Ghosts of The Painful Past

These photos were taken at Northern State Hospital in Sedro Woolley, Washington. It was a psychiatric hospital for the mentally insane from 1902 – 1976. For years, there has been rumors and reports of ghost sightings and other paranormal activities. The place was even featured on the reality show, Ghost Hunters.

Needless to say, I was a little nervous when Mike and I did our photo walk around the area. While I didn’t see any ghosts, I noticed that some of the buildings were eerily quiet while others seem to fill with strange sounds and noises. Guess it could have been the pigeons or perhaps, it was just my imagination running wild…

At first I thought my camera had captured a ghost — then realized it was only a silhouette of Mike.

After walking through the buildings, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness for the pains and suffering the patients had endured — hoping that somehow they are finally at peace…

16 Comments on “Ghosts of The Painful Past

  1. Nice shot(s) Emily. Looks like you had a good photowalk.
    Love your PP on these shots and these shots seems to tell a story of being left out to ruin.

    I really like the way you have presented these in this blog post – going from outside, scenic setting of this building to getting down to details which seem to show the ruins of the building.

    Good work and thanks for sharing Emily.

  2. I agree with Jonathan, that the sepia tone, the black and white, the lack of color really add to the feel of the photos.


  3. Those photos of the hospital are really eerie. I don’t want to image the horrors of being confined there.

    • It was eerie at first and all kinds of images went through my mind but once I got past that and respect the place for what it was, my perspective changes for the better. Though, I still wouldn’t want to visit there after sundown. 😉

  4. I feel that same sadness upon viewing your photos and knowing what they once were. Thank you for the comic relief partway thru with the ghost image! Excellent touch ending with a thistle, Emily.

    • It was strange that I felt sad and later peaceful at the same time. I was hoping to tell a story of the place with the arrangement of the photos and felt the thistle was a good ending. Glad you noticed. Thank you Leslie. 🙂

  5. Great shots. I noticed the strange noises as well. Even on a bright sunny day I get a little creeped out there. But I keep going back.

  6. Glad you finally made it! We’ve spent a lot of time there. I love seeing your perspective on these buildings, and the decision to make these more of a sepia tone adds a certain element that goes well with your writing.

    • I’m glad I finally made it out there. It’s an interesting place to test ones nerves and composition skills. 😉

  7. Wow! Great shots and story to accompany them. Even without the words, the shots are very interesting. I really like the sepia toning, it really fits the age, and detail of the buildings. You’re a lot braver than I am, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to endure much of the ghost/paranormal vibe. I got spooked in one of the chateaux in France, Oiron, being the only person there and very strange sounds and modern art. Thanks for sharing these, very, very nice shots!

    • Thank you for the compliment Jonathon. 🙂 You know… I was very nervous at first because well… the ghost stories and movies we’ve been exposed to from the society. However… after a while, I felt at peace and realized that when you look past the broken down buildings. The area is actually very beautiful and tranquil place.

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