One fall afternoon in October, paranormal investigator Amanda Quill was wandering alone in the halls of Overlynn Mansion, when she heard someone whisper her name.
The soft voice alarmed her enough that she felt the need to leave the opulent Burnaby house to catch her breath.
Built in 1909, the splendid interior of the Tudor Revival is often used by film and television production companies.
Overlynn also has a reputation for being ghostly.
“It’s a haunted house. It’s a classic haunted mansion, ”said Greg Mansfield, author of Ghosts of Vancouver.
Visitors and employees have reported hearing a man cough and seeing a little girl in a white dress appear and then suddenly disappear.
The sight of the child scared a cleaning lady so much that she told her boss “she could never come back to this house again, she was so scared”.
In the 1930s, the house was sold to the Sisters of Charity of Halifax, who ran a girls’ boarding school. Tiny sinks and a tub are still in the attic.
“It’s such a contrast to the rest of the house,” said Eve Lazarus, real-life crime writer from Vancouver and host of the Cold Case Canada podcast. “You go up to that attic and there’s this horrible floor and it’s boarded up, and you can see where the kids must have slept.”
In January 2020, video equipment used by a Vancouver-based paranormal investigation team captured what looked like an arm swinging behind a wall near the Grand Staircase in Overlynn.
“Holy shit! Exclaimed members of Coldspotters Paranormal, who carefully examined the footage and swore no one was near the area.
After a short walk, Quill, who swears she heard someone whisper her name, returned home for an interview with CTV News, but she was still uncomfortable. Standing on the stairs, she frequently looked over her shoulder to the top floor.
“I have this overwhelming feeling of being watched,” Quill said.
The house is owned by the Action Line Housing Society, which operates the Seton Villa Retirement Center. Their team is always on the lookout for new uses for Overlynn, in order to maintain the heritage building.
Some people might laugh at the idea that it’s haunted, but few can deny that it’s beautiful.