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Whistler Halloween - Ghosts and Good Times

TAG: Family Time, Must Dos Posted by: Feet Banks

Halloween in Whistler always brings out the ghosts. Not just the white-sheet-with-a-bag-of-candy sort either, apparently Whistler has actual spirits from the supernatural realm as well—the ghost stories always begin popping up this time of year, and they’re always eerily similar.

For decades now, locals have reported strange sightings and creepy encounters in the Whistler Creek area, with most of the action emanating from the Whistler Creek Lodge, one of the oldest public buildings in town. Full-time residents of the hotel used to report strange sensations of being “not alone” or waking up to see an ethereal figure standing in the corner of their rooms. Maids reported seeing a man walking the hall only to turn and disappear in an area with no exits. Folks in Creekside have long reported encountering the ghost of a miner or logger named Bill, or of looking up to the ceiling of the old Settebello/Anasazi restaurants and seeing a mother and daughter sitting in the rafters, their ghostly legs dangling as they watched the patrons eat below.

Last week local Whistler Question reporter Brandon Barrett embarked on a ghost hunt to investigate those stories and he brought along a couple of local mediums from The Oracle at Whistler as well. Apparently they not only found a couple ghosts in Creekside, the mediums claim to have helped them cross back over to the spirit world. In the article, Barrett describes the scene where Jules Gillians and Matthew Cody contact the ghost of a mother in Whistler Creekbread restaurant:

She explained that the messages she was receiving—which Gillians said can come in many forms, be they images, voices or a wave of emotion—told her that the daughter had been taken forcibly from the mother, who was First Nations, in the early 19th century.

“It wasn’t her fault. She’s still holding that guilt, she’s still blaming herself… She’s so sad, you can just feel her crying,” said Cody.

Moments pass before Gillians starts to sob, shaking violently. “There was a fire,” She said. “Oh god, she was burned alive.”

It gets better, check out the full article. And if those Creekside ghosts have made it back to “the other side,” does that mean Whistler will be without ghost stories for a while? Hopefully not, thanks to artists like Andrea Mueller and Brendan Cavanagh and their vision for “The Hawthorn Park Asylum for the Mentally Insane.” Working with no budget and a lot of volunteers Mueller and Cavanagh transformed one Whistler property into a spooky, full-service haunted house that will be scaring Whistler residents and visitors from October 28-31, 2012.

Skulls photo courtesy Matt Walker

“Brendan lives there and apparently that house is already haunted for real,” Mueller says. “So we just went at it with no budget and a lot of creativity and worked on it for about a month. We’ve had about 30 people come help and some donated pro lighting so it’s really come together.”

With one busy evening already behind them, Mueller and Cavanagh are excited for the next two nights of freaking people out. “We had a family from Seattle come through and they apparently go to a lot of haunted houses,” Mueller says. “They said ours was the most unique and actually one of the scariest ones they’ve ever seen.

Young Children and “easily scared” adults are encouraged to attend from 6-8pm where they can be led through “The Asylum” by a nice inmate who gives a more family-friendly experience. Then from 8-10pm volunteer actors/inmates will grab their creepiest props and get into character for the full-meal-deal of horrorific-ness. “You’re exploring the house on your own for that,” Mueller says. ”It’s awesome. And we just decided to keep it going on Halloween night too. No family hour though, on the 31st it's full-on scares from 7-10pm.”

Entry is by donation with a portion of the proceeds going to Whistler Community Services Society and the address is 3145 Hawthorne Place, in Whistler’s Brio subdivision.

Families looking for fun on actual Halloween night can head out trick-or-treating with the local kids at Tapley’s Farm where the Whistler Municipality hosts a big fireworks display. It’s a rain-or-shine free event that runs 5:30 to 8pm Halloween night. Note the streets in that area are closed off so public transit and walking are the best way to get around.

And of course, all the Whistler nightclubs and bars host Halloween celebrations so ghosts and ghouls of legal drinking age can wander around and pick whatever haunting spot suits them best. Halloween is like a national holiday to Whistler folks. So have fun, play safe and keep your eyes open for ghosts.

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