Want a scare? Go to Boothill Cemetery — if you can find it!


NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) – The grass is overgrown, some of the graves unmarked, and if you don’t already know where it is, it’s impossible to find!

BC Historian John Mitchell of BCGhosttowns.ca calls Boothill Cemetery the scariest place in the Lower Mainland. It’s where killers, train robbers, and other Canadian criminals who died while serving time at the former BC Penitentiary in New Westminster were laid to rest.

The earliest known burial was 1913 and the last was sometime in the 1960s. They remain there to this day.

“Over 43 souls, identified only by a small concrete marker with the number of the inmate [buried below]… there’s no dates, there’s no names,” describes Mitchell.

The graveyard itself doesn’t have a sign, and if you’re not looking for it, there’s no address or easy way to get to it.  A quick search of the web pulls up coordinates, but little else.

Mitchell says there’s no trace of the cemetery on the City of New Westminster’s website, even though it is part of land leased to the city.

“When you find the little spot tucked in with subdivisions on three sides, and the ravine park on the North side of it, it’s kind of like a no man’s land. Even the housing around it, they don’t have paths leading into the small cemetery. So, it’s kind of eerie when you walk around in there.  And it just seems to be like a time capsule of past evils.”

Surrounding the graveyard are condo developments and residential areas. Many of those living nearby aren’t even aware the tiny cemetery is near their homes.

So why hasn’t the City of New Westminster moved the remaining graves? Mitchell says graveyard records weren’t well kept, and no one is really sure where all the bodies were buried.

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