Vancouver’s Most Famous Ghost, The Lady in Red

Vancouver’s Most Famous Ghost, The Lady in Red

The Haunted Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Against a dark and dreary Vancouver skyline nothing stands out more than the green rooftop of the Fairmont Hotel. Dating back to 1939 and formerly known as the Vancouver Hotel, the 17 story tall gargoyle lined, gothic chateau-style building is one to behold. While known for its architecture and beauty the hotel’s resident ghost, the Lady in Red, boasts a reputation and fame that far outweigh any other haunted tale in the city.

Haunted Vancouver Hotel Exterior
Exterior of the Haunted Vancouver Hotel, home to The Lady in Red ghost.

The Lady in Red Ghost

Legends of a haunting within the walls of the Hotel Vancouver are well known. A ghost so frequently seen by staff and guests matching the same descriptions have lead to notoriety and the nickname, The Lady in Red. This ghost is believed to have been Jennie Pearl Cox in life. Jennie was a regular to the hotel’s ballroom in the 30’s up until 1944 when she met an unfortunate fate in a car crash just after leaving the safety of her favorite building. One popular theory within the paranormal community explaining hauntings states that ghosts do not need to die within the walls of a building to haunt it. It is thought that restless souls may return to places they sought comfort and experienced joy during their lives.

Reports of the Lady in Red are common on the ground and 14th floors. It is here she is usually seen entering and exiting elevators, even those out of commission.

Interior of the Haunted Vancouver Hotel
Interior look at the Haunted Vancouver Hotel.

Perhaps the most famous tale of the Lady in Red’s existence comes from that of a confused Japanese family attempting to check into the hotel. After grabbing their room keys and proceeding to the 14th floor the family was surprised to see a lady wearing a red gown inside their room. Attempts to talk to the lady failed as she was unresponsive to the family. They returned to the front desk, confused and seeking help. Staff, already aware of The Lady in Red escorted them back to their room, which was found completely vacant.

Further sightings on the 14th floor have been reported. One staff member recalled seeing a lady wearing a red gown follow another family into their room, 1403. Upon investigation, the lady disappeared.

Earlier this year a photograph of the hotel’s exterior was taken by an elevator repair man. This image set off a heated debate. Had the Lady in Red had been caught on camera? It clearly shows something red peering out of one of the hotel’s uppermost windows. Whether this is the ghost of Jennie Pearl Cox is still a topic for debate.

Haunted Vancouver Hotel
Photo by Vancouver’s Scott Graham showing a red figure in one of the Vancouver Hotel’s uppermost windows thought to be the Lady in Red.

The friendly nature and popularity of this ghost’s story have intrigued Vancouver visitors for over half a century. The Fairmont hotel even embraces the ghost’s presence hoping to preserve her glamorous allure for years to come.

Visiting The Haunted Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

I paid a visit to the Vancouver Hotel earlier this year. While I didn’t stay the night, I did visit the hotel’s bar and restaurant, known as Notch8, which I definitely recommend. This spot serves up craft cocktails and high end dining right in the lobby of the hotel’s stunning interior. Ask for the off menu drink ‘The Lady in Red,’ which bar staff have created to pay tribute to the hotel’s resident ghost. I was also able to take a sneaky self guided tour around the hotel, making it to higher floors (like #14) and the top function area of the hotel easily.

Would you like to pay a visit to see Vancouver’s most famous ghost, The Lady in Red?

Haunted Vancouver Hotel Lady in Red
The Lady in Red cocktail available at the Vancouver Hotel, inspired by its resident ghost.

If you’re interested in visiting other haunted hotels, check out my post about the Awahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley, California.

Thanks for reading.


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Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Comments (8)

  • Daniel Ramos

    Posted by Daniel Ramos on May 29, 2019

    I stayed at the hotel a few years back and took a pic of the bathroom due to it style, which I loved. When I reviewed the picture, I noted a woman behind me looking back at me. Her outline and collar of her dress is very pronounced and would be happy to share it with you.


      Posted by Amy on May 29, 2019

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment here, Daniel. That is so cool and creepy to know of this photo that you snapped. I’d love to see it. You can drop me a line here and when I reply you’ll be able to send me an email with the image:

  • david n chance

    Posted by david n chance on December 18, 2019

    i really enjoy the stories and history in your blogs , tell Jarred i said hi .


      Posted by Amy on December 18, 2019

      Hey David! Thank you for reading. I am so glad to know that you enjoy the content I am creating here! I’ll be sure to let Jarrad know you say hi, he will love that!

  • Brandan Lecus

    Posted by Brandan Lecus on May 13, 2020

    At a friends house i heard little laughs in a corner of the door when everyone was in bed


      Posted by Amy on July 17, 2020

      Wow that is spooky, thanks for sharing Brandan.

  • Andy

    Posted by Andy on April 19, 2023

    In late November 2017 my partner and I stayed in a historic and supposedly haunted hotel in New Orleans, we expected paranormal activity but nothing happened, slightly disappointed we returned home to Vancouver and on New Year’s Eve of the same year I stayed in a nondescript fairly modern Vancouver hotel (Executive Hotel) likely built in the 80’s or 90’s. Well little did I know I was about to have a paranormal experience. I got a feeling something wasn’t right when I was getting ready for bed in the bathroom with a feeling of being watched, then with lights out in bed I well sure something was in the room with me I could hear noises and absolutely felt a presence. My hair stood on end and I was terrified. I laid in bed with the covers over my head not wanting to acknowledge it and after a while it seemed to go away but I didn’t get any sleep that night, I’ve always been interested in the paranormal and always thought I would be up for interacting with it if it ever happened to me but when it happened I was frozen and wanted it to end. I guess you never know how you’ll react until it happens to you.


      Posted by Amy on April 20, 2023

      Thanks for sharing this Andy.

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