« Lore

Episode 158: A Grain of Truth

2020-11-23 | 🔗

Oftentimes, the truth is right in front of us, made as plain as day and easy to access. But sometimes it’s lost, and the only way to track it down is through story. But as one island in the Pacific Northwest demonstrates, digging for the truth often comes at a price.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Are a very long time. They were just stories. A handful of tales that painted a picture of long ago, passed down from generation to generation among the first nations, people who live along the Pacific Coast of British Columbia stories of ancestors in the distant past, living at the oceans, edge, fishing and hunting in building their lives in partnership with nature, and then those stories came back in two thousand. Seventeen archaeologists working on a small island called trick made a discovery. There brought modern scientific understanding in line with ancient folklore.
It was the remains of a human settlements, complete with fishing tools, spearheads for hunting and elaborate cooking pits. It was when the charcoal from those pits was analyzed that the archaeologists realise just how significant the site truly was dated back over fourteen thousand years, making it the oldest known human settlements in North America, but for lovers of all history, ancestral, folklore and then narrative fibres that make us who we are its confirmation of something else. Sometimes the stories we tell actually turn out to be true. In fact, it was the legends about those ancient communities that drew the researchers to the island in the first place, which is something I can't help but get exe. at about because it shows just how valuable our collective folk lore truly is and that if we treat stories with respect and give them the benefit of the doubt, they have the potential to unlock forgotten pieces of our past.
And you probably don't need me to tell you that. That's a good thing often times are, we have left of a culture or period in history or the stories they left behind. It's as if the cathedral is gone, but the shadows are still on. The grass were at once stood and if we work real hard and follow the clues, we can use those remnants to peace it all back together again, but despite juries like those on shore CAT Island, some journeys into history are more dangerous because, while less it might offer us a window into the past. We have no control over the things we might learn. Folklore, might hold a new detail that could unlock our understanding of who our ancestors really were. But it can also reveal something else. Our failures are flies and the less Avery aspects of human nature. Folklore contains powerful stories for sure, but it also hold something darker. The truth about who we are
I'm Aaron Monkey and this is lore. yeah it's hard to imagine a richer landscape. Then the Pacific Northwest, seemingly less miles of ocean lined by green forests and dark soil. It almost has a price moral aspect to it and that beauty has a way of drawing you in. If you look at a map of the West Coast of British Columbia, and its most obvious is just how many islands there are in the grand scheme of things, Strict island and its neighbours are minuscule examples of that, but farther south towards the american border is
Grandaddy of them all Vancouver Island, it's a place. Most of us have probably heard of I'm sure At a little over twelve thousand square miles, Vancouver Island is about the size of the american State of Maryland, but home to only eight hundred. Seventy thousand people but while modern life is centred around the city of Victoria and its surrounding area, there's so much more to the island story. Obviously the history of the place stretches far back into the distant past with various first nation peoples. In live there. In fact, historians believe that more than fifty unique tribes were scattered across the island before european settlers arrived in the late seventeen hundreds, they were like the ancient settlements, onshore cat island communities built mostly IRAN, hunting and fishing in all the aspects of life that came with it by Europeans changed all of that in one thousand. Seven hundred and seventy for Spain sent a number of expeditions off the Pacific coast to explore the area. Even publishing a small settlement, but for years
the British arrived when Captain James Cook sailed along the coast, kicking off decades of arguments about which european country could lay claim to the island. In seventeen ninety two, the british government sent a representative to negotiate with the Spanish for a while, It seemed like war would break out between the two nations over the dispute: but in the end it was the British who took ownership by seventeen. Ninety, or the island, had a new name taken from them of the man who had negotiated on behalf of the British George Vancouver. after that the island acted like a lot of the north american territory, controlled by the British, by providing natural resources that could be traded elsewhere. About half century after taking control the Hudson Bay come. we arrived and set up a trading post where the modern day city of Victoria stands now, and they can. with a mission, attract settlers and the population what drew most
the people to the island early on was a fever that had gripped much of the West Coast of North America at the time gold and for a while while the gold mining industry was central to the economy of the place, but it was temporary and theirs it's all over Vancouver Island of that in the form of ghosts, tones one example, is Cape Scott. It was settled one thousand eight hundred and ninety six. By to danish fisherman at the northwest tip of the island, they had originally come for the gold, but that quickly proved to be too challenging for them and they fell back on fishing. Much like the first nations people who had lived there before then Over the years, a number of others joined them there and the community peaked at around seventy five families. But this it, was about as isolated as you could get. There wouldn't even be a paved road connecting them to the rest of the island and tell one thousand nine hundred and ten combined with, irish weather and difficult landscape, things began to turn against them by the late nineteenth Thirty's. The settlement was all but and-
and then there is leech tone situated about Twitter Five miles due west of Victoria, it a region They started as the campsite of one man Lieutenant Peter Leech of the royal engineers who had followed rumours of gold into the interior of the island, and he was successful to within months. Hundreds of other prospectors flocked to the site, turning it into a fledged town, almost overnight, all of a sudden leech town was born with half a dozen general stores, a few hotels and three dozen saloons. Basically, if it was a business that could benefit from the search for gold that popped up and leave town, then while it worked, but within a year the gold dried up and with it the economy today, Bones of leech town are still there hidden in the grass and trees of the valley we can see remnants of old would cabins, but there's a lot of stuff there. That's not original
you see back in the early days of the great depression, people tried to open the minds back up, and while those efforts this well the machinery they brought into do the work is still there slowly machine within the forests embrace, but Those are the only remnants of the past on Vancouver Island, as leave all already discussed. Sometimes you have to look in places that are more difficult to see what the human eye because, while the island might not have a lot of communities, it has more than its fair share of legends, but like the landscape that contains them, those stories or wild and untamed and if their true, they are more than a little terrifying, it was the gold, the brought them north,
Adelaide and Benjamin had made the long and dangerous journey up the western coast of North America, leaving the warmth of salmon this behind for the lush forests of Vancouver Island. Ever since word of gold had found its way to California in eighteen, fifty eight people had been migrating north in search of a better life and a chance to make a big this young apple would have been one of hundreds. If not thousands who are flooding into the port of Victoria, they must have felt equal parts excitement. Fear to be one of so many others. Looking for the very same thing, Decided that, rather than chased the gold themselves, it would be better to stay in Victoria and open a business that all those gold diggers would love. It was called the boom, ring in and saloon and, as you can imagine, business was very good for awhile the fall of eighteen sixty one Adelaide became sick with typhus and quickly passed away.
Benjamin alone in a land that has still not quite home, she had left him, but at the stories are true, it wouldn't be for long in December of that same year, someone visiting the Quadroon street burying ground claim to see her standing in the darkness were pale figure clothed in a white dress before vanishing into the shadows, some say her heart, broken husband took that as a sign that she wanted to speak with him and that he is years inside sans rooms. Trying to do so, but those are stories that are difficult to prove in the years since the demolition of the boomerang in signs of Adelaide have moved from the cemetery to the location of her former business and eat. Today there are ghost tours in the city that will take you. There tell you. The story hurry and leave you with more than a few chills, but Adelaide isn't the only woman and white that said to haunt Victoria. those who share the legend of the April bride tend to do so in a whisper. They say
began in eighteen, thirty six. What a young nurse named Doris Gravelling agreed to meet her a strange husband victor for a conversation at night on the beach at the South Eastern Tipp of Victoria. Honestly, could there be a more obvious set up. Doris went missing after that nights, although to be fair, so did Victor a few believe that they'd runaway together, but most suspected falcon five days later in late September doors, his body was found on or near by golf course, a couple of weeks after that victors body was also discovered there. Just at a different whole local authorities ruled it a murder, suicide and in life. Went on But ever since the sorry suggest that life did everything but move on every spring. For a couple of weeks in April, they say Doris returns to the location where her corpse was found
The report's came from random locals, who happened to see her or fishermen passing by the golf course in their boats later on, though, as the rumour spread, those witnesses came to include local teenagers, who specifically went looking for her each. What they found was always the same to the vision, pale woman dressed in white standing in the darkness, while most people over the years have made a hasty retreat at her spotting. Her a few have tried to get closer. According to those stories, Doris is said to have chased them away. Her arms stretched out toward them, as, if running, to a lover. One last story in November of eighteen, eighty six, while on a trip to Alaska the catholic Archbishop of Vancouver Island, Charles John Sager's, murdered a killer immediately. Confessed was tried and found guilty and then sent to prison, but the archbishops body didn't immediately turn home to Victoria. In fact, it wouldn't be
Hell November of eighteen. Eighty, eight, two years later, when he was Billy, laid to rest inside Saint Andrew Cathedral, which was still under construction at the time. when his body came home. No so did legends. One claims that, despite the two years between death and burial, the archbishops body had barely decayed all, except for his face, which, as the story goes had been eaten by mice inside the coffin again that's the legend, with not a lot of facts to back it up. It helps us understand just how fertile this man story was for new offshoots and superstitions, but it also explains the events that took place just two years later, because that's when a second murder took place this time just outside the cathedral, It seems that a local man named David Fee was attending the Christmas Eve Mass in eighteen, ninety and then left to attend a party with friends, of that he was wearing a white coat which must have helped them stand out against the darkness of the late evening. But when,
another man spotted him moving through the yard between the old and new cathedrals. He grabbed his rifle in fired a shot at the pale figure. David Fee, passed away, almost instantly from the gun wound and its killer himself in a short, while later is reason shooting a man that he didn't know or have contact with according to It was an act of self defence because he thought he'd spotted the ghost of archbishop figures. legends are slippery creatures. It can lower assain with pieces of fact dressed in fiction and then drive us to believe the most irrational things. Bavaria. for. I has an older tale to tell one: that's been
whispered along the shores. There were more than a thousand years. It's not the details that are the most frightening aspect of this legend, though, but what the events of the past two centuries have revealed, because if we connect the dots and follow the evidence, we are forced to wrestle with a terrifying conclusion. This story, see just might be true, They had talked about it for generations, in fact, various indigenous people, groups of the area, each had their own names for it. They were now. was that instilled fear and became characters in traditional stories that were passed around the island, but even so, it was the description that made a terrifying.
Among them a noose it people on the western and event Coover Island, the creatures name literally translates as he who moves by wriggling from side to side. Another first nation culture described it as like a snake, even adding This creature had long hair on its back and head and could sometimes even have wings there's even physical evidence that backs up the store these researchers have found a number of petrol, cliffs ancient stone, carvings that depict a long thin creature with a head like a snake, a main of hair and appendages that look either like wings or flippers. Depending on how you interpret the images.
And as if that were not enough back in nineteen, thirty, nine researchers in nearby Washington discovered a seventeen hundred year old spear thrower, a device known as in that level that was carved to resemble a man's head with a serpent like creature. On top and right there on its back, are what appeared to be wings or Finns. Obviously, this creature, its shape its features, have all been part of the folk lore of the age. For a very long time. When Europeans arrived in the late seventeen hundreds, they brought changes to a lot of life there. Obviously they. Moved in and took over indigenous land and they brought new technology and new ways of life to the island, but they also brought fresh eyes to see and explore the land, and so it's no surprise that they started to notice things that left them wondering in October of seventeen ninety one, a trading ship stopped at the western Tipp of Vancouver Island, part of their fur hunt,
efforts. While the crew was on the shore near and inlet, they looked out into the ocean waves and spotted something incredible. They described it as very large with a long neck large mouth. In sharp teeth. One of the traders mention their experience to one of the indigenous people they worked with, and the man told them that they had witnessed high click, a deity discuss is having the head of a dog in the body of a giant snake, and it would be the last citing like that either. Nearly a century. Later in eighteen, sixty three, a similar creature, was spotted in the strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver on the mainland, all through the eighteen, eighty more and more sightings trickled in and they were all really similar to long necks, snakelike bodies, dark skin and heads that resemble dogs or horses. But I have to stop us
a moment, because sea creatures are something we discussed here before. If we just read the descriptions of this particular creature and ignore the rest We might miss a pattern to the various sightings in North America. In the pattern hints something more concrete, then we'd like to admit other miss Serious water creatures, we ve covered include one off the coast of Gloucester Massachusetts and another in Lake Champlain, and a common description by witnesses of both of those was that they had heads like a horse dark skin and long serpent, like bodies So yes, while its exciting to hear stories about a sea creature off the coast of Bank who for island it all the more incredible when those descriptions line up with sightings an entire continent away. What that all means, though, is still a mystery, but then something happened. There gave all of these stories new life a wailing vessel work
Queen Charlotte Sound to the northwest of Vancouver Island, found something inside the belly of a sperm whale. They had captured it looking for Ambergris, a waxy deposit that was used in of all things, perfume and that required cutting open the whale stomach what they found inside, though terrified them. It was the corpse of a creature that measured roughly ten feet in length with a long serpent like tail and a head they described as dog or horse like, but this wasn't one thousand seven hundred and ninety one. It was one thousand nine hundred and thirty seven era with cameras and scientific labs that could do deeper studies, so photos were taken and the remains were sent to a nearby museum. The trouble was the museums. Curator of vertebrates was out of town at the time. So the only person who looked at the corpse was the resident taxidermy who, however, skilled at their job. They were well
the scientist after pronouncing the remains to be that of a baling whale they were destroyed, rather than wait for the proper curator to return ever since Those who have studied the photographs and sketches other remains have kept. The mystery alive most believed that the creature in the photos not a baling. Well, although they haven't made a definitive declaration about what it actually was either to this day. That's a question that still hasn't been. Sir. Of course, while we're waiting for a name and classification for the creature, enterprising folks have tried to help out By the early nineteen, thirty people were already referring to it by a very scientific sounding name, although no one's really sure
Where that name came from all through that decade, newspapers published, citing after citing always referring to the creature Ass, a Cadbury Soares named after Cadbury Bay off the EAST coast of victory to locals, though it quickly became easier to just call the thing caddy and it stuck ever since today, just like the Gloucester Sea, serpent or champ of Lake Champlain Caddy is a fixture of Vancouver Island. Its part monster partner, Scott and one hundred percent mystery, but it's more than that to because, regardless of whether it's an actual undiscovered animal ores, simply a centuries old thread in the fabric of local culture. Caddy represents the power of story. as long as we keep an open mind
our eyes on the sea. There's always the chance that the truth will rise to the surface, but if it does, let's just hope that its friendly. our world is: constantly changing, cultures and languages and the cities we call home all of it evolves overtime. Sometimes things get better like medical science or communication technology, while other times they break down, but through it all one thing will always be a constant for,
story details we tell we have a way of lasting beyond the moment. Maybe that's because we consider our stories to be precious or perhaps it's because we know deep down. They hold some grain of truth that needs to be preserved. Not everyone can build a time capsule to fill with artifacts from our lives. But story can do all that's and more at the risk of mixing metaphors. The stories we share are a lot like pearls. They can be beautiful and attractive. Are largely made up of the material designed to make that tiny grain of truth at the center. More palatable and comforting story These can be entertaining and fund or a thrilling and intense. But it's always good to stop and ask what bit of truth are they hiding And Vancouver Island is home to many of those types of story
whether or not the ghost of Doris Gravelling actually appears each April on that windswept golf course along the sea. The story does a fantastic job of preserving and actual event that would have otherwise been forgotten over time. Doris was real so was her murder. So when I read stories about mysterious sea creatures, like caddy, I have mixed feelings like you. I am thoroughly entertained by the notion that there are undiscovered animals out their appearing just often enough to arouse suspicion and create rumours, but I'm also cautiously pessimistic. After all, tales of sea creatures sound a lot more like legend, in fact, as I meant
earlier caddies heyday was the nineteen thirty's. While the mysterious carcass was discovered in nineteen thirty, seven sightings appeared in the local paper, the Victoria Daily Times, often on four years before that, in fact, the very first time caddy is mentioned in print is in October of nineteen thirty three, nearly four years prior to the discovery of those unusual remains. But if we dig deeper for the truth, there just might be something at the centre of it. All you see before Caddy got its name and before the newspapers talk constantly about it, there was another article published six months earlier that may have started at all that article was published in the Victoria Daily Times, though, in fact it wasn't even published in North America, but six months was more than enough time to allow it to find its way to the Pacific Northwest and a community that was primed and ready by centuries of folklore,
a newspaper article was written by a man named Alex Campbell for the May. Second, one thousand nine hundred and thirty three issue of the Inverness Courier, about something weird and unusual that had been spotted in a local body of water there, a citing that turned out to be the very first modern report of a creature that is universally known today, and quite possibly the inspiration for Vancouver Islands ever elusive caddy, Scotland's very own, Loch Ness monster. Vancouver Island. be one small slice of the world, but its disproportionately filled with all sorts of amazing tales from seem.
Monsters and goes towns to a whole collection of. Ladies in white, there are very few places one can go without bumping into stories from the past and, if you stick around after this brief spot the break I'll. Tell you about one more of my absolute favorites, separated was made possible by staff stock, come if you're a small business owner you're busy enough as it is. You have time to deal with the hassle of going to the post office with stamps dot com. You can skip the trip and never waste Other dollar or minutes, stamps that come print official postage right from Europe. Peter. So you can spend less time at the Post office and, more time running your business simply put stamps that come safety time money and stress for north twenty years stamps dot com has been indispensable for over one million businesses. Given you act, as to all the post office and european shipping services. You need right from your computer and get discounts. You can't find anywhere else like up the forty percent off you S, p s rate and seventy six percent off you pay us all. You need is.
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he does his fortune out of the, in a lot of ways. It was the same dream that had lured in so many gold prospectors to the hills of Vancouver Island, but Robert didn't dig for gold. He dug for coal Robert Duns Mere, was born in Scotland way back in eighteen, twenty five, he started out work, life and coal mines operated by the Hudson Bay Company following the work to Vancouver Island around eighteen. Fifty one. One mind would be exhausted. The team would pack up and move on to a new location, but life was hard and the money wasn't good. When his contract with a company expired in eighteen, fifty four he decided to stay on the island but pursue coal mining on his own. He assent,
we made the leap into freelancing and with it came all the feast and famine one might expect a Robert stuck with it for years, hoping for the big break that would change his life. That big break arrived in October of eighteen. Sixty nine Robert had taken the day off to do some fishing, but his eyes were constantly examining his surroundings for signs of coal and that's when he spotted it a rich abundant outcropping. a black gold. He quickly went to the local authorities and state this claim taking control of a massive stretch of land, and then he got to work. Within four years, Roberts Coal company represented forty percent of Vancouver Island entire industry, two years after that his output had tripled aid later his annual profit was close to twelve million dollars and american money. To put it simply, Robert was rich in the late eighteen eighties. He put some of that money to use in the construction of a new home for he and his wife Joan his vision
was to have his own victorian mansion, the sort that Scott nobility back home, would have built and no expense would be spared when it was. Pleaded. The final bill was estimated to have been around half a million dollars. Roughly eleven million today it at thirty nine rooms spread across twenty five thousand square feet: a living space, stained glass with those ornate stonework and an enormous oak staircase, all added a level of opulence to the house. That few could match and it's absolutely stunning just do a search for Craig Dura Castle and use What I mean a robber never lived to see it. He passed away in April of eighteen, eighty nine about seventeen months before construction was completed. So when, widow Joan moved in the end of eighteen. Ninety, it must have been a bitter sweet moments, all that beauty in space, but no robber to share it. With a tragedy wasn't finish with the house, it seems
the architect responsible for the home ward. Heyward Williams also died before it was finished, and once the family moved in, that darkness came for them too, of the couples. Ten children, both daughters, passed away inside our house and their wealth began to slowly fade away After June, passed away in nineteen o eight, the castle was sold to a developer, who parceled off the twenty eight acres of land for new homes, I'm lucky builder one the mansion in a raffle of all things, but almost to me, he lost his fortune in a bad business deal, and it was hard for the people of Victoria to watch a story like that play out and not imagine the place to be cursed today, Craig, Castle is a museum in thousands of visitors, walk through its rooms and climb those beautiful oak stairs every year. But if the rumours are true, tourists aren't the only thing roaming, the halls there
visitors to the place have reported seeing the ghostly figure of a young woman in the basement of the mansion. They say she doesn't move or speak, but simply stands in a corner. Eyes pointed at the Cold Stone Floor A few people have speculated that she is Agnes Roberts daughter who passed away shortly after him, but Agnes died before the house was completed, so how her ghost made it into the basement will problem We never know upstairs, though, on that ornate oak staircase, some visitors have seen another spectral woman. They claim that she want the stairs between the third and fourth floors and is typically only noticed out of the corner of their eye. When people turn their heads to get a better look, ghostly figure is said to vanish And look, I know it's easy to want to fill historic homes like Craig DORA Castle, with all sorts of tales and legends. The cold, opulence and tragic past of the place almost seems to invite those types of stories.
But whether or not those reports are accurate or deputy, Rules of haunted, basements and staircases are actually true. They certainly Let remember the people who once lived there and that's the part of folklore that I absolutely love and gives it a power that few other traditions can match, because if we look hard enough at any story, there's bound to be a grain of truth This episode of law was written and produced by me, Aaron Monkey with research by Megan they arose and music by Chad. Lawson more is much more than just a podcast theirs
book series available in bookstores an online and two seasons of the television show on Amazon. Prime video check them both out. If you want more lore and your life, I also make two other podcast Erin make his cabinet of curiosities and unobserved, and I think you enjoy both of them, each one explores other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes to season long dives into a single topic, and you can learn more about both of those shows and everything what's going on over in one central place, grew. and mild dot come and you can
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.