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UER Forum > Canada: Alberta / BC > Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels. (Viewed 1360410 times)
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 60 on 7/7/2005 12:49 AM >
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Posted by kowalski

If that's how you want to treat it than that's cool and I fully appreciate that. I'm an interdisciplinary scholar with a strong off-discipline interest in anthropology and cultural studies.



As am I.



I just think it's silly to actually and misleadingly talk with breathy excitement about how this network exists when it clearly doesn't. Apart from one or two disused but officially documented and heavily secured tunnels, there is no secret complex of satanist or smuggling tunnels under Victoria's downtown core.



Again, who cares? Urban legends of this sort EXIST for all intents and purposes, in the minds of people who actually PAY MONEY to hear them. A tourist will pay $60 an hour to hear these stories, and will take them home to Dot-on-the-map-town USA (or wherever) and will tell them to friends and so on and so on. "Hey...I heard a story about tunnels in Victoria...and we're going there for vacation this year and..." etc. etc. etc.

I don't care about 'fact.' I care about 'truth' within this fictional reality. That's all.

And besides, where there is a kernel of fact (actual underground spaces used for storage) there is a possibility of broader fact.

This is a connect-the-dots story, pure and simple. I hear these stories, I research them, I look for evidence (that merely supports, rather than proves, a theory) of tunnels and I go from there.







"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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lopix 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 61 on 7/7/2005 5:16 PM >
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I lived in Victoria from 1992-1994 and heard the stories myself. From what I found out it seems that there were (and may still be) tunnels leading from Chinatown to the water. This was for the semi-legal opium trade of the late 1800s into the early 1900s. They may also have been used during prohibition. Makes sense for some under the legislature, as that was a far-flung outpost for a long time and might have been attacked.

This makes enough sense to me that I believe it. May be only 1 decrepit hole in the dirt, but it is not illogical to think that there are some sort of tunnels, or at least once was. That they form a pentagram, or any shape for that matter, or are used by devil worshipping cat killers - well, that doesn't work so well for me.

It is probably safe for us all to agree that some sort of tunnel existed at one point. What it was used for, is currently used for, or whether or not anything still remains to this day - that is the conjecture part of it.




I'm not angry - just focused :: No human opinion is higher than the truth
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KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 62 on 7/7/2005 6:44 PM >
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Posted by lopix
I lived in Victoria from 1992-1994 and heard the stories myself. From what I found out it seems that there were (and may still be) tunnels leading from Chinatown to the water. This was for the semi-legal opium trade of the late 1800s into the early 1900s. They may also have been used during prohibition. Makes sense for some under the legislature, as that was a far-flung outpost for a long time and might have been attacked.



Actually, opium was thoroughly legal in the early years of the last century. There were legal opium dens in Chinatown, and many many people enjoyed them. It was a legal opium trade, so it stands to reason that whatever tunnels may have existed then were not part of any sort of illegal opium trade. Shit...people walked through the streets in broad daylight carrying opium, pipes, whatever without any fear of reprisal or legal remedy.

The legislature...actually called The Parliament Building (don't ask...I don't understand that one either)...wasn't some far-flung outpost threatened with attack. Attack from whom? Opium addicts? Victoria was an outpost of the Hudson's Bay Company, and then became part of the British Empire and eventually part of British Columbia etc. etc.

The pentagram bit is a little problematic. It seems totally improbable, but too many people...historians, authors, tour operators, indigent persons, school kids, armchair archeologists...have offered versions of this tale, and, getting back to my earlier post, so long as two people tell the same story, it becomes, for all intents and purposes, true. Whether it is fact, or accurate...I'll leave that to someone else.





"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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snoop 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 63 on 7/8/2005 3:22 PM >
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Posted by geoplus
Oh wow Chris, is this just a personal interest of yours or is Urban Exploring about to explode in the media?


Explode? Well I guess we'll see ;) I grew up hearing these stories and have always been curious. I'm putting together a series on Island myths and legends -- and think it would be fun to poke around to find the line between fact and fiction.
Everybody loves a good mystery...

chris_walker@cbc.ca
CBC Radio
250-360-2227



[last edit 7/8/2005 3:23 PM by snoop - edited 1 times]

Jester 


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Always just out of sight...

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 64 on 7/8/2005 3:48 PM >
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Posted by KublaKahn
...have offered versions of this tale, and, getting back to my earlier post, so long as two people tell the same story, it becomes, for all intents and purposes, true.


I can walk through walls.

Can anybody substantiate this with their story ? Kowalski ?
Because, as long as two of us tell the same story, for all intents and purposes, it's true... No.

Simply by virtue of more than one person hearing a rumour or telling a story, does not in any way make it true, it simply makes it a rumour more than one person has heard. It can be believed by people that don't require facts for their belief, but it still does not make it true. Proof makes it true, well at least in accepted principle of *truth*, so until there is proof of the pentagram theory, it's a rumour as far as I am concerned.

Tunnels there, yes. Sealed up in most cases? I've seen some evidence that points to that.

Pentagram tunnels ? Yes, but you'll never get in, Bigfoot is guard and el chupacabras run rampant in the tunnels...




It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 65 on 7/8/2005 5:24 PM >
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Posted by Jester


I can walk through walls.

Can anybody substantiate this with their story ? Kowalski ?
Because, as long as two of us tell the same story, for all intents and purposes, it's true... No.

Simply by virtue of more than one person hearing a rumour or telling a story, does not in any way make it true, it simply makes it a rumour more than one person has heard. It can be believed by people that don't require facts for their belief, but it still does not make it true. Proof makes it true, well at least in accepted principle of *truth*, so until there is proof of the pentagram theory, it's a rumour as far as I am concerned.

Tunnels there, yes. Sealed up in most cases? I've seen some evidence that points to that.

Pentagram tunnels ? Yes, but you'll never get in, Bigfoot is guard and el chupacabras run rampant in the tunnels...



Well...okay. Let's look at it like this. A recent example: some guy goes on television and makes noise about anthrax, mushroom clouds, WMD. The people who work for him say it's 'true.' The guy himself says it's 'true.'

Millions heard this guy and believed that what he said was true. It is, for all intents and purposes, 'true.' It's 'real.'

He was lying, of course. As were the people who work for him. As for the millions who believed in that particular 'truth,' well...that's their problem. Some still believe, others don't. For those who do, the lie is still 'truth.' Their convictions are set.

'Truth,' as I accept it, is merely a collection of agreements. Or at least a convention of agreed-upon facts, some of which may be indeed 'factual,' some of which are not. History is full of these conventions.

Just looking at recent war reportage, it is easy to see where truth lies, and, more important, where it does not. NOTE: there are very few war photographers working in Iraq. We are constantly sold a bill of goods with respect to that conflict, and we more or less accept them as truth.

...but seriously. If you can walk through walls, this is something I need to see.





"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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Jester 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 66 on 7/8/2005 5:46 PM >
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Simply because a huge number of people will blindly believe something that cannot be substantiated does not make it fact, it makes them sheep or religious...

I was simply saying, just because one person says something does not make it true...

First person says...
"hey, I think there are old tunnels I heard about, might be used for religious purposes."

next person might say...
"This guy I know, knows a guy that's into satanism and does it in the tunnels"

next person...
"I know a guy that got into some tunnels and saw some weirdos doing some kind of cult shit !"

next...
"I've been in those tunnels man, they're like a pentagram, but you gotta watch out, dunno what the satanists would do if they caught you there."

and then...
"Seriously, the guy's been in there, he went in with 2 friends, they got chased by some freaks in robes and got seperated... one of em hasn't been seen since. I think she got sacrificed..."


Random stories, no matter how many times repeated, do not indicicate reality.




It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 67 on 7/8/2005 6:22 PM >
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"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo




"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 68 on 7/8/2005 6:27 PM >
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Posted by Jester

Random stories, no matter how many times repeated, do not indicicate reality.


Reality? Have you checked out the primetime lineup on network television lately? If that's reality (Paris Holiday Inn [or is it 'Dew Drop Inn?' Or Paris Ramada? who gives a shit...she's as unreal as it comes] then we're in serious trouble.




"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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Jester 


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Always just out of sight...

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 69 on 7/8/2005 6:31 PM >
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Reality as in that I can verify the existence of these mystical demon summoning ritual tunnels. Which I can't. Until I can, they are a rumour, they are a story, they are the delusional rantings of a guy that wants some rice wine.




It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 70 on 7/8/2005 8:36 PM >
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Posted by Jester
Reality as in that I can verify the existence of these mystical demon summoning ritual tunnels. Which I can't. Until I can, they are a rumour, they are a story, they are the delusional rantings of a guy that wants some rice wine.


The guy with the rice wine jones has as much a right to sell his story to a tourist as any professional tour guide. But tourists aren't interested in that guy, because he's a bit grubby, and he sleeps in a box (well...maybe not in Victoria, though it has been an exceptionally wet summer thus far), and he's obviously crazy and he might even be a liar, and 'Get away from my children' and so forth.

That guy's experiences, delusional or not, are a legitimate a part of urban culture. I'm more interested in his story than I am of some well paid tour guide.




"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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Jester 


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Always just out of sight...

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 71 on 7/8/2005 8:44 PM >
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But you're blurring the line between *story* and *fact*. Yeah, stories are great and will bring tourists and will spread passed on from one person to another, but it doesn't make it true. It simply means it's been propogated because it was interesting...

Now, when the rice wine afficianado can actually show me the entrance to said tunnels which turns out to be real, then I'll say it's true. Until that time, i'm filing it under "interesting fables and unsubstantiated rumours"...




It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 72 on 7/8/2005 9:59 PM >
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Posted by Jester
But you're blurring the line between *story* and *fact*.



So if the story has a kernel of fact (there are sealed-over entrances that lead to somewhere etc. in Victoria), I guess that makes the stories 'true.'

Anyway...all this hair-splitting is bringing me off point: I still hold that 'truth' is merely a collection of agreements. Or even an agreed upon set of conventions.



[last edit 7/8/2005 10:00 PM by KublaKhan - edited 1 times]

"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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Jester 


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Always just out of sight...

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 73 on 7/8/2005 10:20 PM >
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Arguing the semantics of what and how truth is defined is a little beyond what this thread is really about isn't it ? All i'm saying is as of now, there are rumours of tunnels, and some small indications of their existence or prior existence at least, but not anything that in my mind establishes they are anything like what those rumours persist about,




It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 74 on 7/8/2005 11:56 PM >
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Posted by Jester
Arguing the semantics of what and how truth is defined is a little beyond what this thread is really about isn't it ?


True enough.



All i'm saying is as of now, there are rumours of tunnels, and some small indications of their existence or prior existence at least, but not anything that in my mind establishes they are anything like what those rumours persist about,



And that is accurate. Rumours beget rumours. These stories are, for the most part, about 80 years old and have been passed word-of-mouth throughout the years. That the stories survive is of great interest. Most people I know who live in Victoria have heard at least one of these stories. And of these people, they know people within their circle who have also heard stories. Some people claim to have made their way throughout some tunnel network, and these claims become part of the larger narrative.

In any event, it's a fascinating aspect of popular culture and of social stratification.

I think you'd agree to that. True?




"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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Jester 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 75 on 7/9/2005 3:41 AM >
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Stories are interesting and entertaining, no doubt, if they weren't they wouldn't still be being passed around. But when you have a story that has persisted for so long and seemingly a fair number of people have claimed to know how to get in or that they've been in them, but whenever it comes time to back it up... these people disappear faster than free beer at a bar. Funny how that happens. Same with people who've contacted me *knowing* of secret tunnels systems under Vancouver as well. As soon as I ask for some proof, they never again contact me. Funny coincidence...




It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 76 on 7/9/2005 4:11 AM >
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Posted by Jester
Stories are interesting and entertaining, no doubt, if they weren't they wouldn't still be being passed around. But when you have a story that has persisted for so long and seemingly a fair number of people have claimed to know how to get in or that they've been in them, but whenever it comes time to back it up... these people disappear faster than free beer at a bar. Funny how that happens. Same with people who've contacted me *knowing* of secret tunnels systems under Vancouver as well. As soon as I ask for some proof, they never again contact me. Funny coincidence...


True. Stories combined with a faith in their authenticity leads to bad things...most notably religion. Or at least religious extremism. But that's another discussion.

But when stories take on a religious fervour, as these tunnel stories have, then one must consider the possibility that the stories are 'true' in the strictest sense of the word.

And that's what I've found: people who are...okay, drug addicts, drunks, indigent persons, scabby freaks and a handful of notable scholars...almost religious in their conviction, and they believe these stories.

Whether tunnels are REAL real or not isn't the issue. Not with me, anyway. I want to believe in their stories, even though I am certain that there are NO TUNNELS (at least to the extent that I've been told) exist. I'm fine with that.

I guess what this all boils down to is that my UE experiences have been centered around exploring stories, rather than actual places.

And you'd have to admit, urban legends are part of the trip. They add flavour, character, depth to what is otherwise an empty building etc.





"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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Jester 


Location: Vancouver,B.C. Canada
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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 77 on 7/9/2005 4:17 AM >
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Posted by KublaKahn
I guess what this all boils down to is that my UE experiences have been centered around exploring stories, rather than actual places.

And you'd have to admit, urban legends are part of the trip. They add flavour, character, depth to what is otherwise an empty building etc.


I investigate stories with the purpose of exploring the ones that are true.

The legends can only add flavour and character if there is really something to add to. An imaginary building or tunnel just doesn't do it for me...




It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 78 on 7/9/2005 6:33 PM >
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Okay. So what are we left with here?

I accept these stories as a point of departure for my research and exploration.

Sure, the stories are fantastic, unsubstantiated rumours, but so what? They provide fascinating insights into the mind of a city...communal head space, as it were.

Besides, imagine if someone told explorers of the past that there was no North West Passage.

We go where others don't for the simple reason that we enjoy the adventure, the hunt, the thrill of discovering what isn't well known or established.

"I wonder what's inside that building?"

"I wonder where that bricked-over doorway leads?"

"I wonder if any of the stories I've heard about tunnels are true?"

This is about adventure, the kind you don't purchase as part of a holiday package.

Anyway, I've had fun researching these stories, trying to locate evidence, poking around. It beats the shit out of sitting in a movie theater watching some multi-million dollar train wreck of a movie where the plot sucks, the action is over-the-top SFX, the acting is horrid. It beats the shit out of waddling through Disneyland searching for another set of those goddamned ears that the kids demand so as to validate their holiday experience.

In the end, my work here is a kind of Unsolved Mysteries (minus Robert Stack, who is dead...his mysteries have been solved). I gather evidence, write the story, present it and let people decide for themselves: Tunnels in Victoria-true or not? (cue the creepy music).

And I absolutely LOVE that this site is a forum for this kind (and quality) of discussion. I LOVE that there is a community of like-minded adventurers out there who go off the beaten track looking for fun, thrills, mystery. We are a species that thrives on this sort of thing. We look for meaning, and ancient objects, places, narratives, are the source for creating these meanings that have sustained us for tens of thousands of years.

In the end, it's fun. It's free, and we get to write the travel brochure. How can it be wrong?





"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Total Likes: 187 likes


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 79 on 7/21/2005 4:10 PM >
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Here's the latest twist.

About ten feet below Johnston St, just off the foot of the bridge, is a ante-chamber that connects Store St. Pandora and Johnston Streets (respectively) , and then connects to Yates St and then makes an angled turn and connects Broad Street. All those purple-tiled sidewalk thingies are part of the system.

The Yates Street tunnel is real REAL (so the guys says) and that he's actually BEEN IN IT recently. He told me he can walk throughout downtown Victoria and never touch street level.





"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
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UER Forum > Canada: Alberta / BC > Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels. (Viewed 1360410 times)
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