Bastion Square and Helmcken Alley

Helmcken Alley

Helmeken Alley

Helmeken Alley

Photographer “Bobenis Rodriguez” of writes:

This is a well known and documented haunted alley known as Helmken Alley in Bastion Square. Many locals as well as tourists have been followed by a man in old prison attire and chains shackled to his wrists and ankles. Story has it that this man was being transported down the alley in the mid 1800’s and the guard decided to beat him and he died from this beating in this alley. The building to the right of the alley was, at the time, a jail and people were hung regularly in the courtyard where the alley leads out into. I have gone many evenings to take IR photo as well as opened shuttered time elapsed photos. With IR, I did capture a series (7 or so) of an orb which moved around and down the alley. I find this stuff fascinating and have experienced so many ghostly occurrences throughout my life that I suppose it further bolsters my interest. Anyway, the photo was taken at night and I thought it came out erie but cool. Comments and critiques are most welcomed!


Bastion Square

In the square you now find yourself in the heart of this most haunted city.  Even before Europeans arrived, the natives believed this spot had strong magical powers. Virtually every building in the square is associated with a ghost or two. You might hear the clanking of chains at the entrance to Helmcken Alley or even catch a glimpse of the prisoner murdered there in the 1860s.  Listen for phantom music at the window of  the building to the right of the alley, where an organist once employed at a restaurant in the building is said to still play requests from the other side..
The most haunted building in the square is currently home to the Maritime Museum. Victoria’s jail and gallows once stood here. Some unclaimed bodies were buried there and their bones remain here today! Look through the windows at the entrance to the Museum and watch for a shadowy, slender figure with a Van Dyke beard, which has been seen gliding down the main staircase. It’s thought to be the ghost of Victoria’s infamous Hanging Judge, Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, eternally looking for another guilty man to condemn

TV Series “Creepy Canada” Synopsis:

The streets surrounding a former jail are haunted by the ghost of its one time prisoner.

Bastion Square in Victoria, British Columbia is a very old and very haunted place. Generations ago there was a jailhouse located in one of its alleys. The building is gone, but the indelible memory of its numerous executions still lives on. Many visitors to this historic location have experienced, first hand, the terrifying sound of rattling chains, followed by the apparition of a man dressed in an old prison uniform. It is believed that this man was killed by an impatient guard, who was walking with the man, on his way to his execution. The jail had also acted as a graveyard for the unclaimed bodies of the prisoners who died within the walls. When the prison was demolished in 1885, the dead were ignored, as if they were never buried there. Today, these dead live on in Bastion Square.

Other Info:

Bastion Square in the heart of Victoria’s Old Town is the most haunted part of town. Almost every building around the historic square has a ghost or two.

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is located in the old Supreme Court building is said to be the most haunted of them all due to the fact is was built on the site of the city’s first gallows and many of the men who were hanged still lie buried beneath its foundations.

Visit the Maritime Museum daily throughout the year. Helmcken Alley leads away from Bastion Square and has the reputation for being just as haunted. The sounds of muffled footsteps with dragging chains is one of the stories from Helmcken Alley that is featured in the Creepy Canada TV series.

4 thoughts on “Bastion Square and Helmcken Alley

  1. I lived in Victroia for many years and went on the “Ghost Bus Tours” every few years. I never saw anything frightening in beautiful Bastion Square, but in the museum, I always had a creepy felling that I was being watched. Most unnerving.

  2. About 11 years ago when my son was in cub scouts we made a trip to Victoria from C.R. We had a sleep over tour night in the Maritime Museum, the employee who was in charge was great with the kids and they had a pirate, treasure hunt based theme going on.

    They set up clues and riddles for the kids and broke us up into 3 groups where we followed these clues and we navigated our teams around in the dark in that spooky old place. During the scavenge hunt I had a eirie feeling of being watched and also swear I felt somebody stroke my hair. They gave us the intoduction and itinery in the old courtroom and they did say how many prisoners were sentenced to death, but it was kept pretty kid friendly and before that I never knew any history of the place.

    During the evening a couple times I would leave the group and go into the alley to have a cigarette alone and I heard footsteps but never saw anybody…but it still wasn’t sinking in, considering it was an unfamiliar place I just chalked it off as my own imagination. However that evening after we rolled out or blew up our mattresses and chose a place on the floor it was time to sleep and I dozed off pretty quick to be woken up a few hours later to the sound of rattling chains and a really sad moaning type of noise.

    The old elevator in the inside f the building is made out of wrought iron and is quite loud, I heard it being in use and I was just around the corner from it, I heard it stop on the floor I was on and I jumped up very quickly thinking I was going to catch some kids sneaking around, but nobody was there. In the morning I asked the employee (he called himself Captain Ron or something like that) if the place is haunted and he asked me why I ask, did I see or hear something, so I explained everything I heard, he just smiled and nodded. From my own experience this place definately has paranormal activity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *