Vancouver Island’s Ghost Stories Investigated

VIU Creative Writing student Shanon Sinn

October 16, 2018 - 8:30pm

VIU Creative Writing student Shanon Sinn is fascinated by ghost stories –so much so that he wrote a book exploring some of the Island’s legendary supernatural tales.

In The Haunting of Vancouver Island, Sinn investigates more than two dozen different ghost stories and supernatural events, including stories about VIU’s Malaspina Theatre ghost. From a headless ghost, to a lady who walks on water, to the wild people of the woods, he brings these tales to life through careful research, interviews and site visits.

“It’s a fun way to look at our own mortality,” says Sinn, a self-described believer and skeptic who has had numerous supernatural experiences of his own throughout his lifetime. “The thing I love the most about these stories is they are a uniting factor for people. So many people have had encounters with the supernatural and they are pervasive across all cultures, all religions.”

The stories span the length and breadth of Vancouver Island, and Sinn includes stories from the three major First Nations language groups on the Island: the Kwakwaka’wakw, the Coast Salish and the Nuu-chah-nulth. They are written to be enjoyed by skeptics and believers alike. “I’m just acknowledging that these stories exist,” says Sinn.

The book deal came about after Sinn met Taryn Boyd, Publisher of TouchWood Editions, when she came to VIU Creative Writing Professor Dr. Joy Gugeler’s publishing class. The Haunting of Vancouver Island, published last fall, is available at the VIU Campus Store, or by going to 

*This article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 edition of VIU Magazine. Check out more stories on the VIU Magazine webpage.

Tags: Creative Writing | VIU Magazine

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email