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Feature - Giving up the ghosts

"From ghoulies and ghosties to long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, good Lord protect me."

— Old Cornish prayer



Most people like to think of hauntings and mysterious events taking place in distant places, not in their own backyards.

But in the fall of 1999 four roommates learned that Whistler is no stranger to the weird and unexplained.

They moved into a Whistler Cay house built around 1970, expecting a warm friendly home and refuge from the icy winter.

Instead they found themselves spooked by the sound of footsteps running across the roof and chilled by draughts they couldn't explain. They fought an on-going battle with the fireplace which refused to hold a flame no matter what kind of wood they used or how lovingly they tended the hearth.

Then there was the constant problems with the furnace and the space heaters. You would think someone didn't want them to get comfortable. Maybe that someone was the ghostly figure, darting and dark, occasionally glimpsed by the thoroughly spooked tenants.

Once, while chatting in the kitchen with friends, the tenants saw a cutting board move two feet along the counter before crashing to the floor.

Each of the roommates also had their own experience with the resident ghost cat. Often glimpsed out of the corner of the eye it was heard meowing and jumping onto beds purring. Some even swear they felt its invisible body rub against their legs.

By early spring the tenants couldn't take it any more. They moved out, leaving the house to its own devices. There haven’t been any long-term tenants for some time.

The hauntings are not confined to homes in Whistler.

A clerk at a store in Town Plaza recalls a spooky feeling near closing time one day. She heard what she thought were the footsteps of an approaching customer. The footsteps stopped beside her. But when she turned to address the customer no one was there. And then she found someone had locked the door.

A few days later, while working alone in the same store, another employee heard footsteps. She turned and glimpsed a man wearing a blue blazer. But by the time she got out from behind the counter to help him he had inexplicably vanished.

Both employees were haunted by a mysterious chirping toy bird in the store. It was heard to chirp even when no one was near it. Sometimes, when employees were in the back room and the bird was out front and there was no one else in the store, it would start chirping so loudly it sounded like the bird was right up against the employee's ear.

Apparently the Whistler Creek Lodge ghost has some friendly competition.

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