Victoria is well known as one of Canada’s most haunted cities. Theories of why so many ghosts inhabit the area include:
- The long period of human occupation, spanning 6,000 years from the arrival of the first aboriginal inhabitants
- Cracks, or “ley lines”, in the earth’s surface beneath Victoria emit powerful magnetic energy that somehow attracts spirits and magnifies their presence
- The surrounding salt water, the underlying bedrock, the distant hills and mountains that wrap around the region and the abundant natural springs all help retain ghostly energy.
We were going to cover haunted areas of Victoria, but there isn’t much out there you haven’t already heard, so let’s talk about another dark secret of Victoria… the fact that it’s the Satanic Capital of the World…
Satanism is a broad term referring to a group of ideological and philosophical beliefs. Satanism includes symbolic association with, or admiration for, Satan, whom Satanists see as an inspiring and liberating figure. It was estimated that there were 50,000 Satanists in 1990, and there may now be as many as one hundred thousand Satanists in the world. The second largest gathering is in Geneve, Switzerland.
The satanic culture could very well be rich in popularity here due to the abundance of spirits and paranormal activity, but satanism really grew larger after the bestseller “Michelle Remembers” was released in 1980, the first ever book on satanic ritual abuse.
It’s based on Lawrence Pazder, who started treating Michelle Smith in 1973 at his private psychiatric practice in Victoria, BC.
He uses hypnosis to help Michelle recover alleged memories of Satanic ritual abuse that occurred when she was five in the 50s at the hands of her mother.
The book has been discredited by several investigations which found no corroboration of the book’s events, while others have pointed out that the events described in the book were extremely unlikely and in some cases impossible. There was an entire investigation conducted and the Bishop of Victoria at the time, Remi De Roo, was even brought into it.
Whether or not the book is based on the wild imagination of one woman, it still opened the gates for Satanic followers to flock to the so-called city of flowers.
It’s also rumoured that Victoria’s abundance of rabbits was a result of the “Order of Dragons” group attempting to breed a type of animal that would allow individuals with higher blood potency to feed off of them. They chose rabbits, set up a breeding program, and failed miserably. Doesn’t make them look so furry and cute anymore, does it?
Another interesting satanism history point is the “Brethren War”. It was a conflict of various packs of the “Uratha” group for territory in North America that soon spiraled out of control. Many of the “Forsaken’s” oldest and strongest had fallen in a terrible struggle against potent spirit enemies, and the younger packs began to fight one another to claim the prize territories that the elders’ deaths had left unclaimed (Victoria). Stay with me, here’s where it gets interesting…
The “Pure” group swept down on the Forsaken and executed a strategy that resulted in the worst winter Victoria had ever seen – over 120 cm of snow fell in 1996. It was a winter that was referred to as the storm of the century or the Blizzard of 96. It hasn’t been matched in its intensity since and leaves many locals with stories that start with “I remember it like it was yesterday…”
There are signs that Satanic beliefs have become more socially tolerated. Satanism is now allowed in the Royal Navy of the British Armed Forces, despite opposition from Christians, and in 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States debated over protecting the religious rights of prison inmates after a lawsuit challenging the issue was filed to them.
So, if you didn’t already know this dark history, now you do, and we hope it inspires you to bring Halloween back to it’s dark, creepy and disturbing nature and tuck away that barely-there costume or made-from-a-bad-pun homemade ensemble. Well, we don’t want to discourage creativity, but try and jazz it up with some of our incredible local history!
Explore our fine city and take in everything you can. Here’s a few things happening around town.
- Ghosts of Victoria Festival – Various locations until Oct 31
– Ghostly Walks
– The Original Ghost Bus-tours (starting at Oak Bay Marina parking lot, 7pm nightly)
– Horse Drawn Ghost Trolley Tours
– Galey Farms “Festival of Fear”
– Pumpkin Art on Oak Bay Avenue
- Wicked Victoria – Government street from Courtney to Yates
Oct 25 only, The street will be transformed into “Boo Boulevard” with frightfully fun family activities on every block!
- The Rocky Horror Show: Live at Metro Studio Theatre
$30, Oct 23, 25, 28, 29, 30 | 8PM, OR Oct 24, 31 | 7PM and 10PM
- Finger Eleven all ages Halloween Party – Mary Winspear Centre
8pm on Oct 31, licensed and all ages, performance and costume party ($42)
- Vancouver Island Corn Maze at Pendray Farms
11am-9pm, goes until October 31.
- Pumpkinfest at Galey Farms (in addition to festival of fear)
(Featuring Galey’s Farm Corn Maze, Market & Railway)
10am-4pm, Sat/Sun only, goes until Oct 31.
- Spooky Seaside Cinema at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa
6pm on the inner harbour side, Oct 30, 31
- Nightmare at the Museum – Oct 31
Sold out event, look on UsedVic for last minute available tickets
- IFCon Victoria – Pearkes Arena
Oct 31-Nov 1. Featuring the Smoking Man from the x-files!