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The Empress: A Haunted Hotel

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Visit The Empress and you might see a ghost!

The Fairmont Empress is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria. The hotel was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada due to its national significance. The Empress is located in downtown Victoria on Government Street facing the Inner Harbour. It was built between 1904 and 1908, opening for service in that year. Additional wings were added between 1909 and 1914, and in 1928. During this time, The Empress, as it was known then, played hostess to kings, queens, movie stars and many famous people.

There is a local legend that The Empress is haunted. The apparition of thin mustached man walking the halls with a cane is thought to be of the building’s architect, Francis Rattenbury. A maid is seen on the sixth floor still cleaning after her death. A little girl who is often seen by guests haunts one room. During the 1960s, a construction worker working on the west tower’s top floor saw a shadowy form swinging from the ceiling; apparently another worker hung himself there a year earlier. Guests have reported an elderly woman in pajamas knocking on their door. When guests try to help her find her room she leads them toward the elevator before vanishing. She is believed to be a ghost that once haunted one room after dying of natural causes, but that room was demolished to make room for more elevators, hence, her journey to the elevator.

 

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