Haunted Washington - Cascade Job Corps/Northern State Hospital

Halloween is my second favorite holiday, after Christmas. I love scary stories and movies and visiting haunted houses and creepy corn mazes where actors come at you with chainsaws. I think it's fun to get scared. Besides doing the Pioneer Square ghost tour and Pike Place Market ghost tour, I haven't really been anywhere truly haunted. Apparently there are quite a few places here in Washington state so I'm going to highlight a few throughout the month. Spoooooky.

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Cascade Job Corps Center in Sedro-Wooley, WA used to be the Northern State Mental Hospital. It opened in 1912 on 600 acres of land and held 200 non-dangerous, but mentally unstable patients. We're talking anywhere from dementia, manic depression, and schizophrenia to postmenopausal/"hysteric" women, orphaned children with what is now known as ADD, and adults with learning disabilities. It was well-known for it's humane practices (which was uncommon at the time) and ended up doubling in acreage because of it's popularity. It held dorms, wards, cottages, administration buildings, a chapel, morgue, and crematorium.

In 1950, Dr. Charles H. Jones took over as head of the hospital, and because he was a visionary in psychiatric care, it soon filled to capacity with 2,200 patients in 33 wards and employed 415 attendants, doctors, and nurses. He had previously assisted Dr. Walter Freeman in transorbital lobotomy procedures (also known as the ice pick lobotomy) and brought this controversial treatment to Northern State. But he also transformed the hospital, adding occupational therapy, upgrading the facilities, and changing the admissions area so the patient felt secure and less like an inmate. The "residents" worked on the farm, and in the greenhouse, dairy, printing plant, kitchen, horse barns, machine shop, and power plant.

The hospital closed in 1973 due to budget cuts. Many buildings were demolished, others were condemned, and a few were converted into a Job Corps center and drug treatment facility. It is believed that there are at least 1,000 bodies buried in unmarked graves under and behind the gymnasium. In 2006 locals built a monument to honor the forgotten.

This eerie location is home to many reports of paranormal sightings. SyFy's Ghost Hunters even visited it in 2006. The most common stories are of a poltergeist named Fred who throws objects across the room, images of a little girl playing with a red ball, and a older male ghost who searches for her. There are unexplained voices and cold spots in the nurses quarters and visions of a body hanging in the window of the nurses station. The enormous system of underground tunnels is also reported to be haunted. Creepy.

Taken in 2009


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Helllllll no. We have Byberry here, similar to that.

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

We used to frequent an abandoned firehouse in the fall and winter months in the pitch black in high school. It was supposedly haunted. It wasn't really, but it was still scary as hell walking through there in the dark with a bunch of guys doing stupid shit to scare me.

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

I love creepy stuff like this - I am obsessed with ghost stories, and hauntings. I wonder if I could ever survive staying a night in a house that is rumored to be haunted, or a building. I hate I was too old for college when Paranomal State was a thing I would have totally gone to Penn State to join it.

Karen M. Peterson said...

I remember that episode of Ghost Hunters. What a creepy place!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

I LOVE being scared. I have a haunted maze/corn field planned for next weekend and can't wait. Although we don't have such cool locations here in SoCal. I love historical places with a haunted history!

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Love stuff like that. It is not the scary part. I could care less about the scary parts...hahaha, it all just fascinates me. Weird, hahaha, but I can't help it. So looking into finding something around here.

Liz Dowell said...

I went to Cascades Job Corps as a student in late 2003. Graduated in mid 2005. BEST 19 months of my life!! It was SO creepy!! I saw and heard things I will never forget! There is one building up at the entrance by the security building that I was told had NO electricity. It was locked and unused. One night I'm up at the security office, sitting on a bench and I look over at that building and the front porch light was ON!! I freak out and go ask a security person....I told them I thought there was no electricity in that building. They said there isn't ....so I show them! Sure enough, light was on and no one could explain why! It was awesome! Also saw a shadowed man walking in the yards at night, and then he would just disappear. Heard thumps on the roof of our dorm where it was said that the girl with the red ball was. It was just AWESOME! and the half of the hospital building that was shut down. They give annual tours to the students of that building. I went and it was the coolest place I'd ever seen! The nurses stations, the rooms. Too cool....until I got to the biopsy room. I got the worst vibe of my life and couldn't go in! Such a rush!