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Is Vernon’s Caetani House haunted?

VERNON – There are believers and there are skeptics. While the world of the paranormal is up for debate, it’s still being investigated, even right here in the Okanagan.

A paranormal investigator from Grand Prairie is scoping out suspected haunted houses and properties Kelowna and Vernon.

It’s been Darcy Baruta’s profession for the past three years, but growing up in a home built on a burial ground, he has his fair share of stories from childhood to tell.

“If I can help at least one or any entity who wants to communicate, I would be more than happy to do so,” says Baruta.

He’s taking his first out of province paranormal investigation to the Okanagan and one of his first stops was Vernon’s historic Caetani House.

The Caetani’s were a well established, wealthy Italian family, but the house holds a horror story.

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As the story goes, 18-year-old Sveva Caetani was held as a prisoner in her own home by her mother Ofelia for nearly 25 years. It wasn’t until Ofelia died in 1960 that Sveva was able to take hold of her life. She was left the estate and when she died in 1994, Sveva willed the historic home to the City of Vernon. The house has now been converted into a cultural centre and arts residency.

Many believe the spirits of Sveva and Ofelia remain in the home to this day and that’s what Darcy is here to investigate.

He called the Caetani House a few days ago and had a woman pick up the phone, but manager Susan Brandoli says no one was at the house when Baruta called.

“I’m not sure who you were talking to,” Brandoli told Baruta.

With his K2 meter and a white noise radio detector in tow, Baruta walked through the house looking any sign of spirits and while his devices didn’t go off the charts, “I certainly do feel that there is something in here,” says Baruta.

So as for if the house is haunted, that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Brandoli says they’re looking to make the Caetani Centre into a public historic house, but they need to make significant upgrades to meet special safety codes. The centre has an annual fundraiser every year to raise money for that goal.

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