Follow the lamplight of your guide into Vancouver’s earliest and most gruesome history. You’ll step inside a world of murder, revenge, and true grit in a dramatic retelling of Victorian Gastown’s earliest stories. Tales of deadly fire and smallpox emerge from the shadows as you venture through cobblestone streets to the shocking finale in this unique performance-theatre experience.
Gruesome stories of the Great Fire
The notorious ladies of the Gold Rush
A murder mystery unsolved to this day
The haunting legend of Gaoler’s Mews
The chilling history of George Vancouver
Stories of smallpox outbreaks & heartbreaks
Hotels and streets that haven’t changed from the 1800s
Our tours are designed for adult audiences and do contain some references to adult themes. Our age recommendation is 14+ but certainly children aged 10+ can attend and enjoy our walking tours if parents are comfortable with their children hearing mature subject matter.
You can cancel your experience for a full refund up to 24 hours before your tour start time. Less than 24 hours before the start of your tour, you can receive a full credit for future use. No questions asked! Prices do not include fees and taxes. Student and senior pricing available on all tours. Contact us to arrange a private tour.
Very spooky and interesting. I learned a lot! Our guide was engaging, funny, and charming. Felt like a live theatre performance that we got to be a part of.
Had a great experience on this tour with my friends. Our guide, Rowan, was very knowledgeable and portrayed his character well. Learned history of Vancouver that we wouldn't have known from just walking around the city and saw parts of the city that were off the beaten path. Highly recommend if you're looking for a fun activity.
Loved this tour. Our tour guide Janet was amazing in portraying her character, really absorbed us into the poor girl's life, great job. She was so knowledgeable and fun, really entertained and educated us at the same time! We were just roaming around downtown among all the other people going about their business. Every now and again we would have a bit of craic with the passers by too it was great. If you have a interest in the murky past of ye olde Vancouver and want to have a laugh at the same time this is definitely for you. It's like being front row in a play for a couple of hours! Highly recommend.
Tracy was AMAZING! Entertaining, witty, and kept us on our toes. It was the most fun I've had since I moved to Vancouver in the midst of the pandemic, and I'll be doing more Forbidden Vancouver Tours.
Alison guided us through a most interesting tour of some significant places and events of Vancouver. She is an excellent storyteller and had us hanging on every word. Being from Vancouver, learning about my own city made it even more meaningful.
Our group had a great time celebrating a birthday with this spooky Gastown Walking Tour! Eric, our guide, couldn't have been better at bringing the stories to life and as people that grew up here, we learned a lot of facts that we didn't know. I highly recommend this walking tour as something safe and fun to do during the pandemic. All precautions are taken and you never feel at risk. Thanks Eric for making our birthday celebration something to remember!
WINNER TRIP ADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE 2012 – 2021
WINNER LONELY PLANET “TOP CHOICE” 2021
WINNER CITY OF VANCOUVER HERITAGE MEDAL OF HONOUR 2019
WINNER MUST DO CANADA FEATURED EXPERIENCES 2021
Venture into Vancouver’s earliest and most gruesome history on the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour. You’ll discover a time when Vancouver was the Granville Townsite – the wild frontier town that suffered a devastating fire, smallpox outbreaks, and unsolved murders.
Designed for adult audiences, the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour is both a walking tour and a theatre piece. Created by Forbidden Vancouver’s Chief Storyteller Will Woods – and based on documented Vancouver history – the plot weaves through back streets and alleyways to a dramatic finale in the heart of Gastown’s Maple Tree Square.
The year was 1898. After a night of whiskey and cards at the saloon, gold prospector John Bray staggered out onto the streets of Gastown. He never made it back to his hotel. Robbed and shot three times in the head, he spent two delirious weeks roaming the streets before the bullets finally killed him.
Relive the tale of John Bray and his mysterious death, along with stories of the people and events that shaped early Vancouver. The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour is not a ghost tour. It’s an interactive gothic theatre experience that pulls you so deep into the swirling lamplight and darkened alleys of Gastown’s murky past, you may have a hard time finding your way back out…
Tours start at the corner of Water and Cordova Streets, beside Buro Coffee.
Tours end at Maple Tree Square in Gastown
When you buy a ticket for this walking tour, two percent of the ticket cost goes to support the Vancouver Urban Native Youth Association. Since its founding in 1988, UNYA’s focus has been to provide meaningful opportunities for Indigenous youth (Aboriginal, Metis, Inuit, First Nations, Status, Non-Status) in the urban setting. Today, UNYA delivers 20+ programs, with 175+ volunteers, 100 staff, and more than 300 community partners.