Monday, April 21, 2014

Victoria's Haunted Speakeasy

This is a 1st person account from a long-time employee at one of the oldest hotels in Victoria B.C., Canada.

The Speakeasy

No one was in the hotel’s basement in the early morning hours. 

Every day as a part of my job in security I checked all the public rooms in a 100 plus year old hotel. I would start on the 3rd floor and work my way downstairs to the hotel’s basement.

This room had been used as a speakeasy 80 years before. It was long abandoned and gathering dust in the years I did my rounds.

There were still remnants of this 1920s era visible. The mosaic Romanesque tiles originally placed with care, the tall stately wooden columns that lined the large ballroom floor, the dark wood that paneled the walls, and the large stone fireplace with its prominent hearth that once warmed the room all remained.

Feelings of Anger

As soon as I would hop on the old creaky elevator that took me down to the basement feelings of trepidation would surface. This was one part of my job I did not enjoy.

Few people ventured down to this room, except to retrieve supplies that were stored or random maintenance men who were called in to repair something.

I normally entered the old creaky elevator around 6:00 a.m. when the hotel was still quiet. The elevator would make its way slowly down always stopping with a thud. This is when it would happen.

In the few moments before I slid the door open I would hear the distinct sounds normally associated with a rowdy party. The first time this happened I thought the loud chatter and laughter must be guests who had stayed up all night. But when I opened the elevator door no one was in the basement.

I heard these jubilate sounds every morning moments before I exited the elevator. Once I opened the door these conversations ended in mid-sentence-- I sensed that I was an unwelcome intruder.

Typical speakeasy 1920s

I felt many eyes turn in my direction. Even though there was no physical evidence of what I heard and sensed the resentment at my presence became more pronounced as the days passed.

One unseen partygoer seemed more hostile than the rest. I felt this was a man who stood near the elevator as I entered the room. I sensed he followed me around the room. I often heard female voices before I slid the door open telling him that I meant no harm.

I became determined to catch sight of these ghosts before they disappeared. I would hold my breath as the elevator stopped then I would jerk the door open rapidly trying to take them by surprise but this never worked even though I still felt their presence.

Sometimes they even surrounded me. I picked up a wide range of emotions in the room--these included everything from anger to curiosity.

One Sighting

In the year before this hotel was torn down to make way for a modern parking structure and a new glass building I had two more unusual experiences.

One morning as I a stood in hotel’s main nightclub I looked up to see a yellow shimmering object pass in front of me about 30 feet away. I was amazed as this form took shape. It was a young woman wearing a yellow t-shirt with black corduroy pants.

Below her knees her legs were transparent, I could see the wall through them. This figure became aware of my presence and locked eyes with me. She then smiled kindly and continued to move through the room. As she approached the wall she disappeared.

Six months later, down in the old speakeasy I was describing to another worker what I had seen upstairs. He and several employees recently had sensed a strong unseen presence as they moved an old ice machine into the room.

At the exact moment I described what she looked like a fuse blew with a loud bang. I feel strongly that this was the same female ghost letting me know she heard our conversation. 

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