Spook-tacular ghost stories of the Peninsula

PORT TOWNSEND — In a Harris poll last year of 2,000 adults, 41 percent said that they believed in ghosts.

And, as those of us who live on the North Olympic Peninsula well know, Port Townsend — one of Washington’s oldest cities — is famous for its ghosts.

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

In addition to the phantom sightings reported at the Palace Hotel, here’s a Halloween rundown of other haunted (and not-so-haunted) spots:

Manresa Castle — once a private mansion, then a seminary and a school and now a hotel and restaurant 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 that her fiancé 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.

At Fort Worden State Park, 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.

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, told the Peninsula Daily News

in an interview last year.

According to the woman’s account 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 redhead 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.”

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