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Cory Monteith’s Memorial at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel

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In July we were in Vancouver. We arrived about a week after actor Cory Monteith (aka Finn Hudson on Glee) was found dead in the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel.

I’d heard about it while we were on our cruise, which was going to end up in Vancouver. I couldn’t help but wonder if he’d died in the Vancouver hotel we were due to stay at, especially after I found out it happened in a Fairmont hotel. There are three of them in Vancouver: the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, the Fairmont Pacific Rim, and the Fairmont Waterfront.

We had reservations at the historic Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. He’d died at the more modern Fairmont Pacific Rim.

However, they’re only mere blocks from each other. If I had wanted to search out the hotel for picture-taking purposes, it would’ve been not only easy to find but easy to walk to.

I’m not going to lie. I had considered it. But the more I thought about it, the more wrong it seemed. Here a young man had died and I was thinking only of getting a photo of the hotel he’d died in in case ghost stories about him ever started circulating? How sick is that?

Okay, I’m apparently sick and twisted. After all, I am writing about the hotel and I did get pictures.

But in my defense I didn’t seek it out. As we took the Hop On Hop Off tour of Vancouver, we passed the Fairmont Pacific Rim on the way to the Olympic Cauldron. That’s when we saw the memorial.

Since we were right there, we decided to go check it out.

But you know what? It was a very humbling, somber experience. There were others who had stopped for curiosity sake, but no matter how engaged in chatter they’d been while walking up to the memorial, everyone got quiet and respected the solemness of the tribute once they were in front of it.

A group of young teenage girls around 14 or 15 broke my heart the most. They made me realize just how tragic his death was.

Here I had been wondering things like:

  1. Are ghosts born or created? Meaning, was a ghost created (or is in the process of being created) when Cory Monteith died? Knowing he died in that hotel, will people start claiming to see him? Or will people really start seeing him because something about his death will enable him to become a ghost?
  2. How are ghosts created? There is a process to the way people are born. Is there some kind of process that allows ghosts to be “born” too? (Stands to reason since not every person who’s ever died becomes a ghost.) But what is it, besides just traumatic or violent events, that lends to some ghosts taking form while others don’t? (Because there are accounts of ghosts who died peacefully too.)
  3. How often do people die in hotels that we never hear of? Cory Monteith was famous. But what about those anonymous souls who perish in hotels? How often does that happen? How do hotels handle that? As discreetly as possible I’m assuming.

Well, I’m still wondering about all of that, but as I watched those girls it hit home how important Cory Monteith was to them. Not that he was a world peace maker or anything like that. But he was more than a mere heartthrob.

He played a character who represented hope. Hope that high school can be a better place for those where high school sucks. Hope that not all jocks are assholes. Some may hide hearts of gold and talents that transcend whatever sport they may play. Hope that the non-perfect cheerleader type can get the guy. That he will see the beauty within. Hope that no matter what hard time you’re facing, you can get through it with friends. And that the converse of that is true: you can be the person who helps people get through their hard times.

It’s sort of ironic he died of a drug overdose. It sounds like his friends and family knew and tried to help him, but…it got the best of him.

Cory Monteith, wherever you are, blessings on your life. I like to think there are no accidents. Whatever you were meant to do, you’ve already done in your short lifetime. Perhaps the character you played ended up saving a life (or two) by giving them what Finn Hudson represented best: hope. Peace be with you.



Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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