Museum opens doors to spooky past

Maritime haunts are alive and well at Bastion Square facility

Ghost tours, a ghost hunt and a maniacal musical set sail on a haunted Halloween at the Maritime Museum of British Columbia.

The museum kicks off Fright-Fest with Ghost Tours, an annual Halloween favourite taking audiences through an hour-long tour sharing tales of the ghostly sights and sounds including stories of the infamous Hanging Judge, who is said to keep a silent vigil at the museum.

“It is a good way to get scared and it is a fun hour to spend. You can hear the creepy stories of what happened here because it has such a colourful past,” said museum marketing and communications manager MaryAnne Dieno. “Apparently there are a few bodies left under the ground here.”

Tickets are $13. Shows start at 6 p.m. from Oct. 27 to 30.

Music will also be in the air with Nevermore, a musical based on the life of poet Edgar Allan Poe that brings the original Supreme Court of British Columbia (located in the museum) back to life, or death, with the true-life tale.

“It creates quite a creepy atmosphere. The premise is dark and it is really a unique way to watch a production,” Dieno said about the show, adding that audiences sit in the pews of the former courtroom. “You are engaged with it – you are not set back from it.”

Nevermore plays 8 p.m. Oct. 27 to 29 and Nov. 3 to 5 with a special midnight performance scheduled for Oct. 29. Tickets are $20 in advance or $15 at the door.

For more proactive ghost fans, Ghost Hunts returns with clairvoyant medium Dawn Kirkham who brings years of experience, along with an electromagnetic field detector and a ghost radio to help facilitate the ghostly investigation.

“Skeptics or believers can come and see what could happen here and what shows itself,” Dieno said. “When you go to places for ghost tours you tend to take the passive role – this way you get to participate as part of the investigation.”

Ghost Hunts runs Oct. 28 and Nov. 5 from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tickets are $55.

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