October…a time of carved pumpkins, harvest gatherings, costumed children and early dusk. As Halloween creeps closer with its tricks and treats, and as the seasonal wheel brings us deeper into fall, people have been traditionally drawn out of the rain and into the realm of the storyteller.
Every culture values stories and at this time of year, to mark the shorter days and longer nights these stories often take on a spookier context and focus on “things that go BUMP in the night” or “those who have gone before”. It is a season of goosebumps and chills up the spine, a season of, “did you hear that?” or “was that just the light playing tricks on me or did I just see the figure of a man in the second storey window of that abandoned building? Could it have been a g-g-ghost?”
In the ‘spirit’ of Halloween, Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site and Public Art and Artists Rendering Tales Collective Inc. (ARTCi) are offering a unique and rather ghostly experience for those interested in what happens on site after dark.
Experience the traditions of the Irish/Scottish festival of Samhain when the veil between the worlds was thought to be the thinnest and ghosts from the past could wander among the living. Discover how Chinese migrant workers who lived in the bunkhouse honoured their ancestors during Yuen Laan or the Hungry Ghost Festival. Listen for footsteps in the Manager’s House even though the upstairs floors are empty. Perhaps catch a glimpse of a ghostly orb on the dock…the spirit of a lost sailor or fisherman is searching for a home.
Along the way, you will meet some of the ghosts of Britannia’s past…a woman who lost her husband to the river and heard the warning wails of the Banshee the night he failed to return, the Wild Woman of Indigenous folklore who warns children not to stray far from home and the watchful eyes of parents, and the machinist who met his tragic fate in the workshop.
Don’t miss this one of a kind historical tour. Who knows who or what you might meet… while nobody will jump out and scare you, the stories told can be rather spine-tingling. The event is family friendly, rain or shine.
Register at Britannia’s Visitor Centre or by calling the Registration Call Centre at 604-276-4300
Saturday, October 20th - 7:30-8:30pm
Registration #2606242, $15/1 sess, 18+
Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site
5180 Westwater Drive, Richmond BC