The BC Ghosts & Hauntings Research Society Comes for a Visit

The Museum’s staff members* have a feeling that there is something – or someone – else in the Station.

We’ve had doorknobs rattling, footsteps in rooms where no one can be seen, doors swinging open of their own accord, weird electrical issues where the lights switch on by themselves, banging noises as though someone is trapped in the basement…

We haven’t seen an apparition yet and we disregard a teen volunteer’s story of the one ghost sighting.

Just in case, we invited the BC Ghosts & Hauntings Research Society to visit and see what they think.

Visit from the BC Ghosts & Hauntings Research Society
Above: Representatives from the BC Ghosts & Hauntings Research Society: from left to right: Heather Anderson, Tracey Gambin and Christina Carr.

Below: Tracey Gambin set up her video camera in the Station’s Kitchen, facing the Parlour.
Tracey Gambin of BC GHRS

Until the CPR discontinued its passenger service in 1976, this train station had a live-in unit for the stationmaster and his family; the Kitchen and the Parlour, along with the four bedrooms upstairs, made up the private quarters of the stationmasters from 1905 onwards.

Between the Kitchen and the Parlour, there is now a door leading onto the basement stairs. It is this door that once opened on its own.

The Ghosts & Hauntings Research Society pointed out that the door is of light wood and drafts can push doors open. Thus the explanation for the door’s mysterious opening might be more prosaic.

Nevertheless, Tracey pointed the camera to the space directly in front of the basement door.

The Parlour, itself, might also hold some secret. Some of us have been in the basement and, when we hear footsteps above and rush upstairs, we find that the Parlour is empty.

Christina Carr of BC GHRS
Above: Christina Carr of the BC Ghosts & Hauntings Research Society films our baggage cart, where unusual knocking noises were heard.

Another location in the Museum where we’ve experienced interesting phenomena is the former Freight Shed of the Station. This giant room takes up about a third of the Museum’s main floor. We use it to display artefacts about the development of Port Moody, from its prehistoric origins to its industrial peak. To celebrate our railway heritage (we’re the original terminus of the CPR and Canada’s first scheduled trans-continental train ended its journey here), we have a number of railway displays, including a baggage cart loaded with Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century suitcases and trunks.

One afternoon last fall, when a previous stationmaster’s wife visited, five of us heard a sound from inside one of the suitcases. It could have been the rattling from a passing train, yet for the next few minutes we all had the feeling that someone knocked on the side of the suitcase, as if that someone was at a door and trying to get in.

We might here note that between the Christina’s video camera and the baggage cart, is the bell from the train crash of ’13 that killed five, a story we’ll save for another day.

The BC Ghosts & Hauntings Research Society also wanted to examine the basement.

We try not to think about it but there is no getting around that basements, particularly ours, are creepy.

We have a volunteer who comes regularly to tend the 1910-1912 CPR Garden. He starts early in the morning, and one afternoon he asked us if we had ghosts in the building. We laughed but mentioned our experiences. The volunteer told us what happened that morning:

Before any staff members came that day, he worked behind the Museum where two doors lead to the basement. From inside, something was banging on the doors, trying frantically to get out. No cars or trains went by, he ruled out this as an explanation. The doors were locked, too, so the volunteer could not go inside to investigate.

Between the two outer doors is an interior door. We wedged this door open and Christina placed her tape recorder there to see if it would pick up anything unusual from either of the two other doors. The interior door spat out the wedge and slammed onto the tape recorder. We set up everything again and made sure the door stayed open.

Tape Recorder in Haunted Doorway

After about an hour or two of recording (with everyone far away from the devices), Heather, Tracey and Christina packed up their gear to go into the next step: reviewing the two videos and the tape recorder to see if anything odd appeared or made a sound.

*Except for the Curator. He is adamant that we are not haunted.

By Oana Capota

Florals, Week of April 12-18

Linda Florals Anemone & Rhododendron

Every week for the last year floral artist and volunteer gardener, Linda Moncur, prepared a floral arrangement for the Museum. Now that our CPR 1910-1912-style garden is blooming, Linda can use our very own anemones and rhododendrons, as pictured above.

We removed the cloche that covers the arrangement for the photograph; the cloche prevents insects that may be on the plants from invading the Museum’s collection.

By Oana Capota

Welcome!

Port Moody is the original terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Port Moody Station Museum, run by the Port Moody Heritage Society, promotes increased awareness and knowledge of Port Moody’s heritage and history.

Come back here every day to get a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at a community museum. We’re a small museum but there is a lot that goes on here: an oral history project that started in the seventies, monthly special events from murder mysteries to antique appraisals to haunted tours, a volunteer-run 1910-1912 style CPR Heritage Garden program, changing exhibits and more. We’ll also write about the history of Port Moody, the CPR and the history of the Greater Vancouver area as it relates to our city.

The 1905 Canadian Pacific Railway Company station that houses the Port Moody Station Museum was actually the second station in Port Moody. Moved twice (in 1945 and 1978), the reputedly haunted station shares its grounds with the Heritage Garden, a 1921 sleeper car, the Venosta, a log roller and a number of handcars. You can read more about the Museum at our main site.

This is actually the second blog of the Port Moody Station Museum – we started a trial version in the summer of 2004 (now defunct) which got rave reviews after we erased it. We had no idea that anyone was reading when we got rid of our first blog; we promise to keep this one going.

We welcome all feedback from visitors: please add your comments in the commenting link that appears below each post or, for more general questions, please email us.

Thank you for reading and we hope to see you soon at the Museum!

By Oana Capota