An edited photo of Building Two on the VIU Student Residence has a stormy grey sky

ghost in the window / Image via Lauryn Mackenzie

The halls of VIU have long been haunted by student debt, late assignments, and bad grades, but the Student Residences have an extra guest that continues to haunt the hollow halls.

Every year, first-year students moving into Student Residences are told the urban legend of a ghost who haunts the halls of one of the biggest buildings on residence–Building Two.

In recent years, he has been given the name Henry. Henry is rumoured to live only in Building Two, as he is most often seen on the third floor of the building, but sightings of the ghost have allegedly popped up elsewhere on residence too.

Henry likes opening and closing doors, casting spooky shadows, and loudly moving furniture in empty rooms while residents are trying to study. He is most often spotted by female residents, leading to the belief he only haunts women.

Some have reported seeing ghostly shadows of feet standing in front of people’s doors and hearing doors slam when everyone is asleep.

He is a friendly ghost that doesn’t harm anyone–most of the time.

This past year, Emilie Strand was a community leader (CL) for the Student Residences, and she says that she has had several encounters with the ghost.

She cites her favourite encounter as the time she and another CL, Rachel Schueler, were trying to get into Schueler’s room in Building Two. Schueler kept putting her key in the lock to open the door, but the door wouldn’t budge.

When the door wouldn’t open after several attempts, Strand recalls saying to Schueler, “Oooh the ghost won’t let you in.”

“[After I said that,] I felt someone smack the back of my head,” Strand says, “and I thought it was one of her residents … but when I turned around no one was there.”

Strand says that although the rumour is that Henry only haunts Building Two, he would frequently visit her and her residents in Building Eight. She even had residents report to her situations that seemed to be of a ghostly variety.

Strand says a resident that moved in later in the school year told her that his bathroom mate (the resident he shared a bathroom with that can only be accessed through their two separate rooms) kept locking him out of the bathroom and loudly moving furniture around in Their room.

“We would hear stuff moving around in the room at the end of the hall all the time too,” Strand says.

But nobody was living in that room at that time.

“Someone else and I ended up getting the master key and [we] went into the room and stuff had been moved around from when the last person moved out [in the beginning of the year] … The [housekeeping staff] had already been there and they said that wasn’t how they left the room.”

One recent theory about Henry is that he was once a miner that worked in the mineshafts below VIU.

The theory goes that Henry was working in the mine when a terrible accident caved one of the shafts in, trapping Henry in the mine for the rest of time. When Building Two was erected, Henry might have confused its long, dark, cold hallways for the shafts he was buried in.

He may wander the halls hoping to one day find a way out of the mine and back to a beautiful wife.

So, to the six hundred residents that live on campus: the next time you get a knock on your door and no one is around, or you see weird shadows coming from a dorm room window, don’t worry—that’s just the one resident who has never checked out.


Lauryn is a fourth-year Digital Media Studies student. She has had her work featured in the Powell River Peak, Portal Magazine, and The Discourse. When she’s not looking up fun facts about bees, she’s probably fantasying about Portland, Oregon.

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