The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Haunted Places Series: Craigdarroch Castle

 October 12, 2020 |  Holiday, Just for Fun |  entertaining, fall, Haunted Places Series

Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Architectural Style: Châteauesque
Built: 1887-1890

“They’re heeeere!”

With the return of the spooky season comes the return of our Haunted Places series! We’re starting off on a new ghost hunting adventure by taking a trip to Canada and the famed Craigdarroch Castle. From hauntings to Hollywood, this location has attracted both the living and the dead. What better way to get in the Halloween mood than with a castle fit for Dracula?

Craigdarroch Castle is a 39-room, Victorian-era castle that spans over 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2). The castle was originally built for Scottish-immigrant turned coal-magnate Robert Dunsmuir and his wife Joan. Located atop a hill overlooking the City of Victoria, the mansion was meant to be a status symbol for all below to see.

However, Robert would never get to bask in the beauty of the completed castle. He died 17 months before construction was completed, one in a string of deaths that followed the family. The original architect, Warren Heywood Williams, also died following the passing of Robert Dunsmuir.

With Mr. Dunsmuir gone and the castle only halfway finished, the Dunsmuir boys Alexander and James took it upon themselves to see their father’s dream to fruition. Once the castle was done, Robert’s widow Joan would live there the rest of her life, ultimately passing away in 1908.

Death Divides the Family
Robert and Joan Dunsmuir had 11 children in total, but only 10 would make it to adulthood. They had one child die in infancy and a daughter, Agnes, died soon after the death of Robert. After his father’s death and a lengthy battle for ownership of the company with Joan, Alex Dunsmuir died in 1900 while on his honeymoon. Alex’s death then again pitted Joan and James against each other for control of Alex’s will, ending with James never speaking to his mother thereafter.

The Dunsmuirs Still Roam
With the constant fighting between family members and various untimely deaths, the walls of Craigdarroch Castle have held onto the broken history of the Dunsmuirs. Visitors to the castle say they have heard whispers, a child’s cry and even a piano playing. Oddly enough, the castle doesn’t even have a piano. Of course with any good haunting, you might even catch something out of the corner of your eye. On the main staircase, it’s said Joan Dunsmuir likes to stroll down the ornate steps in a ball gown. If you’re daring, you can make your way to the basement to see a child-like spectre staring at the ground, only to vanish before you can approach it. There’s also the scent of burning candles, cold spots that form randomly and objects moving seemingly on their own.

Craigdarroch Makes the Silver Screen
Craigdarroch Castle provides the perfect backdrop for ghostly cinema with its daunting architecture and creepy occurrences. In 2013, the popular teen supernatural show Spooksville filmed at the castle, and then in 2016 the castle was used to film the horror movie The Boy. Craigdarroch has also been used for films and shows ranging from Little Women to The Amazing Race Canada.

Visit Today if You Dare!
Today, Craigdarroch Castle offers tours to those that want to find proof of spirits, or who want to learn more about its history. To book your visit, go to:

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