Formerly known as Fort Victoria, these grounds are where the city of Victoria grew from. Originally consisting of the old Court House (Maritime Museum), barracks and storehouses, most of the original wooden structures are gone in favour for stone construction. The original well still remains. This location was where the ghost of a young boy is said to still remain. The Museum has become a hub of activity since spirits are not constrained to where they have died.
In the Square, plenty of drama has unfolded. From the hangings at the back of the courthouse to the transportation of prisoners through Helmcken Alley to destinations unknown, plenty of emotions have been captured in the old bricks. The Maritime Museum hosts its own two events, the Ghostly Tours and Ghost Hunt, and more Tales, Garrick’s Head Pub, Camille’s Diner and the Bedford Regecy have their own residential ghosts.
Judge Begbie is the most well known spirit said to be residing within the square today. Despite being given the nickname “The Hanging Judge” in the later years, the label is hardly appropriate. The sentences he carried out were all in accordance to the law, and he never abused his power. Apparently, he never left the job either.
To hear more tales about the grounds and the downtown core, John Adams conducts a yearly Ghosts of Victoria Festival. This historian has a well-trained team of storytellers to guide the curious around the spookier side of Victoria. The list includes Ghostly Walks, which takes place from Oct 21 – 31, meeting in the lobby of the Bedford Regency Hotel, and Ghost Bus Tours, which takes place this year on Oct 22, 28, 29, and 30.
Interested parties must book on www.tourismvictoria.com. Also included is a Cemetery Walk at Ross Bay (Oct 30, meet at the gates), where Victoria’s historic past is recounted. Spirits are allegedly said to be found lurking around the edges of the cemetery when one least expects it. Entering the grounds after dusk is not permitted.