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Ghost sightings abound at Summerland heritage home

By David Gregory

There is a ghost story associated with one of Summerland’s heritage homes.

The house, at 12405 Reynolds Ave., was once the home of Major Ernest E. Hutton. He was born in 1860 and died in 1944.

Driving west along Prairie Valley Road, just passed Giant’s Head School on the left, further down there is Hutton’s Tudor-designed home on the hillside to the right.

Major Hutton’s home is known as Bredon Hill. Hutton was born in Worchestershire, England and this town is famous for an old Roman Castle on Bredon Hill.

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Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, gave Hutton free railway transportation to Summerland from Ottawa in 1908. Bredon Hill was built in 1909. The builder was John Gordon Robertson.

Originally the Hutton home overlooked his 30-acre orchard. The architect was Claude Percy Jones. A number of C.P. Jones homes are now fully protected by heritage bylaws in Vancouver and Victoria.

The exterior features a steeply pitched, slate roof, half-timbered walls with colonial muntin window panes. The interior has a half-timbered lobby, beautiful maple wood flooring from Penticton’s Incola Hotel and ceilings from both the Summerland’s Rialto Theatre and the Incola Hotel. The kitchen has a secret passageway for the cook to enter the room unobtrusively.

The home has been used for movie sets. The most recent movie that used this home the 2020 Angel Tree, Hallmark Series. Parts of an upcoming movie, Amber’s Descent, are also filmed in the home.

Since it was built, there have been seven separate owners. Several owners have shared experiences with ghosts. One common vision was of an old man with a white terrier, walking around the home’s kitchen. For whatever reason, this ghost seems to prefer the kitchen.

Another common complaint of these homeowners was the noise of furniture moving in the home’s attic. Allegedly, there is nothing stored in the attic. It is empty.

In the early 1960s, the frequency of ghost sightings increased. A Catholic priest conducted an exorcism of the home. The exorcism was unsuccessful.

Homeowners still periodically saw the elderly man with his dog. The present homeowners have seen him about five or six times in the past 16 years. Apparently, the ghost does not look like Major Hutton.

So, who owned a white terrier?

David Gregory is a Summerland historian.

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