Strange noises, unexplained phenomena and eerie feelings that there is someone there who isn’t — all these things and more have been reported by staff and students working late into the night in the historic Young Building at Camosun Lansdowne over the decades.
“The Young building has a storied history,” said Camosun anthropology instructor Nicole Kilburn, who has an office on the second floor of the Young building. “I’ve worked there for 19 years and I can certainly feel the presence of previous generations.”
Security guards, employees, students, and visitors alike have reported strange incidents over the decades: alarms going off in the middle of the night for no reason; a ghostly hand reaching out to prevent a potentially dangerous fall; and a creepy apparition approaching before melting away to nothing.
Local historian and founder of Discover the Past Walking Tours John Adams said in a release that the school’s location could provide a clue into the paranormal activity that takes place there.
“It’s proximity to Mount Tolmie and several well-known energy vortexes surrounding it make the Camosun campus prone to ghostly manifestations. We have gathered many stories from students, staff and neighbours that show us it is a place of intense haunted activity.”
The Young Building was built in 1914 and originated as a teachers’ college, called the Provincial Normal School. With its distinctive four-faced clock tower, tree-lined entrance way and red brick and sandstone exterior, it looks and feels like the place where ghosts might roam freely on dark wintry nights, wandering through drafty hallways and into deeply buried underground tunnels.
In 1942 the building was a military hospital – today’s gymnasium was the wartime morgue.
Throughout its storied history, the Young Building has been an iconic and often photographed feature of Camosun’s Lansdowne campus, beloved by generations of staff, students and faculty alike — despite the occasional ‘bump in the night.’
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