Haunted Washington


After first reading the Black Diamond Cemetery (BD) entry and noting his warning about visiting that cemetery, I looked for other ‘warnings’ or negative feedback from the author and found none. Just the one from BD. 

“Our advice: Consider staying away from the Black Diamond Cemetery, unless you are really determined to see something strange.”

Ghost books aren’t usually included on this site for a very simple reason. This blog focuses on the history of and/or the interesting carvings found around various cemeteries. Not hauntings.

However, after receiving an email from an historian friend who had read Adam Woog’s latest book, Haunted Washington: Uncanny Tales and Spooky Spots from the Upper Left-Hand Corner of the United States, and had lived in one of the supposedly haunted locales, and knew the Pike’s Place Market night watchman, I decided this was a worthwhile exception.

Enjoy the review and if you do end up buying the book, let me know what you think.

The Author: Lives in Seattle. Has written books on mummies; movie monsters, vampires, poltergeists, strange museums, zombies, and illusionists. He writes a monthly column for the Seattle Times on crime and mystery fiction. His books are written for adults, teens and children. Mr. Woog states in the book, “Writing Haunted Washington was way too much fun, but it was not without its frustrations.”

Chapter sections include: Native American Legends, Seattle, The Puget Sound Islands, King and Snohomish Counties, Tacoma, The Kitsap Peninsula and Olympia, the State Capital, Olympic Peninsula: From Twilight to Real Crime and Back, Bellingham, The San Juan Islands, Southwest Washington, Central Washington and the Cascade Mountains, and Eastern and Southeastern Washington.

Introduction by the author: He questions the spooky eerie tales of the State of Washington, considering that they may be contributed to the dark rainforests, sparsely populated islands up in the northern parts, logging towns, rolling hills, the vastness of ranchlands, remote mountains of the Olympics and Cascades, and rich heritage of American Tribes. He contends that people just like a good story, “especially one that has the potential to scare them out of their socks.” His checklist for including a story was, “needing to be mentioned in at least one book or article from a reputable media source and/or involve a well established legend.”

The Stories and the ghosts, unusual unexplained events continue: The Georgetown Castle, Seattle’s Chinatown where some won’t work in or near some established old buildings, stories from the islands are legends, Issaquah’s Rolling Log tavern, the special steps at Maltby that were covered up but the voices and happenings returned, Tacoma’s theatre The Pantages is one of many theaters with the unexplained. Native Americans took about a year of planning a cleansing at Lakewood, but after the events came back said, “We don’t want anything changed here. Whatever energy is here, we want it just the way it is.”

At the top of the list of the strangest is in Starvation Heights in Olalla. In Port Gamble is the most densely haunted place, and the Evergreen State College in Olympia where, in 1997, the Governor and his family moved out of the Mansion due to bats, and at Tenino with their wooden money, the ghosts have remained.

The Olympic Peninsula From Twilight to Real Crime and Back says it all. The military man in a WW 11 wool army uniform faded away before their eyes, and like Monika in Touched by an Angel, the woman is back every night, seated at the same table, dressed in her 1940s outfit–always a heartwarming ending. They were married a week, he went to serve his country and didn’t come home, but he’s there at the table with her. They’ve seen it but don’t talk much about it.

The islands, where, even after they’ve passed on in life, the ghosts still hang around.

Gonzaga University and the Davenport Hotel in Spokane are also included in this book–both with a nice, long write up. In Yakima, “(Ghosts) bring in a good business,” says one restaurant owner in the old depot, “with even more down the block a pace or two.”

You never know where or when you’ll see these unexplained events, from old depots, public buildings, old mortuaries turned into housing, hotels, taverns, colleges and certainly, cemeteries. No area seems to be without its haunted past.

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