The Town of Barkerville and It's Many Ghosts

Follow the Old Cariboo Wagon Road near Quesnel in central British Columbia—one time a main thoroughfare for the Cariboo Gold Rush—and you will come across Barkerville, a famous ghost town with not one ghost but many ghosts.

I love ghost towns don't you?  This old ghost town at one time was the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Chicago.  It was named after an English man named Billy Barker, who jumped ship one day and headed inland. He followed his dream of striking it rich panning for gold in the nearby Cariboo Mountains. 

Out of the thousands of men that struggled and never found the mother lode, Billy Barker did, making him a rich man, claiming 1,065 kg/2,350 lbs. of pure 99% gold. Bakerville prospered and grew overnight. The town was named after him.

By 1860, Bakerville boasted a population of 5,000. There was a barbershop, restaurant, boarding houses, a church, a school, a drugstore and several general stores, a theatre (the Royal), and a literary society.  It was an upcoming booming and bustling place.

In 1868, the town burnt to the ground and within 6 weeks was rebuilt, but eventually gold dried up and the depression hit. The town died a slow death as people moved away and in 1958 after the last resident moved, the provincial government decided to turn it into a tourist attraction and appears today as it did in it's heyday.

The town has been known to have three ghostly spirits.  This is how the story goes...

There were two men 
Moses Wellington and James Berry 
partners in a gold mine claim. 
A man named Morgan Blessing, 
a barber, who had a shop on Main Street
was preparing to shave Wellington Moses.  
He put a warm towel around Moses's face 
as he laid back in the chair. 

They knew each other and exchanged words.
As Morgan was honing the razor 
on the strap he turned to look 
over at Wellington.

The towel was becoming saturated with blood then Wellington disappeared, into thin air. 
The towel lay soaking in blood on the chair.
The barber was stunned.

Soon after 
Wellington's partner rode into town, 
claiming he had struck the mother lode.
He was a rich man, now.
He claimed Wellington his partner,
 must have been eaten by bears 
because he was no where to be found.

His body was later discovered, 
with one bullet hole in the back of the head.
James Berry was hanged for murder.

Other ghosts roam and haunt the town. A local brothel owner Madame Fannie Bendixon has been seen peering out an upstairs window of the saloon she once owned.

The Royal Theatre is haunted. People hear strange sounds and footsteps of someone crossing the stage, at all hours. People have suddenly appeared and then disappeared on stage, especially at stage left. There are pockets of cold spots. People have seen an apparition of a man dressed in turn of the century clothing, referring him as a dandy.

There's a ghost that plays the piano, he's been witnessed numerous times. 

It appears that no one wants to leave the old town, even after death.

Of all the ghost towns in British Columbia, Barkerville is the most ghost prolific.

Dog Brindle

ref:  Ghost Stories - Barbara Smith

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