Employees at Ma Miller’s Pub in Langford are familiar with “somebody” or “something” racing past them or odd voices drifting through the corridors.
One staff member thought she saw a child’s arm reaching out for her, another heard yelling behind the bar after the pub had closed.
“I have staff that flat out refuse to go into the basement alone, especially after dark,” said owner Jessica Barry. When she purchased Ma Miller’s she was aware of the rumours that the pub was haunted. It was mentioned at the start of a two-month renovation beginning in December 2015, as she was told the activity generally picks up when trying to change things. “It was an eventful couple of months for sure.”
But Barry tries to keep it out of her mind on a day-to-day basis so that she is not afraid to go downstairs alone.
In a story written in 2004 by former Goldstream Gazette editor Mitch Wright, previous owners Cindy and Tony Piga said “we’ve had people hearing all sorts of things, and of course, everyone has already gone home.”
Cindy added, “I’ve come in here alone and heard things – sometimes you think it’s just your imagination, but it’s hard to know … We had one waitress who wouldn’t go upstairs because she heard whispering.”
A Langford icon since 1864, the building itself has been lost to fire twice over the years but the 1930s rebuild still stands and is a favourite for many locals. Originally called the Goldstream Inn, the name was changed to Ma Miller’s in 1923. It was named after Mrs. May Greening-Miller, who purchased the pub that year and was affectionately known as ‘Ma.’
Barry has had many paranormal groups come through the pub and sat in on some of the investigations. One group claimed to have picked up on the energy of an elderly gentleman and a young girl. To Barry, it sounded as though the gentleman was the owner and builder of the original Goldstream Inn, which sat across the street where the current convenience store does business. The group claimed the small girl seemed to be looking for her dad and mentioned the older gentleman is not very nice to her.
There was also speculation that the gentleman could be the spirit of Capt. Joseph Baker. His murder in the late 1860s was never solved and is known to some as the Langford Lake Mystery. Baker left the pioneer roadhouse accompanied partway by hotelier Patrick Fowler and a man named Butch, before heading towards Victoria alone. He never arrived and – months later – in August 1869, his scattered remains were found in a Langford swamp.
“If you’re interested in the paranormal, definitely stop by the pub, see if you pick up on any of these energies,” Barry said. “We love to hear about our guests’ experiences too.”
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