PORT TOWNSEND — With Halloween quickly approaching, two of Port Townsend’s spookiest attractions are teaming up to celebrate.
Twisted History Tours is offering a discounted tour price with the purchase of a ticket to the Haunt Town haunted house.
Proceeds from ticket sales will support the Port Townsend Elks, Kiwanis and Associated Student Body programs at local schools.
Twisted History is offering a discount on its tour of downtown Port Townsend, which explores the shanghai tunnels and delves into the history of the area’s murders, disappearances, suicides and supernatural occurrences.
“Port Townsend is consistently one of the Top 10 most haunted towns in the U.S.,” said Geoff “Grymm” Gardner of Twisted History Tours.
“We not only go into the history but also the debauchery, the crime and the mayhem the area was once known for. Then we talk about some of the ghosts who apparently inhabit buildings in town.”
One such ghost has been seen at the top of Haller Fountain stairs downtown, according to Gardner.
“I get a few calls a year about people seeing a woman at the top of the stairs late at night,” said Gardner. “I haven’t seen her yet.”
According to Gardner, the figure is assumed to be Abigail, a young Uptown girl who in 1898 fell in love with one of the sailors from downtown.
“Her father found out about it and was obviously unhappy,” said Gardner.
“So he met him on the steps, not these steps but the original ones that were here, and they got into it.”
Gardner said the conversation between the two men quickly got heated and weapons were drawn.
“They fired at each other,” Gardner said.
“They both missed, but Abigail, who was at the top of the stairs, was shot in the throat. She tumbled 15 feet down the hill, where she died.”
Gardner said that’s one of the more popular stories of a haunting in Port Townsend, but there are plenty more just like it.
“This all started as a pedal bike company,” said Gardner.
“People wanted to know about the history and the hauntings, so I gathered a lot of information from a lot of people and figured ghost tours were a lot more fun.”
Twisted History has been offering tours since 2013, many of which are for those 18 and older, but Gardner said the downtown tour is all ages. However, he added he often caters to each tour group.
“I customize it based on the group I have in front of me at the time,” Gardner said.
For more spooky festivities, Haunt Town is back — hosting its second haunted house in the basement of the Elks Lodge.
According to Haunt Town’s Steve Spencer, this year’s theme is “Your Worst Nightmare.”
“There’s 11 rooms and they all have a specific phobia,” said Spencer. “For example, there’s one for the dentist.”
Spencer started Haunt Town as a way to celebrate Halloween and raise money for local organizations. This is the first year he’s partnered with Twisted History Tours.
“It all started when I was looking for props for my haunted house,” said Spencer. “We just decided, ‘Hey we’re both big on the Halloween season and we could help the community,’ so we teamed up.”
Both Twisted History Tours and Haunt Town are running their combination deal every Friday and Saturday until Oct. 29.
Twisted History Tours are offered in the evenings at 8, 9:30, 10 and 11:30. Groups meet at the corner of Taylor and Washington streets in downtown Port Townsend. For more information on Twisted Tours or to schedule a tour, call Gardner at 360-390-8318.
Haunt Town runs from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. and is located in the basement of the Elks Lodge at 555 Otto St. Tickets for Haunt Town will be sold at the door for $10.
Combination tickets and Twisted History Tour tickets can be purchased at www.tourporttownsend.com.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].