We’ve been visiting abandoned cemeteries over here in Kitsap County and we’re having a ton of fun! A couple of weekends ago a small gathering of Liminal Cartographers went to visit an abandoned cemetery in Brownsville! It was a great little spot; strangely enough, the folks who live across the street have a porch of plastic skeletons and year round Halloween decorations, not to mention a collection of Hearses (one of them is signed by Lurch / The Giant from Twin Peaks and Elvira). They were more than happy to let us look inside! When my son had to use their bathroom I discovered that THEY HAVE A BLACK TOILET!!! Talk about staying on brand!!
This weekend we went and visited the Old Olalla Cemetery where it is reported that some of the ‘Starvation Heights’ patients are buried. You can read more about “Dr. Hazzard” who starved her patients to death in the early 1910s here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/doctor-who-starved-her-patients-death-180953158/.
This site is HIGHLY recommended – there is no signage or indication that there is anything but forest beyond the roped off entrance. It’s the middle of nowhere. You have to cross a creek, fallen trees, and climb a small hill to get up to the cemetery plot – but it’s a really cool location to go explore
We tried to visit another abandoned cemetery in Colby near Port Orchard, but one of the kids we brought along barfed in the snow (WHAT DOES IT MEAN???). We’ll have to do that one another time! Let us know if you want to come along on the next excursion!
Greetings from the Kitsap Peninsula – it is I, your cowardly Liminal Cartographer Garrett Kelly, currently on assignment in the Western Puget Sound area. Apologies on the delay in this missive!
I would like to say I have been out gallivanting across the region doing first hand investigations, but the truth is I have been consumed with a first hand encounter with the paranormal that has hit very close to home … and I mean that quite literally (as you will soon see).
But before I get into that, I want to share with you the introductory guide I am creating that chronicles paranormal sights and sounds here in Kitsap. Currently I have every book checked out from the library about the history of this region and I’ve been scouring the resources for clues about any “liminal” undercurrents. In a book on the founding on Bremerton I found a remarkable map compiled by an early 1900’s anthropologist from Berkeley. For this rendering, Thomas Talcott Waterman and Suquamish guides mapped every creek and cove around the Peninsula, cataloging place/names and relevant stories. It’s a beautiful map with a wealth of interesting information!
Map of Bremerton
A few of the spots on the map stuck out to me, in particular:
“91. The promontory translates to ‘Looking for a canoe'”. A fellow who was looking for his canoe was turned into a boulder”.
“108. String of islands connected by sandbars: Ca’cila translates to penis’ [Editor: That peninsula really does look like one!]
“118. Windy Point. Sq’aqle or “snail”. Legend: Snail woman was formerly an ogress who stole children and carried them off in a basket on her back. When she arrived at this point she built a fire to cook them, but they outwitted her and pushed her in. She burst and the pieces flying about were transformed into jellyfish. At the upper end of this inlet jelly fish were formerly so plentiful that a person could hardly put the point of a paddle on the bottom without touching one”.
I’m continuing to do work tracking down more about this map and am hoping to visit and confirm some of these landmarks. Already I’ve been to Chief Seattle’s grave site near the Suquamish Museum (well worth a visit) and also attempted to visited Haleets, a boulder on the beach of Bainbridge Island that is said to possess 1500 year old petroglyphs. We found the spot (and even repelled down a rope to get there), but unfortunately the rock is completely covered when the tide is in so we’ll have to go back another day….
Bottom line: I want to recognize that this is a special, thriving area of Washington State with a long history. If you live in Seattle, Kitsap County is a quick ferry ride over and there is so much to see and explore. I have enjoyed learning about the cormorants who roost underneath the Warren Avenue bridge or going to Chico Creek this Autumn and standing 5 feet away from spawning salmon, picking up gross dead jellyfish harpooned on fallen branches near Scenic Beach and sloshing through mud up to my ankles near an abandoned house at “Nick’s Lagoon” in Seabeck. It’s wet and gross and alive over here. And I think it’s that environment that helps to keep the weird safely incubating just under the surface.
Some of the stranger things I have caught wind of in this area include:
This is an abandoned kid’s park behind my house (locked up and overgrown). Originally donated to the City of Bremerton by the National Spiritualist Association of Churches, who “believe, as the basis of his or her religion, in the communication between this and the Spirit World by means of mediumship”.
Tunnels under Bremerton’s downtown
Still just a rumor (and have heard they are under another area of town called ‘Callow’). Still working on substantiating this. But I’m hoping to open our first Liminal Space retail store and field office on Callow so that I can spend late nights trying to get underground…
Krystal M. spotted this at the Ueland Tree Farm in Silverdale
N.A.D Marine Park
Abandoned bunkers and a locked up spooky pier at N.A.D. Marine Park. I found this riding my bike around and getting lost. I also got creepy vibes at this gate and I’m super curious what’s up with the end of this pier.
Evergreen Rotary Park
This Bremerton park sports a number of unusual sites, including a mysterious concrete face on the shore at Evergreen Rotary Park, relics from the 9/11 Twin Towers displayed in a twisted memorial, and many rumors of a submarine buried beneath the park grass.
L. Ron Hubbard’s childhood home
Still haven’t walked by it, but apparently he grew up here. It’s in the 1200 block of Gregory Way – time for some door knocking!
My nephew poked a stick into the creek in Stephenson’s Canyon and pulled out a snake ring! WTF!!
IRL Trolls in Olalla
Marlene in Olalla reported these two separate sightings of a troll outside her home in Olalla.
This is one of the classic sites listed on various Ghost Hunting sites in Washington. Personally, I find the original story ‘meh’ and I traveled down that stretch of road and didn’t encounter anything particularly paranormal myself. However, when I did more online research I did find this account, which is its own special type of terrifying:
“HOLLAND ROAD in East Bremerton. there are several fairly inconsistent stories. My old team also did several investigations there (for the fact it happened to be convenient and a great way to train the newbs). We went around asking locals about the legends and a woman with a fairly high fence around her home got VERY angry when we asked if she had heard any of the stories and told us “aint no ghosts but people round here like to use their guns” as we left the property (about 30 feet away from her) she had gotten some riffle and fired off a round as we were leaving. Would not reccomend.”
Yeah, I think I will PASS on that one….
Giant Shrimp in the Laundry Room AKA The Beast From Bremerton
Read the short account here: http://www.strangemag.com/firstperson.html#giantshrimp
Hands down, this is the one story I am most invested in seeking out. Virginia Staples reported seeing a Giant Shrimp [Editor: we affectionately call him “Shrimpy”] in her laundry room in Bremerton back in 1948. And that’s basically all we know. So I went to the Kitsap Historical society and tried to find any information about an actual Virginia Staples in the city limits. The researchers were very helpful, but could find no record of her. However, using census records I believe I have tracked down Virginia and I am hoping to reach out to her children and grand children. Perhaps I will find a descendant who remembers grandma Virginia talking about the Giant Shrimp. The sighting happened in an area of Bremerton that eventually got incorporated into Navy property, which may make this a more difficult
investigation. It also has me asking: What if this “Shrimp” is actually some kind of extra-dimensional / ultraterrestrial creature that the Navy conjured up a la ‘Stranger Things’ ? Perhaps the reason for annexing the property where Shrimpy was sighted had something to do with this accidental unleashing and trying to contain such an entity?
I will continue to look into this case and let you know if I discover anything new!
My Own Very Close Encounter
My own first hand close encounter.
So back in November I went to bed later than I should have and hooked myself up to my CPAP machine. I closed my eyes and as I drifted off, I had a sort of pre-sleep vision of two children playing with toys on a wood floor. A boy and a girl. I wasn’t scared at this point and it even had me sort of wondering “huh, I wonder who lived in this house before my family? What children played here?”. Our house was originally built in 1918 – there could have been any number of families who called it home.
Just as I was thinking this, the kids that were in my ‘vision’ rose up from their playing and looked AT ME. I had the immediate sense that they were acknowledging me, that they could see me too. And they got up and got “closer” to me and started to frantically say “CAN YOU OPEN THE DOOR?!?!”
I opened my eyes and started to really freak out. I needed to get to bed and I didn’t want to have to deal with this so I tried my best to push it out of my mind. Luckily, I was so tired I managed to fall asleep pretty quickly.
But I was definitely pretty spooked by it all. And for further context, I think this vision was related to a small door that is sealed behind our bed (I couldn’t help myself and I opened it up a couple of days later. See picture above. It’s “just” a crawlspace with insulation and nothing else in it.)
Flash forward a few weeks: I went upstairs to go to bed and as I walked quickly up the stairs I had this feeling of maybe someone pushing me, which was odd. I am a colossal chicken, so I ran up the stairs a little quicker than usual and as I did I thought I heard the familiar sound of the cat bounding up the stairs behind me. I figured she was going to try to dash into our room, which was a problem because she recently peed in there. I looked back to grab her before she could make it inside but …. she was not there!!!
So I was pretty spooked at this point and annoyed because I knew this was gonna make it challenging to go to sleep. As I laid there I had the distinct sensation that the cat was in our room jumping up on the bed and walking around my feet. I had confirmed she was downstairs and outside of our locked door, so I decided that the feeling of something walking on the bed must just be my wife twitching her legs or something.
Anyway, I convinced myself that I am just working myself up and imagining things.
Don’t bring ‘work’ home. Just ignore it.
But then the next night I was downstairs on the couch doing liminal research playing Fortnite, with the cat on my lap. I hear my wife Amber rush down stairs from our bedroom. Her face is white. She says:
Amber says that she kept feeling that the cat was jumping on the bed all around her and then heard a loud bump against the wall. I informed her that the cat had been with me the entire evening.
And then I said “I don’t want to freak you out, but…” and showed her my own notes from my previous encounters on the stairs and sleeping at night. I hadn’t told her about any of my previous experiences – not even the suggestion of something spooky happening in the house. But now we have both had matching experiences that point to some sort of unexplained phenomena.
Things seem to be intensifying and I am wondering: what did I do when I opened that door?
Anyway, since that time we’ve put our Wyze security cam in our bedroom, recording any strange happenings while we are asleep. We did capture some videos of some sort of floating orb (see below). It could very well be some sort of insect or maybe it’s a unknown presence? Let us know what you think!
At the Kitsap Historical Musuem, we put in an information request to find out about the families who first occupied our 1918 house. We already received a little report back from one of the volunteers
about George Thomas & his wife Hulda, the original owners from 1918. My son Uki and I walked up and down the rows at Ivy Green Cemetery only a block from our house and found George’s grave. Then we sat and had a long talk. I’m hoping that by looking into the places and people who have lived in this place I can connect with whoever it is that may be trying to come through that door.