5 Historical Haunts Worth a Road Trip

If walls could talk, these Washington state attractions would have a lot to say about their storied pasts.

#1 Oxford Saloon

With a facade that looks like it’s straight out of a Western movie, there’s no surprise this Snohomish restaurant and pub is alive with more than just the nightly musical entertainment. Visitors report witnessing ghosts of previous tenants and patrons dressed in period clothing…including a former policeman named Henry, who was murdered in the saloon and is known to pinch women on their way to the restroom. (It’s said that Henry disappears when confronted, but we like to think he can still feel that well-earned slap in the face). 


In fact, so many visitors experience hauntings that the saloon’s website has a dedicated form to submit your own encounter. There’s little speculation about why the building is so haunted– since it was built in 1900, Oxford Saloon has been a dry goods store, a boarding house disguised as a bordello, a card room and bar that were all often the backdrop of violent goings-on. Luckily, Oxford Saloon is now family-friendly and offers visitors a mouth-watering good time. With happy hour Monday through Friday and menu items like the chipotle whiskey wings or truffle mac and cheese, it’s easy to see why so many people–living and dead–make the Oxford Saloon their destination.

Front of the haunted Oxford Saloon
Photo Credit: Snohomish Stories
The haunted Old City Hall
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

#2 Tacoma Old City Hall

In 1893, the city of Tacoma built this elegant structure to serve as the final stop on the Northern Pacific Railroad. It housed government offices, a public library and a jail before being vacated and neglected for many years. In the late 1970s, grassroots organizers revitalized Old City Hall and ushered in over 40 tenants, including a restaurant called Mama Limone’s. The building thrived until 2008, when the economic crash left the building abandoned once again. 


Current efforts to modernize Old City Hall are underway– an attestation to its resilience despite a common thread of changing hands. Though the living have come and gone, there seem to be unseen forces that remain. Witnesses report scurrying shadows, flickering lights and random objects taking flight. No known deaths have occurred in the building, but it’s speculated that the spirits of city officials and former convicts have taken residence and are constantly reliving Old City Hall’s heyday. Renovations are slated to complete in 2024, making Old City Hall the perfect historical stop on your next trip through the banks of the Puget Sound.

#3 Hotel de Haro

Built in 1886, the antebellum architecture of this Roche Harbor hotel is reason enough for a visit. Add in the sprawling garden, water views and fresh seafood and you’re in store for the perfect romantic getaway. That is, if you don’t mind a friendly ghost joining you for date night. 


The spirit of Adah Beeny is said to open and close doors, fiddle with appliances and make rustling noises when no one else is around. Adah owned a limestone-processing facility around the late 1800s, served as caretaker for Roche Harbor’s founding family and worked at Hotel de Haro.

Hotel de Haro
Photo Credit: Washington Haunted Houses

As a boss woman way before her time, Adah is probably the most inspiring ghostly dinner guest you could hope for. Visitors of the Hotel de Haro can enjoy spa treatments, boat tours and local artisan markets. As an island community, Roche Harbor also offers whale watching, guided fishing trips and trails with abundant water views. With so many amenities available to all ages, a visit to the grandiose Hotel de Haro is the perfect excuse to get on island time.

Mount Baker Theatre
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

#4 Mount Baker Theatre

This theater’s 15-story tower once awed Bellingham visitors by dominating the city skyline. Though the tower is now dwarfed by taller buildings, the theater remains a beloved cornerstone in the community’s arts and culture scene.


Built in 1927, Mount Baker Theater withstands the test of time by showcasing everything from vaudeville and silent films to symphony orchestras and comedy shows. The variety of performances has drawn viewers of all ages for more than 90 years, and is on a path to continue for 90 more. With decades of performers and audience members passing through the theater, it’s not surprising the theater is rumored to be extremely haunted. 

Theater-goers have witnessed cloudy apparitions roaming through the halls, orbs whizzing past the stage and see-through figures peering at them from the balconies. Other witnesses have claimed encounters with the spirit of a flirtatious woman, fully clad in 20th century clothing.


Theater employees leave a spotlight on each night, known as a ‘ghostlight’, to illuminate the stage for any lingering spirits who wish to dance and sing while the theater is quiet. Check out one of the theater’s many offerings, and you may just get two performances for the price of one.

#5 Billy's Bar and Grill 

Searching for the perfect comfort food joint? Look no further than the well-loved Billy’s Bar and Grill in Aberdeen. Dishes include chicken fried steak, seafood platters and the legendary ‘brick burger’ that will satiate even the largest of appetites. Patrons can enjoy the cozy atmosphere while daydreaming about the building’s storied past and all those who may have passed through it–including infamous local legend Billy Gohl. 

The haunted Billy's Bar and Grill
Photo Credit: Dread Central

During the 20th century, Billy held a respectable position as secretary of the local sailor’s union. After winning his constituents' hearts, speculation arose around Billy as his increasingly laissez faire administrative practices were all at the center of mysterious shootings, robberies, arsons and even murder.


Billy was eventually pinpointed as the mastermind behind these crimes and went to prison. But his story continues on as the namesake of Billy’s Bar and Grill. The restaurant doesn’t condone illegal behavior, but it does strive for a no-frills environment where everyone is welcome to have a boisterously good time–just as Billy would have wanted it. The paranormal phenomena that happens here is also lighthearted in nature.


Dishware flies off the shelves, the smell of smoke fills the air despite no lit cigarette and music suddenly blares when no one has touched the stereo. Come let your hair down alongside the disembodied guests’ on your next pass through the Olympic Peninsula.

Sarah Prentice Headshot

Sarah Prentice

Sarah Prentice (she/her) is a born and raised New Yorker who currently resides in Seattle. She enjoys adventuring all around Washington and soaking in mountain views wherever she can. When she's not traveling, she can be found nestled in a blanket burrito with her cat and a good book.

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