Washington’s Haunted Hotspots by Linda Moffitt

It’s that time again when pumpkins’ orange globes lay thick in the fields, spiders weave webs from plants and doorways, and the wind howling through the trees late at night sounds just like a wailing baby. Or was it just the wind? The book, “Washington’s Haunted Hotspots” seemed to suit the season, and for the most part, it does not disappoint .

Replete with stories about blobs of jelly falling from the sky, a hole in someone’s backyard that eats objects, and ghosts that return to repeat actions over and over again, this book describes paranormal behavior that takes place in the most unlikely of spots; a Fred Meyer’s in Auburn. The Kubota Garden in Seattle. The Glenacres golf course in Seattle. And then there are the likelier areas, such as graveyards, old hotels, a governor’s mansion in Olympia. In one section the writer says there have been confirmed multiple sightings of an animal eating ducks on Lake Washington. A sturgeon has been suggested (a sturgeon was spotted in a Bellevue lake, thus the theory) but sturgeons are bottom feeders, and eat snails and small fish. Why would it be devouring ducks? There is another legend of a water monster named Whe-atchee that inhabits the bottom of Lake Steilacoom. The local indians will not fish or swim in the waters of this lake.

I turned to the pages on the San Juan Islands and was happy to see the cemetery mausoleum in Friday Harbor mentioned as well as Fort Casey and Sunnyside Cemetery, both on Whidbey Island. And on Orcas Island, the Rosario Resort and Spa is reported to be haunted by the wife of one of Moran’s owners, David Rheem, named Alice. Alice was known for her wild parties and her infidelity, and though Rheem tried to curtail these activities, even after death Alice’s voice can be heard laughing over what sounds like lavish parties inside of the resort.

For a book that purports to divulge the strange legends of buildings and places of Washington, it is a little thin on exact occurrences and eye witness accounts. A skeptical reader might be moved to visit the idea that the book was written to promote tourism in some of the places in which these ghostly apparitions have been sighted. On the other hand, some of the reports are so strange and so similar in their redundancy that one can’t help but believe that there might be something to at least some of these sightings. It’s Halloween and supposedly a time when one plane opens to the other; if you’re curious at all about the paranormal in the Washington area, then this book may pique your interest.