The Bent Mast (512 Simcoe St. / 383-6000) is a pub/restaurant that gives Victoria an authentic sailing town feel.
Located in an old Victorian house, it often features live Irish, bluegrass, and folk music and is a great place to hang out and play a board game. Wash some chips down with ale, matey, and don’t be surprised if the place is filled with whalers, sailors, and pirates.
We know this place to be haunted by reputation, we are researching the stories, I will try and get direct quotes from staff members but here is a story from a patron of the Bent Mast
I had recently visited some friends in Victoria, B.C. and we decided to go out for dinner to do a girls night out. We chose this pub called “The Bent Mast”. It was an old Victorian house, built in the 1870′s, and on first glance of the outside it appeared charming, and full of character. We chatted as we walked up the outside walkway, but when we pushed the door open, Lil, and myself gasped at each other. We had felt something quite unexpected, we felt this pushing on our chests. Now we hadn’t said anything right away, because our third friend, Renee seemed unaware of anything, but as I made eye contact with Lil, it was apparent she was feeling uneasy too. We sat down and looked at our surroundings. They gave a modern style paint technique to the walls, but it hadn’t ruined the Victorian feel of the house. It was actually very cosy, except for this pressure on my chest. Eventually I had to use the bathroom, which was located on the second floor up this gorgeous wooden staircase. As I entered the bathroom I felt the pressure on my chest increase and gained an oppressive weight on my shoulders. It felt almost like someone was in this single toilet bathroom with me. I quickly finished my job, and started down the hallway and felt someone walking right behind me. Well I returned to my friends a bit paler.
Later, Lil went up stairs, and I sat there telling Renee about what I felt, she insisted she felt nothing at all. Seconds later Lil came running down the stairs quite disturbed and she told me right then and there, regardless of Renee’s skeptical views,what she had experienced. She felt fine in the bathroom, but when she opened the door she felt something whooshing by her face. She walked out and felt someone walking right behind her in the hallway, she got the most horrid feeling of oppression and just ran like crazy.
Well by this time I was so curious to see if it was just us, so Lil and I decided to have a talk with the owner at the bar. We asked him straight out what was wrong with this house/pub. He admitted to it being haunted and apparently waitresses have reported having a hand grab their bottoms when they are alone in the pub. They said they thought two children and an older man was haunting the place, how they narrowed it down to these I do not know. I know However, that something definitely was in that pub, from the moment I walked in I knew, and I do not claim to have these experiences often at all. I think the only thing that made it bearable to sit in this pub, for me at least, was that during our dinner volunteer violinists and other musicians started playing celtic music, for their weekly celtic music jam.
I had to go to the bank machine across the street to get more cash to pay the final tab, and the moment I walked out to get the money the pushing pressure on my chest left, and my whole being felt lighter. Upon entering I had the same pressure return. After being out of the place for good, both Lil and I felt quite exhausted and were getting headaches. It was quite the dinner let me tell you.
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It was a residence up until the 40′s, then it was abandoned. After the 60′s it was several things, and many businesses. I don’t know if there was problems then, but they acquired it 12 years ago and it’s been the Bent Mast Pub ever since.
The best place that I know of to hold a meeting.. and for free is at the Bent Mast in James Bay. They have an upstairs room thats good for up to 12 people. You dont have to pay for the room, but its best to call ahead and reserve it. And one thing about the upstairs room is that you dont feel compelled to order either, as there is no service upstairs. But if you wanna eat and drink, you can order from downstairs and carry it up yourself.
“Is the owner’s name Jerry?? If your out there Jerry, we really would like to investigate that 2nd floor and use the large room you have upstairs. Any chance we could swing that?”