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Article published Oct 31, 2007
Spook-tacular ghost stories of the Peninsula
By Paige Dickerson, Peninsula Daily News
Ears are perked to hear those things that go bump in the night on Halloween, a time fit for ghoulish visitors.

Some North Olympic Peninsula locations might be better to hear those noises than others.

Port Townsend - one of Washington's oldest cities - is famous for its ghost stories.

Alas, many of these stories have proven to be inventions for the tourists, while others, well . . .

At the Ann Starrett Mansion, 744 Clay St., "one of the former inn-keepers was walking toward the house and saw a red-headed woman in the tower, but knew she had locked the house," Edel Sokol, the current owner of the B&B.

According to the woman's story to Sokol, upon arriving at the house she realized that although she had seen only the bust and head of the woman, if it had been a real person she would have seen the whole body because the tower windows stretch down to the feet.

Was it the ghost of the legendary Ann Starrett?

"I don't know who the red-head is - I don't know what color Ann's hair was," Sokol said, adding that some guests have seen the woman as well.

"She doesn't do anything, just keeps the place warm and cozy."'The Lady in Blue'
At The Palace Hotel, 1004 Water St. - a former brothel that is now a popular downtown hotel - many guests have reported "The Lady in Blue."

She supposedly haunts the second floor, especially Rooms 3 and 4.

Shaking beds, eerie moans and strange shadows are not unusual in those two rooms.

Several guests claim to have had conversations with "The Lady in Blue."

She is a friendly ghost, according to Gary Schweizer, manager of the hotel.

She doesn't scare people, but has been known to rattle a bed or two or to appear in the hallway or rooms of the house.

"One customer told us that he thought it was really nice we had people up there in Victorian dress, and that there was a lady in blue upstairs," Schweizer said.

But the hotel doesn't have staff roaming around in period costume.

It was just one more instance of the appearance of the mysterious woman.A bartender's stories
Manresa Castle - once a seminary, then a school and now a hotel at 651 Cleveland St. - has its share of stories.

In Room 302, a priest is said to have hanged himself.

Room 306 is where a young woman named Kate, a visitor when the house was a private residence, allegedly threw herself out a window after learning her fiancÚ, was lost at sea.

In 2003, the hotel's former manager confessed to Peninsula Daily News reporter Jennifer Jackson that bartender Nick Gael made up both ghost stories.

Gael told his boss he did it to satisfy people who pestered him about strange things in the hotel, like footsteps in the attic and voices in empty rooms.Fort Worden and ONP
At Fort Worden State, a former military post, the Guard House is said to be haunted by a soldier who accidentally shot and killed himself.

The old Schoolhouse reportedly has a few spooks, too.

At the Point Wilson Lighthouse, people say they've seen a spirit passing through a locked door at the tower - and "felt" a ghost in the lightkeeper's residence.

In the great outdoors, where hikers are prone to get lost, some have found their way to safety by following the beckoning sounds of bagpipes in the Elwha Valley, Olympic National Park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said.

Maynes said a man who died in the area in the 1980s had an unusual hobby - playing the bagpipes.A Quileute tale
The mist that rises off of Lake Crescent might have a ghostly feeling about it - and Anita Wheeler, who volunteers at the Forks Chamber of Commerce and is a noted Quileute storyteller, said her grandfather passed on the story of the mist.

The spirits that dance on the top of the water are not what we would typically think of as ghosts, Wheeler said.

"Ghosts are kind of a Western European concept," she said.

"Tsiyatko is what we believe is left - everything that is evil and unbalanced and out of harmony and unnatural - after a person passes because everything else travels on to the other side of life with them."

The Tsiyatko stays behind.

These spirits are often are at war with one another.

During one such war, the Old One - or creator - tried to make them stop.

When they didn't, the Old One flooded the basin where they fought.

The flooded area is now Lake Crescent.

"So the Quileute say that the fog rising from the lake is Tsiyatko trying to move on, so if you ever go and look at it, the fog on the lake does look like spirits," she said._________
Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or

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