What’s that strange noise in the hotel? Hopefully it’s a ghost, not a blown-out water heater. Here are 15 goofy, ghastly spots in Cascadia to delight your easily-spooked big kids. At right, the Davenport Hotel’s lobby. Can you spot a spectre? (I can’t, either!)
Washington Haunted Spots
Mt. Baker Theatre, Bellingham
Judy didn’t want to leave, but she was evicted from her home to make way for the 1917 theater. So she’s supposedly returned, year after year, to haunt the theatre, showing up as gusts of cold air and the sound of old-timey skirts. Read more about Mt. Baker Theatre’s ghost stories.
Roche Harbor Resort, San Juan Island
The cemetery mausoleum (in the resort) hosts a ghost (or three), which you’ll hear on full-moon evenings. These specters are supposedly having a fine time – laughing and chatting. Makes sense, because it’s one of the most gorgeous resorts I’ve ever seen.
Hotel Andra, Seattle
Rumors of Prohibition-year partying swirl around this hotel (the former Claremont), what with the Jazzy tunes and smashing glasses. The ninth floor is the focus of most ghastly behavior.
Pike Place Market, Seattle
A Native American woman’s ghost supposedly walks the alleys and tunnels of Pike Place Market; she walks through crowds, arms heavy with baskets. Hungry for more? Check out the Ghost Tours in Pike Place Market.
Davenport Hotel and Tower, Spokane*
What’s that knocking at the door? Ghostly room service, perhaps? A flapperesque 1920s-era woman is said to haunt this historic hotel’s restored mezzanine and stairwells. And hey, if you’ve ever slept at the Davenport (I have), you might want to stay forever too. *Thanks to Washington State Tourism Office for reminding me of this one.
Oregon Haunted Spots
Heceta Head Lighthouse, Yachats.
“The Lady in Gray” – possibly a former lightkeeper’s wife – peeks around corners, cleans up broken glass and bustles about in the kitchen. She certainly picked a picturesque spot to haunt, right on the Oregon Coast. There’s a bed and breakfast here, but it’s only open to adults.
Pendleton Public Library, Pendleton
Say, does that librarian look a bit pallid? A librarian that passed away suddenly during the 1950s reenacts the Ghostbusters movie – opening and shutting windows, knocking books off the shelf, flipping lights on and off. Rabble rouser.
Oaks Park, Portland.
This amusement park – one of the oldest in the Pacific Northwest – is home to a groovy 70’s-dressed kid apparition, dressed in bell-bottoms and stylin’ lapels. Even if you don’t see the superstar, Oaks Park is a fantastic way to roll away a Saturday.
McMenanamin’s Edgefield, Troutdale
This hotel/brewery/restaurant/music venue can add “ghost hotel” to its repertoire. Stay a night and ask to see the ghost logs to find out which rooms have had the most paranormal activity. If no one’s in those rooms (well, no one visible), book a night’s stay.
Oregon Vortex, Gold Hill
At this sideshow destination, people and buildings list northward, objects roll up hills and there may even be an appearance from the ghost of John Lister, who once lived here. Spirits aren’t to blame for all the toppling and rolling, according to current owners — but supposedly an incomprehensibly strong magnetic force, which causes people to list northward.
British Columbia Haunted Spots
Old Spaghetti Factory, Vancouver
Kids always want to dine in the OSF’s train car. Ghosts seem to call “FIRST” and jump into the Gastown restaurant’s trolley car, rattling plates and talking quietly. This chain restaurant is always a family favorite in the region.
University of British Columbia, Vancouver
A ghost hitchhiker asks for rides outside the museum, and the university’s library is haunted by an elderly lady in a white dress, walking among the stacks and tipping a book now and then. And even if you don’t see a ghost, you can always visit the past at the Museum of Anthropology.
Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria
This landmark mansion’s home to a ghostly woman dressed in all-white. She walks up and down the building’s stairs (good thing, because the staff hate to see anyone running). The piano sometimes plays vintage tunes – but no human is tinkling the keys.
James Bay Inn, Victoria
At this haunted budget hotel in Victoria’s bustling Inner Harbour, phones ring (with no one on the other line), lights flicker for no reason and chilly spots crop up in rooms. Who is this spectre? It’s rumored to be the spirit of artist Emily Carr.
O’Keefe Ranch and Mansion, Vernon.
Visitors and staff tell of a non-paying customer ghost who walks the halls and peeks outdoors from upstairs windows at this Okanagan Lake heritage site. The building was constructed in 1867, so there’s a long history of residents — human and otherwise.