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Guest Columnist

Ghosts of Kelowna's Museum

It felt like a typical day for Aylmer…waking up as dawn broke to start his day in the usual manner. He had a routine – simple but good – just like Aylmer himself. A quiet man who lived alone, he seldom saw another soul. He enjoyed his solitude and the spaciousness of his hay fields and the wide Wyoming sky. As he began his day in the quiet of dawn, he believed that all was normal…but it wasn’t a typical day at all. Aylmer wasn’t aware that he had died the night before…during his sleep…and it would be weeks before someone would discover his dead body in bed.

Aylmer, then 57, died of natural causes. The year was 1947. Because he was unaware of his passing, he missed the opportunity to cross into the light which left him an earthbound spirit. He liked a simple life and chose to attach to Kelowna’s Okanagan Heritage Museum because the artifacts there felt familiar.

Aylmer was one of 161 earthbound spirits who settled at the Okanagan Heritage Museum and among ten who were willing to share their story with us. Included in the group was the spirit of a young girl who died of scarlet fever in 1886 at the age of 12. She had the typical dreams of a girl that age…thoughts of falling in love and marriage…but her life was cut short. She lingered at the Okanagan Heritage Museum because she was very fond of the hope chest she owned during life and remained attached to it after death. Items from the chest are among the artifacts at the museum.

In contrast to the young girl, was the spirit of a trapper, as tough and rugged as the wilderness he roamed. He died of exposure at the age of 67 from an accident involving one of his traps that left him seriously injured and unable to walk. Unaware that there was any other place to go after death, he remained earthbound and, like Aylmer, chose to attach to the museum because of the familiarity of items housed in the museum.

A group of six spirits of female Chinese Immigrants also came forward to tell their story. Slave workers, they perished in the mountains in 1846 when winter came after being left stranded in the camp without supplies to keep them until spring. No one ever came back to recover their bodies. They remained on this earthly plane because they wanted someone to know they had been forgotten. The six spirits chose to attach to the Okanagan Heritage Museum because of their affinity to some of the Chinese artifacts that are part of the collection.

The final earthbound spirit to identify herself was the spirit of a woman who died of heart failure at the age of 53. A strong family matriarch, she chose not to cross over because she didn’t want to let go of the control she had over her home and family. Financially and socially powerful, she had possessed several of the finer items on exhibit at OHM.

Only 27 of the 161 Earthbound Spirits were crossed over into the light on that warm August evening when we visited the museum. A second trip is scheduled to clear the remaining 134 earthbound spirits and hear some of their tales of life and death.

 

...To be completed in Part 2.

 

Michael “the Ghost Guy” Rowland and Cahrei are partners in Healing Haunted Houses.com, a Kelowna based service, where they successfully remove lost spirits and negative energies from people’s homes and other buildings around the globe. For more information visit www.healinghauntedhouses.com



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