Haunted house talk in Chilliwack will have a few ghost stories

Lazarus is bringing some scary stories to town Thursday night at the Royal Hotel.

Author Eve Lazarus offers a free talk on haunted houses at the historic Royal Hotel in downtown Chillwack on Thursday

Author Eve Lazarus offers a free talk on haunted houses at the historic Royal Hotel in downtown Chillwack on Thursday

Every house has a story behind it, said author Eve Lazarus.

Lazarus is bringing some really scary stories to town next Thursday night for her haunted house talk at the Royal Hotel.

She’s also got a few intriguing facts to share about a creepy Chilliwack house that used to stand at Williams Street and Portage Avenue in Chilliwack.

The three-storey house was eventually demolished by 1975, but at one point it was attracting hordes of curious ghost hunters and lookie-loos.

“It looked really creepy, especially with the turret at the top,” said Lazarus.

As a former journalist and communications expert, she researched many historic homes. She’s found that most houses have a history, “much like a person has a history,” she said.

The famous local haunted house was owned by the Fredrickson family who moved into the Williams Street manor in the 1960s, when really strange things started happening.

Dresser drawers opening in an unoccupied bedroom were just the start of the unsettling events. Doors opened by themselves. Footsteps were heard on the stairs.

Hetty Fredrickson, an artist, reported hearing breathing sounds and smelled the sweet odour of perfume, while re-occurring nightmares made for sleepless nights. She began painting the figure she saw in her dreams: a woman in a yellow and red dress. As she painted, the portrait of the woman began to take on a life of its own. But she would awake to find the painting was slowly morphing into a picture of a man.

Word spread about the haunted house in Chilliwack and the family had to deal with visitors flocking to the house. More than 700 visitors dropped by the house one day in June of 1966, reported The Progress at the time. They were an unruly mob, and many were hoping to catch a glimpse of the ghost.

“When I started looking at these houses for my book, certain things would pop up, like those details,” she said.

Details like unsolved murders, and tongue-wagging scandals make for interesting reading.

Lazarus even wrote a blog on how not to buy a “murder house.” Owners, of course, have to disclose what they know, if they know something.

That’s some of what she’ll be talking about at her free lecture at the Royal Hotel on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.

Lazarus has spent hours researching the history of many of Greater Vancouver homes for her new book, Sensational Vancouver, and her earlier work, At Home with History. The books make it clear she has an abiding passion for heritage and mystery. The pre-Halloween event will also include a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic Royal Hotel in downtown Chilliwack.

See more at http://evelazarus.com/

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