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09/27/2022
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Ghost Towns and Haunted Places

If you're looking for something a bit thrilling this fall as Halloween approaches, we're happy to introduce you to a few spooky places in the area. Washington is home to plenty of grizzly stories, but here we have compiled a few mildly-haunted locations and fascinating ghost towns that would make for a fun and creepy day trip while you're traveling around the Loop. Happy haunting!

The Oxford Saloon Oxford Saloon, Snohomish

Snohomish (Snohomish County)

Originally built in 1900 as a dry goods store and now operating as a restaurant, The Oxford Saloon in Snohomish saw many incidences of violence during its years as a saloon. Shadowy figures and mysterious incidents have been reported here, including the presence of a police officer who was killed while moonlighting as a bouncer, and who is now seen and felt in the women's restroom. The Washington State Ghost Society performed investigations here in 2005 & 2006, where they detected Electronic Voice Phenomena and anomalies that appeared to take human form in photographs.

Today’s Oxford offers a varied menu for lunch and dinner, as well as live music every night. Their website has creepy photos and a place to report your haunting story!

https://oxfordsaloonsnohomish.com/haunted-history/

Monte Cristo Townsite

Monte Cristo Ghost Town

(Snohomish County)

Monte Cristo was a mining location in the remote mountains near Darrington, WA. You can still hike the four-mile trail and see the remains of buildings and even some equipment used in the attempts to find ore during the late 1800s, when gold and silver was discovered deep in the mountains. Due to the difficult terrain and access to the region, coupled with floods and avalanches, the area was abandoned early in the 1900’s. With incredible scenery and recreation opportunities, there were several attempts to create a tourist destination in this area over the years, but without long-term success. 

Learn more: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

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Bush House

Index (Snohomish County)

The Bush House Inn saw its hey-day during the mining era of the early 1900’s, but time, elements, and a lack of care nearly destroyed it. The new owners have devoted themselves to renovating the building with its original design. Themed rooms from the era, and a tragic death leading to a “strange aura” within the historic make it a must-see for ghost hunters. We can’t wait until the renovations on the restaurant are complete.

The Bush House Inn is a perfect basecamp for activities in the surrounding recreation areas, including rock climbing, kayaking, hiking - plus it is only 30 miles from Stevens Pass Ski Area.

Book your stay here: https://www.bushhouseinn.com/

Wellington avalanche rescue photo

Wellington Train Disaster

(Stevens Pass, Snohomish County)

The Original Cascade Tunnel was built for train travel in 1900 to avoid the steep switchbacks of Steven's Pass. The 2.6-mile Cascade Tunnel was a feat of engineering. The town of Wellington, later renamed Tye, was a railway stop located on the west entrance of the tunnel. This was the site of the 1910 Wellington Avalanche that claimed nearly 100 lives when a 14-foot wall of snow wiped out two passenger trains that had been stranded at the depot. Present day, the Iron Goat Trail is a 6-mile trail that can be hiked near the area, that includes passing through snow sheds that were built to protect trains prior to the New Cascade Tunnel construction. Remnants of the town can be found near the trailhead, and interpretive signage shows previous locations of buildings and other historic features. Disembodied voices have been reported in the area, and some visitors report a feeling of dread at the site of what still remains the deadliest avalanche in US history.

Read more at our blog on the Wellington Train Disaster, and watch Discovery Channel’s Josh Gates Expedition X team as they explore the area looking for proof of spirits inhabiting the snow sheds. 

Geocache Location Geocache Located on Iron Goat Trail

Blewett - mining town

Blewett

(Chelan County) 

Blewett was a mining town located in the foothills of the Wenatchee Mountains of Chelan County, on SR 97. A result of the mining boom, the town was established as a camp in the 1890s, but also carried the reputation of being one of the most chaotic and violent mining camps in the area. In its two-decade hey-day, the town was complete with hotel, saloon, assay office, black smith, miner's cabins, and a school. Operations eventually ceased around 1910, when the ore veins ran out. Nowadays, after enduring years of abandonment, isolation, and fires, all that remain of Blewett are the mine entrances and the foundation of the old stamp mill.  

Geocache LocationGeocache Location Nearby

Okanogan Highlands

Molson Ghost Town

The tiny town of Molson was founded by partners George B. Meacham, and investor John W. Molson, reported to be a member of the Molson beer brewing family and is less than two miles from the Washington/Canada border, which is to say about 90 miles from Pateros. If you are looking for a scenic and historic side trip drive from the Cascade Loop – the Okanogan Scenic Byway will provide all that and more, including the ghost town of Molson, and the fabulous museums and old schoolhouse, which are an old-west lover’s delight. The full-scale buildings are filled with old farm and mining equipment, and all the hand tools, household artifacts and many period photos. The folks here are devoted to showcasing what life was like in the remote region of the county in the earliest days of settlement.

The buildings and museums are open year-round during daylight hours. They do not plow for snow during the winter, drive at your own risk.

Geocache LocationGeocache Location Nearby

Northern State Ghost Town

Sedro-Woolley (Skagit County)

This location is part of the designated Skagit County Northern State Recreation Area, but in 1912 it was opened as a self-sufficient town serving the mentally ill. The landscape around the facility was designed by the sons of New York City’s Central Park designer.

Now part of Skagit County's Northern State Recreation Area, this site was once home to the small, self-sufficient town that served as a facility for the mentally ill of Washington State. It was opened in 1912 and eased the burden on the overcrowding at Western State Hospital.

The hospital site included patient and staff housing, plus a greenhouse, canning facilities, gymnasium, library, laundry, dining room, bakery, dairy, and 700-acre farm for growing vegetables and raising livestock.

The facility was closed in 1976, and over time many of the buildings have been removed, but a few remain and are being used and are off limits to the public.

The on-site cemetery is the resting place for as many 1500 souls.

Geocache LocationGeocache Location Nearby

Ghost Towns near the Loop

Govan, WA

Liberty

The "living ghost town" of Liberty is in the Swauk Mining District of Kittitas County at an elevation of 2600 feet. Liberty sprang up in the 1870s with the Swauk Creek discovery (notable for producing crystalline gold or wire gold), which led to a mini gold rush in the area. Noted as the oldest mining town in Washington State, the region was originally called Meaghersville, named after local miner Thomas Meagher who built a town store that led others to begin to establish residency nearby. The local miners eventually renamed the town Liberty in 1916. Historical assays show the mine produced about 0.3 ounces of gold per ton of ore, but the supply inevitably dwindled and miners headed off for golden pastures. Today, the remains of some of the structures can be found on the property in addition to the mine. Liberty is still inhabited, but you can explore its past right off the main road.

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/liberty-ghost-town


Govan

Lincoln County, Highway 2, East of Coulee City

The ghost town of Govan sits just off of Highway 2, about 50 miles west of Spokane. In the late 19th century, after the establishment of the Central Washington Railway, Govan was a railway stop before a large sandbank was discovered there which led to a "bustling" population of 76 residents, as many worked to extract sand for the railway construction. As is the case for many of Washington's ghost towns, the building of Highway 2 near the community eventually allowed its residents to relocate elsewhere. But Govan isn't just abandoned...it may also be haunted by the ghosts of one of the state's grizzliest unsolved murders, which left a Judge and his wife killed by axe in 1902. A murder at a saloon occurred the following year. Neither of these buildings are still standing, but there is a truly majestic schoolhouse which, depending on how you look at it, is a beautiful relic or a super creepy feature of a town long forgotten.


Roslyn

Kittitas County, Near Cle Elum

The historic town of Roslyn is located just off I-90 in Kittitas County, Washington. The Brick Saloon, originally built in 1889, serves up great food and is famous as the setting for TV series "Northern Exposure" and the film "Runner Stumbles," but it is also the setting for intense hauntings. Brick employees and customers have recounted the appearance of apparitions including a little girl and a cowboy and report the piano in the back room playing when no one is around.

After some good eats, head on over to the Roslyn Cemetery. The cemetery was established in 1886 using land donated or purchased from the Northern Pacific Company and is one of the most unique in the state. It is not one, but a group of 25 separate cemeteries bordering each other, with over 5,000 graves and 24 nationalities represented. Many of those killed in mining accidents in the Roslyn mines are buried in the cemetery.