Claudia Fisher (left) and Luke Kelly (right) are working together to develop the Agassiz Harrison Museum’s first Haunted Museum Tour, taking place on Oct. 26 and 30. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

New event invites Agassiz to meet museum’s resident ghost

The Haunted Museum Tour will take place on Oct. 26 and 30

This October, the Agassiz Harrison Museum is inviting all residents to get to know a little more about about its resident ghost: Maude.

“She’s lonely because she’s a ghost. She’s the only one here,” Luke Kelly, educational programming specialist for the museum, said. “She definitely can be found in many different parts of the museum, if you know where to look.”

Kelly has been responsible for researching Maude’s history for a new event coming to the museum this October. The Haunted Museum Tour, taking place on Oct. 26 and 30, will introduce museum-goers to Maude’s history and some of her favourite exhibits.

“That’s been my job, just to kind of be her voice,” Kelly said, “so when people come to hear about it they can experience that and really get invested in the whole tour.”

According to Kelly, Maude was a cleaner at the old Bella Vista hotel. Married to a CP station agent, she haunted the Bella Vista hotel until it was demolished, then moved to the Agassiz Harrison Museum “because this is kind of a memory of her husband,” Kelly said.

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Since then, Maude has been a relatively quiet and unobtrusive ghost for the museum, spending a fair bit of her time in the attic. She has, however, made her presence known a few times.

“Apparently there was a picture … on that wall there,” Kelly said, gesturing to a wall in the archives portion of the museum. “They had put it up of this woman, and every time the ladies who put it up came back, the picture had fallen off.”

Each time they returned, the picture fell further and further away from the wall, until finally they figured that Maude wasn’t not happy with their choice of decor.

“We’re still in the process of tracking it down,” Kelly said about the picture.

More information about Maude is still needed. So far all Kelly has been able to find out is her first name and the fact that her husband was a CP agent, although he’s working to find out more.

“We weren’t sure if she was linked to some of the early settlers or that kind of thing,” Kelly said. “I think it adds to the mystery though. And I like that.”

Although much of Maude’s living history is still unknown, the museum has many stories about her presence in the building, and that’s what will be on display during the Haunted Museum Tour. The idea came from volunteer and board member Claudia Fisher, who used to live near an old house in Ladner that the local kids would decorate as a haunted house each year.

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“It was a huge success. And so I thought, ‘Well, we’ve got a resident ghost here, a bonafide ghost apparently,’” Fisher said. “I thought it would be kind of cool to try that here.”

The Haunted Museum Tour will be taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Tickets are $2 each, and treats will be provided.

“I’m hoping it will be a good family event,” Fisher said. “We’re not going to make it too creepy. Just a fun event, (where) people can bring their little ones right up to teenagers.”

The goal, according to both Fisher and Kelly, is to turn the Haunted Museum Tour into a bit of a tradition for the museum, something that will bring out locals and visitors year after year.

“We want to embellish the history and generate that interest,” Kelly said. “Maude, she’s part of this place. So I think she’ll be a great medium for that idea, … to get that connection between people.”

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The room in the Agassiz Harrison Museum attic where Maude prefers to spend her time. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

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