This time of year haunted houses, pumpkin festivals and every other type of Halloween festivity you can imagine abound. However, if you want to give yourself a real scare this October, try visiting one of the many old buildings, parks and cemeteries in Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver or Portland. All of these cities have a rich history and many of the popular attractions in these towns are rumored to be some of the haunted places in the Pacific Northwest. Don’t believe in ghost stories? You’ll just have to check out these locations yourself. A few of our tours, such as the Haunted Victoria Tour and the Haunted Halloween Trolley Tour in Vancouver, stop at a some of these spots and the other areas mentioned are also centrally located so you can easily add them on to create a tour of your own. Even if you aren’t spooked, you may learn some new facts and history about your city.
West Seattle High School Creative Commons Licensed by Joe Mabel
Pike Place Market
The Market is one of Seattle’s busiest attractions. Visitors travel from far and wide to see the teamwork of the fishmongers as they toss fish to patrons or grab a coffee at the original Starbucks. However, CBS Seattle explains that long before these establishments were created, the land belonged to the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes and were used as a burial ancient burial ground. As result, ghostly apparitions are often seen in the lower market.
Harvard Exit Theatre
Built in 1925, the Harvard Exit Theatre was originally used as a meeting place for the Women’s Century Club. Apparently, a few of these ladies still attempt to attend meetings, as a shadowy person can sometimes be seen haunting the lobby. On the third floor women dressed in flapper’s clothing can often be seen and heard laughing.
West Seattle High School
Rumor has it that one of the school’s former students, Rose Higginbotham, who died at the school in 1924 now haunts its halls. People also often catch glimpses of Rose and other former students at the nearby Hiawatha Playfield.
The Parliament at Night. Credit: Darius Wong
The Maritime Museum of BC
According to the organizers of the Ghosts of Victoria Festival, the Maritime Museum is the most haunted location in all of Western Canada. The Museum is built on the site of the city’s first gallows, and many men who were hanged there still lie buried beneath the building and still haunt it is halls. In addition, the “hanging judge” Matthew Baillie Begbie is said to still “hold court” over his old chambers on the third floor.
The Parliament buildings have long been haunted by many ghosts, but the most famous of them all is the man who designed the buildings (and several others throughout Victoria, such as the Empress Hotel), Francis Mawson Rattenbury. Francis was bludgeoned to death by his wife’s lover, who was also his own chauffeur, and then buried in an unmarked grave. According to local superstition, Rattenbury now roams the buildings in order to seek the recognition he deserves.
If you think ghosts stay away from “sweet” locations, then you would be mistaken. Not only is this shop a National Historic site, and oldest and most famous chocolate shop in Victoria, but it is also haunted. Founders Charles and Leah Rogers used to sleep in the kitchen of the store, and their spirits have never left. There have also been claims of a mysterious handprint that has shown up repeatedly in the store.
The Vogue Theatre Creative Commons Licensed by Joe Mabel
Mountain View Cemetery
If you are looking for ghosts, a cemetery is certainly a good place to find them. The occupants of the gravesites at Mountain View are particularly tragic, as a number of them were unfortunate to be part of some of the worst disasters in Vancouver’s history. These accidents include the 1909 Lakeview BCER streetcar wreck, 1910 Rogers Pass slide disaster and the 1918 sinking of the SS Princess Sophia. With 108 victims buried in this cemetery from these catastrophes alone, you are sure to find a ghost or two bemoaning their untimely departure.
University Boulevard at UBC
As with Mountain View Cemetery, tragedy caused this UBC street to become haunted. The Postmedia News states that during the 1960′s, a couple got into an argument while driving to the campus library. The woman got out of the car to walk, and was hit by another car and killed. The young woman has been haunting the road ever since, asking young men for rides, handing them a piece of paper with library’s address on it and then disappearing.
The Vogue Theatre
The ghosts at Granville’s Vogue Theatre are more spiteful than spooky. One ghost can be heard walking around the downstairs dressing room, and surprising people by opening doors. The other ghost often appears in the seating area, dressed for the evening’s performance in a suit and tie.
The Shanghai Tunnels Creative Commons Licensed by Unknown
The Shanghai Tunnels
These tunnels run underneath Old Town/Chinatown to the central downtown area of Portland. The tunnels connect the basements of a number of downtown hotels and bars, and were passages for many unsavory characters over the years. As a result, it is said that people who died in the Shanghai tunnels haunt them to this day.
The Roseland Theater
Named the “Best Haunted Venue” by Willamette Week, the theatre is haunted by publicity agent, Timothy Moreau. Moreau was killed by his boss Larry Hurwitz in 1990 after confronting Hurwitz about a counterfeit-ticket scam, but his body wasn’t discovered in the Columbia River Gorge until 2000. The building has been haunted ever since.
This popular park is said to be haunted by 15 year old Thelma Taylor, who was abducted and held captive under St. Johns Bridge before being killed in August 1949. Locals have told KOIN6 that Taylor haunts the park and that every summer they still hear her screams for help.