Since I love all the haunted spots in Vancouver, it's terribly hard coming up with a shortlist of my favourites. So we'll have a few shortlists.
The Stanley Theatre
Originally meant to be a vaudeville theatre, but when it opened in 1930 it became a movie theatre instead (vaudeville was dead). In 1998 it turned into a live theatre venue under the Arts Club. So vivacious are the spirits of the Stanley that they interrupt live plays with their onstage shenanigans. They also like to hang out in the audience seats, watching shows and rehearsals, sometimes kicking up a fuss if they are not pleased. And of course a ghost or two haunts the backstage. When we held a fundraiser in 2020, guests had quite the interaction with a ghost in the balcony. Watch it here.
Blood Alley/Gaoler's Mews
These intersecting alleys in Gastown are hots spots for ghostly activity, particularly of the Woman in Black and the Man in Black: two spirits mysteriously connected and often appearing within a minute of the other.
It is also the scene of years of ghostly interference with the iron gate that connects the two alleys. A guest took this photo as I struggled to open that damn gate (I'm not the only guide who's had troubles with it). Over the years many guests have either seen shadowy figures or felt uneasy in Blood Alley. Could this dark entity be connected to the jail that was once housed in this area?
Vancouver Art Gallery
Built in 1906 as the Courthouse, it was converted in 1983 into the Art Gallery. Its judicial history probably has something to do with the proliferation of ghosts found here. Staff have reported encountering a murdered inspector, a judge, a prisoner (in the basement that still contains the original jail cells), a security guard and a little girl. Don't even get me started on the scandalous story of its original architect, Francis Rattenbury. But take a look at this granite lion - its back half was blown off by dynamite in 1942. They never found any suspects for the crime!
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
This third Hotel Vancouver was opened in 1939 by no less than the King and Queen of England. Countless celebrities and socialites have since graced this grand hotel. The Panorama Roof Ballroom on the 15th floor was once the place to be seen. The Lady in Red, said to be 1940's socialite Jenny Pearl Cox, mainly haunts the 14th floor, and she's no shrinking violet. But she's not the only spirit - nearly every floor and almost every employee has experienced a ghost or two. And why wouldn't you want to spend your afterlife in such a glamorous setting?