In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints ... and gods.

STEVEN PINKER, How the Mind Works

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beban House's ghostly past continues to spook workers

He is slow on his feet and loves to take mid-morning, afternoon and evening naps, but Slater seems to have caused quite a commotion at Beban House since his arrival.

The family pet now calls the Nanaimo Tourist Information Centre home, but his owner fears the cat has stirred up the building's ghostly past. Employees at the Nanaimo Tourist Information Centre in Beban Park are familiar with the buildings haunted history. But it was only recently that they started to take it a little more seriously. Recurring incidents left them with chills down their spines and prompted them to contact the Vancouver Island Paranormal Society to investigate their ghostly suspicions.

Mark Drysdale, executive director of Tourism Nanaimo, says he's not convinced there are ghosts roaming the rooms and halls of the historic building. He doesn't even believe in ghosts. But after moving his cat into the building, strange things started to happen with no good explanation. Co-worker Amanda Envoy shares Drysdale's practicality, but they both figured it couldn't hurt to seek the opinion of a professional ghostbuster.

Rob Turner with the Paranormal Research and Investigation Group is still reviewing the evidence they collected in Beban House on the night of July 4. Envoy is eager to find out the results, even though she passed up on the opportunity to sleep over with the ghostbusters while they conducted their research. She's already spooked enough and didn't think trying to meet and greet the ghosts, if there are such a thing, would be in her best interest.

"Lets just say if ghosts do exist, then there's one here," Drysdale said with a laugh.

Beban House is one of Vancouver Island's most well-known hauntings, which was even featured on the television series Creepy Canada.

Before becoming Nanaimo's tourism building the top floor was used as a daycare. The operator of the facility often heard stories from preschoolers about an oddly dressed child playing with a red rubber ball. It was later realized that it is more likely one of the Beban's Chinese servants, a young boy who died in the house.

Drysdale has heard all the tales, but it wasn't until a few unexplained incidents got his wheels turning. Doors and windows he had locked were opened. Doors he left opened were locked. A vital key went missing and then reappeared weeks later. And Slater who was locked in a room over a weekend was sitting in the foyer on the following Monday. It's a mystery because the door to his room was still locked and there was no other way out.

Drysdale called the security company a few times to check to see if the alarms had been set off at any time or if they had detected any movements inside the building. The security records came back clean. That's when the tourism team decided to call in the experts.

Even when Drysdale and Envoy are in the office all alone, they never really feel alone. It's not that they feel like someone they can't see is staring at them. But rather, there's a presence of someone else in the room, on the stairs or in the corridor. Despite the eerie feeling, they don't believe the ghosts, or spirits, to be evil.

"It all seems to be quite harmless," said Envoy. "But it still creeps me out."

(above taken from " ". )

The Beban house is a beautiful home that was built by Frank Beban, British Columbia's leading timber baron. A mansion built on 160 acres of land, 3 miles north of Nanamio. In 1953 the city of Nanamio purchased the estate and eventually in 1997 it was turned into the Nanamio Tourism Headquarters. Through out the years before the estate became the headquarters it also served as a daycare centre, which is when it seems stories started to come to life by the young children. Children claimed that there were other children that dressed differently hanging out with them playing with balls of their own.

Eventually after some research of the daycare providers it was discovered that children once resided in this estate and even more info came out that they were the Chinese servant's children to the original owner Frank Beban. A young Boy has said to have died in the house of an accidental death.

After several investigations by ghost hunters and the curious there have been numerous accounts of weird and unexplained happenings, Psychics claim that there is more than the spirit of the little boy. The unexplained encounters have been recorded as water taps turning on, messages left on the answering machines and doors mysteriously opening and closing. Not to be left out is the strange eerie feeling of being watch when in the basement.


Spectrum Gamer Family said...

Beban House really has not given us much evidence of haunting, I think its probably more the fact it didnt perform on the night as the building has that vibe.

I have been in old buildings before and felt nothing but this location has something about it.

Rob Turner

Trapeze Swinger said...

Hi there, I was just browsing for information on Beban House, which is quite close to where I live. It's very useful that you've compiled so much of the information togther. I've been flitting around different websites trying to find these several stories and here they are all on one page. Excellent.

However, the colour photo used on this page was taken by me (original source: ) a couple of years ago.

I would really appreciate for there to either be credit given in some form (to Fiona Southworth), or for the image to be removed. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

When I was serving with the RCMP in Nanaimo, they used to keep a room on the upper corner of the house as a mobile office. I heard many strange stories from members about that place regarding footsteps at night, doors opening, etc. Some members would no longer go into the house.