Old Haunts

This time of year, there’s a lot of talk about hauntings.

Frankly, I’m jealous.

Having cut my reading teeth on The Shining, I’ve always been fascinated by a possible rending of the veil between the material and spirit worlds, whether that rift is fueled by a burial ground disturbance, traumatic worldly departure, or a particularly salty bartender.

So far… no dice. And no hauntings.  

It’s not for lack of trying. I’ve spent my share of weekend getaways at hotels purported to be the paranormal equivalent of a Black Friday sale.

My first haunted hotel stay was at The Stanley, fitting since it was the inspiration for The Shining. I didn’t meet the hotel’s long-departed owner or hear ghostly laughter floating down the hall. I did consider writing reams of “All work and no play make Kathy a dull girl,” but that seemed like a lot of typing.

Then there was a memorable trip to Edgefield, a former poor farm and current pub-centric haunt near Portland. There were spirits all right, but only the distilled and fermented varieties.

I also stayed at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, again in my home state of Oregon. Gorge(ous) views and sumptuous details abounded, but there were no apparitions of a lady in white, nor whiffs of phantom cigar smoke. (I imagine the other guests wondered why I wandered around sniffing the air.)

Recently, my boyfriend and I attended Seattle Rock Orchestra’s performance of Led Zeppelin I and II at the city’s historic Moore Theatre. In addition to being one of the best shows I have ever(!!) attended, I was delighted to later learn that the Moore has a haunted history.

Seattle’s oldest theater was also the third-largest in the U.S. when it opened its doors in 1907. The developer spared no expense, and the theater features impressive chandeliers and oodles of marble.

Here’s the thing, though: it was built on Seattle’s oldest cemetery. Since this was pre-Poltergeist, I guess the builders didn’t know that was a no-no.

The theater is said to be rife with various spooookiness like electronic voice phenomena and the ghosts of Mr. Moore and early actors including an assortment of Barrymores. As usual, I didn’t see, hear, or smell anything out of the ordinary during the Zep-fest. Then again, I didn’t know to be on the lookout. Or the smellout.

All in all, I’ve only been haunted by memories of embarrassing things I’ve done over the years. Like when I forgot the name of the girl I was sponsoring for confirmation during her presentation. Or the time I tucked the back of my dress into my tights. Or getting caught with a Zoom business mullet.

Unfortunately, there’s no ghostbusting for those.  

Dear friends, are there haunts near you that live up to the name? Or have you been haunted by a humorously embarrassing moment?

27 thoughts on “Old Haunts

    1. Also an IU graduate. Remember OJ Simpson single-handedly killing us in our only Rose Bowl showing. At least there is basketball! I was raised in Ft. Wayne and in the county at a small rural school of junior/senior high school combined. You know what I mean?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I do! I grew up in Indianapolis, buty wife grew up in rural Carroll County, about halfway between Lafayette and Kokomo.
        Basketball season’s not far away! 🏀

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I think the probability of experiencing a haunting is directly proportional to the volume of “spirits” consumed (after all, there is a reason they call them spirits). Sensory deprivation also seems to increase one’s chances, along with the consumption of certain kinds of mushrooms or hemp derivatives…

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  2. Me, too, Kathy! I’ve gone on many a haunted tour, hoping to see or hear something! The closest I’ve come has been: 1) Capturing lots of light orbs in photos, which are supposed to represent some kind of spectral energy. 2) Once hearing EVP (ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENON) picked up by very sensitive recording equipment. In this case a ghost-hunting organization accompanied my writers’ group in Memphis to a little family cemetery and did a recording. On playback we could hear a a couple of words from distant-sounding voices. I drew from this experience for a scene in my Liv & Di series’ second book!
    I’d love to visit The Stanley someday!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What fun, Kathy! I got married at the Edgefield in Blackberry Hall–a destination wedding, so the place was full of family and friends to scare off the ghosts. While I didn’t directly encounter any supernatural beings, I felt them. Maybe it was all those creepy, grim Depression-era photos and wild Alice-in-Wonderland/Grateful Dead/Dali murals and dim lighting. But I can down tater tots with Ruby Beer (even better in milkshakes) any day or time, so…I’m willing to embrace the creeps. We still go back on anniversaries and we saw Willie Nelson last time. He was sort of ghost-ly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I had no idea, Lisa!! It’s such a unique (and okay a little creepy) place. And so cool about the anniversary visits and Willie Nelson-spotting!

      PS You have named my two favorite McMenamins items, other than the Terminator stout!


  4. I like Tom’s comments about “spirits,” and because of astigmatism I’m sometimes haunted by flickerings in my peripheral vision. Visiting old cemeteries in Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin (family connections), I experienced ancient grief at seeing graves of children, families, wiped out by influenza or whatever. There were some very bad years.

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  5. I can’t say I’ve been near anything haunting…not that there aren’t spots in my section of PA. I can tell you when I was a child my dad and great-aunt took me to a haunted house and my aunt (about 70 years old at the time) was touched on the shoulder and promptly passed out! Dad picked her up, and carried her to the car after a very sweet goblin let us out via an emergency door! LOL!

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  6. I’ve been to the Millenium Biltmore in downtown L.A., which is supposedly haunted. People have reported seeing Black Dahlia’s ghost. I didn’t see or hear anything! Although I’m too scared to actually want to see or hear anything.

    As for embarrassing hauntings, I’ve done the dress-in-tights thing, toilet-paper-on-shoe, and lots of re-meeting of people.

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  7. I remember doing seances with other girls in junior high school, and staring in the mirror reciting something (I don’t remember what), in the hope that I’d see blood come down my face–in the mirror, that is, not my actual face. But although we managed to scare the bejoogers out of each other, we never actually experienced any otherworldly phenomena. Too bad….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think Los Angeles must be the least haunted city in the country, but of course I tend to compare it to New Orleans, which literally brags and builds tourist campaigns about being the most haunted. But what haunting we have here are choice. Look up Cecil Hotel.

    Liked by 2 people

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