An old murder-turned-ghost story is making the rounds again as Halloween inspires Victoria residents to remember their own dark history. A list of haunted golf courses named the Victoria Golf Club in Oak Bay among famous ghostly greens.
General manager Scott Kolb said the story reemerges every year or two.
“We’ve had the odd ghost hunter come by the club, but they haven’t been able to find stuff,” Kolb said. “Definitely our staff — whether they believe in ghosts or not — have definitely felt some kind of presence.”
In September 1936, Doris and Victor Gravlin were reported missing. Thirty-year-old Doris’s body was later found near the seventh hole on the seaside golf course. Her husband, suspected of murdering Doris, wasn’t seen again until a month later when his body was found in the water near the course. In his pocket were Doris’s shoes, which had been reported missing when they discovered her corpse, and the case was closed.
As legend has it, Doris’s spirit can still be found at the golf course.
While he doesn’t believe in ghosts, Kolb said, “You get uncomfortable being in the building all by yourself. It’s an old building from 1929, so it’s got creaks and moans.”
There have been reports over the years of a bell ringing near the sixth green in the middle of the night, but Kolb said he’s always assumed it was kids playing pranks. “But what do I know?” he said with a chuckle, adding there are no cameras on the course.
While no formal tours take place on the course — with flying golf balls as a safety risk — ghost tour operators in Victoria drive by the greens as they share the tale.
“Our staff, we always joke if something goes a little sideways, we say Doris is playing tricks on us,” Kolb said.