History After Hours: Night at the Ghost Museum

“We sit around in dark rooms at night hoping something communicates with us,” Patty Valdez, the leader of South Sound Paranormal Researchers said sarcastically to a crowd of the supernaturally curious.

This past Thursday, the Washington State History Museum hosted one of their History After Hours events. This time the theme was “Ghost Museum” to celebrate Halloween and to get to know the history of the paranormal in Washington.

“History, connection, and partners [are] at the center of everything we do. We love taking little-known history or pop culture topics and connecting them back to our Washington roots,” said Julianna Verboort, Marketing and Communications Director at the Washington State History Museum.

The museum partnered up with others in the area, like the Kitsap Museum, the Lewis County Historical Museum, and the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, for a night of scary stories and spooky games. Local craft beer was provided by Three Magnets Brewing and Northish Brewing and wine was provided by Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Guests explored the “Sleight of Hand” exhibit which covered magic and spiritualism of the early 20th century. There was a fortune teller with a crystal ball giving readings, and South Sound Paranormal Researchers, a local paranormal investigative team, had a booth with gadgets and ghost stories. The researchers told accounts of the haunted Lewis County museum, as well as some other paranormal activities they have witnessed around Washington.

“Our team believes that the [Lewis County] museum is haunted not by a person but by persons or spirits. We believe they are connected with objects that have been brought into the museum,” Patty Valdez, the leader of South Sound Paranormal Researchers said. “Think about in your own home, there are so many objects that mean a great deal to you — we believe your energies stay with them.”

Guests not only listened to stories of the supernatural but also to the Kitsap Museum’s retelling of “Starvation Heights,” a real story of a twisted doctor in Olalla during the early 1900’s who killed dozens of patients. Although the stories at the History After Hours, Ghost Museum, were unsettling, they were all in good fun, and the beer and wine helped to ease everyone’s nerves.

Look out for the next History After Hours Event, Craft and Brews, on Dec. 6th. You’ll get to explore the museum, sample craft beers, and make some fun art. The museum is even offering a make-your-own wrapping paper station for the holidays.

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