Episode 4: Coastal Hauntings
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
** Please know that all of these stories and information are true to the best of my knowledge and any opinions made by me are just that...MY opinion.**
Hi, welcome back to the blog, I hope you enjoyed this weeks episode on coastal hauntings. B.C is such a beautiful place and the coast is stunning to say the least. I learned a lot in this episode as the only place I knew about was Waterfront Station, but I had no idea about the paranormal activity that goes on there.
Let's start by talking about Deadman's island, this was actually the second story in the lineup but I'm going to go a little out of the order today. So as you can see in the photo above, this is what Deadmans Island looks like today, it's so crazy to think that this little island is so close to everything and yet so far at the same time. Access to the island is prohibited and honestly with the history that happened on this island...it probably always should be. Who knows truly, how many bodies are on this island and they should be left to rest.
Here you can see that the island was once lush with trees, this photo is from the 1890s. This is before Theodore Ludgate stripped the island of most of the trees in 1911.
Apparently when Ludgate took over the island, he kicked out a small squatter community, you can see the buildings on the island in the next photo.
Now moving on to another little interesting tidbit in this story and that is the act of burying the dead in the trees. So this was a quite common practice and I found a photo example here.
So the reason that the dead were buried in the trees or up of a scaffolding were for the following reasons. Sometimes if the death happened in winter, the ground was too solid to dig. Also this way no one would walk over the graves and animals would not be able to dig and disturb the remains. Lastly, it made it easier for the living to talk to their deceased relatives. So it's not surprising that the lush tree filled island was the perfect burial ground.
Remember, story has it that settler John Morton supposedly poked at one of these rotting cedar boxes; and found himself showered in remains.
Here are some great links if you're interested in reading more about the history of Deadmans Island: https://forbiddenvancouver.ca/2014/10/15/the-strange-haunted-history-of-deadmans-island/
https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/12/the-mysteries-of-deadmans-island/ (this one is where I got a lot of my information! great read!
So I'll leave you with one more photo, an aerial view of the island today.
Next I'm going to talk about Waterfront Station, this was a really cool story, who else wants to see that painting of the woman who was haunting that worker!?
So I took the liberty of making a little diagram of the area (for those of us who don't live in Vancouver).
So thanks again to Google Maps...it's proving to be very helpful.
In this photo you'll see the red perimeter marking Waterfront Station, the green is marking the Landing where the Weeping woman has been seen and the purple is circling the multiple train tracks where Hub Clark is said to have lost his life.
I did do a lot of searching for a newspaper article about the death of Hub Clark and was not able to come up with one. I searched every keyword I could think of but found nothing. As I've said in other stories it doesn't mean that it didn't happen but I would think that a death at Waterfront Station that was so tragic would have been news back then. The railroad was a deadly job back then and maybe it wasn't big news...? What do you think?
For this next apparition, I want you to get in the mood, hit play on this >> video and get into the spirit.
One of the other ghosts that we talked about is the 1920s woman dancing in the darkened hall as phantom jazz was heard echoing though the building. Just imagine that for a second here, turning the corner to see a woman at the end of this hallway... music from one of the creepiest eras for music is playing from somewhere around you...you approach her and she vanishes. The question is, do you still work there?
Well my answer is definitely not, I think I would be scared just from the phantom music, I don't even need to see the woman. That's right, I'm a scaredy cat!
Now let's explore the Stave Falls Powerhouse and visitors center. This place is fantastic, I like it when there are similar stories from MANY people. This is also a place that has tours and is very open about the paranormal experiences that happen here, that makes this a great place to put on your haunted places road trip...doesn't everyone want to go on one of those? **don't forget to check out the maps/tours tab up top, I will link the website and the hours etc for Stave Falls.
Click on this photo of the Powerhouse and it will take you to the BC Hydro write up on the hauntings that have gone on here. This is what the employee that I spoke to sent me, confirming that these are the true and ongoing experiences at this building. I didn't find any newspaper articles about the two men who drowned when their boat capsized BUT it's not easy with such little information, even a year would help to narrow things down.
I also mentioned the concept of residual energy or residual hauntings, so here is a link to more information explaining this idea.
The last story that I talked about was of the Tragedy of the S.S Valencia, the steamer ship that met it's end off the coast of Vancouver Island.
Something that I didn't mention in the podcast was that there was of course an investigation done after this wreckage.
In one of the articles that I found from The Cumberland News on January 31st, 1906 was as follows:
"...It has developed that the lifeboats of the Valencia were so rotten that they pulled to pieces when weight was put into them. And this explains the first great tragedy of the disaster."
With the description of how the storm was that fateful night...if the Valencia was torn apart, it's really not surprising that the life boats wouldn't have stood a chance either.
This however, makes Lifeboat #5 even more mysterious, how did it survive all of those years...let alone that night in decent condition? Let me know what you think in the comments.
The conclusions of the investigations found that there were errors made by Captain Johnson that were only made worse by the weather, Captain Johnson however was praised by the survivors for his effort to save everyone under his watch.
There had been no lifeboat drills with aided in the confusion and errors made during the attempt to flee the boat. However, it was concluded that there was nothing as a result of defects within the boat itself. The rescuers did everything reasonable to attempt to rescue the passengers. The Commissioner did state "..there was certainly no display of heroic daring..." that suggests they thought that the rescuers could have taken more risk. (https://www.historylink.org/File/7382 this is a great article on the entire disaster)
The article that I mentioned that had the great quote about residual hauntings was from https://www.paranormalenlightenment.com/ghosts-ss-valencia/ check out their article on the Valencia!
Lastly I did receive confirmation from the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, that they do in fact have a piece of lifeboat #5 and it's name plate, currently on display. For more information on admission and hours if you'd like to see it in person, check out the Maps/Tours tab. There are actual pieces of the Valencia that litter a beach nearby the accident, however from what I've read, it's very difficult to get to and is not for amateur hikers. So please take that into account.
The bonus location is the Buntzen lake Powerhouse. This place is beautiful, a gothic style building jutting out of the steep hills surrounding this picturesque lake. This lake and even the powerhouse has been the backdrop of many films and tv shows:
Supernatural (TV series, 2005-Present)Unknown Pilot (TV series, April 2014)The Killing (Netflix, 2011-2014)Psych (TV series, 2006-2014)Eureka (TV series, 2006-2012)Smallville (TV series, 2001-2011)Stargate SG-1 (TV series, 1997-2007)The 4400 (TV series, 2004-2007)Hot Rod (Movie, 2007)Pathfinder (Movie, 2007)Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (Movie, 2007)Devour (Movie, 2005)Three O‘Clock (Movie, 2005)Freddie vs. Jason (Movie, 2003)The X-Files (TV series, 1993-2002)Dark Angel (TV series, 2000-2002)Lake Placid (Movie, 1999)It (Movie, 1999)Highlander (TV series, 1992-1998)The People Across The Lake (Movie, 1988) 21 Jump Street (TV Series, 1980s).
That's right! I read on a site that even though there really haven't been any hauntings per-say , the clown sightings in the 90s would have been creepy enough.
You can hike to the Buntzen lake powerhouse, if it's a beautiful photo you're after however, the best way is to approach from the water.
This place is so beautiful on it's own but I just love the contrast between this scenery and the Gothic looking building. So like I said the best way to approach is from the water, to get a stunning photo like this.
This is the other side of the building, so as you can see, both sides are pretty cool, it's no wonder that this place is so favourable for movie and tv sets.
That's all for this blog and I hope you will tune in for Episode 5 which is a two-parter, it's all about Haunted Historical Homes. Part one will be about Helmcken House, Four Mile House, Tod House and the American Bonuse House! That's right, I think here and there I'll throw in a non-Canadian location! I will also be talking about the fist of two giveaways so be sure to keep an eye on my socials if you want to win some Real Scary Merch. Remember to subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already, like my Facebook and Instagram pages @RealScaryPodcast ...most importantly please remember that SHARING is CARING! share this podcast with friends and family. Lastly if you have any of your own stories or suggestions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time...