Ready for a spooky trip to one of BC’s most ‘haunted’ locations? Hatley Castle on Vancouver Island is part of a national historic site, and it has a fascinating history in addition to spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains. So if you’re ready to visit an estate that’s as scenic as it is spooky, tune in.
History of the castle
Completed in 1908 with the help of a Victorian architect, the 565-acre Edwardian castle was constructed by James Dunsmuir, who would come to reside in the estate with his wife and their twelve children, according to the castle’s website. And he spared no expense in doing so, spending tens of thousands of dollars on the most lavish materials, custom light fixtures, and teak floors.
According to Castle Hatley, he was even quoted saying “money doesn’t matter, just build what I want.”
Built on the Esquimalt Lagoon, the oceanfront castle is now a museum paying tribute to the Dunsmuirs, who are said to haunt the estate. Also housed within the museum are artifacts telling the story of the days when the property was a Coastal Salish Indian burial site, and its 55 years as a military officer’s training school.
Over 80 years of filming
And if you’re a film buff, you might recognize parts of the estate from its 80-some years on the silver screen, including as Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men franchise, and in over 30 other films.
Located on the traditional lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, the historic site is now open to visitors, who can stroll through the estate’s acres of beautiful gardens filled with rare plants and heritage trees. Highlights include 250-year-old Douglas firs (among the largest in the region), and the formal Italian, Rose, and Japanese gardens.
So there you have it, BC, another spot with a ‘haunted’ history to add to your road trip map this fall.
Where: Colwood, BC