While the West Coast is famous for its Hollywood stars, Silicon Valley tech geniuses, and Portland hipsters, its ghosts don't get nearly enough attention. In fact, there are enough wacky, strange, and haunted happenings going on in Washington State alone to fill an entire bookshelf. From bizarre creatures to curse-wielding serial killers, from ghosts to UFO hotspots, there is plenty to entice any seeker of the paranormal in creepy Washington.
These ghost stories from the Pacific Northwest are not only fascinating tales, but they inspire cryptozoologists and adventurers to this day. For instance, if you are going to find Bigfoot, it will most likely be in Washington, as this vast, forested state boasts more Sasquatch sightings than any other. Read on to discover all that's weird and wild in Washington urban legends.
In Maltby Cemetery, 20 miles east of Seattle, WA, there is said to be a stairway to Hell. According to legend, there was once a set of thirteen steps in the cemetery leading below ground to the opulent tomb of a local family of means. Anyone who walked down the stairs and reached the thirteenth step would be met with a vision of Hell so chilling it would drive them to insanity.
Witnesses reported only seeing the person get to the final step and fall to their knees in terror. Apparently several children walked those steps and never spoke again. At some point, the stairs were bulldozed over. It's rumored that, to this day, local kids trespass in Maltby Cemetery at night, digging for those haunted stairs.
According to legend, there is a strange creature that haunts Mariner High School in Everett, WA. The high school keeps their lights on all night, but they start to flicker around midnight. Then some of them inexplicably shut off.
Allegedly, if you get close enough to the school, you can see a pair of floating, glowing eyes. Some say that if you stare at them long enough, you may be able to discern the outline of what looks like a man. Not just any man, though: a humanoid shape with wings.
On January 14, 1899, the largest maritime disaster in the history of Tacoma, WA, occurred when the chains to the ballast logs of the Andelana broke during a late-night squall.
The ship capsized at the mouth of the Puyallup River. The captain of the ship and the 18-person crew all drowned that night. Strangely, the two divers sent to recover the ship after it sank also died, and no one knows why.
One of the most famous moments in UFO history occurred on June 24, 1947, when Pilot Kenneth Arnold famously saw nine flying saucers over Mount Rainier. This was the first major sighting of the era, and it initiated a UFO craze.
His sighting garnered international attention and subsequent sightings began to crop up all across the country. Soon after, the government set up a formal project for UFO investigation. Many have tried to debunk or otherwise explain what Arnold saw since, but die-hard believers still take his testimony as proof of extraterrestrial life.