Happy Halloween, everyone, welcome back to The Hollow today! We’re on an adventure together, exploring the ghost town of Paldi, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Our previous post “Paldi the Ghost Town: Part 1” started this story, and today we end it here. With any luck, we’ll have our heads still attached.
As we made our way down the main street in what’s left of the town, we were greeted by few sounds. The wind brushed through the tall grasses, making us turn suddenly at several points to see if someone was there. You could also hear the sound of water dripping, from the remaining wells now left unattended. An eery and ominous silence shrouded the town and even though we were here in the middle of the day, in the bright sunlight, it was a very creepy feeling.
We came upon this house. Or rather, what’s left of it. Without the context of a previous visit, we were left with our imaginations as we took in the place. Once, a vibrant logging community, now a forlorn and forgotten town. A foundation sits, truly it’s a pile of rubble. Behind it is this house. When this was all inhabited, this tiny blue house would have been hidden by the building in front of it.
The only sound to be heard was that of the crickets chirping and the constant buzz of angry wasps that had a home nearby. Clearly, they were not used to visitors.
As I approached the open door, a sentry group of wasps began to circle me as if to try to warn me. I brushed them aside, this was far too good a find to be kept out. The inside was confining and sweltering, the sweat was pouring down my face and the angry bombardiers were constantly taking a run at me. I kept my focus, but felt the presence of something or someone in the building with me. Mrs. Toad was outside, keeping an eye out. I could hear her talking about the wasps, they were everywhere and appeared to be multiplying as the visit went on.
At one time an active and lively logging community, the view from the window now was that of an empty field. No one was around, but I kept spinning as I worked, looking for the being that was clearly in the house with me. I preferred to hear Mrs. Toad talking while we were separated like this, hers was the only earthly voice that was there with us. The other voices were all muted and carried on the gentle wind as it ebbed and flowed. My skin crawled.
Feeling an urgent sense to get out, I quickly make one last stop in the only bedroom. It was small. So small, I looked around to see where a bed would sit. There would be room for little else. An empty pack of cigarettes sat on the floor, and they appeared to have been left here recently. Do the local kids come to hang out here at night and party? If so, they are far braver than I. All I could think of as I continued to work was that someone was behind me… and now they’re breathing on my neck! Time to leave…
As we turned to take one last look as we made a hasty retreat, this fence stood out. I immediately pictured a little girl in a dress with pigtails standing at the gateway here, with one hand on the post and the other waving as her dad made his way out for the day’s work. She was sad to see him go but knew he’d be home as the day came to an end and the sun began to set. Where is this little girl now? In the blink of an eye, she was gone. Only the feeling of her spirit remained.
We are surrounded by spirits and a sense of the energy of those who came before us. It’s fitting on Halloween to pause and reflect on those people. No matter how recently they were here, they truly left an imprint on the land and artifacts left behind. It’s so easy to be frightened or alarmed by this notion, but in truth I think it’s more of the fact that they can’t be seen or sensed by us in this realm rather than any true harm or danger they might pose. Our imaginations create monsters much bigger and scarier than really do exist.
And on a day like today, in towns and cities all over the world, the zombies, ghosts, demons and hobgoblins all come out for a night of party. Be wary of the one behind you, but also know that it is you who holds the power over them, not the other way around.
Have a safe and wonderful Halloween, everyone! Many thanks for your visit here today, we sincerely appreciate it. As always, we encourage everyone to leave us any comments you may have as we love to hear from all our visitors.