The Haunted Hatley Castle
Located in the heart of picturesque Victoria, British Columbia, the Hatley Castle is a beautiful Victorian replica of a 15th century Edwardian castle built in 1908 by a wealthy rail baron named James Dunsmuir. At the time the castle was built, Dunsmuir was serving as the Premier and Lt Governor of British Columbia. Subsequently, the Hatley Castle hosted several of the area’s most elite and formal parties and high-society functions.
Tragedy struck the Dunsmuir family a few years later when their son, James Jr., was killed in World War I while serving in the military. James died in 1920 and his wife, Laura, and daughter, Eleanor, lived at the estate until Laura died in 1937 – Eleanor passed away a mere six months later.
In 1940, the castle was purchased and turned into the Royal Naval College of Canada, where some 600 volunteer reserve officers were trained. In the years since then, the training facility eventually became known as the Royal Roads Military College.
Since the academy’s inception back in 1940, there have been countless reports of apparitions and paranormal activity. The ghost of a woman, believed to be that of Laura Dunsmuir, has been seen lurking in dark corners and stairwells and warns young cadets that they may be subject to the same fate that her son was. The apparition of James Jr. has also been seen in his full military uniform, wandering around the lake near the Japanese Gardens on the property. Another ghost that haunts the old castle is Annabelle, a young servant girl who, after her love affair with a young trainee went sour during the early days of the academy, jumped to her death from a high window.
Today, the academy is known as the Royal Roads University; though it may have changed hands and names throughout the years, stories still persist regarding the ghosts that haunt Hatley Castle.