Local Haunts vs. Spooky Haunts in the Kootenays

Local Haunts vs. Spooky Haunts in the Kootenays

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In preparation for Halloween at the end of the month, we thought it would be fun to feature both what’s haunted (supposedly) around the Kootenays as well as our local community ‘haunts’!

What’s (could be) Haunted!

~ It’s rumoured that room #335 (which no longer exists) of the Hume Hotel & Spa in Nelson is “haunted”.  It’s been said that you can hear a woman laughing and as far as gossip goes it could be the benevolent spirit of the original owner Lydia Hume.  Old history aside, today the Hotel & Spa is a thriving, beautifully renovated historical hotel in Nelson’s  downtown centre. 

~ What’s spookier then building a home out of 500,000 embalming jars? That’s right the Glass House along Highway #3A, the East Shore of Kootenay Lake near Boswell/Sanca is one of our most unique attractions.  If you’re taking a road trip to the region in the summer, it’s a worthy pit-stop!

The Glass House in Sanca/Boswell, photo by Don Weixl

~ We are in awe, that the SS Moyie sailed the waters of Kootenay Lake for 59 years (1898 – 1957) and at one time it was the main mode of transportation, connecting to rail stops within the region.  Today, you can tour the sternwheeler when you visit the community of Kaslo.

SS Moyie in Kalso, photo by Don Weixl

~ The natural, horseshoe caves at Ainsworth Hot Springs have been upgraded with lights but at one time they were not.  And, as you can imagine it was tricky (and fun) to navigate through these natural stalagmites.

Photo of Ainsworth Hot Springs' Cave; photo by Don Weixl

~ Sandon & Fort Steele (and of course other ghost towns) are one-of-a-kind and a little eerie. Especially if think back to their hey days - these were bustling, tough towns full of hopeful miners - all trying to strike it rich!

~ We are sure, if the Nelson’s Streetcar #23 could tell us, she would have epic tales of her travels (1924-1949). Today the restored Electric Streetcar services the area between the Hall Street loop to Rotary Lakeside Park (along the Kootenay Lake lakeshore).

What’s Not (Haunted)!

~ Rafters in Rossland at RED Mountain is one of the most classic ski bum après ski venues along the Powder Highway.

~ The Village Idiot is known to be the best ‘locals’ restaurant in Revelstoke, so if you’re in town be sure to check it out (and if you want to feel like a local remember to wear your toque!).   

~ The ‘Bakery’ on mainstreet Invermere, has been in operation since 1956 (founded by a Dutch baker, Jan Van Driel).  The bakers have changed over the years, but they still offer traditional, artisan breads, homemade baked goods (including Gluten free) and micro-roast coffee. 

~ The historic Miner’s Hall
 built in 1898 by architect E.J. Weston has been a rallying point for the community of Rossland for 119 years.  Today it’s the home of the Gold Fever Follies who just celebrated 30 years in 2017.

~ The Old Bauernhaus Restaurant in Kimberley, is literally older than the Canada (375+ years).  It was built in Germany in 1640, dismantled and shipped to Canada in 1987, and then reconstructed. Today the new owners (Nils & Michelle) serve traditional Bavarian dishes (bring your appetite for the Bavarian Feast) and believe in the ‘Slow Food Movement’ which advocates local, sustainable eating.

~ Oso Negro, in Nelson, has its own “cult” following and for the past 20+ years they have sought to retain the authenticity and artisanal quality of their coffees. Enjoy their amazing java inside among the artwork of local artisans or outdoors in their perennial garden.


Story by KootRocks Staffer (Shannon Harrison), top photo by Phil Best in Nelson.

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