If visiting Washington state or currently residing there be sure to check out some of the most mysterious supernatural locations that will remind you of their long forgotten but not lost history. From old towns such as Ellensburg, rich in Native American and Euro-American tales, to the modern day military bases where the sounds of cadence and soldiers marching from previous wars can still be heard, Washington state is full of haunted locations.
Old Town – Downtown Bellingham, Washington
The city of Bellingham was first visited in 1792 by George Vancouver. Bellingham was home to an array of Native American tribes including the Coast Salish peoples of the Lummi tribes prior to the arrival of the first settlers in 1854. However, as Euro-American races began to migrate the city of Bellingham quickly transformed from a small settlement to a bustling seaport city. As the city transformed so did too the spirits that visit there.
Some ghost sightings come from the Bayview Cemetery in which ghostly apparitions are often seen floating along the stone walls of the cemetery. Others come from the Mount Baker Theater which is rumored that the original owner still looks over the property to this day. As well as the current property owners. However, it is at The Mansion that some of the most chilling sightings are said to be seen. A man continuously pacing back and forth as a woman is heard screaming dying while birthing a newborn are just some of the spirits that still dwell there.
Point Defiance Park – 5 Mile Drive. Tacoma, Washington
Point Defiance Park, commonly called Five Mile Drive, in Tacoma, Washington was first established as a military reservation in the 1840’s during the Wilkes Expedition to the Puget Sound. Because of the locations high peaks and prominent cliffs the site was immediately considered an excellent spot for military operations. However, by 1888 President Grover Cleveland authorized the location to be used as a public park and since then the area has been rich in settlements and history.
A well known haunting is that of ‘The Pagoda.’ Throughout the early 1920’s a young newlywed couple would come to the Pagoda and part ways every morning and meet again every evening. The wife towards Vashon Island via a small shuttle boat and the husband to work. One day as the husband awaited his wife the shuttle boat took on water and due to the periodical clothing the wife sunk to the bottom drowning. The husband, seeing the whole incident through an eyeglass, became distraught and committed suicide on the spot with a small pocket pistol.
Another disturbing but well known sighting is that of a 14 year old girl on a bicycle down Five Mile Drive. In the 1980’s a young girl’s body was found and the killer was never caught. Now police reports are often called in of people seeing a smiling girl riding a bicycle with no eyes after hours.
Old Western State Mental Hospital – Park and Monument. Lakewood, Washington
Western State Mental Hospital was first established as an Army post in 1849 and was continued up through 1868. However, it was in 1871, 20 years before statehood, that the Army post was transformed into a mental hospital and renamed Fort Steilacoom Asylum. By 1875 complaints of patient mistreatment, abuse, and poor living conditions grew so frequent that the Washington Territorial Government took over control. In 1886 the hospital was reconstructed and reopened in 1887 under the name Western Washington Hospital for the Insane and by 1915 was renamed Western State Hospital.
When visiting the Western State Hospital Park and Monument feelings of sadness and panic still take hold throughout some portions of the park. If visiting the park in the early morning hours it is said that figures and whispers can be seen and heard in the blanket of fog that covers the entire location. However, it is the feelings of being watched and the sounds of footsteps following close by that raise the hair on visitors’ necks when traveling alone through the park’s trails that encircle the lake.
North Fort – Fort. Lewis. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Once the original Army post closed down to make way for a mental institution a new lot of land was donated by the residents of Pierce County for a permanent military installation in 1917. However, during the process much land was taken away from the Nisqually tribe’s reservation to accommodate the 70,000 acre bond. In 1938 the construction of McChord Air Force Base completed just North of Ft. Lewis.
Of the many ghost sightings reported on Ft. Lewis and McChord Air Force Base most are seen in the woods surrounding the base. Reports of figures dressed in cloaks are assumed to be the spirits of Native Americans that resided in the Pacific Northwest at the time of the arrival of the Euro-American races. Throughout the barracks located on North Fort as well as the Ft. Lewis Inn Museum incidents are reported such as lights turning off and on by themselves and doors slamming in other rooms where no people are found. However, it is the sounds of cadence heard in the early morning hours of soldiers running back and forth on the Parade Field yet none to be seen that mostly disturb the current residents living there.
Central Washington University – Ellensburg, Washington
The city of Ellensburg was first incorporated on November 26th, 1883 by John Alden Shoudy who came to Kittitas Valley in 1871. Shoudy named the town after his wife, Mary Ellen Shoudy, shortly after establishing a trading post named the “Robber’s Roost.” Shoudy however was not the only businesses man located in Kittitas Valley. Various Native American tribes regularly traded throughout the region as well as cattle drivers, trappers, and miners.
Some of the most popular ghost sightings are at the town’s oldest buildings such as the Olmstead Place, Kittitas Valley’s first homestead. The old homestead was once used as a Native American fort and is now currently property of the state park. Sightings of Native Americans along the creek as well as the cries of a woman and a baby are just some of the reports that come from this area. However, it is at the city’s university that some of the most chilling incidents occur. Throughout Central Washington University apparitions are reported all along Beck Hall and Kamola Hall but it is the story of the university’s suicide ghost that scares students the most. During the second world war a female student attending the university was informed of her fiancé’s death. Overcome and distraught with grief she hung herself in the rafters above her dorm. To this day student’s report lights flickering and turning off and on as well as doors slowly opening and closing.
“Washington State Ghost Society.” WSGS
“Haunted Hikes.” Washington Trails Association.
“Ghosts.” Snohomish Chamber of Commerce.
“Haunted Hotels in Washington.” By Monique Muro