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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Of Ghosts and Idiot Politicians

So the BC government wants to gut the dormant Riverview mental hospital and turn it into posh yuppy residences. (Sure, they're telling us "nothing's planned" yet, but there's an awful lot of hypotheticals and specifics hammered out for something "unplanned".) Oh, I have problems with that on a number of levels, not the least of them being all the homeless people with mental illnesses that are crowding our city streets because there's no care anywhere for them.

BUT... on another level, a part of me wants all these friggin' politicians to have a camp-out in any of the wings for a couple of days. The stories I've heard from nurses that worked there during its operational years, and from film folk I've known who've shot projects on the grounds, could make hair curl.

The place is supposed to be a Mecca of ghosts, and ethereal creaking and groaning and wailful, mournful screaming supposedly fill its halls all hours despite most of the grounds being unused for more than a decade.

It's like building on an Indian burial grounds or something. A friend from work once lived in a condo built on a former burial ground, and the creepy things that happened to her were good for storytime and scared her the hell outta there. Another friend lived in a house where a murder had transpired years before and said there was always something creepy around the place, and anyone who tried to sleep over on the couch was always long-gone by dawn. One woke up with strangulation marks on their neck. Crazy shit. Couple of the friends said they'd never go back to the house again. Ha.

Part of me doesn't want to believe in ghosts. Part of me has seen too many inexplicable things to doubt 'em, though, with the creepiest experience ever happening up in Alaska. Tell ya that tale sometime.

I, for one, would never fuckin' move to Riverview. Hell, I probably wouldn't even wish the creepy vibes on most of the patients that could really use a great centralized care facility for mental illness, instead of this fucked-up plan to scatter services throughout the province. Stoooooopid.

The ghosts will love the excitement of a new build, I bet. Heh heh. 10 years from now, those new towers will be filled with great ghostly stories. Fun!

But the poor bastards with hallucinations and extreme mental illnesses that are roaming the streets because there's no facility to house them, I think they're gonna be a little disappointed.