Jean Matheson Memorial Pavilion

History: A hospital in Vancouver. Part of the Children’s hospital / Women’s hospital grounds. Closed and used for filming, while the rest of the grounds are very active.

Team: Jester, Pixie, and Reduxzero

Mission Brief: Note we have very limited pictures for reasons you’ll see soon: Yes, a bunch of the pics are blurry, but we didn’t have much time for retakes. This is more adventure than exploration… Having heard about the Shaughnessy Hospital recently, Pixie, the visiting Reduxzero, and I decided to head out and look for it. I had an address, which we began to look for, from one end of the street to the other… the address I thought it was at didn’t exist at all. So with Redux and Pixie alternating on the map, we drove around following hunches, and finding nothing… Until, finally, Redux found some more clues hidden on the map… the clues being a big H and the word Shaughnessy. None of us are cartographers… or even capable of reading a city map correctly apparently.

It turned out to be part of the very busy Children’s and Women’s Hospital, one building on the active site that was not used for medical purposes any longer. So we parked down one side of the hospital, on the street, and walked around the grounds. Finding the correct building we scouted it out, and found that it was attached by an enclosed walkway to one of the active buildings. There were lights on in some areas of the building, but we couldn’t see anyone actually in it. Pixie located a possible entrance, and showed me, and within about 2 minutes I had improvised a way in to it ;) We all discussed what we thought and decided to send me in to check for security measures…

I headed in, clambering over piles of furniture, medical equipment, and movie equipment. I edged up to the door to the hall, and peered about. I was confronted with the age old question… is that a smoke detector ? or a motion detector ? There were 2 different types on the ceilings… I dropped to the ground and slid on my back along the hallway slowly, watching for a light on the detectors… Nothing. I checked farther down the hall, and saw piles of equipment all over. I slunk back to the room I had entered and relayed what I found to the others. I said, “I’m kind of sketchy on this one, I’m on the fence… 50/50…” Redux said, “lets do it”, so I said “ok…”

Redux and Pixie came in and we all carefully moved down the hall, and through a door into one of the main hallways. The building had 2 hallways running side by side, with about 10 feet between them. In this area was rooms with doors on both sides. Still no lights on any detector. We had to be very careful since the halls were lit and windows from outside could see in… Many of the rooms were locked up, but the ones that weren’t had things like incubators, gurneys and other nifty things in them. Getting to the centre of the floor, I noticed a very visible point, and got down to stay out of sight of the windows, and let the others know to do the same. I crouched there and took a picture of some lockers I found cool, that were placed here along with a bunch of other stuff, blocking the main walkway between the 2 hallways.

We then moved a bit past that main corridor and I moved through a diagonal room (quite weird) into the other hallway. Pixie and Redux were taking pics in hallway 1, while I took some in hallway 2. That’s when it happened… Redux heard footsteps coming down the stairs near him and Pixie ! He told her, and she hit the alert on our radio, so I immediately slumped low against the wall, and asked “Did you call that?” She responded by pushing the alert again, so I knew it was for real… As I hear Pixie and Redux quickly dash back down the hall the way we had come from as she says “run, security”…

I got 2 steps away from the corner I was at, out into the main corridor area, and heard the security guards’ voices as they entered the hall… Pixie saw me jump back to the wall just before her and Redux got a bit farther and dashed into a room on the other side of the hospital. I was not so lucky… I was now trapped at a corner, behind a 2 foot section of wall. This was where the diagonal room’s doorway met the wall, right at the edge of the main corridor. I couldn’t go anywhere in a lit hallway, with 2 security guards 10 feet away. The one says “where ? !” and a male voice comes over her radio “You’re right on top of it !”… she says something to her partner with her here, then replies into the radio “You know there are rats in here…” Obviously they’re a little confused, the detector was saying there was movement right here, now, but there’s nothing at all… I’m slowly leaning side to side using my knees, not moving my feet, so I can listen through the two openings I’m trapped between, judging which way they are about to head. One mistake and I’m just standing right in front of two security guards… I loved playing this sort of game when I was a kid, and now we’d see if all that practice paid off…

I decided they were about to head down, away from the way we came in, so I moved out of view of the diagonal room’s door… I was right. Now I had a tiny bit of breathing room, but I had to find a place to hide right this instant. I only had two options, number one would only have worked if I could actually turn invisible, so door number two it was… the door was wide open, and I could see the windows from the hall I was in. I moved silently but swiftly across the hall and into my hidey-hole. The room was small, with some stacks of chairs and a desk in it and very little place to hide. I opted for up behind the door, since it was quickest. I stood there, listening to the two female guards (one of which was Asian from her slight accent) as they chatted a bit, as they went door to door, unlocking them and calling out what they found… Since Redux and Pixie had gotten down the hall, I was pretty sure they were outside already, with just myself here to hang out with the two security women ( now if this had been a porno movie, it would be a great situation, but when it’s reality… not so much… ~ Jester )

Standing there, I had to slowly slide my camera back into its pouch so I’d have both hands free when I had an actual chance for escape. For about 5 minutes, the guards were in my area; I could hear their every move clearly. Key inserting, doors opening, nothing found… I considered making a break for it then, but knew I would not be able to open the window without alerting them, so decided to wait. I stared at the detector on the ceiling here, and hoped it was not a motion detector… I studied “my” room, considering trying to crawl in behind/under some chairs, or up into the roof itself, but determined it would be too high a risk of noise. And since the door to the room is wide open, they could glance over and see me trying it… I didn’t shut the door, because I wanted it to seem as unlikely that someone would be hiding here as possible, so leaving it as open and plain to see as I could, seemed to be the right move.

The moment of truth came for me quickly, as they approached my room. They stepped up to the doorway, one shining her light in, and told the other “chairs and desks, that’s it…” Down the hall they went. Once they were far enough I felt I could make a slight noise and not have them running back to me, I moved out from behind the door and slowly closed it over. The reason I did this was twofold; because I didn’t want to be backlit while climbing out the window, as well as to deaden the sound the window would make. I climbed up a pile of chairs and moved my hand along to find the lock on the window. No lock ? So I try to open it… and it doesn’t budge. That’s when I noticed the small stick in the windows track… whewww. I took that out and slid the window open, making more noise than I expected, but not drawing any attention at least. I climbed out the window, and closed it back up as quietly as I could. I was now on the opposite side of the hospital in a more open area. I could see the guards’ lights shining into rooms nearby, but I had to go that way to get to the street and safety… So to avoid being silhouetted against the building or being seen by the guards inside, I did a military crawl along under the windows which were about 2 feet off ground level. This got me to the edge of the building, and some cover, so I could stand and get out to the street. I radioed to Pixie asking if they were out… and her very muffled answer was “no”…

Redux and Pixie had gone into a room, which as they discovered, had no door… Redux tried to open the window, and couldn’t budge it. So motioned for Pixie to help, and they both tried, to no avail. They moved into hiding behind a baby incubator and waited… In the dark it was difficult to see, but Redux noticed a thin door in the room. A washroom. Both of them moved into the washroom, Pixie climbing up into the stall. Just as Redux finished shutting the door most of the way, the security guard walked into the room they had just been hiding in. They heard the Guard say something about “body heat” and could see that the lights were shining around the room. Pixie’s belly gurgled from nerves and they both hoped it wasn’t as loud as it seemed to them… Once the guards left, Redux and Pixie waited a few minutes, and then tried the bathroom window. Thankfully, this one opened. Redux boosted pixie up to the sill and out she went, quickly followed by Redux.

At this point, I was on the way to the car, to get ready for a fast pick up if needed, when Pixie radioed me telling me they were out. But this was when I was near the power plant, and the messages were garbled from the interference. A few seconds later I hear a male voice say “J, where are you?” I couldn’t tell who it was on the radio. I was a little wary, so replied “I’m heading to my vehicle, but I need you to say your name…” again he says “where are you?” I’m seriously wondering if Pixie and Redux got nabbed coming outside, and this was a guard trying to draw me out as well…Now I’m to where I think the car is supposed to be, and there’s an empty street instead. The signs say no “no parking 9pm to 7am” and it’s around 2am… I keep walking, wondering if my car was towed but hoping I had just misjudged the location. Luckily, I had misjudged, and about 1/2 a block away, I saw it sitting there still.

As I’m getting into the car, the male voice comes on and says “where are you?” and I again ask for a name and say I’m at my car, but get no response except for “flash your headlights”. Yeah right pal, I think, but then I see Pixie and Redux out on the road at the end of the street… So I start up the car and head for them. Quickly piling in, we sped off, filling each other in on the events we each experienced. It turned out it was Redux on the radio, with the power plant interfering so he never heard me ask for his name clearly. Straight to Tim Horton’s we went, to stand in line behind a police officer… After grabbing our coffees and leaving the officer, we sat and talked about the night some more, and all agreed, it was it definitely one of the best adventures any of us had had. And Reduxzero learned firsthand that what he’s read about the Wraiths is true…it isn’t just all in Jester’s mind…

Images to come…