5 Haunted Places in Kitsap County
Embark on a journey through the allegedly haunted sites of the Pacific Northwest, where history and the paranormal converge. From footsteps in shadowy corners to hallways echoing with ghostly whispers, these locations hold more than meets the eye. Each creaking floorboard and flicker of light carries with it a story of the supernatural, inviting only the most curious and courageous. This spooky season, grab your pumpkin spice latte and explore the mysteries that shroud these local haunts!
1. Starvation Heights – Olalla, Washington
In the misty annals of Olalla’s history, one chilling tale stands out—the haunting saga of Dr. Linda Hazzard, a woman whose peculiar practices sent shivers down spines in the early 20th century. Licensed as a “fasting specialist,” Hazzard preached an unorthodox doctrine, claiming that excess food was the root of all ailments. Her grim regimen, outlined in a self-published book, led to the tragic demise of as many as a dozen patients. Among them were the British sisters Claire and Dorothea, who sought Hazzard’s treatments only to find themselves trapped in a nightmare of starvation and deception.
Hazzard’s malevolence extended far beyond her victims’ suffering. Through cunning manipulation, she seized control of their estates, leaving a trail of devastation in her wake. The horrors were eventually exposed, leading to a riveting murder trial. Although Hazzard was convicted, her twisted beliefs persisted. Released from prison, her medical license permanently revoked, she tried in vain to resurrect her institute. Today, only the ivy-clad ruins remain—a haunting reminder of the dark chapter that unfolded in Olalla.
For a more detailed account, delve into local Gregg Olsen’s book, “Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest.”
2. The Madison Diner – Bainbridge Island, Washington
Built in 1948, The Madison Diner is a living relic of American diner history. Originally the Willow Grove Diner in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, the entire diner was meticulously relocated, piece by numbered piece, to its current home in Bainbridge Island by the dedicated hands of Al Packard in 1996. Today, it’s lovingly cared for by third-generation Bainbridge locals who hold its legacy dear. They serve up locally sourced, home-cooked classics that honor the traditions of American diners.
The beloved diner still welcomes guests from the original Pennsylvania location who cherish many a memory within its walls. Yet, amid the clatter of dishes and the hum of conversations, there’s said to be another presence – perhaps the playful spirit of Harry, the original owner, still making his presence known. Stop by to witness a living, breathing piece of history, and just maybe, a friendly spirit from days gone by.
3. Walker-Ames House – Port Gamble, Washington
Perched on a hill that overlooks the quaint timber milling town of Port Gamble stands the eerily vacant Victorian relic known as the Walker-Ames House. Its windows have borne witness to spectral sightings, though the doors remain locked, and no soul has dwelled within since the sawmill’s final sigh in 1995… or so they say. Built in 1889 for William Walker, the mill’s master mechanic, the mansion’s echoes reverberate with tales of apparitions, hair-raising touches, and inexplicable scents, particularly in its desolate basement. The legend suggests a troubled boy’s spirit may linger, an eerie presence that seems wary of women. Some even claim to glimpse faces peering from the upper windows, defying the house’s supposed emptiness.
This home, previously featured in our blog about homes in Kitsap County over a century old, has become a focal point for paranormal investigations and a beacon for ghost enthusiasts nationwide. Though the origins of the hauntings are obscure, Port Gamble possibly holds within its embrace the most haunted house in the Pacific Northwest.
For those daring enough, you can experience the mysteries of this home firsthand on a ghost investigation led by local Paranormal Investigator and Researcher Pete Orbea.
4. Frank Chopp Apartments- Bremerton
The Bremerton’s Frank Chopp Place apartments sit at the crossroads of Eighth Street and Chester Avenue. Once a hospital, then a nursing home, this block carries over a century of history within its walls. While some residents share stories of spectral encounters, others firmly dismiss the notion. A tale woven with history, the building’s origins trace back to City General Hospital in 1918, a year marked by the devastating flu pandemic. Angie and Benjamin Harrison, the devoted caregivers of this hospital, would go on to establish Harrison Memorial Hospital in 1942. The complex’s transformation into apartments in later years, however, didn’t fully erase its institutional atmosphere.
Residents shared their experiences with The Kitsap Sun nearly a decade ago, many claiming a lingering sense of the world beyond endures. There are those like Lee, who confesses to hearing unseen footsteps echoing through the rooms. Her enigmatic parrots are known to have unexplained nighttime conversations. Lisa Ozbun, a housing assistant, recalls an eerie incident in the break room, where lights flickered out mysteriously.
Still, for some, the apparitional presence seems to sit well, including Jason Srail. Although a skeptic, he adopts a laissez-faire attitude, musing, “I figure if I don’t bother them, they won’t bother me. If it is haunted, they’re very benign ghosts.”
Check out two of the numerous comments the article garnished when posted on Facebook in 2014:
5. The USS Turner Joy – Bremerton
The USS Turner Joy DDD51, a Forrest Sherman Destroyer, stands today as a memorial museum, paying homage to the men and women of the US Navy. Built in 1958 and commissioned in 1959, it played a significant role in the Vietnam War. The ship is open for guided tours, providing a glimpse into naval history.
Throughout its years of service, the USS Turner Joy faced accidents and illnesses that led to the loss of lives. Reports of apparitions and unexplained phenomena have been made by both visitors and investigators alike. Notably, a male seaman’s apparition, known for his affinity towards women, has been sighted near the lockers in the enlisted men’s sleeping quarters. This ghostly visage has been known to startle female staff members, prompting hurried retreats up the stairs in alarm.
Moreover, unseen presences have been felt by many, with ghost hunter Ross Allison experiencing a disembodied male voice calling out to him in the ship’s darkened depths. During an AGHOST investigation, an investigator named Michelle sensed an invisible presence trailing her throughout the vessel. Mysterious cold spots have been observed in areas like the aft Gun Turret and the engine room, often accompanied by chills and the sensation of hair standing on end. Visitors in the berthing area have also reported similar experiences. In one particularly chilling incident, investigators were examining the refrigerator containing the remains of sailors killed by an exploding shell. They were startled to find their fully charged camera batteries inexplicably drained, suggesting a possible attempt by restless spirits to draw energy for manifestation.
For a firsthand experience of these haunting encounters, consider visiting the USS Turner Joy DDD51 and exploring the eerie phenomena for yourself.