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The Fairmont Empress: Victoria’s Haunted Historic Hotel


Imagine stepping into a grand hotel, its opulent halls echoing with whispers of a bygone era. Now imagine those whispers turning into chilling voices, footsteps echoing in empty hallways, and objects moving on their own. This is the reality of the Fairmont Empress, a majestic landmark in Victoria, British Columbia, that holds a captivating blend of history, grandeur, and ghostly encounters. The Empress, as it is affectionately known, is more than just a beautiful hotel; it is a vessel of stories, a repository of the past, and a place where the veil between the living and the departed appears to be thin.

Table of Contents

  • A Glimpse into the Empress’s Past
  • Unveiling the Empress’s Haunted Legacy
  • Exploring the Supernatural Phenomena
  • The Empress’s Appeal
  • FAQ Section
  • Conclusion

A Glimpse into the Empress’s Past

Standing tall on the waterfront of Victoria, the Fairmont Empress was built in 1908, a testament to the architectural prowess of the Victorian era. Its elegant façade, crafted from local sandstone, evokes a sense of regal grandeur that captivated visitors from the outset. The Empress quickly became a symbol of Victoria’s elegance and a prominent destination for prominent figures and dignitaries.

Over the years, the Empress hosted royalty like King George V and Queen Mary, and prominent figures like the famous author, Rudyard Kipling. The hotel played host to significant historical events, including the first Imperial Conference in 1907, laying the foundation for the modern Commonwealth.

The Empress evolved from a grand resort to a hub of political and social gatherings, eventually becoming part of the renowned Fairmont Hotels & Resorts chain. Yet, through these transformations, the hotel retained its timeless charm and undeniable presence, a constant in a rapidly changing world.

Unveiling the Empress’s Haunted Legacy

While the Fairmont Empress boasts a rich history, it’s the whispers of a more spectral nature that truly set it apart. For generations, guests and staff have shared stories of unexplained phenomena, giving rise to the hotel’s reputation as a haunted haven.

Some of the most popular tales involve reported sightings of a shadowy figure in a top hat, believed to be a former hotel manager, appearing in the lobby or wandering the hallways. Others speak of ghostly footsteps echoing in the dead of night, whispers in empty rooms, and objects moving seemingly on their own.

Exploring the Supernatural Phenomena

The Fairmont Empress is known for its diverse range of paranormal activity. Reports of temperature fluctuations, especially a sudden drop in temperature, are common, particularly in the historic rooms and corridors. There have also been numerous accounts of disembodied voices, seemingly coming from nowhere, and objects mysteriously shifting positions, adding a layer of intrigue to the already captivating atmosphere.

However, while the paranormal occurrences are undeniably captivating, it’s crucial to approach them with an open mind. Scientific explanations for some phenomena are possible, such as natural drafts causing temperature changes or electromagnetic fields influencing electronic equipment. Yet, some events remain unexplained, further fueling the mystery surrounding the Empress’s haunted legacy.

The Empress’s Appeal

The Fairmont Empress’s allure lies in its captivating blend of history and mystery. Its historical significance, the stories of its illustrious guests, and the rich cultural tapestry it embodies make it an intriguing destination in itself. Yet, it is the whispers of the past, the unexplained occurrences, and the undeniable sense of the supernatural that truly set it apart.

The Empress attracts visitors who seek a glimpse into the past, those who are fascinated by the paranormal, and those who simply enjoy the thrill of the unknown. It is a place where history intertwines with the present, where reality blurs with the supernatural, and where the boundaries of the ordinary are constantly challenged.

FAQ Section

Q: What are the most famous ghost stories associated with the Empress?

The most famous ghost stories involve the reported sightings of a shadowy figure in a top hat, believed to be a former hotel manager, and the lingering footsteps heard in the hallways and the whispers in empty rooms.

Q: Are there any specific rooms known to be haunted?

Some of the most haunted rooms are located on the upper floors, particularly those with a rich history and potential ties to tragic events.

Q: What is the most common paranormal activity reported at the Empress?

The most common paranormal activity includes temperature fluctuations, disembodied voices, objects moving on their own, and reported sightings of ghostly figures.

Q: Is the Fairmont Empress considered one of the most haunted hotels in Canada?

The Fairmont Empress is widely recognized as one of the most haunted hotels in Canada, with a reputation built on numerous credible reports of paranormal activity.

Q: How can I experience the Empress’s history and potential paranormal activity?

You can experience the Empress’s history and potential paranormal activity by taking a guided tour, staying overnight in one of the historic rooms, or simply exploring the hotel at your own pace.

Q: Are there any tours or events dedicated to the hotel’s haunted history?

While the hotel doesn’t offer specific ghost tours, the staff and local paranormal investigators are often willing to share their stories and experiences, enriching the guest experience.


The Fairmont Empress is more than just a grand hotel; it is a living testament to the past, a place where history and mystery intertwine, and where the realm of the supernatural seems to beckon. Whether you believe in ghosts or simply enjoy a good story, the Empress offers a unique and captivating experience, a chance to step back in time and explore the captivating blend of historical grandeur and unexplained phenomena that make this iconic landmark truly special.