Capilano Suspension Bridge and Bridgehouse Restaurant
I was working at the Bridge House Restaurant. My friend’s dad was the manager at the time and had asked if I would be interested in helping with the Laundry. I had already heard stories about this particular restaurant from my friend and her family. Within the first couple of days of assuming the manager role my friends dad along with other staff members had experienced things. One of which was witnessing two ladies sitting in the backyard enjoying a cup of tea. Seconds later they were gone. So I took on this position with trepidation. I had instructed my friend, who was a waitress upstairs, to keep visiting me when she had spare moments, and as a good friend she did.
The first several weekends went by uneventful. It was a yucky job, I didn’t really like it. It was boring and I was all alone in the basement underneath the restaurant. The ceilings were low and the space was small. I believe it was the fourth weekend I had been at the job. I was busy ironing the table cloths and was really off in la la land when a woman came and stood beside me. She had her hands behind her back and was kind of bent over my shoulder as if to ask “what are you doing?” Naturally I believed it was my good friend coming for a visit but as I looked at her and she looked back at me I quickly realized this wasn’t my friend at all but an older woman. Her hair was in a messy bun on top of her head. She was dressed in period clothing and seemed genuinely interested in â€¦well, what I was doing. Just as I looked at her she was gone! Just like that! Well, I screamed my head off. The cook’s came running down the stairs from the kitchen above. One of the cooks instructed the other to go get my friend as they could see I was truly freaked out. With in the minute my friend was downstairs. As soon as I saw her I just burst out in a nervous laughter and I laughed and I laughed trying to explain that I thought she had just been stood beside me and that when I looked at her she just disappeared! I said that I thought I must have inhaled too many cleaning fumes and that I felt crazy! My friend calmly took me to her dads office which was just beside were I worked. She sat me down and tried to calm me as by now I was laughing hystericallyâ€¦truly from fear. She asked me what the woman looked like. So I explained the hair and her dress. I explained she was an older woman. To my total shock and amazement my friend grabbed a picture from her dad’s desk and handed it to me asking me if this was the woman I had seen. Pure shock, total total shock, this was indeed a picture of the woman who had just been standing next to me. Without a shadow of a doubt, there was no question in my mind. This was her. My friend explained that she had once been the owner of the house. She had died and had since been seen, heard, felt by various people over the years. I just couldn’t believe it she seemed so real!
After this event I just could not work downstairs. The next week my friend’s dad offered me a job upstairs in the restaurant as a busser. Of course everyone knowing that I was the girl who saw the ghost I was told more and more stories of sightings and experiences that people had had. This truly was an active place. There were stories of chairs moving, lights switching on and off, the kitchen doors swinging back and forth on their own, wine bottles flying out of the racks, cutlery disappearing and then re-appearing, the dishwasher would open, close, turn on then turn off. There is a table in the front of the restaurant where apparently after the staff has blown out the candle it relights itself. On one account a staff member was scoffing off the existence of the ghost and all the things that people had claimed to have happened. Moments later a small wooden pointed tip paddle came down from a beam above and hit her on the back of the head. For months after, this particular staff member seemed to be ‘picked on’ by the ghost. It was not uncommon for the staff, including myself, to talk openly to this woman. I think it was believed if we acknowledged her and just said hi she would be less likely to be active and scare the begeesers out of us. There were many times when even customers would come in and comment that they felt they had seen something or felt something, particularly in the bathrooms. After several months I had just grown somewhat accustomed to her presence. There would be days when people would have something happen and tell us and then there would be several days were nothing happened at all.
On one particular summer day I was asked to set up the backyard for a tour coming through for an afternoon tea. I was told to set all of the tables in the back and was given about 30 forks and knives. I put all the utensils on one table and began to set each one separately. I had gotten to the third table when I went to put the utensils down andâ€¦.they weren’t in my hands. I thought ‘what the heck’ looked around and all of the knives and forks had been strewn all over the back yard. I mean ALL OVER THE YARD! At that moment my friend happen to be coming out following me with the napkins and such when she stopped on the back steps and gasped! She asked me what happened?? As I stood there completely dumbfoundedâ€¦.I just stammered to explain and just burst in to tears. My friend came down to me and just put her arm around me trying to comfort me saying “it’s okayâ€¦not to worryâ€¦” as she lead me back up the steps in to the restaurant we both just seemed to stop and turned around only to find that one of the white plastic tables had somehow risen on to the top of the four chairs around it. That was it. I was done. I just couldn’t handle it and told her I had to leave. So, in fact that was the end of my job at the Bridge House Restaurant.
A little while later I started working over at the Suspension Bridge across the street.
I spent several years doing various jobs at the Suspension Bridge. I loved working there. Besides the fact I had been asked to tell the stories of the Bridge House a hundred times. Likewise, co-workers shared their own stories or those that they had heard from others. Apparently, this too was a very active spot. My years there had gone pretty uneventful. It wasn’t until my last summer working there that I had the worst experience of my life.
Two co workers and I had decided to stay late one summer night to do schedules and payroll. The park had closed and the three of us were the only remaining people in the park. We had decided to get some pizza as we were staying so late. One of my co-workers and I decided to drive down in her car to the local pizza shop. The one remaining co-worker was going to stay at the park. She stated she was afraid being left alone and asked if we could take one of our park walkie talkies with us so she could communicate with us from time to time. On the way down we contacted her just to check in and make sure she was okay. Once we arrived at the pizza shop I jumped out from the front passenger door and went in to buy the pizzas. We then drove back up Capilano Road and parked the car across the road from the bridge, just outside the Bridge House restaurant.
I attempted to get out of the car and was shocked to find that I couldn’t open the door. I tried and tried but just could not open the door. Since I had just gotten out of it minutes previous, to get the pizza, I felt this was really strange. My co-worker came around to my side of the car just bewildered. She too attempted to open the door but just could not open it. It was her car and she proceeded to tell me that she often had this problem with her driver door. She said she would often have to ‘Duke’s of Hazard’ it just to get out but it had never happened to the passenger side of the car. After a few minutes of laughing and trying, the door just suddenly gave and opened. We both thought this was strange but really didn’t think anything of it, but because of this I do remember her making a point of checking the door, opening it, closing it, locking and unlocking it just to check to make sure it did in fact open. I know before we left she had locked both doors and our windows were rolled up. We went back in to the park and went up in to the office were our co-worker was. When we arrived we found her on the phone talking to the park security company explaining that we would be staying late. They advised we had to leave by midnight in order for the park to alarm.
The time after that was pretty uneventful. We just carried on working and listening to music. It was much later when my co-worker suddenly realized that it was 11:45pm and said “oh we have to go it’s almost 12:00”. I stopped what I was doing and proceeded to go to the windows behind her to close them. It was summer and warm and we had had all the windows in the office open. As I approached the window the fax machine across the office beeped, as if it was receiving a fax. My co-worker questioned who would be faxing at this time of night? I suggested it was probably was one of our tour company’s faxing us their confirmation for the next day. I stopped moving toward the window and instead headed straight for the fax machine. Just as I got to the front of the desk we all heard a horrendous CRASH from downstairs in the Trading Post portion of the building. To me it sounded as if a hide or a head (there were several deer heads mounted on the walls) had come down from the top of the wall and had gone through the glass jewelry case. We all froze in shock from the noise. Within seconds, the door at the bottom of a staircase, next to the secretary desk, SLAMMED shut. This door is at the bottom of a ‘secret’ staircase enclosed by walls. This secret staircase was used to go from the office down to the shipping and receiving area. This door has a metal bar handle which pushes it open from the inside. On the outside of the door there is not a door handle or any means of opening it. This door opens out on to the cantilevered deck outside. This means this door could only have opened from the inside. As we heard this heavy door SLAM shut we quickly realized that someone must be in the building. The door slamming was quickly followed by heavy and determined footsteps pounding up the staircase which leads nowhere other than straight in to the room where we were standing. The three of us ran to the boardroom and shut the door. My co-worker quickly phoned 911. As she was talking to the 911 operator we heard the door leading to the office open followed by footsteps now slowly creaking across the office floor towards the room we were in. Being an old building the floors did in fact creak whenever you walked across the room. I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say that we were all truly terrifiedâ€¦this was for real.
Of all the oddities would you believe my choice of hiding place was behind an empty coat rack! My poor co-worker was so scared she just stood in front of the door as if prepared to take this person head on if they dared to walk inâ€¦.or be the first sacrificed from fear of moving! My other co-worker was, understandable, hiding underneath the desk quickly giving the 911 operator instructions on where we were in the park. I remember noticing that the light under the door went dark, affirming that this person was in fact standing on the other side of the door. I think it was when my co-worker on the phone whispered “their here!!” meaning the North Vancouver and West Vancouver RCMP that I noticed the light return under the door. I know I didn’t take my eyes off of the door the whole time just waiting for it to open, so when I saw the light return under the door I realized this person must have walked away. We all affirmed after the fact that we never heard the person walk back across the floor or go out any doors or make any other sound at all while leaving. It was a very strange feeling because besides the sound of our hearts pounding in our ears our senses seemed heightened a hundred fold, so we all really noticed any little sound. I have to say once I saw the light return under the door I just knew it was over. I just knew they were gone. I had this over whelming sense of “Oh my Godâ€¦he’s gone”. In a matter of seconds we could see the flashlights shining in the office windows and voices announcing they were the RCMP and to just stay where we were. Once they got into the building and came up to the office they said “Okay it’s okay to come out”. Ironically, after the fact we realized we hadn’t even locked the door to the room we were in!
We were all sat down and somewhat calmed. I don’t know how many officers were there other than a lot! As well, the RCMP had sent several K9 units out to search the park. As we were questioned over and over about the events of the evening and as I was looking around it suddenly struck me that the windows were all closed. I knew that they couldn’t be or that they shouldn’t be. After all, that was the last thing I was about to do just before the fax machine caught our attention by beeping. For sure, all of the windows had been left open. As I explained this to the police, my co-workers confirmed that this was in fact true. Next, we checked the fax machine and realized that the piece of paper that had come out was a little sheet of paper which normally prints immediately to confirm that a fax we are sending had been successfully sent. This just couldn’t be as no one had faxed anyone in the 6 hours since the office had closed. Then the RCMP confirmed that the dogs could not pick up a scentâ€¦at all. Nothing that would indicate someone had been there. I remember the police officer explaining to us that if someone had been there, breaking in and intentionally trying to approach us, they would naturally have given of a scent of either fear or adrenaline, or something. It is just always the case. If someone had been there their dogs would have picked up a scent of some kind. The hardest part for me to accept was that when the police had gone downstairs to check the Trading Post everything was perfect. Not a thing out of place. No broken glass, nothing on the floor, no stands tipped overâ€¦nothing. How is it possible that such a horrendous noise could have occurred with not a thing out of place? I remember one police officer asking us if it were at all possible it could have been ‘something else’. Due to the other little hints to us that perhaps it was, we could draw no other conclusion other than to consider we had perhaps been visited by something other than an actual person.
Eventually, the police escorted us out to my co-workers car while explaining that they would be in touch with the owner of the bridge and that a report would be filed. As we approached the car another police officer asked sarcastically “Are you always in the habit of leaving all your windows down while your car is unattendedâ€¦?” What? That can’t be my co-worker said. My co-worker and I just looked at each other both remembering the shenanigan we had had earlier with the car. This is what really clinched it for us. This seemed to be yet another clear sign that something had targeted us specifically. Just to note even the little triangular windows in the corner of the bigger windows had been opened.
Naturally the three of us were spooked beyond belief. We decided to all stay together that night as we just couldn’t leave each other alone. We all went back to my basement suite and sat up all night exchanging the specifics of what had just happened. Ironically, as we left for work that morning my landlady from upstairs saw me and gasped “Oh my, are you okay? You look like you have seen a ghost!”
We had a meeting with the owner of the Capilano Suspension Bridge that morning. We recounted everything that had happened and too our utmost shock we were comforted by being told that we were not the only ones that had had such an experience late at night at the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Over the past 12 years I have been very hesitant to recount this story to anyone other than my close friends. Out of respect for the owner of the Capilano Suspension bridge and due to the fact it had involved the Police.
For the Capilano Suspension Bridge website click here.
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