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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.

Seattle

West Seattle High School Creative Commons Licensed by Joe Mabel

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.

Victoria, BC

The Parliament at Night. Credit: Darius Wong

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.

Parliament Buildings

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.

Roger’s Chocolates

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.

Vancouver, BC

The Vogue Theatre Creative Commons Licensed by Joe Mabel

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.

Portland

The Shanghai Tunnels Creative Commons Licensed by Unknown

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.

Cathedral Park

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.

The Victoria Flower Count ended with a tally of 1,392,393,203 blooms for 2014! Every year, The Butchart Gardens and Tourism Victoria team up with Victoria residents to count how many blooms are in their community. This year, the City of Colwood won the title of “Bloomingest Community” with more than a billion blooms!

Victoria is known as the City of Gardens because the climate is ideal for growing flowers, so naturally their world famous The Butchart Gardens has been nominated as one of USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice awards for Best Public Garden. In addition to The Butchart Gardens, the list also includes other northwest favorites The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island and the Portland Japanese Gardens as well as the Huntington Botanical Gardens, one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited! You have until March 31 to vote for your favorite public garden.

Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat in front of Victoria Clipper
Photo: Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society

August is one of the months in the Pacific Northwest where you can usually count on nice weather and for those looking to make the most of the end of summer, there are plenty of options to keep you busy until the start of the school year and the return to cooler temperatures.

The Seattle Opera is performing its last cycle of “The Ring” under Speight Jenkins, retiring after 30 years working to make the Seattle Opera a Wagnerian center. In Victoria, the Dragon Boat Festival is a race and festival many enjoy every year. Labor Day weekend has many options this year including Bumbershoot music festival in Seattle, Art in the Pearl in Portland, and is a great weekend to head up to Victoria where you can take in the Vancouver Island Blues Bash and the Victoria Classic Boat Festival. For fans of the outdoors, Whistler has several mountain bike and racing events.

Here is our rundown of Things to Do in August:

Seattle:

Victoria:

Portland:

Vancouver:

San Juan Island:

Whistler:

There are many things that make Portland a great place to visit—the beer, history, food, easy access to the coast and mountains, adventure, and the quirky people. EverGreen Escapes offers a variety of tours in and around the Portland area that provide the perfect introduction to Oregon. Read the rest of this entry »

Located just under the shadow of the Space Needle, Seattle has a new attraction: Chihuly Garden and Glass. The museum opened on May 21 as a showcase to one of the world’s most renowned glass artists, Dale Chihuly, and it is a stunning new addition the Seattle Center.

Chihuly Garden and Glass Seattle

The Chihuly Garden and Glass is located in the shadow of the Space Needle at Seattle Center

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Our first Gray Whale Watching tour of the year is this Saturday, so I thought I would share with you some photos our staff has taken on previous trips. The tour is a really great deal and fun for families. It departs from downtown Seattle most Saturdays and Sundays in March through May and heads towards Coupeville, Washington. On this daytrip you will get to spend time searching for Gray Whales as well as a couple of hours to explore Coupeville. You can learn more about Gray Whale Watching from Seattle on the Clipper Vacations website.

Seattle Gray Whale Watching

The tail of a Gray Whale spotted on one of the Clipper Vacations Gray Whale Watching Tours.

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This coming weekend the Washington seaside town of Langley on Whidbey Island hosts our favorite gathering of armature sleuths for their annual Langley Murder Mystery Weekend. Each year, the whole town gets into character playing out a brand new storyline written by local authors and riddled with clues so that you can play along as if you are in a real-life game of clue. Participants this year will be parsed with the task of uncovering who in the town has a case of gold fever – leading to them to commit murder “In Cold Mud.” Read the rest of this entry »

Alki Beach in Seattle on a sunny day

Alki Beach in Seattle on a sunny day. (Photo by Joe Mabel) via Wikimedia Commons

Seattle is having beautiful spring-like weather this week and the sun and warmer temperatures are making me excited for some great spring events coming up in Victoria, Seattle, Vancouver and Portland. Here is my round-up of some spring things to do in the Pacific Northwest:
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Valentine's Day Getaway Ideas

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The thing with Valentine’s Day is that everyone has their own idea of romance and the way we like to celebrate is very different from couple to couple. What doesn’t vary is that we all like to feel appreciated by our spouse, partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other and there are many ways to show that you care. To add a little extra special touch this year, surprise them with a getaway that really reflects who they are, what they love and that thing they just wouldn’t splurge on for themselves. With travel, whether it is just a daytrip or a weekend getaway, you also get the added bonus of some extra quality time together. Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese New Year in Seattle, photo by Joe Mabel

Chinese New Year celebration in Seattle's Chinatown International District. Joe Mabel/Flickr Creative Commons

The Year of the Dragon begins January 23, 2012 and the Pacific Northwest is ready to celebrate! Chinese New Year celebrates the new lunar year, which is based off of the cycles of the moon. Most Chinese New Year celebrations in Western culture feature lion and dragon dances and parades as well as lantern festivals. The celebration is 15 days long, this year from January 23-February 6 and throughout the Pacific Northwest, public events will be taking place to celebrate the start of the Year of the Dragon! Read the rest of this entry »

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