Looking for Ghosts and Feeling Spooky

By Kristi S.

Ok, here’s the situation: I hate being scared. You will never see me at a horror movie, except the one time I was tricked into going. My friends told me we were seeing Brave (ironic, right?). I don’t do haunted houses, I don’t like being out in the dark, I’ve never read Stephen King. The one and only time I tried a haunted corn maze, I tripped on a rogue corncob, fell into the mud, and cried while a clown looked down upon me. It was truly haunting.

But, weirdly, I love true crime and historical mysteries. Rather than frightening, I find it fascinating to read about real-life deaths and to speculate on guilt and motivation. I especially love to read about local historic crimes, particularly if they are associated with current paranormal activity. I recently took a ghost tour of Seattle, and it inspired me to do some reading about the haunted places in our state. Turns out, Washington is pretty haunted.

Snohomish Haunts

Since I grew up in Snohomish, I decided to start there. I have heard stories of paranormal activity in the Oxford Saloon and seen the creepy doll, but I had no idea just how many ghosts are rumored to haunt the bar until I read Haunted Snohomish. That building has a dark history from the start and it was so interesting to read the history coupled with accounts of haunting. Another fascinating haunted location? The Carnegie Building, better known to me as the location of the old Snohomish Library. I remember the eerie feeling of being inside that building as a kid. Plus, a librarian ghost sounds like the makings of a perfect cozy mystery series to me. I’m looking at you, aspiring novelists.

Seattle Spooks

Moving onto Seattle I was eager to do a little extra research after my ghost tour. I started with the old Burnley School located in Capitol Hill. We circled this building as our tour guide told us of the spirit of a teenage boy who mysteriously died on the steps of the building. Spooked in Seattle fleshed out the details for me and described a séance where participants claim to have felt the spirit of Burnley before being interrupted by a large rock thrown through an upstairs window. Definitely spooky. Also on Capitol Hill, we visited the old Methodist Church on John Street, which is rumored to be haunted by Reverend Bagley and his wife. Haunted Washington details multiple encounters with these spirits and legend has it the reverend can be seen in certain photographs through the stained glass window. Sadly, he did not appear in my photograph.


Whether you are a firm believer in ghosts or a skeptic, it is always interesting to read tales of suspected paranormal encounters. You can even dig into our databases for research. I found some fascinating articles discussing parapsychology. If you’re looking for a slight scare this week, peruse my list of titles about the ghosts and haunts of Washington state. And, if you’re feeling especially brave, take to the streets and explore these haunted locations yourself. You never know what might happen.

Share your own ghost stories, favorite frightening books, or haunted locations in the comments so we can all get a good spook. Happy haunting!

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