The Walker-Ames House was featured on My Ghost Story (click above to watch.)
Below is my own personal ghost story, the event that inspired The Ghost From Nowhere.
Now let me tell you my own ghost story…
Port Gamble is one of Washington State’s top tourist destinations. The Walker-Ames house has become a local hotspot for those interested in the paranormal, and it’s known as one of the most haunted buildings in Washington.
Almost every building in the town is haunted, just ask Pete Orbea, Port Gamble’s town Paranormal Investigator, and my brother. Pete leads Ghost Walks, and conducts investigations with paranormal enthusiasts, investigators, and psychics. He also hosts an annual paranormal conference every October.
It was during my first paranormal conference in 2014, that The Ghost From Nowhere was inspired. I had an experience inside the Walker-Ames house that I still can’t explain. My brother Pete is also in the book, as himself, along with William Becker, of Paranormal Insights, who’s class “Finding Your Inner Psychic” inspired me as well.
The first time I was in the Walker-Ames house, my family was taken on a tour by my brother Pete. There wasn’t a lot of activity that night, however while up in the attic in what is known as the “time out corner,” something tickled the back of my leg, and my niece who was standing a couple feet away from me felt the same thing. No one was behind us…Other than that, the most excitement we had was when my husband kicked a wall accidently, and scaring the crap out of my dad. (Dad still says Jeff owes him a new pair of drawers for that one ha-ha!)
Something about that house has me both yearning to go inside, and wanting to stay far away. I don’t know if it’s the shear magnificence of the old Victorian mansion, or just the pull of the paranormal enthusiast in me, but I love that house. So when the paranormal conference came up, we were excited to go, and even more excited to get back into that house.
As my husband Jeff and I wandered throughout the house with our tiny digital recorder and flashlight we saw nothing out of the ordinary, save for one woman dressed up like a ghostbuster, and another wearing a magnificent velvet cloak, getting into the spirit of the conference.
Our investigation was full, people were upstairs, downstairs, and a few brave souls like my husband ventured into the basement. Personally, after my first visit to the house, I stayed far away from the basement, it gave me the creeps. I wandered by myself up to the second floor. I went into the master bedroom and into the bathroom, and held up my little digital recorder and asked the standard investigating questions: “Is anyone in here? Is it ok that I’m in here? etc. etc. That is where everything went for lack of a better word, wonky for a moment.
It started with a shimmer in the air, as if the area in front of me were being twisted. I could still see the rusted bathtub through it, though slightly out of focus. The air shimmered again and slowly began to take form. At first I thought something was wrong with my eyes, and I blinked to refocus, but the form was still there, just standing in front of me. The form took the shape of a woman, wearing what looked like a white dress, or a dress with an apron, I couldn’t really tell. I couldn’t make out her facial features, they were a blur.
For a moment I stood frozen in place. I didn’t want to move, nor could I, if I tried. I was locked onto the apparition, and she was locked onto me. After what seemed like minutes, but was probably only seconds, I tried to speak, but couldn’t find my voice. The form flickered, and moved toward me (or so I thought), but really she just disappeared. My fight or flight instincts chose that moment to kick in sending me walk/running down the stairs and into the safety of the kitchen.
My brother took one look at me and new something was up. He whispered “don’t scream, just breathe!” and shook his head, with a sly grin on his face. What he really meant “please sis, don’t embarrass me!” He couldn’t, as the investigator have his sister running out of the house screaming.
I kept my cool, and looked around for Jeff. When I say looked around, I mean, I stayed in the kitchen with the guy who was monitoring the screens for the cameras set up around the house, safely away from the spooky stuff. He came and found me and got the recorder from me and went to look around some more. I checked the screens and saw him up on the second floor going into the same room I had seen the ghost in.
“Godspeed babe, Godspeed” I whispered to the monitor while the guy laughed.
After a bit, Jeff found me down in the kitchen where I told him, Pete, and a couple of other people about my encounter upstairs, and then the investigation was over.
I don’t think Jeff truly believed I saw anything, and maybe I didn’t. Maybe I wanted to see something so badly that any trick of the eye had my imagination running wild. After all, I’m a writer, I have a spectacular imagination. Who knows.
But wait. This is where things get weird.
Jeff and I returned to our hotel. We were anxious to listen to our recordings to see if we picked up any Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVP. I plugged it into my laptop and started listening. Luckily, we had each stated on the recorder which room we were in, and who we were with at the time we recorded.
We got to my recording of the second floor bathroom.
There’s me saying where I was, I was alone, this room is creeping me out, etc.
Then just standard white noise, if you will.
Then it started. Chanting. Softly at first, then it grew louder. To this day I still have no idea what it was saying. I tried to play it off as background noise, a car going by, people outside, but I couldn’t. I knew it was something, I just didn’t know what.
Jeff and I played it over and over and looked at each other in awe. “We got something!”
We listened to the rest of the recordings until we got to one of Jeff’s. He didn’t announce this where he was in the house on this particular recording, at least not at the beginning. It played for about 10 seconds and then we heard it. The chanting.
The same exact sound, chant, voice, identical to mine.
And at the end of the recording, Jeff says “I’m here on the second floor in the bathroom.”
He was in the same room I was when I: A) saw a ghost B) captured EVP chanting.
We were freaked out, excited, and completely wound up for the rest of the night.
Later that night, I still couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing. Who was that ghost? What was her story? I wondered then if the ghosts in that house, or ghosts in general really can hear us? For example, what if we just asked them how they’re doing? What are they up to? Do they want help crossing over? Or how about would you like to just be left alone?
I imagined myself having such a conversation with a ghost. How would they answer? The next thing I knew, I had my laptop open and beginning of my outline for “The Ghost From Nowhere.