May 31, 2017 I Brett Tingley

Vancouver’s Famous ‘Lady in Red’ Ghost Spotted in Photo

Residents of Vancouver, Canada are abuzz with talk of one of their city’s most famous ghosts, the “Lady in Red.” The Lady in Red is claimed to reside in the historic Hotel Vancouver which opened the doors of its current incarnation in 1939. The Lady is alleged to be the spirit of Jennie Pearl Cox, an upper-crust Vancouver socialite who was a regular sight at glitzy parties in the hotel’s ballroom throughout the 1940’s.

The Lady in Red has been haunting the historic hotel for decades.

After Cox died in a car accident in 1944, a similar-looking apparition began appearing throughout the hotel wearing a red ballgown. According to Nancie Hall, the Fairmont’s regional director of public relations, the Lady in Red is now a fixture of the historic hotel:

She really is quite an elegant ghost. The story goes that she used to come here for the afternoon tea dances and was in a car accident on the corner of Burrard and West Georgia. So she’s been a resident of our hotel for many decades.

Dozens of hotel staff and guests have claimed to have seen the Lady in Red over the years, with some guests even believing their rooms to be overbooked after finding the Lady in their rooms upon check-in. The Hotel Vancouver bar even serves a “Lady in Red” cocktail in the ghost’s honor.

The Hotel Vancouver bar.

Just this week, Vancouver resident Scott Graham was working on the top floor of a different nearby hotel when he decided to snap a photo of the Hotel Vancouver. After spotting a strange red figure in a window on an upper floor of the hotel, Graham believed he had spotted the Lady in Red. He posted the image to Twitter, where it soon went viral.

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A close-up of the alleged Lady in Red.

Even more intriguing, the floor on which the supposed ghost was spotted is currently off-limits to guests. According to Hall, the floor is closed for maintenance and empty:

There’s always ongoing maintenance at the hotel and that’s just one of the areas we’re working on right now. We went up to look and there was nobody there.

Scott Graham, who took the photo, says he doesn’t believe in ghosts and that it’s probably just a big coincidence. A poll taken by the Vancouver Sun shows that most readers disagree, however, with 58.41% of respondents at the time of writing answering they believe the photo clearly shows a ghost. Most likely, the image merely shows a few pixels of some benign red object placed close to the window. Still, given the history of sighting of the Lady at the hotel, the coincidence is intriguing. 

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Does this photo show a ghost, or are believers seeing what they want to see?

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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