Thursday, April 12, 2012

Test luck with spooky local travels

by Jen Jepsen, Travel Columnist

If you’d like to test your luck on Friday the 13th, try visiting some of the local hotspots known for their spooky sides.

There are several haunts from Tacoma to Olalla that could shock you with their illustrious histories.

Seattle is surprisingly in touch with its ethereal side and there are several tours throughout the city and underground that hit local haunts.

To start, check out the Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore, formerly known as the Museum of Mysteries, to see the paranormal science exhibits and other oddities. Admission is by donation and the museum offers the cheapest ghost tours in town. It costs $5 for a history of Seattle’s most famous ghosts and a walk to visit the most haunted places in town.

For the rogue ghost hunter set on doing his or her own search, visit Pike’s Place after hours, where the ghost of Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Seattle, reportedly lingers. There are several stories from tourists and local vendors alike of an old Native American woman selling flowers or walking around the market, only to vanish when they try to speak with her.

Most reports have found her in the flower-selling section of the upper level and occasionally in the hallways of the lower levels, though no one yet has been able to meet her since her death a hundred years ago.

Nearby, Kells Irish Pub in Post Alley offers a chance for an even spookier experience as you dine in the basement of what used to be the Butterworth mortuary.

It now serves traditional Irish fare at good prices, but was once the resting place of more than 1,500 children who died during the flu pandemic of the early 1900s.

If that’s not enough to set your hair on end, a half hour drive to Olalla can bring you to Starvation Heights. Once a sanatorium, the aptly-named Dr. Hazzard administered a “fasting treatment” to patients and allowed them to starve.

Once dead, Hazzard stole their assets and buried them outside, planting trees over their graves. More than forty people died before she was caught. The trees still stand around the house.

Closer to home, Eastvold has its own reported ghosts in the theater and chapel.

Try your luck at the local haunts to see if you can catch a glimpse of supernatural.

With today’s added unluckiness, you might just find yourself face to face with the unknown.

Jen Jepsen is a senior English major at Pacific Lutheran University officially diagnosed with a bad case of wanderlust. Aside from travel and photography, her pastimes include dancing, hiking, Bananagrams and being vegetarian.