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  • Writer's pictureVanesa

Resident Ghosts of Gastown

The spirits of Gastown oh how eclectic they are. Depending on what era they were living and their social standing, it will affect how they show/sound to me. As a Medium doing ghost tours I am now fully immersed in and captivated by their stories - how they lived, how they died, if they remember. Some of these spirits we talk about during our tours, and some are never mentioned, but I think it’s important to share all their stories as I’ve become rather fond of many of them.


Our dear Rupert. How did we learn about him? I came for a tour with Lydia, another guide, when I felt him standing beside her at the Angel of Mercy Statue outside of Waterfront Station. Both of us were very curious about him. Since he was always at the station, I was able to gather many details over several months.

Rupert was around 21 years old, came from the UK and worked with the Hastings Mill workers cleaning the tinders of the felled trees. Now mind you, it took time to get this information as they don’t just reveal it to us in one sitting. He would never go past the Kelly Douglas building (where Steamworks restaurant is now located) because he felt it was just too evil past there. So, he kept himself to Waterfront Station. He felt quite tall (6 ft was tall back then), wore rubber boots and brown suit-type outfit. He was scared to move on but with time (last summer), he got the strength to do just that. Lydia and Rupert grew quite close and so we had a goodbye drink for him. On the other side, his first visit was with his mom who he had not seen since he came to Vancouver back in the 1860’s.


If that’s really her name, as they don't always tell us the truth or maybe with much time passed, they actually do forget. We talk about Annie during our tour but not in so much detail. What I have discovered about her is that she was in her 70’s in the 1970’s. It feels like she had a blood disorder but since BC didn’t get a medical system until 1968, Annie didn’t really know what she died of. Why does she prefer to reside in the basement of Waterfront Station? In her living years, she enjoyed spending time at the station, and that is where she gets noticed, which kind of makes me sad, though Annie would have none of my pity.


When Rupert left Sarah said she would gladly take over his spot lol. She was a “working lady” and I could hear her still prevalent cockney accent, even in death. Sarah had quite the sassy attitude and lamented that the men of this time do not have the charm of the men from her era. She showed up around the end of our 2022 tour season, and I only felt her once more so I feel that she has moved on to other pastures... for now.


Our lovely Woman in Black of Gaoler’s Mews. We speak of her ghostly activities during the Gastown Tour so I’m only going to give her background story here. She was young, beautiful, from France and brought to Gastown to be the private assistant of a well-to-do older woman. Unfortunately, the older woman passed away from one of the many diseases of the day and Esmerelda found herself alone, without a job, money or family and far from home. Like many women in her situation, she had to do what she had to do to survive. She showed herself to me with black, curly hair, pale skin and a lovely 1870’s style dress. I have come to really like her and hope we can share even more information as time goes on. Also, Esmerelda is the name she gave me, but I have doubts it was actually her given name.

Master Tom

Oh Master Tom. What a character. He approached me and Lydia in December of 2021 while we were doing an investigative walk of Gastown. We were in front of the Clough Club (same building as the Lamplighter) when all of a sudden, we both felt the presence of a spirit. He was directly behind Lydia so when she turned it was like hitting a brick wall. Lydia pulled out her EMF meter and got a strong reading on the spot. Master Tom, as he likes to be called, was a business man who regularly took the train into Gastown to do business transactions of which I’m sure were not just business but pleasure *wink wink*. He told us he stayed across the street and pointed towards the now sadly burned down Winters Hotel. He would stay for close to a week at a time. He approached us because he thought were drinking beer on the patio (even though it was December and the patio was closed). He loved beer and is able to taste it through its energy. Why he stays in Gastown in death he doesn’t say but he, like Rupert, doesn’t stray far from his chosen spot. He also said that if we think Gastown is haunted at night, we should also be careful during the day, and there is "more bad than good" out there. An interesting point is that although Esmerelda didn’t know Master Tom personally, she is aware of him in spirit form. Tom shows himself as a well-to-do man in nice suite with a top hat.


Also a part of our Gastown tour, I have spoken to young Edward in The Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant on Water Street. He gives me mischievous vibes, and has been known to play tricks on customers and workers, but he is a good Spirit. He once asked me where his brothers and sisters were so whether he knows he's passed is questionable. Some guests I have spoken to have felt him too. I would love for him to move on to the light but he seems to be having too much fun with the patrons.

As I spend more time in Gastown I hope I can sense even more spirits and hear their stories of survival, work, doing business or just ‘living’ there in death. Some spirits move on, but new spirits appear all time. So there will always be new ghost stories.

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