Haunting tales on tap at Britannia in Richmond

Haunting tales of a wailing banshee, the Wild Woman, ghost ships and even paranormal activity will be on tap this weekend at Britannia Heritage Shipyards.

For the first time on Saturday night, the Historic Halloween Ghost Tour at the shipyards in Steveston will come alive with three ghostly, costumed characters, accompanied by a resident historian/narrator.

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For one night only, they will take you on a family-friendly, hour-long tour through the shipyards, beguiling the audience with eery recanting of ghosts of Britannia’s past, folklore, legend and actual sightings.

One of the professional actors involved, Richmond’s Lori Sherritt-Fleming, described her character as a fisherman’s wife, who gets a most unwelcome visit in the night from a “banshee.”

“The visit is a sign that perhaps my husband is not coming back from the river,” Sherritt-Fleming told the Richmond News at the shipyards on Monday.

“The banshee is howling in her backyard. It’s a Celtic spirit that would appear as a form of part cat, part woman and howl and howl for someone that was about to pass. It’s kind of a terrifying prospect really.”

Fellow actor Shelly MacDonald will play the role of the “Mi’kmaq,” an Indigenous “storyteller” of First Nations and Scottish ancestory.

“She will be telling the stories of the wild woman and stone people, through an Indigenous lens,” MacDonald said, adding that legend had it that such “people” would come to take away misbehaving children.

The trio of characters will be completed by a sailor down on the shipyards’ docks, who will tell of ghost ships that have disappeared from sight and then reappeared…but with no one on board.

The stories ones that the historian will be telling, added Sheritt-Fleming, will be of paranormal activity that has been experienced on site, as well as some of the “traditions and death rituals of all the different cultures that have lived here.”

The tour is being hosted by Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site and Public Art and Artists Rendering Tales Collective Inc. (ARTCi).

Register for the tour at Britannia’s Visitor Centre or by calling the registration call centre at 604-276-4300.

The tour goes Saturday, Oct. 20 only, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15. More information online at Richmond.ca/Britannia.




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