The Ghostly Gardens of Hatley Castle

Hatley Park Castle was designed in 1907  by the well known architect  Sam MacLure for James Dunsmuir, son of the famous coal baron of Vancouver Island, Robert Dunsmuir.  The last Dunsmuir  grandchild, Dola, lived there for many years. She died under rather sad circumstances in 1966.

I never tire of the place and it’s a perfect photographic subject. Bring a lunch but hang onto it tightly. Woodland spirits like racoons and those more ephemeral, are about. Sometimes you may catch glimpses of other worlds as you wander the many, meandering paths.  You can take a nap in the little grove by the stream but you must wake up shortly before the sun goes down and when the light is folding like a shutter.  If the season is right,  carry a dandelion puff and look through that. Try not to sneeze. You don’t want to scare away the ghosts.

sleeping sun by Nightwish

haunted garden
Ghosts of Hatley Castle

 “Be hole, be dust, be dream, be wind

Be night, be dark, be wish, be mind,

Now slip, now slide, now move unseen,

Above, beneath, betwixt, between.- Neil Gaimon

I do believe the lady in the garden is Dola Dunsmuir in happier times.

More Hatley Park:

Afternoon in a Haunted Garden

Tea time at the Castle

Background music:  Nightwish is a folk rock group from Finland. Many of their ballads have a dark or mythological theme.

46 Comments Add yours

  1. Peter Nena says:

    I like the Guardian. And I always love the atmosphere in your photos. Eerie.
    When are you coming for Safari?

    Like

    1. One journey at a time Peter. 🙂 I would so love to go! Back in Edinburgh Sunday and visiting cousins there before heading over to Dublin. I know you don’t post photos but I have seen some beautiful African pictures including some in Kenya from some of the travel bloggers!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Peter Nena says:

        One such blogger is Tish Farrell She lived here for a long time and later moved to back to England. She is a great blogger, photographer, writer, and as friendly and personable as you. Have a great weekend, Cybele.

        Like

      2. I will check her out!! Thanks Peter!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Roy McCarthy says:

    Excellent post Cybele, very Celtic. Love the pics and I must check out more of Nightwish.

    Like

    1. Thanks Roy! I like Nightwish and another interesting group along the same vein is Ensiferum, both from Finland.

      Like

  3. aishasoasis says:

    Spooky place, but so lovely photos, Cybele, this is definitely on my vancouver list! ♥♥♥ ;^)

    Like

    1. It’s only spooky in monochrome Aisha- actually the huge gardens are gorgeous. You may have linked to my other posts on Hatley Castle which shows a few in colour. Thank you my friend and yes, you must ask your husband to bring you to his old home, the west coast of beautiful BC sometime! Bring a raincoat though lol!!

      Like

      1. aishasoasis says:

        Raincoat and umbrella, aye aye captain! Lol, yes I saw the color photos and they are spectacular! ♥♥♥ ;^)

        Like

  4. lauramacky says:

    Wonderful photos Hanna! I especially love the Postern. 🙂

    Like

    1. thanks Laura- Good to hear from you! that one kind of worked with the fresco filter!!

      Like

      1. lauramacky says:

        What program is fresco filter? If it’s in PS, I’ve never used it. Maybe I should start lol. Actually I use Adobe Paper Texture Pro via the Extension Manager.

        Like

      2. it’s in the filter gallery!! But I will look for your extension too!! thanks! 🙂

        Like

  5. Amazing photos, Cybele. A beautiful place. The eyes of the Guardian look almost real — eerie! 🙂

    Like

    1. thanks Linda! I know what you mean- they are human eyes on the lion!! Like the beast from beauty and the beast! 😀

      Like

  6. Mélanie says:

    did like your story and I guess the Guardian looks like “la Bête” from the “La Belle et la Bête”… 🙂

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    1. He does!! Thank you Melanie!

      Like

  7. Love the story Cybele, very impressive. I believe that in our space are other dimensional space, I’ve read story about this case, which are other secrets place / zone, there’s real experiences story of a family from Great Britain, when they were lost on the way to Leon- France, they have arrived in another time,
    but the same place.

    Like

    1. I so agree!! Thank you Della!

      Like

  8. That music goes so well with those images. You have such a gift for adding an otherworldly dimension to your photography.

    Like

    1. thank you for a lovely compliment!! It’s what I hope!!

      Like

  9. Wow – these are breathtaking!!!

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    1. It’s such a beautiful place – acres of garden! Thank you robert!

      Like

  10. Mysterious Poetry; well done!

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    1. thank you Harrie!! Some places inspire that!

      Like

  11. suej says:

    Great blend of words and images, Cybele!

    Like

    1. thanks so much for that comment Sue!!

      Like

  12. Love those images Cybele – light folding like a shutter and ‘carry a dandelion puff and look through that’ – magical.

    Like

  13. Maria F. says:

    So mysterious, it’s amazing how these places you find are actually real.

    Like

    1. thank you Maria, it is a very “haunting” place!

      Like

  14. Suzanne says:

    What stunning photos that really capture the spirit of place you write about. Once again – a terrific blend of words and images that transport me to another time and place.

    Like

    1. I so appreciate your comment Suzanne!! You must visit Hatley Gardens!

      Like

      1. Suzanne says:

        If I ever get that way. My trip to Ireland had been cancelled – weirdly I’m actually happy about that because it was only going to be a very short family visit. I’d rather save my money and go somewhere I haven’t been before.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. darn, we could have met up in Ireland!! 🙂

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      3. Suzanne says:

        That would have been cool but I am very relieved I don’t have to fly 27hrs+ from Oz to Ireland one week then fly back again the next. I’m sure you’ll have a great holiday – so many castles and the like to photo.

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      4. 10 hours for me +stopover to connect. I love both Ireland and Scotland but I have time, I will be there for a month.

        Like

      5. Suzanne says:

        Enjoy it. I’ve never seen Scotland. Do you visit Seonaid’s blog ‘A breath of Green Air’? She has just put up a great post up about standing stones in Scotland. You might like it.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. For years I dream to visit BC…I really hope one day my dream will come true. And when I see your photos, the pull is even stronger. Beautiful, just beautiful…your photos are like a soothing balm for my tired soul.

    Like

    1. I hope you do too!! Thanks so much Snow!

      Like

  16. sixpixx says:

    Wonderful, evocative images… Thankfully, I feel the narrative suggests being released from this spiritual place.

    Like

    1. yes Six- not too spooky!! 🙂 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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