To celebrate the Halloween season, the Nelson Star is exploring various “haunted” buildings in the city. This is the second instalment of a month-long series of interviews with Chris Holland about haunted locations around Nelson.
Apparently ghosts like to drink too.
Late one night at the Nelson Brewing Company building on Latimer Street, as a staff member was locking up and turning off the lights, they spotted a solitary apparition suds-sipping in the shadows.
“Their first reaction was: somebody’s broken in and is drinking our beer,” paranormal investigator Chris Holland told the Star. “But as they got closer they realized nobody was there, and then suddenly the coldest breeze they’d ever experienced washed over them.”
But the staff member wasn’t eager to share their experience — quite the opposite. Instead they were sheepish, embarrassed, not sure how to process what they’d just gone through. According to Holland that’s typical for supernatural interactions.
“You get this joking reluctance. They want to blame it on rats or something. You have to coax the information out of them. But what I’ve heard from multiple people is that this doesn’t feel like just an old building. It feels like there’s some sort of presence.”
And that’s why he’s keen to investigate further.
“In the early 50s the property was left derelict and it was going to be destroyed, but somehow it never was. The fire department was looking at it wondering ‘when are we going to light this place up for practice?’”
Then, in the 1990s, a $200,000 investment breathed new life into the building, turning it into a multiplex. But it retained all the energy that had accumulated over the years as well, which Holland believes is responsible for the strange occurrences.
“At different points there were people living in there, while it was abandoned. They would crash and flop and I think that brought some extreme energies. But then there’s also all the good times the brewery brought, all the people who are devoted to that place and have good memories of it.”
Holland shared one story about a staff member who spotted a ghost at the end of a hallway, walking away, but it evaporated the moment they gave chase.
“They’re not thinking ghost. They’re thinking I need to protect my business, but then they turn the corner and nobody’s there. All the doors are locked.”
All of this to say he believes the ghost is benevolent, like many of the so-called caretaker ghosts in the area, and is keeping the Nelson Brewing Company protected.
“The Latimer Street building is new on the radar, and I would say right now it’s the number-one target for paranormal investigations. My assumption is that it’s a benevolent protector, and like with a lot of the homes in Nelson you get a feeling that the ghosts really love the building. The fact it’s still running is a testament.”