As a young girl, I was always curious about ghost stories. I use to read the Scary Stories to tell in the Dark collected from folklore by Alvin Schwartz, which at the time I thought were super scary. I always wondered if some of the tales were true. Fast forward 15 years, and I got the chance to experience some ghost stories right here in our backyard.
My parents use to take me to Fort Langley National Historic site when I was growing up. Being a child of two teachers, most summers were spent exploring the Fort. I always was a little curious if they had ghosts or what it would be like if they heard footsteps in the servant’s quarters. This year, I got the chance to put my curiosity to bed and see what Grave Tales was all about. I was fortunate enough to tag along to a preview evening or dry run you may call it. I couldn’t contain my excitement to be able to witness these tales earlier than I anticipated.
If you haven’t been aware or around in the last 9 years, Grave Tales has been running every October since 2006. When, the staff of Fort Langley National Historic Site, put a call out to residents of Fort Langley, interested in sharing their stories of ghostly sightings or noises that couldn’t be explained, they were overwhelmed at how many stories were found. The ghosts that you hear about on the Grave Tales Tour, have been seen by at least four residents in the local area. This blew my mind, four or more residents have witnessed or felt presences of the past right in their own homes! This only made me more invested in the stories they had to tell.
The tour begins and ends at Fort Langley National Historic Site. On a cold dark evening you walk through the town of Fort Langley, past some of the beautiful buildings on Glover Road, and into the Cemetery on Glover Road. For many people, like myself, stepping into a Cemetery already sets the mood for ghostly sightings or unexplained noises late at night. We started right in front of the five cedar trees and the reason they were planted in the Cemetery. I don’t want to give anything away, but even just listening to the history and some of the reasons they were planted there gave me the chills. This made me realise what I was in for, for the rest of the tour.
Grave Tales touches on stories about William Henry Emptage and Peoh-Peoh, who were both workers from the Fort, some of the ghostly sightings within the fort walls and some sightings in the Little White House & Co.
After hearing a couple of stories, the atmosphere changed. I started looking at Fort Langley in a different light. You just don’t realise how much history and stories come out of such a little town where the Hudson’s Bay set up camp. Aman, who was our tour guide, told us he was the biggest skeptic when it comes to ghost stories, however he has personally witnessed some of the ghostly figures within the walls and the town of Fort Langley.
There are three, two hour tours and a new three hour tour added this year! There is a 6pm which is kid friendly and the 7pm and 8pm tour is geared towards adults with a couple of tales that aren’t made for children.
Grave Tales starts on October 15th and runs until October 30th. There are some tickets still available for the 6pm tours starting next Monday, but I encourage you to mark your calendars and check it out next year!