October 26, 2006
Goldendale's Haunted Places
In a one-block radius of a downtown intersection, as many as five spirits haunt four buildings
GOLDENDALE, Washington (STPNS) -- There?s a new haunted house in Goldendale. It?s at the end of a dirt road, behind Aimee?s Attic on East Broadway. Kids will gather there for fun and fright on Halloween night.
With a donation to the food bank at the door, in the way of two cans of food or $1, visitors can come inside.
But one doesn?t have to wait for Halloween to find a spooky place in Goldendale.
At the downtown corners of Broadway and Grant, there are at least four haunted places within a block radius with as many as five, if not a few more, ghosts.
That is, if you believe the stories from people who say they?ve witnessed eerie things in these places. Hauntings continue to this very day, they say, and here are some of their stories:
A little boy in the window
Some believe the Presby Museum, at the corner of Broadway and Grant in Goldendale, is haunted.
?The neighborhood children say they sometimes see a little boy?s face in the upstairs window,? said Terry Durgan, a volunteer at the museum run by the Klickitat County Historical Society. She, however, said she hasn?t seen him.
?But the basement is pretty creepy,? she added. ?I won?t go down there unless I?ve got someone else here.?
Across Grant Street from the upstairs window where the boy is said to appear, Catherine Whalley?s kitchen window gives her a perfect view of the west side of the museum.
?They might be right,? she said of the tale of the boy?s face, but all she said she has seen in that window were ?shadows moving.?
Spirits in the "Sleeper House"
Catherine Whalley has lived in the ?Sleeper? house on the corner of Broadway and Grant since 1991.
She spent a long time fixing the house up when she turned the home, built in 1889 by Dr. Bonebrake, into a bed and breakfast.
?I would lose tools and then the next morning they?d be right there on the kitchen table,? she said.
?The night I finished, I sat down upstairs and sighed, and said out loud, ?Now I?m done,? ? she added. ?That?s when a misty figure appeared in the doorway and stood there for awhile.?
She said the house has ?gentle spirits,? likely leftovers from former occupants, including, for most of the past century, multi-generations of the Sleeper family.
"Moose" and the Simcoe's "motherly" ghost
Long-time Simcoe Cafe bartender Helen Seward was ?motherly,? according to many people. After she passed away, they began feeling a presence they attribute to her.
?I like to think she?s watching over me,? said Simcoe owner Sue Dolsen.
A light in a hallway occasionally turns off and on by itself, said Conny Arthur, a cook and bartender. Helen was Conny?s mother. ?It could be a ballast overheating, but I?d rather believe it is her reminding me she is still here.?
Helen stays mostly upstairs in a storage room, according to others. ?She caressed the back of my neck once up there, said Lori Baranovich, a customer.
Others mention similar loving caresses, pressing hugs, as well as moving cold spots and feelings of being watched.
Some patrons even say they have heard Helen?s voice when no one else is around.
Then there is ?Moose,? a long-time patron who passed away and some say never really ever left. He likes to play pranks. He grabbed a woman?s rear-end once, and tapped the shoulder of another, according to regulars. When he was among the living, Moose used to get the girl bartenders ice.
?About six months after Moose died, I was walking past the ice machine toward the pool table and glanced over my shoulder and there stood Moose with a big grin,? said Darren Goree, a patron. ?It gave me the hee-bee-gee-bees.?
The girl in the basement
There was a pink and white house that sat on Broadway next door to the Presby Museum about 10 years ago.
John Runyan and Sharon Baker were hired to help move it off its foundation to a new location on east Broadway.
?It was in the middle of the day and I was checking out the house,? Baker said. ?When I was in the basement I got a chill. The hair stood up on the back of my neck, and I heard a little girl say, ?Please don?t move my house.? ?
She said she went upstairs and outside, but there were no children around.
Later that day, Runyan said someone told him a girl had died in the basement of the house.
While he was dismantling a chimney from inside the house, Runyan said a brick seemingly fell from nowhere, about six feet, hitting him on the head. It opened a gash in his forehead that required stitches.
After the house was moved, the basement was filled in with dirt and another building placed on the spot.
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