First off, I send out a huge “Happy New Year” and thank you for your continuous support. I hope the Holiday season was filled with joy, warmth, family & friends and safety. VSPI traveled south, back to Sonoma County in California, during the holiday season. We enjoyed time with family & friends, and also took in a few ghost hunting adventures.
In November 2012, on a day off from my paid job, I decided to take in a place I've not visited before.
Gardens situated in . It is a place of interest as several reports
of dark shadows and unexplained sounds have been passed along. On a chilly afternoon, with the sun going
down fairly early, I packed my digital recorder, digital camera and my Trifield
Electromagnetic Field meter and headed out to the park. Now I've been calling it a park all along,
because it kind of gives off a small park experience, in my opinion. With gardens I expect a huge array of plants
and trees along with a feeling of peace.
This area has constant noise surrounding it, and people trudging through
it on a regular basis. Not only is it
situated next to one of the busiest vehicle corridors in New Westminster, BC , but it also is on a
community bus route, with a hospital to its north. Children and adults walk (and sometimes run)
through it daily. I wonder if these
people realize why the garden is there. New Westminster
In 1878 the area was designated for a hospital to treat lunatics and insane persons. To be politically correct was not noted in those days. Now we consider it as “mentally disabled” or “handicapped”. If you were considered “not normal” and there was no explanation or known cure, you were deemed a lunatic, feeble minded, or insane. The name of the buildings and hospital changed over time, becoming Woodlands School in 1950. Bodies of the deceased from Essondale (due to lack of space) & Woodlands were laid to rest in the cemetery. Markers with their name & date of death were noted on small stone slabs. In 1997 the Government finally closed the place down (after years of reported abuse, mistreatment and horrors committed against the patients). The majority of cemetery markers were removed, some ground up to be used in other construction and help support a retaining wall in a ravine nearby, some used at an apartment building in Coquitlam (which then received complaints of hauntings and had them removed), and others simply disappeared. When the decision to build a garden in memory of those who lived & died at Woodlands was made, 500 markers were retrieved and found, and used in the memory wall and pillars to represent the 3000 bodies beneath the lawn.
I won’t comment on what I think of all that went on in such a place, as it seems to be a common theme of asylums, hospitals and schools of the time. What is disappointing is that even though reports were rampant and frequent, no one thought to actually listen and do anything until it was too late. The harm had already been done and affected many of the surviving patients. It also shocks me to hear of the type of people that were considered lunatics and insane. No matter what our differences are, our way of thinking, our sexuality, our beliefs etc.; each one of us deserves respect, understanding, and compassion. This was ignored.
My visit lasted an hour and half without occurrence of anything unusual. I found some EMF that was out of place; but alas, I discovered an old lamppost nearby which most likely was causing the disturbance. No disembodied voices were caught by my recorder, although I wandered the entire park slowly asking questions as I went along. The only unusual feelings I experienced were that of possibly being followed by an unseen energy near the memory wall. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, and I kept turning around to see if anyone was behind me. It felt like eyes were watching me, but this disappeared as I wandered farther away from the area.
People often ask me if it’s okay to hunt the paranormal in afternoon hours. I normally tell them that ghosts do not live on a clock that tells them its dark out and they best make an appearance. I've always believed that the majority of ghosts are people like you and me, and if they choose to be present they shall, no matter what time of the day or night. Some paranormal investigators prefer to explore in the evening hours for many reasons, some of which may include: less electromagnetic disturbance from the sun, apparitions may be easily spotted on night vision cameras, less people around, and it adds to the ambiance. I prefer hunts at any time of the day, depending on where it is I am and why I’m investigating the area/building, whom I’m affecting and what the client requests. To me it doesn't really matter. A ghost will make its appearance if it wants to. I have to say, my favourite part of investigating the paranormal is the research. I love getting to know the stories behind what is going on, learning the history, and talking to an assortment of people.
If you have any stories and/or information of the
to share with us,
why not comment below or email us @ VancouverSpooks@gmail.com. We’d love to hear about your experiences. Woodlands Memorial
You can visit our website for more information and to view our mini video of our visit to the Gardens:
Thank you again for your continued support. We hope to hear more from you in 2013. Remember, if you need support and someone to confirm what you are experiencing in your home, classroom, and/or place of business etc., please do not hesitate to contact us via our contact form at our website, or the email address I’ve posted above.