This past Friday, my son Harrison, daughter-in-law Kasi and I went on the Grey Whale Inn Haunted Tour. The inn was built in 1915 as the town’s hospital, retains some of the old time hospital ambiance—wide doorways to accommodate gurneys and steep ramps where staircases might otherwise be—and is rumored to have ghostly visitors.
At the suggestion of daughter Jenn (who lives in the Seattle area), I downloaded an app called Ghost Radar on my phone.
Our guide Marnie was delightful, dressed in Victorian garb with her hair pulled up in the fashion of the era. She had not heard of Ghost Radar but was happy to let me run it during the visit.
I’m not going to reveal any spoilers—you need to take the tour yourself and learn about the history of this remarkable building—but I will share a bit of our experience.
About a half hour in, while on the second floor, a young blonde boy appeared from around a corner. It was a scene straight out of “The Shining.” He looked about eight years old, and stood stick straight and mute. Marnie smiled, and asked, “Would you like to join us?”
He said, “Yes, but I need to ask my mom,” and disappeared behind the corner.
A few minutes later, the boy, his mother and slightly older sister caught up with us. Marnie cautioned that if anyone became scared and wanted to leave, they could. As we walked along the hallway, the boy stuck his index fingers in his ears and intermittently squeezed his eyes shut. His mother chuckled. His sister rolled her eyes. Marnie asked if he wanted to leave the tour. Fingers still in ears, he shook his head.
Ten minutes later, he’d had enough. His mom allowed her daughter to stay with us and escorted the boy away. Marnie asked the girl her name.
“Hazel,” she said.
“Hazel!” I said. “Whenever I’m asked my name at Starbucks, I say Hazel.” The girl humored me with a giggle.
The tour continued for several minutes before the boy and his mother reappeared. As frightened as he was, he couldn’t seem to help himself—stories of the inn drew him back. He remained until the end and smiled with relief. We congratulated him on being so brave.
Ghost Radar picked up a number of spirits sprinkled throughout the building, making the experience both satisfying and creepy.
Grey Whale Inn Haunted Tours are available through Halloween: Thursday-Saturday 12:00, 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00pm; Sundays 1:00 and 3:00 and 5:00pm. To reserve a spot, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-964-0640.