This old house has its share of spooky stories

Barbara Robertson says she had always been skeptical of paranormal activity. Even after having lived in Edinburgh, a city known as having some of the most haunted places in the world...

Barbara Robertson says she had always been skeptical of paranormal activity.

Even after having lived in Edinburgh, a city known as having some of the most haunted places in the world, she scoffed at friends who told her they’d seen ghosts.

Then, in 1965, her and her family moved into the house at 406 Wood St. in downtown Whitehorse.

What happened over the next 12 years was enough to convince her that unexplainable phenomena can happen to anyone, anywhere.

There was a certain room in the house that always made her feel particularly strange, she said.

“Odd things would happen there that would just give me the creeps.”

“When I had my first child I put a crib in there and that’s where I’d change her. It was always like she was staring over my shoulder, she was really interested in something.

“I’d turn around really quickly and there was nothing there.”

The Robertsons bought the house from a couple that was moving to South Africa.

It came fully furnished and was almost 60 years old by the time they moved in.

According to the Yukon Historical and Museums Association, the three-room log cabin was built between 1907 and 1912.

Known as the Captain Campbell House, it was occupied by riverboat captains Campbell and McKay in the 1920s.

Later, it was home to Whitehorse’s first mayor, Gordon Armstrong.

Robertson said someone once told her husband that Armstrong turned one of the rooms into an office.

The mayor would tell people about seeing a young boy watching him. It’s the very same room which gave Robertson the chills.

For a long time the house was believed to be haunted by the ghost of a young boy, possibly seven or eight years old, who drowned in the 1940s.

The owner of the house, Harold Ryder, once told the YHMA he’d rented it out to a tourist for a few days.

It wasn’t long before the visitor became acquainted with the ghost of the young boy.

One night, he was almost asleep when he felt his shoulder being tapped.

When he turned around, he said he saw someone walking out of the bedroom.

He spent the rest of the night sleeping on the lawn.

Robertson said her family never saw the young boy but knew there was a presence in the house.

When she felt the hairs stand on the back of her neck, she’d wet her finger and hold it up to see if there were any drafts in the house.

The family grew bigger in the late 60s and an extension with a master bedroom was added to the house.

One night, when Barbara’s son Douglas was about 10 months old, she heard him laughing hysterically in his crib.

Then, dead silence.

This repeated for quite some time before she finally decided to get up and investigate.

“I woke up and just felt real horror, I had no idea what it was,” she said.

“I thought for heaven’s sake, this is your baby, you need to go see what’s going on. I made sure to slap my bare feet on the linoleum floor loudly enough on my way there.

“When I got to the room, he was standing in his crib and staring at the closet on the other side of the room.”

The same closet where Barbara would hide behind a curtain and play peek-a-boo with him.

Douglas was pointing upwards, as if he’d seen someone taller and not a young boy, she said.

Another daughter, Liz, once complained she couldn’t play in that room anymore because she constantly felt someone watching her.

“I don’t think the kids ever played in there again,” Barbara said.

The Robertsons moved out in 1977.

Today, Ryder still owns the house at 406 Wood Street.

It sits in a neighbourhood that features a few other heritage buildings such as the Cyr House and the Harvey House.

Ryder said it’s unoccupied and used mainly for storage.

As far as he knows.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

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