Towns, Past Tense

5 Washington Ghost Towns Worth a Visit

Ranked in order of creepiness, for your thrill-seeking needs.

By Allison Williams Published in the October 2019 issue of Seattle Met

Govan's old, spooky schoolhouse.

5. Molson

Located along the Canadian border about halfway across the state, the well-restored homestead buildings are more museum than a graveyard. The old two-story schoolhouse is full of exhibits.

Scare quotient: Unnerving. Creepy mannequins model old-timey clothes in the schoolhouse basement.

4. Franklin

A major coal mining accident in 1894 killed 37 miners in this Enumclaw-area site, but these days a grate over the old mineshaft keeps anyone from adding to the toll.

Scare quotient: Mildly chilling. Thank the cemetery of mossy headstones and, well, at least 37 ghosts.

3. Govan

The austere old schoolhouse in the prairie south of Grand Coulee Dam has a delicate cupola and a faded red exterior, but it’s thinning to its skeleton.

Scare quotient: Goosebumpy. The stark ruins make it easy to believe rumors of a nearby ax murder in 1902.

The old mining town of Monte Cristo.

2. Monte Cristo

The old gold town off Mountain Loop Highway once teemed with miners and even hotels; now it’s rusty signs, a few buildings, and some educational placards.

Scare quotient: Knee-trembling. The log crossing used to access the hike-in site can be precarious, plus there’s known arsenic contamination.

1. Northern State Asylum

There’s beauty to this abandoned hospital in Sedro-Woolley, once a self-sustaining compound: flourishes on Spanish Colonial Revival windows, grounds designed by the famed Olmsted Brothers.

Scare quotient: Petrifying. A cemetery of 1,500 patients? Nightmare fodder. The old wards ooze horror film chic.

1,500 ghosts lurking within the Northern State Aslyum ruins? Probably.

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