Thursday, August 23, 2007

modern ghost town

The ghost town of Tranquille, just outside Kamloops is a source of never-ending fascination. My August 28/06 story about visiting there is my second most popular post.


We got back yesterday from a great little weekend away. We drove to Kamloops Saturday morning to spend some time with this fun couple.

One of the things we fit in, on top of a little walking, a little TV watching, some great eating and an evening spent listening to music in Riverside Park...

was a trip to a modern ghost town.

Tranquille was, as the title of this book tells us, a whole little city by itself.

According to this article about Tranquille’s history, gold was discovered at the site where the buildings now sit around 1857 and the city came to life. Then in 1905 when the British Columbia anti-tuberculosis society began looking for a site to build a provincial hospital, Tranquille turned out to be an ideal location with its dry and mountainous climate.

The plot of land was bought from its original owners, the Fortune family, in 1907 for $57,000. It was used as a tuberculosis sanatorium for 51 years. The sanatorium was nearly self-sufficient, with its own dairy, gardens, water supply, even a newspaper. It only used Kamloops electricity. Underground tunnels connect many of the buildings with pipes in them to distribute the steam for heating.

In 1958 when treatments for TB had changed, the facility was closed as a sanatorium. In 1959 it was converted into a home for mentally handicapped people. At one point it employed up to 600 staff. That part of its history ended in 1985 when the B.C. Government’s policy became to disperse former patients throughout the community into group homes (and onto the streets!).

In 1991 it was bought by a company who planned to develop it into an Italian resort called Padova City. That never happened and today the entire city sits - empty. There are signs around its perimeter warning prospective trespassers that it is private property and guarded 24 hours.

We walked up a road that goes behind the property and I got a few shots of the backs of buildings.

A drive later took us to a vantage point from which we could see the whole spread. Kamloops lake is in the background.

A bit of digging online brought me to the site of “Wraiths” of some kind who have been on the property. Their description of exploring the grounds along with photos of the inside of these buildings was fascinating, but is no longer online.

There are a few more photos here and here.

Updated May 17/09
YouTube that was formerly below was deleted, as it was "Removed by owner."

Updated October 28/07
Stale link removed..


Anonymous said...

check out our videos of Tranquille on

Anonymous said...

Sad realy, that something historical will eventually be taken down, although it will cost much money as all the asbestos will have to be removed before the buildings can be taken down. Why doesnt the goverment or someone else take the oportunity to to restore these building and open this site to the public? There are many of us that live in the area that would love to see that. There is so much history here and a wide open door to make tours.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know how you were able to get access to so much of the site. The security dude that stays there seems pretty intent on keeping people out. At least out of the buildings, anyway.

violet said...

We didn't get onto the site at all. We walked beside the perimeter fence to get the photos we did.

The YouTube is a video made by someone called Safeboy 43.(To get to YouTube source, click on arrow beside the volume icon)

Anonymous said...

I have been inside the hospital. It was in 2003, but at the time you could get in. If you walk up the hill from behind the hospital (well you have to run and stay close to the ground... also good to go around dusk so nobody will see you), there is a hole in the door's window that you can squeeze through. Then you can walk around the hospital.

It was the scariest experience of my life... hospital tables left, scary think steel doors with huge locks, padded rooms, paint peeling off all the walls, etc. etc. Plus I was there when it was pouring rain and a few of the floors had holes in them and the water was pouring down into the rooms below... but it was still awesome.

Anonymous said...

I was there in May 2008, I went there just before it got light out with a few friends and we checked out quite a few buildings. You can get in through the back. It was an amazing experience. We even went down into the tunnels, I was to creeped out to stay down there though. This place is very fascinating and I cant wait to get a chance to go back and take some pictures. The feeling I had inside me when I was there was just crazy!

Violet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sexyguurl said...

i went there q couple times last summer 2010 and had no problems walking around and going into alot of buildings the hospital and nurses home beside it i will never forget the paranormal activity scary as hell but man what a rush and the feeeling i had go through me i cant describe also the river side and the beach amazing the driftwood and fire we had a the sun wwent down i could see y it was tranquille and y they would want to keep sik and dying peeps there but now u can feel all the energy tthat is stuck and is lost i cant wait to check it out again before they take it down

Anonymous said...

Hey I WAS BORN AT tranquille someday i will return to be with the ghost.

Kimh said...

I went there one summer w a few friends in the middle of the night, we entered through the hospital window, it was the creepiest experience ever, we walked around the place, and eventually made it to the tunnels, one of the owners found us down there and scared the shit out of everyone, he started yelling at us and told us he could kill us n no one would hear our screams, really frightening...... He told us to get out so we made our way to the stairs, then we couldn't find the exit and the man pointed down the hal n said the exit is that way, so we started walking towards the exit and I looked back n the man was gone.... Nowhere to be seen, so we ran out of there as fast as possible.... I will never forget it!

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