The event opened with cocktails and a tasty dinner held in the Olalla Grange, during which Gregg Olsen outlined the history of Wilderness Heights a 40-acre spread in Kitsap Counties town of Olalla as covered in his book ‘Starvation Heights’. Next up Mercedes Yeager of Market Ghost Tours presented ghost stores of the area then paranormal information by Darren Thompson of Washington State Paranormal Investigations and Research (WSPIR). The main event was a ride to the site in a hearse (or shuttle bus for the wussies) with a guided tour of the Hazards’ home, the infamous ravine and the ruins of Wilderness Heights’ sanitarium.
Let’s look at this from Haunted Puget Sound’s perspective:
75+ people, alcohol, full moon, mass murder site, paranormal/ghost hunters, psychic/sensitive people and me. Oh yeah, sound like a great Friday night! While I do not claim to be a psychic nor any ability to see ghosts, I could feel the energy in the grange stirring into a fury; was it spirit activity or mob mentality?
Either way my guts told me to get the hell outta there but since I was riding shotgun in a hearse, I had to stick it out.
So after a brief console with the other drivers we loaded up the guests and ventured out to Wilderness Heights. As with most road trips, signals got crossed and it took several passes to find the right driveway that traversed down to the site in a precession of 4 funeral coaches, but no fears, the ladies in the back were quite entertained & great sports of it all.
The group, lead Gregg Olsen visited the house and yard with stories of bathtub autopsies and captive patients, and then made their way past the ravine, down the moonlight road to the ruins of the sanatorium.
Hush voices discussed phantom noises and uneasy feelings while they explored the grounds while the ghastly story was described.
I, keeping well away from everyone, choose to play ‘sentinel’ rather than join apprehensive group. My watchword was everyman for themselves while the ‘fight or flight emotion’ I was experiencing intensified my senses.
The evening crested with a member of the group experiencing a sudden overpowering feeling of fear akin to being attacked; was this panic attack or spiritual occurrence? She was grounded/calmed her down just as the tour caught up to us. Soon afterwards the evening drew to a close and we ventured back to the grange to drop off the attendees. The post event discussion was ‘spirited’ with no conclusions drawn as to what had happened. I for one will NEVER go back to ‘Starvation Heights’ but was reaffirmed by the experience.