend eternity in.
The Lady is seen either on the first floor or the 14th floor.
On the ground floor she is usually seen near the elevators and has been seen moving through a pair of locked and unused of doors. Curiously, the reason the doors are unused is that they lead to a dummy elevator shaft that only goes from the ground floor to the 14th floor.
On the 14th floor she is often seen gliding through the hallways.
She’s also seen in the rooms on that floor.
One Japanese family called down to the front desk asking if their room had been double booked. You see there was a lady in a red dress in their room.
Another time a bellman helping a family into room 1403 saw a lady in a red dress follow the family into the room. However, when he followed them, the lady was nowhere to be seen.
The most recent activity is the security camera in the stairway at the 14th floor has been picking up phantom footsteps and other unexplained sounds when the area is completely deserted.
53 Water Street
Status: Famous Haunted Restaurant
In March of 1970 Andy, Lee and Peter Pulos opened their very first Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown in Vancouver. It was opened in the Malkin Building where there was once a wholesale grocer.
A spaghetti entrée at the time cost $1.75.
The Company is now considered one of the Top 100 Companies to work for in Canada and in the Top 25 Companies to work for in British Columbia.
In 1969 an electric trolley car, No 53, was installed in the restaurant and dining tables were put in it.
The most famous ghost in the restaurant is the conductor in the trolley car. There is debate as to whether he came with the building or the car but it seems rather obvious to most.
He is always seen late at night sitting at the same table in the trolley in his full uniform. Place setting are reported as being moved in the car. There are also numerous reports of cold spots.
A small boy who a medium has identified as Edward is the second ghost in the restaurant. He is said to be responsible for bending the silverware and has placed a chair on top of one of the dining tables when the restaurant was closed.
At least one customer has reported seeing the boy in a mirror.
The boy is also responsible for badly frightening a staff member. He ran by a waitress after closing who followed him knowing a little boy shouldn’t have been running around at that time. The boy ran behind a table against the back wall before looking up at her. Instead of eyes he just had empty black sockets.
The terrified staff member went right to a manager and resigned on the spot.
The same medium who named the boy has also identified an open vortex in the back of the restaurant.
Thirdly, the restaurant has a very mischievous spirit who is seen as a small man – meaning dwarf sized – with a ruddy face and flaming red hair. They call him the little red man or the looky-loo.
He’s known for calling out to staff by their names and running through the kitchen. He also likes the play pranks especially in the women’s washroom where he’s actually been photographed but just looked like a blur.
Finally, there is a little girl who sits in the front window holding a balloon. No knows who she is but did once have a conversation with a friend of the General Manager and revealed that she is looking for her mom.