Even though I'm not a fan of horror movies, I do enjoy a good ghost story. And boy does Spokane have some scary ones! So in the spirit of Halloween, I've done a little digging and scooped up some creepy tales from around the area.
- Whenever I walk into the Davenport Hotel, I make a point to look around the mezzanine floor. Guests talk about seeing a woman dressed in 1920's fashion peering over the railing as though she's looking for someone. Some people have even heard her asking, "Where did I go?" Don't believe me? Well, according to a 1920's newspaper article, a woman named Ms. Ellen McNamara fell through the lobby skylights of the hotel and died. A doctor in the hotel ran to her just in time to hear her utter these last words: "Where did I go?" She must still be looking for the answer! Not to mention the ghost of original hotel owner Louie Davenport (who actually died in the hotel!) likes to hang around. A friend of mine stayed there once and heard loud banging on the inside of the fireplace in his room. He put his hand where the ruckus was coming from and said it felt like someone was inside the wall, trying to punch through it. Scary!
- I love antique fashion and jewelry, and apparently so does the ghost at Finders Keepers II. If you're ever in the store, keep an eye out for a woman in red dressed like she's from a brothel. Pretty freaky since rumor has it that the building used to be a bordello! Employees of the boutique say they hear footsteps around the shop when it's empty. The ghost has even thrown scarves on the floor, tipped over mannequins and turned dresses inside out!
- Oh, the tale of 1000 Steps. This one definitely ranks high on my creepy meter. Because the Greenwood Memorial Terrace Cemetery in west Spokane sits on three separate terraces, lots of old steps were built around the property when it was landscaped back in 1888. But if you come across a decaying set of stairs near an access road on cemetery grounds, I urge you to get your butt out of there! The story says that if you walk up these stairs at night, you'll hear strange cries and see the faces of the deceased men, women and children. Some people even say they feel a strange sensation on their skin - almost like it's raining. Apparently these steps used to be the site for satanic rituals! Locals call it "1000 Steps" because it seems impossible to reach the top without being totally freaked out. There's no way I'd do it - I'm too much of a scaredy pants! Plus, security guards on site vigorously discourage such activity (or, umm... trespassing.)
- Walking by a music building and hearing an organ playing doesn't seem creepy, does it? Well, it might after you hear this ghost story! Monaghan Hall at Gonzaga University is an old house that was made into a music building. James Monaghan built the house in 1898 and sold it to the school in 1942. After his death, Gonzaga students swore they would hear footsteps behind them in empty hallways and hear a song coming from the building after hours. To put the kibosh on the rumors that the house was haunted, Father Leedale decided he would sleep in Monaghan Hall for a night. That evening after everyone left, he went to unlock a classroom door when it flung wide open by itself! A few days later, a housekeeper heard the organ playing from inside the locked organ room. Thinking someone was in there after hours, she unlocked it to find the organ keys moving to the tune of the music, but no one was sitting at the bench! After talking about what she had seen with some students, they realized it was the same tune that they had heard. What song was it? The one played at Mr. Monaghan's funeral. (Insert creepy organ music here!)
So there's just a few of the ghost stories around Spokane. Some people say the Fox Theater is haunted by an old maintenance worker who lived across the street from the theater. And paranormal experts sensed two ghosts hanging out at the Bing Crosby Theater (one of them is waiting for her date on the balcony!) If I ever get enough guts to climb those steps or walk by Monaghan Hall at Gonzaga, I'll be sure to tell you all about it. But if I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath!
General Spokane, Out on the Town, Outrageous Outdoors