Issaquah is a stop on book’s state ghost tour

November 10, 2009

By David Hayes

Ghost investigation shows are saturating the television airwaves, catering to a growing fascination with hauntings.

For those wishing to find locations for the nearly departed in Washington state, a new guide has been published to lead the way — “Washington’s Haunted Hotspots.”

This is author Linda Moffitt’s first foray into writing nonfiction. The stay-at-home mom from the Olympia area researched most of the locations through the Internet, including here in Issaquah.

book-haunted-moffitt-200911“Pickering Barn I found off the Internet and learned more through word of mouth,” she said. “I did take several of these trips myself.”

In addition to describing the history of the barn belonging to the Pickering pioneer family, Moffitt included how the structure, rebuilt to match the original, gained its ghostly reputation.

“Abbie and William Castro were killed by a Snohomish Indian attack, and long ago, a young boy drowned in the local creek,” she wrote. “Electronic voice phenomenon (EVPs), orbs and electrical malfunctions have been reported on the property in and near the barn.”

Another local urban legend Moffitt wrote about was a ghostly sighting along Maple Valley Highway 169. A teenage girl can be spotted through a sudden appearance of fog. Reports are she is looking for a locket she lost after a car accident and she needs a ride home.

Moffitt admits she wasn’t able to track down every ghost story, especially if she hadn’t heard of it yet. She was surprised to learn about the successful ghost investigations that were performed in Issaquah’s Ankhasha’s Consignments (now Ankhasha’s Temple of the Western Gate) and the Depot Museum.

But she has mapped out dozens of locations throughout the state to take numerous weekend pilgrimages to reported haunted hot spots.

Moffitt said her fascination with the afterlife began at an early age, when her family used to go camping.

“My dad used to take us camping and tell us horror stories,” she said. “So, ever since I was young, I’d search out haunted locations. I’d stay a while, learn its story and move on to the next.”

Sometimes, she’d drag her father around to locations. Now, she brings her husband.

“He thinks it’s romantic,” she added.

So, has she ever seen any of the ghosts she’s written about? No. But her husband and son had a strange experience in Index.

“We went to the Bush House. The batteries in the camera suddenly all failed and our son began freaking out,” Moffitt recalled. “He was pointing at a second story window, crying. My husband said he heard someone whisper ‘look at me.’”

As soon as they got back in the car and left, their son immediately calmed down.

The lack of any of her own sightings hasn’t slowed her down. In the wake of this book’s success, Moffitt is already working on a follow-up book about haunted locations in the Southwest.

‘Washington’s Haunted Hotspots’

Linda Moffitt

$14.99

Send comments or suggestions to www.lindamoffitt.com.

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