Metro Vancouver ghost stories: Staff steer clear of certain rooms in 'very haunted' restaurant
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. -- The dining room and pub atmosphere at Kelly O'Bryan's in New Westminster, B.C., is friendly and lively. But there are rooms in the centuries-old building that staff refuse to go into alone, if at all.
Located in the former Canadian Pacific Railway Station built in 1899, it's a place staff and many customers swear is haunted.
Server and bartender Blair Mclachlan worked in the building when it was still The Keg Restaurant. While prepping for the lunch hour rush, the long-time employee recalled how he and coworkers would hear someone call out their names.
"Yup, many times," he said.
Others would hear footsteps upstairs late at night, only to discover there was nobody there.
The ghostly shape of a little girl has been spotted lurking at the top of the stairs, and the taps in the women's washroom have turned on seemingly by themselves.
- Read more: Ghost stories from downtown Vancouver
"Oh, the building is very haunted," said Greg Mansfield, author of Ghosts of Vancouver. "In fact it's one of the most haunted in central New Westminster."
"There's been people who are definitely afraid, and they won't go certain places alone," added Mclachlan. "They won't go downstairs alone."
Downstairs is a hot, dark cavernous room with exposed rock left over from when the station was built more than a century ago.
Staff call it the dungeon.
"There's an energy here. There's definitely a presence," said paranormal investigator Amanda Quill while examining the basement with her flashlight.
Employees vow they hear whispering here too, and sometimes the voice of a woman calls out "help me!"
"Some staff heard their names being whispered and then raced up the stairs," said restaurant co-owner Jen McCreath.
At the very back of the basement, evidence remains of the old tunnels that used to lead throughout New Westminster.
"They're now sealed off, but they led to the nearby courthouse, to a speakeasy, to various other places in downtown New Westminster," said Mansfield.
"I'm feeling, there's a heaviness to the air. There is definitely feeling of sadness, overwhelming regret," said Quill.
"Ghosts seem to come into central areas, where there's a lot of people, a lot of activity," added Mansfield.
And without question, one of the oldest building in New Westminster is steeped in history.