June Ghost Stories
In recent weeks it has come to my attention that certain parties are using my ghost stories and those of my contributors as references for their own commercial enterprises. If you or someone you know is writing a book on ghosts in the Pacific Northwest, PLEASE DO NOT!!! copy or use the following stories or any other materials within this website as references.
Jefferson Davis (25 April 2003)
National Guard Ghosts Too
Posted 6 June
Ref: Vancouver Barracks, Building 993 This building, which is now occupied by the Washington Army National Guard has a strong presence of some kind.
I was stationed there from 2000-2001. I worked out of the west half of the building. The building itself is kind of creepy, but there is no real explanation for the feeling you get when you go down to the basement on the west wing. It is concentrated in the room which is now a latrine (bathroom). It has worn concrete floors, and a cold draft. Almost every time I would go there, the hair on the back of my neck would stand straight up. I would always feel as if someone was watching me. I would stand there, and reactively look over my shoulder, the feeling was that strong. I'm not a sensitive person to this sort of thing, and I have never had a convincing experience about ghosts or the supernatural. But there is enough strangeness here worthy of investigation for those who are interested in ghost hunting.
The experiences I had felt there are not isolated to me. I have heard from at least a dozen people both part time and full-time soldiers whom have said strange feelings from this basement. The state maintenance workers who keep the place up confirm strange things have been seen, heard, felt. The recruiter aids that work there currently won't go down to the west side basement for fear. One strange happening: The weapons vault, also located in this basement has had some really freaky stuff happen.
On an overnight drill about 8 years ago, the security alarm had gone off. The Readiness NCO at that time, and another soldier, both whom I've worked with and know well, went down and opened up the secured lock, which is armed with combination, physical key, and keypad. An 80lbs safe had moved to the other side of the wall from which it was. A couple of months ago, my good friend who is the current Readiness NCO in Bldg 993, stacked chairs up against the far wall in one of the rooms in order to clean the floors. When he left work that night and locked up they were left against that wall. The following Monday, the chairs were all moved against the inside door/the opposite side where he had stacked them, preventing the door from being opened freely.
Weird stuff huh? Spooky. I really believe if there is such thing as a haunted place, this is one of them.
I have spent several nights in many of the Vancouver Barracks buildings. Except for this building, because it is owned by the National Guard. I had heard rumors, but this is the first story I have heard from a National Guard soldier.
Ghostly Monks in Carnation
Posted 6 June
I used to live in Washington state several years ago, and I experienced something back in 1993 that I would like to tell you about. I saw an apparition in Carnation, Washington, in a park. I think the park was called John McDonald Park. Do you know this place?
Anyway, I think it was in October. My then husband and I were camping overnight, and I went for a late night walk, alone, or at least I thought I was alone. I paused on the bridge overlooking the water, and saw someone walking toward me. He seemed to be floating, he was moving a bit too gracefully. Anyway, as he came abreast of me, I said "hi". We were mere inches apart. I could've reached out and touched him.
He raised his head and looked at me, and that's when I saw, he had no face! It was just blackness. He was dressed like a monk, you know, with his hands hidden in the folds of his sleeves. And he had the hood pulled up over his head, but where his face should be was just an empty black hole. He lowered his head, and walked on. As he passed me, I looked down at his feet, and noticed he didn't have any, or else they weren't touching the bridge! He was floating across the surface of the bridge, like levitating or something. I turned away for just a moment, and when I looked back, he was gone. He had vanished into thin air!
No one could disappear that quickly, I remember thinking, so I went to look for him. I thought it might have been someone playing a Hallowe'en prank on me, since it was that time of year, but I couldn't figure out where he went. He just disappeared. I walked to the end of the bridge; there was a clearing where several tents were set up. I thought he could've come from one of these tents, but no one stirred. I figured everyone in all the tents was fast asleep. Beyond the tents was a forest of trees, but I chose not to venture further. I wasn't quite sure what I had just witnessed.
wanted to tell someone, but I was afraid they would think I was crazy. So
I kept it my secret, until I told my son in 1997. When I think back on it,
the "ghost" was dressed more like the grim reaper, but without his
scythe. I was just curious if you had ever heard of any other reports of
"hauntings" at this park? Why would I experience this? I
don't understand. Does this park have a shady past? Did someone die
there? What did I see? And where did he go? Why didn't he
speak to me? And how could he float across the bridge? This
experience has haunted me since it happened, and I would just like to know if I
am crazy. Did I just imagine the "ghost", or was he really
there? Has anyone else seen him?
I have done some preliminary research on Carnation, and haven't been able to find out about ghostly monks. It is an old town though. It began as a Native American settlement, and they were still living in the area when the pioneers came in the 1850s. If anyone has had experiences or wants to send an email to Susan G., please let me know by emailing me. Jeff
Drinking and Driving
Yes there are ghosts!!!
In 1970 I worked for a security firm driving around Ballard, in Seattle. I wish I kept a log of this encounter to return to the exact night and time.
I saw a 60’s Ford wagon speed by an intersection at the foot of 14th NW. (There is a boat ramp at the end of the street, leading into the waterway, which joins Lake Union to the Puget Sound.) I was in the block east of there. I stepped on the gas and turned the corner expecting to see churning water at the bottom of the boat ramp… dead calm… No skid marks. It was warm and I had my window down. No noise.
Several years later I read that the divers institute found the car and driver (in his leather jacket, which I could see as he sped past) at the bottom of the ship canal during a dive (But before the ghost sighting.) They were moored just at the east end of the ramp. He had been speeding home, but thought he was on 15th NW, where he lived south of the chip canal. He missed the bridge by one street. So much for drinking and driving.
I added the comments in italics for people
unfamiliar with the Seattle Area.
Puget Sound Haunts
Jan C. lives in the Puget Sound. She and her husband are avid ghost hunters. They have taken several ghostly holidays, including the Mt. Baker Theatre in Bellingham. Like many theaters, the Mt. Baker has it’s own resident ghost. In this case, it’s a ghostly lady named Judy, whose home was demolished to make room for the theatre. Judy haunts the mezzanine and lobby area and follows male employees around, calling their names.
They also visited the Equator in Everett.
The Equator is a 19th century tramp freighter in dry dock at
the Port of Everett. Among the ghosts that haunt it may be Robert Louis Stevenson
and the last ruling king of Hawaii. Ghostly
lights were seen on it’s deck while the ship was still in the water.
The stories below are excerpts from a series of letters we have exchanged
over the last few weeks.
I grew up in Custer, Washington near Bellingham and as a special treat our folks would take us kids to the Mt. Baker Theatre. I had not heard of a ghost but I can honestly say it is a very special place. The balcony was my favorite place to be and the staircase was awesome. My folks would have to pull me from the staircase on our way home because I did not want to leave. For some reason I found it fascinating and would simply sit there on the stairs, maybe now I know why. I haven’t been there for 10 years but even then I still had that special feeling. Now I know I must go back again.
We live in Everett and I did not know of the Equator there. We visited it last night on our way home. It is in dry dock now and has it’s own little house with a chain link fence around it. The only thing life is the hull, but at least it is protected from the weather elements. There are cats that live aboard it now. They can be heard bumping and thumping around inside. There is a Historical Marker sign there explaining a bit about the vessel. If you’re interested, we could try to get some pics for you…
I can’t wait to see.
Arlington’s Poltergeist Spirits
My name is Lisa, I am 25 and I live in Arlington, Washington. The reason I am writing to you is not because I am being bothered by anything paranormal, but actually intrigued by it. I have studied spiritualism since I was a child, about the age of 10. I was raised in a small town in southeastern Idaho. The people there are mostly Mormon, and to them the word spiritualism or the study of the occult, could easily be translated into devil worship.
Of course, I was persecuted for my interest, and I am not sure what drove me to study it so much. It’s not as if I were plagued by anything supernatural as a child… but one thing was for sure… I did not fear it. I found that the more people don’t know about something, the more frightening it is. That is how I perceived the townspeople to be so afraid of me and what I was researching. Even as a kid, I found myself being the one who would take other kids up on dares to go into houses thought to be haunted. The ones nobody else would go near. I wasn’t afraid because to me, the sight of a spirit would be exciting, not horrifying as it would have been to the others. I wanted to see it. I wanted to know it was real. As I entered my teen years, I leaned the technique for holding séances.
The only problem was, finding people who would participate who were not tremendously huge skeptics, or too skittish. This was a real task. Friends and I would find abandoned houses, churches, etc. and attempt to make contact with the dead. A deliberate effort to bring something that wasn’t a disturbance to anyone out into the open for us to view. There were many times when the notorious cold spots were noted, flashes of light, or swinging of objects did occur. These could have been written off as figments of an overactive imagination or me wanting so badly to see something that I convinced myself that it was really happening.
After several years of studying and researching, Julie began experiencing other manifestations
It started with a nervous feeling that day. I wrote it off like PMS or something and went about life as usual. That night I was standing at my sink doing dishes when I looked over to see a heavy porcelain plate on my stove, spinning counter clockwise, similar to a penny being dropped on the floor. I had not touched the plate. The only other people in the house were my two small children… they were nowhere near. I swallowed heavily and tried a little smile and said, “No way!!!”
It took me a second, but no way was I falling for the ol’ imagination thing. Later that night around midnight or so (I couldn’t sleep for reason,) I was sitting on the couch with the lights turned off, my cat went to the entry way of the kitchen and began to look very intently at something. I watched him for a few minutes thinking maybe a fly or something was buzzing around. No fly, no nothing that I could see. I heard something. My cat seemed to grow nervous, still staring very intently into the dark kitchen. I felt my gut churn.
“What the Hell is wrong with me tonight,” I wondered. Something wasn’t right about this night.
I finally got the nerve to get up and go out there. To see what the hell the big deal was, that warranted a stupid cat to sit there and stare at it for so long. I approached the kitchen to go and turn on the light. The cat, which would have normally followed me into the kitchen, thinking I was getting food, backed away and looked at me as if I were nuts for going in there. This was odd. I walked in and turned on the light… not one damn thing was in there.
“Stupid cat,” I thought. I turned the light back off and it was back on the couch for me to watch TV; when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something streak across the kitchen. I was really nervous for some reason. That night resulted in every light in the house being turned on and me finally falling asleep of pure exhaustion, still terrified of whatever.
The day carried on and the impending doom feeling grew stronger. I went down to mom’s (she lived a block away,) thinking maybe some company maybe some company would help… didn’t. I told her what I felt… She said not to worry and to try to be calm. That night it was all the same. Me freaking out for now reason, feeling sick to my stomach, all the lights on, and things out of the corner of my eye whisking by. I finally dozed and work around 3 AM, with the shakes. I could hardly breathe.
I wanted to get up, I couldn’t move. I wanted to scream for help, I couldn’t do anything. I just lay there and freaked out. It was horrible!!! I was finally able to sit up and take control a little. I started to think about the books, it was then I made the connection. My fear grew even bigger at that point. I thought, “Oh my God, I am being punished for what I was doing.”
One night in particular, I got really spooked. I was sitting up all night with my usual sense of impending disaster when I started to get only what I can describe as being literally bombarded with evil. The fluttering noises in my ears I could even feel them like bats flying past my head. I heard knocking noises coming from the garage. Things tipping over and not one person in the house even stirred. My heard beat so fast I thought I would die, and I shook uncontrollably. By this time I was sobbing and shrieking, no one woke up. They were in the same room with me.
I reached for the phone, shaking and still crying. I had never been that afraid in my life. I dialed the number to my parents. All I could say was, “Mom, help me!”
She tried to ask what was wrong but heard how violently shaken I was, she just said, “I’ll be right there!” and hung up the phone.
Thank God my garage door was unlocked. I don’t know if I could have moved to let her in. I didn’t even know what to tell her about what happened or why I called her. I tried my best to fumble through an explanation, but she was not following me. I told her finally that it must have been a dream. I haven’t felt it nearly as much in the past couple of years, but it is there. Anyway, I don’t know how to explain all of this that happened. I don’t believe it was centered around the place I was living in….
I believe in ruling out all other possibilities as well before declaring a haunting. One thing I would like to advise of is that I do not recommend anyone trying to make contact with a spirit. It is not a safe thing to do. This has proven to be very dangerous and some of the most violent cases I have studied have been a direct result of using such tools as a Ouija board or attempting automatic writing. I issue this warning to all ghost hunters out there, especially if you are an amateur. If you research a lot of hauntings you can usually find out that activity started after a household member used one of these, mainly a Ouija board to tray and make contact for fun.
The account above is only an excerpt from a seven page letter Julie sent me some time ago. I did not have the space to reprint the entire story, but I think I got the main elements of her story and her warning to the unwary. She is active as a paranormal investigator in the Puget Sound.
Late-Night Snacking on Lummi Island?
Christa sent me a story about her ghostly experiences at college in Bellingham. See April’s stories for her experience. She also sent me a story about her sister
My sister was living not far away in an old house on Lummi Island. She told me stories of night-time noises in her house: cupboards opening and closing, dishes rattling, footsteps across the kitchen floor. I spent a lot of time in that house over the years and never heard a thing. But my mom heard unexplainable night-time kitchen noises in that house and she confirms what my sister said.
So I guess I have to believe them, because this is the only time in their lives they’ve ever encountered something they can’t explain. The house was sold years ago, and so the mystery remains. If there WAS anything in that house, and apparently there was, I feel bad that I missed it.
Ghostly Guests Remain at the Winthrop
I was wondering if you might have any information about the Winthrop Hotel in Tacoma? It’s now an apartment building, but from what people older than I have told me, it used to be quite the hotel, with Presidential visits, etc.
All I know is that I frequently see elevator doors open by themselves, but that is the only evidence I have. There is also the possibility that I have smelled perfume that is too expensive for any of the other residents, (It’s predominantly Section 8 HUD housing.) because it lingered much longer than I have noticed anything of the sort to do so before or since. I do know that there are many nooks and even full rooms that are blocked off from use. There is also a beer tunnel that was in use during the Prohibition years. Which goes all the way to the waterfront. That and the ballroom would be my guess as to anything big, such as a materialization.
Has anyone heard anything strange about he Winthrop? If you have tell me and I’ll tell Charlie
Native American Neat-Nick Spirit
Strange as it may seem, Fred’s mobile home was haunted by a Native American spirit. This is not all that unusual in this region, but his guest ghost becomes active when the house is messy.
Since I last wrote you about our friendly Native American here, things started to happen. Knobs falling off the oven. Silverware falling on the floor for no reason. In my closet, the light was found on and stuff knocked over and no explanation for it. We had just returned from a trip to Ione, WA and hadn’t put stuff away yet. It was left in the great room. We just put our things up; and it has calmed down.
You had questions in your last email. Yes, we moved the trailer here and we believe this land was farmland before it was a mobile home park. We have a mirror that came from my stepsister’s home in Bremerton, WA. They had a ghost in that house and we believe it came with the mirror. But we can’t be sure. There may be something else we haven’t found it.
Old Ghost, New House or New House, Old Ghost?
We think we have a ghost and I’m trying to get a list of previous owners and do a bit of research… No one thinks it sounds crazier than me, but there have been many strange occurrences since we moved in almost a year ago. When we first moved in, my wife and kids were in the house when a glass came hurling from an opened cupboard door. Then a few days later, a clock came flying off the shelf about the same time of day as the glass. My wife told me about both of the occurrences and I blew them off.
We recently had a major remodel go on because of some roof damage. More things have happened that I am now aware of, have been witness to and can no longer ignore. Just recently my four year old son told me that he sometimes sees a lady in our hallway. He says she’s a nice lady but sometimes doesn’t wear her face. Very Strange. Even stranger, was when I awoke one night around 3 or 4 in the morning to find him standing in the hallway talking to someone. I watched him talking but couldn’t quite understand what he was saying from my bedroom. When I tried to get closer, he looked at me as if someone had told him I was coming. He told me he was talking to the lady. The most recent events occurred in the last couple of weeks.
One night my wife and I went to bed and locked up together before we did so. About 15 minutes later we heard sounds from the garage. I went to look around the house and found the door from the garage to the house wide open; after seeing my wife lock and deadbolt it shut just 15 minutes prior. Then the most recent event was when my wife and I went off to bed. We were laying there talking when we both heard very distinctly, footsteps. We both sat up expecting to see our son come through the door, but he didn’t. I quickly got up to check around the house but found nothing. We both heard the footsteps very plainly and distinctly. Now at this point I am obviously wondering what’s up…
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