Van­cou­ver’s ghostly ‘lady in red’

Did a lo­cal man cap­ture the city’s fa­mous spook on cam­era... or is the truth rather more mun­dane?

Fortean Times - - Strange Days -

The Lady in Red is one of Van­cou­ver’s most fa­mous ghosts. Ac­cord­ing to leg­end, she haunts the his­toric Fair­mont Ho­tel Van­cou­ver at 900 West Ge­or­gia Street, built in 1939, walk­ing the top floors in her el­e­gant red gown, oc­ca­sion­ally stop­ping at the win­dow to stare wist­fully out at the city. Sev­eral peo­ple claim to have seen the ap­pari­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the web­site Ghosts ofVan­cou­ver, “once, a Ja­panese fam­ily that checked into a room on the 14th floor called the front desk to ask whether their room had been dou­ble-booked. They de­scribed see­ing the Lady in Red in the room, which had caused their con­fu­sion.”

Now a lo­cal el­e­va­tor me­chanic claims to have taken her pic­ture. Scott Gra­ham was work­ing on a top floor at the Pri­vate Res­i­dences at Ho­tel Ge­or­gia, just around the cor­ner from the Fair­mont, when he took a cell­phone photo of the his­toric ho­tel, where he also does work. That’s when he no­ticed a red dot in one of the top­most win­dows and zoomed in for a closer look. Scep­tics would say it is sim­ply a ho­tel guest dressed in red. How­ever, the win­dow in ques­tion is on a floor that was off-lim­its to guests dur­ing ren­o­va­tions.

“There’s al­ways on­go­ing main­te­nance at the ho­tel and that’s just one of the ar­eas we’re work­ing on right now,” said Nan­cie Hall, the Fair­mont’s re­gional di­rec­tor of public re­la­tions. Hall re­layed one of the pre­vi­ous sight­ings of the Lady in Red, which, coin­ci­den­tally, came dur­ing the film­ing of an episode of The X-Files at the ho­tel dur­ing the show’s ini­tial run in­Van­cou­ver. Ac­cord­ing to Hall, a cam­era­man came back from a break and said, “I saw the strangest thing. I saw this woman in a long gown.” Hall told the man about the Lady in Red, the ho­tel’s res­i­dent ghost. “He went ab­so­lutely white and he would not come back on the job,” she laughed. “The story goes that [the Lady in Red] used to come here for the af­ter­noon tea dances and was in a car ac­ci­dent on the cor­ner of Bur­rard and West Ge­or­gia, so she’s been a res­i­dent of our ho­tel for many decades.”

Could Scott Gra­ham’s pho­to­graph have been Pho­to­shopped? On the zoomedin im­age, it does ap­pear that the fig­ure’s gown is bleed­ing into the win­dow frame, sug­gest­ing a sloppy edit­ing job. But Gra­ham in­sisted the pic­ture hadn’t been al­tered in any way. “There’s a lit­tle red bleed­ing into the brick on the win­dow but it’s just a cell­phone shot from 50 storeys up,” he said. “It’s not Pho­to­shopped at all.” He added that he doesn’t be­lieve in ghosts. “Hon­estly, it’s prob­a­bly just some per­son wear­ing a red shirt… But there’s not sup­posed to be any­body there, and the fact that the ghost in that build­ing is sup­posed to be a lady in red is a pretty cool co­in­ci­dence.”

While lo­cal me­dia made the most of the story, Twit­ter user Alexis Bologne claimed to have solved the mys­tery within days, post­ing a sim­i­lar im­age and adding: “Nice try, how­ever this piece of red plas­tic has been cov­er­ing that win­dow for a few weeks now... I am look­ing at it right now from my of­fice.” Van­cou­ver Sun, 27 May 2017.

LEFT: Mr Gra­ham’s photo and a blow-up show­ing the mys­te­ri­ous red ob­ject.

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