53 Water Street was once the home to a sewing factory but since 1970, The Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant has resided here. As you will see, the interior design of this eatery has kept its old warm charm, and some of the table legs pay homage to the former tenants. However, the reason I have chosen to write on this address is that it is haunted. And today of all days we honour the haunted places.
The most well known haunting of 53 Water Street has to be the one associated with Streetcar #53.
The trolley was made in 1904 in nearby New Westminster and belonged to the British Columbia Electric Railway Company. It served faithfully for many years as public transit in and around Vancouver until 1957 when it was decommissioned. In 1969, Number 53 was moved to its present location and that is when something strange happened. Pictures were being taken of the trolley car as it was being moved into the restaurant and one photo shows a ghostly conductor getting on the car. No one is sure whether this ghost is the spirit of a train conductor who died during a collision on an underground railway line that used to exist below the restaurant or the ghost came with the car. (the story of the accident in the underground railway appears to be a myth and based on hearsay so it looks like the conductor came with the car. However, he didn't tell me so I don't know for sure!)
The conductor has been seen numerous times, especially by staff after closing. He always sits at the same dining table in the car and table settings have a habit of being moved inexplicably.
It is difficult to see but if you look at the front end you can make out a shadow climbing onto the trolley car. The photographer who took this picture swears that there was nothing else around that would cause this.
The conductor isn't the only ghost who calls 53 Water Street home though. A group of mediums have gathered in the above-pictured area and contacted other spirits that occupy the area.
One is a young boy that likes to run around the restaurant. He is a mischievous little fellow that likes to turn the cutlery the opposite way to the way it has been laid out.
There is also a dwarfish man with red hair and ruddy features. He likes to prank people especially in the ladies washroom. Once such time, this ghost emerged from one of the cubicles dressed in a red shirt and red long johns. Upon seeing the startled women looking at him, he laughed merrily and went out the washroom door. One of the ladies was smart enough to try to grab a photo but once developed, all the appeared was a blur.
I have to tell you that I had my own little brush with something while taking these photos. I was walking around the back taking pictures with the camera on my smartphone. I was having difficulty - something seemed off - and when I stopped for a moment to see if I had everything I needed before moving to the next section. I saw that there was nothing there. Not a photo that I had taken inside was on my camera. So I retook them. Today while I have been trying to choose photos to go into this blog, I noticed that many of the photos have a blurry tinge to it. Spooky!
So if you visit Vancouver, be sure to stop for a meal at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Water Street. You never who you will be dining with!
I hope you find the beauty around you.
Karen Magill, Vancouver, Trolley Car, history, New Westminster, British Columbia British Columbia Electric Car Company, The Old Spaghetti Company, 53 Water Street, Long johns, dwarf