The Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Washington State
Visit These (Real) Haunted Houses This Halloween – if You Dare!
Celebrate Halloween this year with a visit to one of these 11 haunted Washington locations.
Whether you’re looking for a fun mini-vacation, or just a Saturday afternoon adventure with your (older) kids around Halloween, or any other time of year, these haunted Washington locations have ample history, charm, and – allegedly – ghosts.
Stories of ghost sightings have been shared with visitors to these sites for years by locals who have had close encounters with the ghastly guests. TV shows, such as Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters, have filmed episodes at these Pacific Northwest landmarks, capturing plenty of photographic and audio evidence that ghosts actually do haunt these places.
1) Dr. Hazzard’s Health Plan is Simply… to Die For
Haunted Location: Starvation Heights (Olalla, WA)
Linda Hazzard, an unlicensed ‘doctor’, opened a sanitarium for patients on her starvation regimen in the early 1900s.
Hazzard believed that starvation was the cure for all ailments, and that it rid the body of toxins. Her sanitarium was called “Wilderness Heights”, but the locals called the home “Starvation Heights” because of the sinister activities that took place there. Wealthy individuals, who desired to keep up with health trends of the early 1900s, would check themselves into the sanitarium. Patients were forced to fast for 40 days, and they were only allowed to eat asparagus soup and orange juice in small amounts.
One of Hazzard’s patients was Daisey Haglund, the mother of Ivar Haglund, who founded Ivar’s Seafood Restaurant. She died in Hazzard’s care while Ivar was still a toddler.
While some completed the treatment and raved about its benefits, 40 patients died at Starvation Heights. Even when patients realized that the treatment wasn’t helping them, they were too physically weak to leave. In their weakened state, Hazzard would manipulate them into changing their Will so she would receive a large portion of their money upon their death. She was found guilty of manslaughter in 1913 when a wealthy British heiress died in her care.
Hazzard went to prison for two years, then came back to Olalla to re-open her sanitarium. The phony practitioner had an on-site crematorium and cemetery for her deceased patients – both were hidden far in the woods. She would personally perform autopsies on her patients, cremate them, and then bury them in the cemetery. This cemetery is said to be haunted, and it is the subject of many local paranormal group’s investigations. Paranormal Investigators have reported seeing ghosts in the cemetery and they have recorded EVP’s (Electric Voice Phenomena).
Hazzard died in 1938 while doing a starvation regimen of her own.
If you’re hungry for adventure, or you have an appetite for the unexplained, you can visit the Starvation Heights Cemetery in Olalla, WA, along the Olalla Valley Road. However, you are not allowed to visit the site of the old sanitarium. It is now a private residence. It would seem that the new owners have enough uninvited guests as it is.
2) A Haunted Hotel You’ll Never Want to Leave – And Some Don’t
Haunted Location: The Davenport Hotel (Spokane, WA)
The Davenport is one of the finest (and most haunted) hotels in Spokane, if not in the entire state of Washington.
Opened in 1914, this beautiful building has played host to many celebrities, including Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta. But, beware, this hotel has some guests that checked in, but never checked out.
Louis Davenport, the hotel’s namesake and one of its creators, said he never wanted to leave the hotel. And, as it turns out, he never did. He died in room 1105, his personal suite. People who have stayed in this room report hearing strange noises and witnessing objects moving on their own. Others have reported seeing a man walking around the hotel holding a cigar. This man is believed to be Mr. Davenport, who liked to make sure everything in his hotel was in perfect order.
In 1920, a woman named Ellen McNamara fell through one of the skylights on the third floor to her death. Employees and guests of the hotel believe that she’s still around. Many have reported seeing a woman in 1920s clothing walking on the third floor, looking down below. There is a man in formal attire who wanders the basement of the hotel, as well. He is believed to be a servant who worked for one of the hotel’s wealthy guests.
The hotel is – no doubt – one of the most haunted places in Spokane.
You can stay in this gorgeous hotel for a night or a weekend. And, if you want to be spooked, you can request to stay in Mr. Davenport’s haunted bedroom – Suite 1105, where he died. Try taking a walk around the hotel late at night and you may just see Mr. Davenport, Ms. McNamara, or the unnamed servant. That is… unless they see you first.
3) A Pinching Policeman Lingers in a Paranormal Pub
Haunted Location: The Oxford Saloon (Snohomish, WA)
Established in 1910, the Oxford Saloon is a hot spot for ghost chasers.
This pub is one of the most haunted places in Washington. There have been many ghost sightings here over the years – including one frequently seen ghost named Henry.
Henry was a police officer who was stabbed and killed when he tried to stop a fight in the bar. He most often hangs out around the stairs leading to the basement, and in the ladies’ restroom. Many women report being pinched by Henry while using the facilities at the Oxford Saloon.
The Saloon also has a history of prostitution, and one prostitute in particular, named Amelia, has been seen by guests on several occasions. Amelia was allegedly forced into prostitution and she either committed suicide or was murdered on the premises. Her body was found in a closet on the second floor of the saloon. She haunts the second floor with Kathleen, the brothel’s Madam, who frequently shows up there as well.
At least three other ghosts have been spotted at the saloon, a man in a bowler hat and two women. Other guests have submitted stories of seeing and being touched by ghosts.
The Oxford Saloon is well aware of its ghostly activity and mentions its ghost sightings on their website. If you’re up for some good ol’ timey saloon spirits you can come to the restaurant and enjoy some food while you wait for a ghost to tap you on the shoulder, or pinch you in the stall.
4) 96 Ghost Train Passengers Trapped in the Old Cascade Tunnel
Haunted Location: Iron Goat Hiking Trail (Stevens Pass, WA)
This haunted walkway is not for the faint of heart.
The 5.5-mile trail is recommended only for intermediate hikers, and expert ghost hunters.
One of the worst natural disasters in US history happened here in 1910. An avalanche, triggered by lightening, plummeted downhill onto two trains, killing 96 people aboard. Hikers of the Iron Goat trail still find remnants of the trains.
Some people who have hiked the trail report being touched by invisible hands. Other hikers report seeing apparitions.
After the accident, a new Cascade tunnel was built for trains to pass through. The old Cascade tunnel, where the incident occurred, is now on the verge of collapsing. Hikers who dare to go in report hearing echoing, disembodied screams of those who were killed in the avalanche. Along the trail, there are historical markers that tell the story of the travelers who were buried alive on that fateful day.
If you’re looking for a historical haunted hike, check out the Iron Goat trail. It’s a family-friendly day hike with potential for some supernatural experiences. Just don’t go into the old Cascade tunnel alone, or you may never make it out.
5) Come for the Food, Stay for the Fright
Haunted Location: The Tokeland Hotel (Tokeland, WA)
Built in 1885, before Washington’s statehood, this hotel is known as the “Oldest Resort Hotel in Washington.”
The Tokeland Hotel is a charming, 18-room Bed & Breakfast that has been completely restored to its original, early 20th-century décor. The hotel also has a restaurant that is known to be one of the best in the area.
Many guests enjoy staying here, but there is an unwanted guest who refuses to leave. His name is Charlie, and he was a Chinese immigrant who worked at the hotel in the early 20th century. He died by suffocating behind the fireplace while he was fixing it, and his ghost still walks the halls of the hotel.
Room 7 is said to be the most haunted room in the hotel, and this could be the room that Charlie haunts. There have also been reports that Charlie throws plates in the hotel’s restaurant while guests are dining.
The hotel attracts paranormal groups and tourists alike due to its peaceful location and high potential for ghost sightings. If you’re looking for a relaxing (and potentially paranormal) weekend getaway, the Tokeland Hotel is a great option. Even if you just come for a meal at their famous restaurant, stay alert, Charlie may throw your plate to get your attention.
6) Railroad Station Boards Travelers Heading to the Afterlife
Haunted Location: Lewis County Historical Museum (Chehalis, WA)
The Lewis County Historical Museum is housed in a 1912 Northern Pacific Railway depot, which may explain why it is haunted. This is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of Lewis County; the oldest county in Washington.
Volunteers say that there is a ghost who has been captured on camera. The ghost moves chairs and rearranges furniture. In addition to this chilling evidence, the South Sound Paranormal Research group (SSPR) did an investigation at the museum in which they found photographic evidence of ghosts and recorded EVP’s. The SSPR organizes annual ghost hunting tours of the museum.
Another volunteer claimed that a woman, in Victorian-Era clothing, walked up to her and asked if there was a train she could catch. She replied that a train hadn’t passed through that depot in years. The woman thanked her, walked away, and vanished into thin air.
Guests and volunteers have also reported seeing the ghosts of two different men walking around the building. Others have reported seeing the ghost of a Native American woman. The museum has so many ghosts that two women, along with the SSPR, wrote a whole book on all the ghosts that live there.
Check out the Lewis County Historical Museum if you want to learn more about Lewis County’s history. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday with your kids. On October 21st and October 28th, 2017, the museum is hosting a Ghost Tour. Come to the tour if you’re serious about ghost-hunting. If you’re lucky, you may see one of the multiple apparitions that haunt the museum.
7) Irish Food, Wine & Spirits – and More Spirits
Haunted Location: Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub (Seattle, WA)
This popular pub in Seattle was once a mortuary that housed hundreds of thousands of dead bodies.
Seattle businessman, E.R. Butterworth, built the city’s first center for housing dead bodies in the early 1900s to accommodate Seattle’s rapid rise in deaths. The mortuary made coffins and funeral arrangements for the recently deceased. Now, the former mortuary is a popular Irish pub near Pike Place Market, but the countless souls that passed through here haven’t yet departed.
Patrons have reported seeing the ghost of a little girl wearing a red dress, sitting at the top of a set of stairs. Another ghost named Charlie, an older man with a hat on, has been seen in the bar a few times. Employees have captured a photo of a man with black eyes and they also report bar glasses falling to the ground and breaking without cause.
The TV show ‘Ghost Adventures’ did an episode at Kells after the owners requested that the Ghost Adventures team help send the spirits away. The Ghost Adventures crew recorded some EVP’s, and captured a photo of the little girl in the red dress, but they were unable to send the ghosts away.
Come visit Kells Irish Pub and look for the girl in a red dress – she’ll bring new meaning to the term ‘soul-mate‘.
8) Religious Training Center Becomes Haunted After Suicides
Haunted Location: Manresa Castle Hotel (Port Townsend, WA)
This Victorian-style hotel is considered one of the most haunted places on the Olympic Peninsula.
Manresa Castle was originally a home built in 1892 by Charles Eisenbeis, Port Townsend’s first mayor. Upon his death, it was turned into a training college for Jesuits, and then converted into a hotel in the 1960s.
Guests who stay here report seeing and hearing ghosts throughout the hotel. There are said to be three rooms in the hotel that have paranormal activity: rooms 302, 304, and 306. A Monk hung himself in the Hotel’s attic and his footsteps can still be heard in these rooms.
Another ghost is a broken-hearted young woman who stayed in the home during the 1920s while waiting for her lover to come back from sea. When she found out that the ship he was on had sunk, she committed suicide by jumping out of the window in Room 306. These two ghosts allegedly haunt the third floor and enter guest’s rooms at night.
While dining in the hotel’s restaurant, guests have seen glasses move on their own and shatter. Employees frequently report seeing shadowy figures, and doors slamming shut without any explanation. ‘Ghost Adventures’ filmed a paranormal investigation at the hotel. In addition to filming ghostly figures, they recorded EVP’s in many areas of the castle.
For a fun weekend trip with potential for spookiness, stay at Manresa Castle. If you stay on the third floor, you may encounter some unwanted guests.
9) A Family That Eats Together, Stays Together – For Eternity
Haunted Location: Hotel De Haro ‘Afterglow Vista’ Mausoleum (Roche Harbor, WA)
Hotel De Haro is a historic hotel that was built in 1886 by John McMillen, a prominent local businessman. It is one of the oldest hotels in the San Juan Islands. The Hotel itself isn’t creepy – it’s what’s behind the hotel.
Mr. McMillen spent $30,000 to build a mausoleum for his family that he named “Afterglow Vista”. It’s different from your typical backyard mausoleum, however. Instead of a crypt, it consists of a table and 5 chairs. Each chair seat holds the ashes of Mr. McMillen himself, his wife, and his three children.
Visitors claim that if you sit on the chairs, you will feel invisible hands push you off of the seat. Ghost hunters have also claimed to see a glowing-white family sitting at the table as the sun goes down.
Another ghost, the family’s Governess, Ada, haunts the hotel’s McMillin Restaurant. Employees claim that she slams doors shut and switches the lights on and off.
The San Juan Islands are beautiful at any time of year, and they’re worth the ferry trip. This hotel has incredible views, and, if you come at dusk, one of those views may be a family of glowing-white ghosts, perpetually dining at Afterglow Vista as the sun sets over the water.
10) King’s Famous Castle Filled with Gardens & Ghosts
Haunted Location: Thornewood Castle (Lakewood, WA)
Thornewood Castle was built in 1911 by Chester Thorne, one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma.
This Castle really is an English castle. Mr. Thorne purchased it in London, dismantled it, and had it shipped back to the United States – brick by brick. Mr. Thorne and his wife, Anna, lived together in the fortress until his death in 1927. When Anna died in 1954, Thornewood Castle was sold and turned into a Bed & Breakfast.
The ominous looking structure was the setting for Stephen King’s ABC mini-series ‘Rose Red‘, as well as the film, ‘There Will Be Blood‘. There are said to be many resident ghosts who haunt Thornewood Castle, including the ghosts of Chester and Anna Thorne. Mr. Thorne unscrews light bulbs and flickers the lights in his room, the ‘Chester Thorne Suite‘. Mrs. Thorne will sometimes appear in a mirror in the ‘Bridal Suite‘. She also sits and looks out at the garden from the ‘Bridal Suite‘.
Another ghost that has been sighted is that of a little boy who drowned in American Lake in the 1970s. Guests report hearing a child crying out by the lake frequently, but every time someone goes to look, there is no one to be found.
Come visit this sprawling Bed & Breakfast and tour the world-famous gardens. Plan an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s many themed rooms. Just don’t glance into any mirrors and expect to be the only thing staring back at you.
11) Tortured Souls Wonder This State-Owned Mental Asylum
Haunted Location: Northern State Hospital (Sedro-Woolley, WA)
The Northern State Hospital is an abandoned mental hospital, responsible for thousands of deaths.
Northern State Hospital housed patients from 1912 to 1973. Tens of thousands of patients came through over the years, and, at one point in the 1950s, there were 2,700 patients residing at the institution. Every patient was admitted into the hospital involuntarily. Conditions like menopause, depression, and ADD were diagnosis worthy of treatment at Northern State.
Most who were admitted were never released. Northern State Hospital was one of the first to practice transorbital lobotomy, and they regularly administered electric shock and sterilization treatments.
The Hospital is said to be haunted because thousands of people died there over the years. If a family member couldn’t claim a patient’s body, they were sent to the on-site crematorium and buried in the hospital’s cemetery. About 1,500 patients remain buried in this cemetery, and 700 of those patients were put into makeshift coffins with anonymous grave markers.
A local ghost hunting group that toured the facility in 2006 reported seeing a ghostly-white nurse walking around the grounds. The TV Show ‘Ghost Hunters’ did an episode at Northern State Hospital where they claimed to hear EVP’s on their recorders. In addition to this shocking evidence, several individuals over the years have claimed to see a little girl chasing a red ball while a man follows behind her.
Unfortunately, the hospital’s buildings are closed to the public. But, if you want to do some ghost-hunting, you are welcome to walk around the hospital grounds and the cemetery. The hospital is a part of the Northern State Recreational Area and guests are welcome to hike around the grounds. This place may just have your cure for a crazy scary time.