THE LADY IN RED
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The Elegant Apparition said to Reside in The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
It is said that ghosts haunt not where they met their demise, but rather where they were the happiest. And so begins the tale of "The Lady in Red", the spirit who is said to haunt this, the third Hotel Vancouver.
My name is Jennie Pearl Cox, but my family my friends have always called me Pearl. I, along with my husband, Harold and our six-year-old daughter, Dorothy, or Dottie, came to know Hotel Vancouver the Christmas of 1939.
The hotel had just opened in May of that year by King George V and Queen Elizabeth I. It was the grandest hotel of its day, and immediately became the place where all of Vancouver gathered for all its important business and social events – a position that I am so proud to say the hotel maintains to this day.
Pardon my pride but it is here that I was truly the happiest and where I returned following my demise. But first let me tell you of my love for this place. As Christmas 1939 approached, a grand social gathering was to be held at Hotel Vancouver. Now that the war and the depression were over, the city was abuzz with activity and the dressmakers, tailors and milners did very well that year as we all prepared to celebrate.
I had a beautiful red gown made and a splendid white stole to match. It was my favourite and this is the dress in which I chose to spend eternity. We checked into the hotel the day of the Ball. What a magnificent evening, a grand tree stood in the lobby and halls were decorated to perfection. The banquet tables were laden with a feast. Oh it was a night to remember – the Pacific Ballroom was where we danced and the halls were filled with laughter. What a wonderful, wonderful night.
It became an annual event for our family. For five years we returned to the grand Christmas Ball at Hotel Vancouver.
Then in the summer of 1944, Harold, Dottie and I were returning from a picnic in the countryside. We didn't see the truck coming around the corner until it was too late. But do not be sad. Once our spirits had left our bodies, we all knew where we wanted to return and so we took up residence at Hotel Vancouver and now relive all our wonderful times for eternity.
I have, as I understand, caused great fright to many people over the years. It was certainly not my intention but it is so very hard to stay out of sight where there is so much going on.
Apparently there was a man who operates what I believe you call a television camera, who was working on television show – I have heard the name the X-files used – I hovered outside of the window to see what he was doing. In my day I had been an amateur stage actress and I simply wanted to see what form the modern world was taking with theatrical productions. I didn't mean to frighten him so – he left most of his equipment and would not return to work further.
As for the young Japanese couple who's room I briefly occupied. I did so only because I had always dreamed of traveling to the Far East and had heard wonderful stories of the beautiful women with long straight raven hair – my hair was a tangle of brunette curls which I constantly fought. I simply wanted to see the young women up close but they were so polite and thought they were intruding on me when they entered their room.
As to the hotels own houseman who saw me disappear one night through a wall. Well, I was in such a hurry to get back to Harold and Dottie and the hour was so late that I simply was not cautious as I normally am. I do try so not to be seen but sometimes my curiosity gets the better of me and I simply venture out. I mean no harm but as a woman of just 25 when I died, I am prone to great curiosity.
An yes, one evening the entire family took elevator number8 back to the 14th floor- we had selected this elevator for it privacy – you see it never operated and only when we were certain that no one was around did we allow the doors to open. Imagine our surprise when another night houseman came around the corner. We closed the doors quickly hoping that he would not notice anything was out of place. He did.
But I must leave you here, as it is time for me to meet Harold and Dottie and begin our usual evening celebrations. I hope now that you have met me you will understand that I live here at Hotel Vancouver out of my love for this place and all the wonderful memories it holds.
I trust you will leave with equally wonderful memories of the people and your time here. And should you catch a glimpse of me, please do not be alarmed, I am a very kind spirit.
Good night gentle ladies and gentlemen......