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.

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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.

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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.

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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.

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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…

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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.



  1. Awesome pictures. I especially like the interior shots. Boy…you do weave a scary tale. I agree with Heather you gave me chills on this one.

  2. avatar Mrs. Mudpuppy says:

    Wow! Very creepy and appropriate for today Toad. Looks like a “hidden gem”!

    • HEY!! Look who’s here!! It’s like having a guest star in our midst! Thanks SO much for taking the time to pop by and leave us these great comments, our dear friend, that really means a lot to us! :) We’re going to head out there for a follow up shoot in the coming weeks, that’s for sure! It’ll be a lot of fun! And in the meantime, thank you so much for everything you do!

  3. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    Perfect post for today Toad ;) Now to go turn on the lights.

  4. avatar Tom Barnett says:

    Wow, you made the hairs on my arm stand up! Toad there is something unusually creepy about that house That comes through the photos. Creepy good work.
    Now go get cleansed or smudged or blessed or something! You don’t want that spirit following you home!

    • :) AWESOME comments, Tom, thank you my friend!! I hear ya on that note, I tell you… you could actually feel something funny here the day we were on this shoot. And, as mentioned, it was in the middle of the day! Thank you so much for all your friendship & support my friend, we really appreciate that!

  5. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Whoa! That place gives me the shivers looking at it. Would be a nice location to shoot a zombie flick :)

    Looks like it was tons of fun to explore around. Nice shots man.

  6. avatar Jim Nix says:

    wow Toad these are awesome, what a great series and a fun place to take some shots!! well done!

  7. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    What an adventure. I’ve enjoyed reading it, likely more than I would have experienced going through the town. LOL

    The photos and the write-up are outstanding, Toad. This is one for the bookshelf. Awesome work!

    Glad the wasps didn’t attack. :-)

    Thanks for the read!

  8. Looks like you found a great place to explore. You just know you’re in trouble when you get that creepy feeling in the middle of a bright sunny day.

    And the photos are terrific. I really like the interior shots that show the run-down nature of the house, yet you can see the beauty of the outdoors through the windows. Well done.

  9. avatar ChrisdMRF says:

    Love it. If your spooked by that though you should come with me to an asylum. Every sound is multiplied and the air is heavy and dank

    • God, I can just image, Chris. Every time I look at your work at these facilities, the blood runs ice cold. But, to be honest, if we were visiting with you in your part of the world, I’d go with you in a heartbeat, my friend. Thanks again for all your friendship, support and encouragement here Chris, it really means so very much to us.

  10. Interesting place that Paldi. First time I was there East Indian People were still living in Paldi, but not in the seventies. The houses had turned into rentals for a poorer part of the population. In the eighties many buildings had gone derelict or were getting there. I seem to remember that the temple had a face lift since then and I assume that a few people who have a relationship with the temple are the only people now living there.

    • Thanks so much for your visit and comments here today Joseph, we truly do appreciate it! I love when folks who are familiar with a location that we shoot pop by and leave us some further details. This is great stuff, my friend, it really means an awful lot to us here!!

  11. avatar Tracy Williams says:

    I grew up in Paldi, and you are sooooo right!!! I could tell you some stories about that amazing place!!! Thank you for such a wonderful trip down memory lane!!!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Fabulous comments, Tracy, thank you ever so much for taking the time to pop by and visit us and for leaving these great thoughts for everyone to enjoy! We really appreciate it! Hope to see you around here again sometime!

  12. [...] the temple, water tower, and a shed left standing (and a derelict house without doors and windows, which you can see here, with windows and door still in it, a few years [...]

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Many thanks for the mention, Joseph! This was a really profound photoshoot for us, we could really feel the people and the history around us as we worked. We really appreciate the link back here to our post.

  13. avatar Ellen says:

    These pictures are the remnants of the Original Peoples, the Cowichin Peoples of Turtle Island. Please do your homework before naming and claiming the lands of Original Peoples.

    • Hi Ellen, thank you very much for your visit and comments. The context of our article here is all within the last 100 years of Vancouver Island history. The deep history of the area you refer to in your comments dates back thousands of years and we really appreciate it, but it is out of scope of this particular project. Many thanks for taking the time to pop by and for leaving these insightful comments.

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