190 fully illustrated, fully bound pages of anecdotes and hauntings from Washington and Oregon.
Introduction . . . . . 11
What is a ghost? ● Types of ghosts ● Ghosts in space and time ● Ghost hunting as a science
I Sacred Places. . . . . 22
Messages from beyond ● Cape Arago near Coos Bay ● Nehalem’s Neahkahnie Mountain ● Stevenson ● Sunnyside
II The Portland Basin . . . 34
Portland ● Ridgefield
III Western Oregon . . . 65
Corvallis ● Klamath Falls ● Keno ● Roseburg
IV Western Washington and Puget Sound 76
Bellevue ● Fort Lewis ● Olympia ● Rainer ● San Juan Islands ● Seattle ● Tacoma ● Seattle ● Whidbey Island
V The Columbia River Gorge and Eastern Washington . . . . 120
Bingen ● Kennewick ● Selah ● Spokane
VI Eastern Oregon . . . . 128
Heppner ● Moro
VII The Northwest Coast . . . 134
Aberdeen ● Lincoln City ● Seaview
VIII Strange Critters . . . . 149
The Rock Lake Monster ● Mutant Fish in Oregon ● Disappearing Livestock
IX Some Thoughts on Ghosthunting . 154
Paranormal Investigating on the Internet ● Linking up with ghosthunters ● Ghost Walks ● Digital Cameras and ghost hunting ● Ghost Orb photographs ● White Noise and Electronic Voice Phenomenon ● How radio works and White Noise does not
Index . . . . . . 184
Sunnyside, WashingtonMiracle of the Virgin Mary?
Some people say that we live in an age of fear: fear of war, fear of economic collapse, fear of disease, and many other terrible things. Although the exact danger people fear has varied over time, the general categories have been around for centuries, perhaps even thousands of years. Along with these fears, there have been many incidences of hope. Some evidence of divine protection has been visions of supernatural protection in the form of beings such as angels or the Madonna, the Christian Virgin Mary. Historically the Madonna has appeared in rural areas, to simple, faithful worshippers; such as some people in eastern Washington.
On the afternoon of the fifth of April, 1997, Police Officer Chico Rodriquez noticed a strange shape seemingly painted on the back of a road sign. The sign was located near Sunnyside, Washington, at the intersection of Washington Sate 241 and the Yakima Valley Highway. He described the shape as a silhouette of the profile of a woman, he identified
as the Virgin Mary. The Virgin wore a dress with ruffles. Some said they saw that her hands were clasped together, but most could not make out her face clearly. Word spread throughout the predominately Hispanic Catholic community. Within a few hours, over a thousand people had gathered to look at the sign.
Many came with flowers, which they laid beside the sign. Others lit candles and prayed. The crowd was so large that the State Patrol closed the road intersection for several hours. Other members of the faithful looked at other road signs nearby, and a few said they saw the Madonna’s image there too. One person claimed to have seen the image of the Virgin on a road sign near Moses Lake, one hundred miles away.
Roseburg, OregonA Dog’s Life
Terry and her husband Gary moved in to their current house in 1999. Shortly after they moved in, they both shared a strange experience. It was evening, and they were in bed, waiting to fall asleep. Suddenly Gary sat up and exclaimed, “Guess what I see in my mind?”
Without Gary saying another word, Terry had a vision of a black dog with wiry hair, sitting on their back porch. She told him her vision, and he replied that he had seen the same thing. They both thought it odd, and would have forgotten it, if not for other strange coincidences.
The next morning, Terry took a walk on their new property. Her walk took her to some hills overlooking her house. She stopped to reflect on her life, and perhaps appreciate her knew home. When she turned to go, she stepped on something, which turned out to be a metal chocker chain for a large dog. She examined the collar further, and saw that the metal tags on the collar had the date 1975 etched on them. She took the collar home and showed it to Gary. They joked that perhaps the collar had belonged to the dog they saw in their shared vision.
A few days later Gary talked with one of the neighbors, and asked him if any of the previous occupants had ever kept dogs. This neighbor had lived in the area since the early 1970s, and he replied that only one resident had kept dogs. The last owner with dogs had lived in the house in the 1970s, and kept Airedales. Airedales are the largest breed of terriers, standing about two feet at the shoulders. Their black and brown fur is coarse and curly. The collar they found was the right size to fit an Airedale. Could the
spirit of the dog still be guarding their house? Perhaps it kept the other ghosts there company. Terry and Gary believed that later they encountered two distinct human ghosts in the house as well.
Fort Lewis, Washington
The Fort Lewis Museum
Many people driving through Fort Lewis along Interstate 5 oftentimes wonder about the function of the large white, sort-of Swiss-Chalet style building on the west side of the freeway. This building is the last remnant of a vast Army recreation facility built after World War I. At that time, Fort Lewis was known as Camp Lewis. The Camp Lewis Commander, Brigadier General Henry Greene, allowed the Salvation Army and other businesses to construct commercial buildings like restaurants, a jeweler, a bank and photographer to service the soldier’s needs. They called it Greene Park. One of the original buildings was “The Hut,” which included a 500-seat auditorium, and 19 guest rooms. They quickly found that the hut did not have enough rooms to serve the guests visiting soldiers at Camp Lewis.
I visited the museum several times, when I was stationed at Fort Lewis. One of the more interesting displays at the time was General “Stormin” Norman Schwarzkopf ’s jeep. I did not know that he had a jeep. When General Schwarzkopf was stationed at Fort Lewis, he used to drive around in his staff car. You did not want to make the mistake of NOT saluting his car when he drove by…
In 1999, “June” dated a Military Policeman at Fort Lewis. Over dinner one night, one of his other MP friends, “John,” told her that he and his partner the Desk Sergeant received a report that the alarms at the museum had gone off. They drove to the museum to check for intruders, but found the place locked up tight, and the alarms were still set. They returned to the MP station, and ten minutes later they received the alarm notice from the museum again. They returned, and found the same situation. They went back to their station in time to respond to another alarm at the museum. It continued all night.
A few nights later John and his sergeant returned to the museum, where the sergeant ordered John to patrol the museum’s perimeter. John did so a little nervously, until he passed one of the gates around the building. He developed physical chills, and felt a sense of heaviness. When he returned, John told his sergeant what he felt. He was not surprised when the sergeant told him that many people felt that way. Sometimes some of the MPs reported seeing lights turned on when the building was empty, but the alarm system did not trip, and there were not intruders.
The next evening, June, her boyfriend and John drove out to the museum the next evening so June could share the experience. It may have been a psychological trick, but June felt a growing sense of dread as they drove across Fort Lewis to the museum. She got out of the car and approached the gate. By the time they reached the gate, the feeling overwhelmed her. It must have been catchy, because they all ran back to the car. As they got in and prepared to leave, she thought she saw the outline of a figure standing behind the top window of the museum.
The Jury is Still Out
In 1993, I worked as an archaeologist on the US Forest Service in the Heppner Ranger District. The first time I drove out to Heppner, I asked myself where all the trees were.. Then the road rose up a hill and dropped down into a little valley, formed by four streams. Heppner itself was a green and pleasant oasis. Heppner and the area around it have suffered some amazing tragedies.
More than one wagon train was lost or had many of its members die of thirst or disease in the nearby Blue Mountains. A flood devastated the town itself in the early Twentieth Century, killing over 200 people. Some of the local residents can be a bit dangerous as well. Some Heppner residents remember one woman who did not get as big a divorce settlement as she had hoped. After court, she followed her attorney from the County Courthouse to a nearby café and shot him. Courthouse employees once listened to stories told by an old judge, about the days when prisoners sentenced to death were hung in the vestibule outside the Courthouse.
It seemed that the district attorneys and their staffs were singled out for paranormal attention. One diistrict attorney who served there was Anneta Spicer.
Spicer worked in the empty Courthouse several times at night. The strange events followed a pattern. She often walked into a room, saw that the windows were closed, and then left. When she returned, she found the windows open. She sometimes heard footsteps walking down the hallway outside her office. In these cases, when she looked around the courthouse she found the building empty. It would have been easy for her to find an intruder, since the old building had settled, and creaked whenever someone walked around.
Like many lawyers and business people Spicer used a handheld tape recorder. She once listened to a recording she had made, and heard the sound of children giggling in the background. There were no children present when Spicer made the recording. On a later day, she found someone had played with her files. They took an entire stack of files and turned them around, still keeping them in order. During one of her late night sessions, Spicer heard all three toilets on the empty top floor of the Courthouse flush at the same time.