The haunted building

Hello there. My name is Flavio Nienow and I am thrilled to say I am the new editor of Lakes District News.

Hello there. My name is Flavio Nienow and I am thrilled to say I am the new editor of Lakes District News.

I have come a long way to be here. Literally. I come from a strange land called Brazil (that big country in South America where people drink caipirinhas and go to the beach all year long). Please don’t ask me how a Brazilian guy ends up in Burns Lake, B.C. (or why I chose to come here when summer was already over).

To be fair, I didn’t come to Burns Lake straight from Brazil (sorry if I sounded dramatic before). My journey in Canada started a couple of years back, far away on the East Coast in a magical place called Newfoundland. I slowly made my way west making stops in Toronto and Saskatchewan.

My dream to become a journalist has guided me to some peculiar places in the country. I am proud to say I’ve endured a winter in Newfoundland. Although the temperatures there don’t drop as much as other parts of the country, the non-stop wind, humidity and lack of sunlight can make for an interesting few months (of course, by interesting I mean completely terrible). St. John’s is in fact the windiest, wettest, foggiest and rainest capital in the country. I was off to a great start!

When I moved to B.C., I was hopeful I would turn my luck around somehow, until, of course, I found out the history behind our office building.

If you’re new to the area, let me give you a quick orientation.

Lakes District News’ office building was originally built for the RCMP headquarters in the 1920’s. It also served as a jail and as the staff sergeant’s residence. Jack [the ghost] was a man incarcerated in the building and whose life ended tragically – when he hanged himself in his cell.

You’d think moving across the country to a small village where you don’t know a single soul would be scary enough. But no. Before I started working, my new boss thought it would be appropriate to describe in great detail why our office building has a notorious reputation for being haunted.

Ever since Jack hanged himself, anyone who’s lived or worked in that building will swear they’ve had at least one “unusual” experience. The stories vary – books flying across the room, strange noises of steps upstairs, feeling of “being watched,” strange inexplicable smells and papers being blown away out of the blue. Apparently, Jack has played a few pranks over the years.

But of course, when you’re working in a building infamously haunted, it’s easy to let your mind start playing tricks on you. Last week, for example, I could swear I heard someone whisper. Was it Jack? I will never know. Maybe my brain simply associated a random noise with a whisper. But once you’re scared, it’s hard to get over it.

There are two doors in my office that lead to different rooms. I have been so scared that I haven’t had the courage to check what’s behind those doors. To calm my nerves, I don’t think I’ll be working by myself after hours anytime soon. I think that is pretty reasonable on my part (and I hope my boss does not read my column this week). In fact, I am writing this editorial in the safety of my own home.

Ghost or no ghost, I am glad to be here. I hope I can do a great job for this beautiful village and develop some good relationships over time. Furthermore, I would like to invite you to take a tour of our scary building sometime. Maybe you can help me open those doors in my office and figure out what’s really hiding behind them.