The lodge’s gorgeous lakeside setting seems like the last place you’d find a ghost, but someone didn’t mention this to the chambermaid who tumbled down the steep stairway in Point Cabin. After falling to her death she began to let people know she was around: disrupting the electricity, making the phones ring and occasionally showing herself. It’s not known if Marylyn Monroe encountered the ghost (she stayed in the cabin while filming River of No Return), but several staff and other guests have had encounters.
The castle-like hotel has a variety of ghosts purportedly wandering its stately hallways. The most tragic is that of a young bride who was said to have tripped over her wedding gown and tumbled down the magnificent staircase dying instantly. She still wanders the halls in her lovely gown, perhaps keeping company with bellman Sam McCauley. He worked in the hotel until his death in 1976 but he still is said to offer assistance to unwitting guests.
The site, which includes camp sites, miner’s tents and a First Nations pit house, is closed in the fall and winter, but make note of this one if you’re looking for a ghostly encounter next summer. The property is said to be haunted by the ghost of a child playing on the grounds and a disgruntled cook. Other visitors have reported sounds from the former blacksmith shop and of horses travelling past.
When Countess Bubna Litite of Austria built the Eldorado Arms Inn in 1926, she had a vision of providing luxury lodging to European guests. Over the years her vision lost its way and in 1989 current owner, Jim Nixon, saved the derelict inn by barging it to its present location for renovation. Unfortunately arsonists struck and the original building was destroyed, but Nixon didn’t give up and instead pulled out the old blueprints and built a replica of the original. He apparently did such a good job that the countess decided to take up residence in the new building and assist with inn keeping. She’s reportedly been seen in the halls and heard in the kitchen.
The ghosts at the Hume Hotel have been so active over the years that the Nelson Paranormal League has made a film about it called the Haunt at the Hume. The boutique hotel, which originally opened in 1898, is said to have a very welcoming ghost who may, or may not, reside in room 335 and may be Mr. Hume himself. He’s said to wander the halls and occasionally mess with electronics.
The cosy inn might look too picturesque for ghosts, but apparently a logger in old-fashioned clothing is said to show up for a beer, flicker the lights and wander the historic building’s halls now and again. The spirit’s believed to be a man who was killed in a bar room brawl and then buried in an unmarked grave.
Original hotel owner and builder Walter Herzog was murdered in his room in 1973 and ever since he’s been on hand to greet guests (whether they like it or not). His presence is said to cause the air to thicken and guests have reported hearing moaning and whispering. He also is said to relax in the pub where the pinball machine plays on its own to music from an unplugged jukebox.
You have a pick of ghosts in this grand old hotel. Keep an eye out for the man with a moustache, who’s known to walk the halls and may actually be Empress architect Sir Francis Rattenbury himself. Or, maybe you’ll run into chambermaid Lizzie McGrath who fell to her death in 1909 but still likes to ensure the sixth floor is nice and clean. You can also check into rumours of a carpenter swinging from the ceiling in the west tower (where he hung himself during the hotel's construction) and the lost looking elderly woman who quietly haunted her room until it was demolished to make room for more elevators, leaving her rather befuddled as she wanders the halls.
While cosy beds, fluffy towels and lovely locations might top the list for most hotel stays, this Halloween you might want to consider something a bit more spooktacular. From a bewildered (and very dead) maid who flickers the lights and unplugs the phones to a ghostly apparition who tries to check in (or maybe it’s out?), our region's hotels are a hotbed of paranormal activity. Don’t worry about meeting a malevolent ghost though — all of these spirits seem well trained in hospitality skills and apparently relish having guests. To find a perfectly creepy Halloween getaway read on.
Diane Selkirk was looking for a way to combine her desire to avoid a real job with her interest in travel and the environment — leading her to write about her travels. She writes for publications including Travel + Leisure, Islands and Reader’s Digest about living sustainably on as little money as she can get away with.