Detail of a photo taken during the recent Colwood Heritage Ghost Tours. In this otherwise untouched photo

Hatley haunting caught on camera?

Historian said the ghost stories he shared seemed to go over well during the Colwood Heritage Ghost Tours, held May 24 to 26.

Whether you believe a photographer has captured the image of a ghost haunting Hatley Castle probably depends on whether you believe such things possible in the first place.

The City of Colwood sent out a photograph snapped by Jennifer Le Corre on May 24 during a Heritage Ghost Tour conducted by John Adams.

The image apparently shows the ethereal shimmer of what some say is a woman wearing an old-fashioned English hat, as well as the faint face of a young girl.

“There does look to be something there but it’s difficult to tell,” said Adams, a James Bay resident well-known as a storyteller and historian in Greater Victoria.

Adams admits he didn’t initially see the spectre, and he’s still not sure what it is he saw.

Adams says images of ghosts are known as “spirit photography” and, while he’s no expert, he says the premise is that cameras can capture energy that the human eye can’t.

Adams is an expert on local hauntings, however, and says there have been numerous sightings of ghosts at Hatley Castle, built by James Dunsmuir in 1908.

The popular story is that his wife, Laura Dunsmuir. died of a broken heart after their son perished aboard the RMS Lusitania, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915.

There is also a tale of a maid who jumped to her death from the castle’s third storey after being jilted by a lover.

Adams said the stories he shared seemed to go over well during the Colwood Heritage Ghost Tours, held May 24 to 26.

“We had three buses over three nights, which is very good,” he said.

A total of 135 people took part in the tour, which raised $2,000 for the Colwood Heritage Advisory Commission.

Another round of tours are in the works, likely for this fall.

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