Linda Moffitt is my kind of author. Her book, Washington’s Haunted Hotspots, is most definitely a travel guide for restless spirits. It’s loaded with over 175 haunted locations, 17 haunted trips, and specific info (including turn-by-turn instructions) for visiting each location.
I came to know of, as well as know, Linda via Twitter (@LMHauntings) and asked if she’d be interested in being interviewed. To my delight she said yes. Here’s the result of our great conversation about her writing and the haunted hotspots of Washington:
Why Washington’s Haunted Hotspots? What inspired you to want to write such a book?
Simple, I live in Washington State, it was easy for me to research and visit the haunted locations.
LOL! You got me. Let me ask the question in another way: What inspired you to want to write such a book?
I always hated driving around on vacations with a lap full of books, going back and forth trying to find haunted locations. I wanted to create an all in one easy travel guide. This book has directions to and from each haunted location, websites, addresses, and phone numbers. Each of the photos in the book are the front of the building to help you locate the location, even if the business within its walls has changed.
Brilliant! Yes, more of those kinds of books would be very helpful! Okay, now let me ask you this: as you collected the haunted places for your book, did you happen to notice any patterns in the paranormal activity reported at the sites? Such as a certain time of day when a place might experience activity, or if a certain time of year was better than another?
I didn’t notice anything particular, some people think because Washington State has so much rain perhaps on a rainy day activity would be better, having water act as a conductor. However, as with most paranormal activity it is unpredictable. Many people find at night is the best time for activity, or when it is most reported. With any haunting, I feel night may be better, less people out; the world is winding down or asleep. Hauntings occur all the time- day and night, it seems life gets in the way of noticing when paranormal is occurring during the day. In the book, I also mention you do not need to stay at a haunted location on Halloween, ghosts do not care that it is Halloween, only the inn owners do. You will find hiked up prices and noise from the festivities usually will get in the way of having paranormal activity occur.
Speaking of paranormal activity, did you witness any during your research for the book?
I have never experienced anything paranormal; the only odd incident that occurred during the research of Washington’s Haunted Hotspots was to my then 1-year-old son and husband. I was taking photos of the Bush House Hotel in Index when my camera batteries were drained. This could be paranormal, but I am a skeptic so I don’t count that- but after I changed batteries and walked away from the car my son started screaming and pointed to the second story of the hotel.
My husband said that he heard a little boys voice say “Daddy look,” my son was too young to talk. He heard this a few more times and didn’t see anyone, he later said it felt as though the voice was trying to get his attention, as if the boy was going to jump or do something else he was proud of. After shoeing my husband away a few times, I gave in and walked back to the car. My son was hysterical by this point so I jumped in and drove away not knowing what was going on. As we pulled away, my son stopped crying as quickly as he started. Paranormal? I don’t know, but weird for sure.
The Bush House Hotel 300 Fifth Street, Index WA 98256
That’s crazy weird! Especially because your son in particular seemed so affected by it. And I have to admit that’s a great picture. Captures it’s spooky essence!
I want to sort of backtrack to something you said before. About how Halloween isn’t necessarily the best time to find hotspots. What about if someone was Haunt Jaunting to Washington for a non-Halloween weekend and only had time to hit a couple of the haunted hotspots, which would you suggest as must visits?
Pike Place Market in Seattle is a must and while you are there, and you can’t miss The Underground Tour just a few blocks away. Concrete is a whole town filled with haunted buildings, so many that I didn’t even write about all of them, and Roslyn is a favourite of mine. Roslyn has the spookiest cemetery ever and again a whole town filled with haunted buildings, the Movie Theater use to be a mortuary.
Pike Place Market, 1501 Pike Place Market, Seattle WA 98101 www.seattleghost.com for tours
Underground Seattle, 608 First Ave, Seattle WA 98104 www.undergroundtour.com
Do you have a favorite Washington haunted hotspot?
The Butterworth & Sons building in Seattle is a favourite of mine. A former mortuary it has a hard time keeping tenants. Whole funeral processions are seen, phantom fights, voices are heard, and objects move on their own accord. It is one spooky place.
Butterworth & Sons Building, 1921 First Ave, Seattle WA 98101
Great! Thanks for sharing! I noticed on your website that you’ve got another book coming soon, Haunts of the Southwest. Is there a release date set yet?
No set in stone date but it will be out this fall, before Halloween. Haunts of the Southwest is not a travel guide like Washington’s Haunted Hotspots, but it does include addresses to the public locations. Haunts of the Southwest is in color and features haunted locations and stories from five southwest states: California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah.
What’s next for Linda Moffitt?
I am finishing up Haunted Wyoming, another travel guide like Washington’s Haunted Hotspots, and have started researching I-90 Ghosts from Coast to Coast, a spooky travel guide which takes you on a journey though the 13 states along the Interstate 90.
Oh, they all sound so fantastic! Maybe when they’re out you’ll want to stop by and talk with us again about them?
But for now, let me just say thanks so much again for taking the time to answer these questions, share your experiences (and your pictures). I’ll be sure to use your book to plan my haunt jaunt when I hit Washington!