April Ghost Stories


Poorhouse Ghosts Move around at the Edgefield

Jeff -

     I saw your book at Barnes and Noble a while back and picked it up to check the index for Edgefield. Sure enough, there were ghosts reported there. I was not surprised, as it was at Edgefield that I saw a ghost several years ago. I was also not surprised to see a ghost reported in Room 37, as that is where I saw my ghost. I 'was' surprised to find that the ghost described in that room in your book was a woman. Mine was a man. 

     Next I read about the ghost someone saw in Room 38, and that ghost seems to be the same one I saw.

     Several years ago (maybe a year after Edgefield opened as McMenamin's) my husband and I stayed in Room 37. Halfway through the night I got up, went down the hall to the bathroom, came back and settled in to go back to sleep. Suddenly I felt someone sit on the bed next to me. I could feel the mattress shift under the weight and there was a change in the air temperature where he sat. This felt pretty strange and I did not open my eyes. Then he got up and sat down a second time. I still did not look.

     He got up and sat down a third time. This time as he got up I forced myself to look. As I opened my eyes I saw a figure (which I determined to be a man as it looked like he had a crew cut) round the corner of the bed and walk across the room. He seemed to take our room key from a hook where we had hung it, and left the room, locking the door after he left. At this point I made myself get up and walk a little - trying to make sure I was really awake. I was.

     I am very curious to know if anyone else has seen this ghost in either 37 or 38. Or elsewhere. I suppose that all of them could roam.  This is, by the way, the only experience of this kind I have ever had. My husband was miffed the next morning that I did not wake him up so he could see the ghost also. I explained to him that without knowing in advance I was going to have this experience all I could do was experience it.

Maybe next time . . .

Karin W.

Portland, OR

Spirits in the Sanitarium

     I'm surprised that your book doesn't mention Western State Hospital/Fort Steilacoom in relation to ghostly activity. I work at Western State, and one of our patients (fairly low functioning developmentally disabled, and apparently not aware of the Fort history) looked out the Ward windows during dinnertime one night, and casually mentioned the soldiers who were marching out on the lawn (which is the old parade grounds). The old hospital building, which has been used by the Fire Department as a training building, is also very shivery. I just was taken there the other day, and I definitely felt a LOT of presences.

     The hospital grounds were originally part of a huge agricultural land-holding which was owned by Hudson's Bay Co. It then became Fort Steilacoom, but apparently part of the land was hospital even during the time of the Fort. When the fort closed at the beginning of the Civil War, the land was given to the state (or was it still a part of the territory?) and the current hospital grounds were more-or-less established, with part of those lands eventually going to park and Pierce College. The old hospital cemetery is part of the park now.

      Whew--what an incredible bunch of opportunities for "unquiet souls" to hang around! As you probably also know, cattle prods were still common in the hospital up to a decade ago, so I can only imagine what techniques were used before! Definitely insulin and electro-shock, as in the movie "A Beautiful Mind". I know that some of these earlier patients (who are only numbers in the graveyard, if they even bothered burying them there!) are still watching, hoping to influence how current patients are treated.

     Anyway, a big part of the old agricultural lands are being developed into a park--the Chambers Creek watershed park. The lands are primarily on the north side of the creek, but there are parts of the holdings which abut the Fort Steilacoom gold course (part of the park, and part of the original fort grounds) I think they butt up against the hospital grounds too, but I'm going to do some tramping around and see if I can figure where each of the current land holdings touch each other.  I love history!



Murder near Morton

     If you get a chance to go up north to Highway 12 and head east toward Mile Marker 68 (if I remember correctly), there is a 2 story white house on the side of the highway. This house was once owned by an elderly couple who were murdered near Christmas and found vacant when family members arrived to spend the holiday with them. Their killer(s) were never found and this case is now one of the Pacific Northwest's Unsolved Mysteries.

     In August of 1988 my family moved into this house. I stayed there through my high school years before leaving for the Navy. My parents have moved recently and I do not know if this house is owned currently. However, the ghost stories that can come to you about this house would number in the 1000s. . It is my belief that the spirits or forces that dwell in this house are trying to say something about the events that happened the evening their murder(s) stayed the night with them, before killing them the following morning.






Heavy Breathing in Bellingham



   I had a spooky experience in college  (Western WA University in Bellingham).  Not anything dramatic enough to put in a book, but it did scare the daylights out of me!  I woke up one morning, listening to the heavy breathing of my roommate, apparently still asleep & Missing her first class.  After a while, I looked over to tell her she was late.  But there was no one on her bed - only the clear, definite sound of someone breathing.


I leapt out of bed so quick & Raced out of the room as fast as I could, until the sound went away!  Over the next7 months, the breathing sound returned from time to time, always when I was alone, and it began to frighten me less and less.  I had time to try and figure out a rational explanation and boy, did I try!


Nothing I could think of came close to explaining what I heard.  Mostly the breathing was stationary, but once it moved across the room toward the window, then toward the door.  It wasn't the sound of snoring, or something that I could've overheard from the adjoining room.  No, it was easy to pinpoint where the breathing came from.


One of the boys in my dorm (Beta) had died of alcohol poisoning that year.  Another boy, name Mark killed himself.  I know really bad things can happen in dorm rooms at college, but I didn't know how to investigate who had lived in my room before me, or what might have happened there.  The last time I heard it was seven months later.

The breathing followed me into my suite-mate's room (there was a shared bathroom between the rooms).  I sat on one bed and stared at the spot the sound was coming from for maybe half an hour.  I'd been preparing myself for what I might say to this whatever-it-was.  I spoke to it, asking it if there was something it wanted, anything I could do to help.  But there was no response, only the deep, regular breathing noise of someone very relaxed.  Abruptly the sound moved across the room and vanished.


I was kind of offended - what had I done wrong?  But within 5 - 10 seconds, someone knocked at the door and came in.   So I guess that's why it left.  Well, thanks for listening, Jeff.  Also, my suite-mate (the one who's room I was in when the breathing last visited me) - she experienced some weird poltergeist stuff that year, but I never saw anything.  So I don't know what to say about that.



Christa H.




Not So Glad in Gladstone



My name is Issaiah and I lived in Gladstone, Oregon around 1998.  My parents purchased a house that was built in the 1970s and they moved in around 1993.  Almost everyone in my family that has lived in the house has had an experience with a spiritual entity of some sort.  We have many stories of occurrences.


The house sits on a corner lot which about a hundred years ago or more used to be someone's farm.  The original farmhouse is still located in our backyard and he had an arborist look at it and he thought it was somewhere between three or four hundred years old. 


Anyway, this is what happened to me.  One night in February of 1998, around 2:30 AM I was fast asleep when in my dream I saw this blond haired girl, probably between the ages of 12 - 14, come walking down our driveway and up the cement stairs to our house.  (It is a split level house.)  She seemed sad, like she needed to get in.  That's the feeling I got.  Anyway, she grabbed the door handle to our steel gate screen and began rattling like she was trying to get in.  All the while she kept calling me by name.  


Softly whispering, "Issaiah,  Issaiah--open the door."


I could feel her sense of urgency to to get in.  Why, I do not know.  I heard this for three or four seconds and then it stopped.  Well by now this was disturbing me, and I woke up.  The creepy thing is I heard the rattling of the door handle again.  A chill ran down my whole body and I felt someone was really trying to get in the house.  I sat up in my bed and listened intently some more, to see if I could hear it again.  This time I heard the exact footsteps I had been hearing in my dream.


Slowly they walked down the steps and onto the driveway.  As they walked, the sound grew fainter and fainter.  I could tell they were walking away toward the street, or this is what I assumed.  After about three or four seconds of this walking sound I got up the courage and peered outside my bedroom window, to see who was really there.  When I looked, no one was there!  I quickly looked up and down, hoping to see someone.  Not a soul.  Nothing!!!


I was speechless and I said to myself, "What the heck was that!"


The next morning I told my sister and Mom what happened to me.  Much to my surprise, my Mom told me that the people that had previously owned the house had a daughter that had matched the description almost exactly.  And if that wasn't the weirdest thing I ever heard, she proceeded to tell me that their daughter had may room.  I really got a chill then.  So what became of her?  Who knows, all I know is that it was real.  Very real.


Well this experience is not the only story, because we have many more things that have happened in our house.  My sister has had the most experiences simply because she stays up late a lot.  She too had experiences with dreams of the same girl.  Long before I was even aware that she knew of this entity







Salem Suicide Stays 


This story was emailed to KNRK in January of 2001 the day before I was to appear on the morning show with Gustav and Daria.


I heard your next show was going to be on ghosts (yes Gustav, there is one right behind you.)  I thought I would share my aunt's story with you.  Keep in mind this is a second hand story, so details may be somewhat rusty, but overall the idea is there.

My aunt used to live in the J.L. Perish House, (now part of the Gilbert Discovery Village here in Salem).  J.L. Perrish "accidentally" killed himself in the basement years before my aunt moved in.  My aunt was a signature hippie and held many "bring and play your own instrument" parties.  On one occasion someone had been playing a tambourine in the living room.  During the two hours of sleep that my aunt got that night, she distinctly remembers hearing the tambourine being played.  When the only one who remained present in the house was her.


Another fact that suggests the house was haunted was the temperature.  In her bedroom, even in the summer it was never higher than 55 degrees.  She slept in Perrish's room.  She would sleep with the door closed and ever morning without fail, the door would be open.  Her roommate, Patty, had her mother over for the holidays.  She knew nothing of the ghost.  when she was going up to bed, the first night she claims to have seen J.L. Perrish standing on the stairs looking down at her.  She never entered the house again.  Patty moved two months later, claiming she and Perrish were on bad terms.


These stories are true and whether you believe them or not is your own business.  I'm just recycling former stories that have been passed on to me.






Dr and Mrs.  McLoughlin Keep Watch?



I stumbled across your website and figured I'd send you my own ghost story about the McLoughlin House in Oregon City.  So here goes:


I was walking past the house on my way home sometime last January or February about 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning.  I stopped next to the house to get a drink at the fountain there, and sit down for a rest.  I had been walking for a while and was a bit tired.  I sat down on the bench next tot he old cannon on the bluff and was looking at the house when I noticed that there was a light on in one of the upstairs bedroom windows.


Now it wasn't a normal electric style light.  It was flickering and dim, as if it were a candle or lamp of some sort.  I also noticed then, that a rocking chair that was next tot he window was rocking with nothing apparent moving it.  I continued watching it for several seconds, when the chair slid away from the window on it's own and the light went out.  Needless to say, I ran full speed the 10 blocks back to my house.  But it doesn't end there.


I drove past it sometime last month (February) again late; probably 1:30 AM this time.  My friend who was in the car with me exclaimed suddenly, "Ohh my God! There's a woman standing there in the window watching us!!!"


Just as I was about to look up at the house, my friend gasped and yelled, "She just disappeared!"


I've heard from tour guides t here that they frequently come in the morning to find furniture rearranged.  Or beds rumpled as if slept in.  Though the door is always locked, as well as there being an alarm system installed.



Oregon City, OR



Ghosts of the Tokeland Inn


One of the interactive portions of this website is my map of the Haunted Northwest.  Some people have used this and my haunted site listings to plan haunted vacations.  The one below is from a helpful ghost hunter and her husband.



We stayed at the Tokeland Inn back in May (2001), it is a very interesting place.  We stayed in Room #3, which is haunted by a ghost cat.  The walls are very thin and you can heard every noise.  We did feel like there were spirits watching us.  When we went to bed that night, we listened to all the noises and just waited for something to happen.  After all the people noises had died down, we heard the dead bolt lock turn somewhere out in the hall.  


We waited to hear footsteps but heard nothing.  After about 50 seconds of hearing nothing, we heard a noise like papers rustling in the corner of our room, where the old antique dresser was.  We looked at each other and said, "what was that?"  Maybe the ghost cat had been sitting on the dresser and jumped off, which cause the papers to make a noise as he jumped.


The next morning the little carpet beside the bed had been kicked over, like a cat does when they are playing.  We definitely did not do that.  Anyway, we took all kinds of pictures and video tape, since this was our first ghost expedition.  We even took a picture under the bed.  Everyone who sees the pictures says it looks like there is a cat's face against the wall, under the bed.  


That same week we also stayed at Manressa Castle in Port Townsend.  That is a very creepy place.  We also have pictures and video tape of this.



Lacy F.



Poltergeists in Astoria


I had an extraordinary poltergeist experience last February when visiting my fiancé's grandmother's cottage.  The house  has since been sold, but it sits on the hill directly above the Flavel House.  The experience was extremely intense and lasted the entire night, about eight hours.  


Anyway, it's been a year now since the event in Astoria and I think that I mentioned that the house was sold not a month after... I don't remember the address right now, since I'm not familiar with Astoria.  The house was really used on weekends, so it was vacant for the most part, but kept in excellent condition.


(After the event) Upon returning to Portland I tried to see if I could get any info from my fiancé's grandparents (the owners) about the house.  Especially why the attic was sealed off and what may be stored there.  Her grandparents are elderly and not knowing them very well, I didn't know how well they might take it from me if I started rambling about it being haunted or something... So all that I got out of it was that the previous owners had legal problems and got busted growing weed or something in the attic..???


The house was continually shared amongst family members a a getaway, especially in the summer.  As far as I know, no one else had any "experiences."  So now I question whether the event was more associated with me than with the house... whatever energy it was definitely stuck around me for a while after.   I now live in Portland and I've noticed supernatural activity is unusually higher here in the northwest than most places in the U.S., so it's hard to tell when something unusual happens if it's related to that event or just my location in general.


Tom M. 




This ghost story dates to February of 2001.  I've been meaning to go to Astoria to visit the neighborhood, but it looks like that ghost hunt will have to wait another year or two.




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