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Investigations
Manresa Castle













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A.G.H.O.S.T. Members involved

Ross, Patricia, Mark, Barbie, Dina, Dana, Cody, Glenn, Vorpral




























 
Location  Port Townsend, WA
 
Weather  Cold, Windy
 
Moon phase
 
Solar activity
 
Present inhabitants  Staff & guests
 
Past activity reported   Noises, poltergeist activity
 
Buildings age  1893
 
Anomalous EMF readings  none
 
Anomalous thermal readings  none
 
Activity found  Orbs in attic and ecto outside

History of Manresa Castle

 

One of the marvelous things about Washington State is how much of its Victorian heritage has been preserved for future generations. Many small towns have resisted the wrecking ball and worked to preserve their historical flavor. One such place is Port Townsend. Named by Capt. George Vancouver on his 1792 voyage to find the Northwest Passage, it was first settled in the early 1850s. Since 1927, the town has been called home to Port Townsend Paper.

 

Located at the tip of the Kitsap peninsula on a deep bay and a short ferry ride and drive from Seattle, Port Townsend shows modern day visitors what life what was like in a small turn of the century company lumber town. Its historic downtown business district, features many beautiful examples of Victorian commercial architecture, and before a fire in September of 2003, it was also home to one of the states oldest markets.   

 

The residential district stands atop a bluff overlooking the business section and Puget Sound. From here, one can see not only Whidbey Island, but also many truly outstanding examples of Craftsman, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Italianate, Third Empire, Eastlake, and Eclectic 19th Century styles, culminating in the massive Richardsonian Romanesque Jefferson County Courthouse.  The Victorian fascination with Europe and European castles got its start in the 1830s with the gothic writings of Lord Byron and Percy Shelly, and through the paintings and poetry of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Artists such as Dante Gabriel Rosetti, and his poet sister Christina were major influences on the Victorian imagination.

 

In 1858, a Prussian baker named Charles Eisenbeis arrived in Port Townsend and opened a bakery supplying crackers and bread to incoming vessels and sailors. Charles married his first wife Elizabeth in San Francisco in 1865. They lived in Port Townsend raising a family of four children until Elizabeths death in 1880. In 1882, Charles married for a second time. His bride was named Kate and she also bore him four children. With his fortunes on the rise, Charles started delving into other business ventures such as real estate, construction, banks, and stores. In 1878 the townspeople elected Charles the first mayor and he served for three terms.

 

In 1892, Charles commissioned A.S.Whiteway to design and build a home reminiscent of a German castle. By this time however, Charless

fortunes were at an ebb and with the loss of money financing a hotel in anticipation of the never completed Port Townsend Railroad he almost lost his entire fortune. Troubled finances aside, Charles went ahead with building his dream home, and construction was completed in late 1893. Standing three stories, with thirty rooms, and brick walls twelve inches thick and made from his own foundry, the house casts an imposing prescience on the surrounding landscape.

 

Charles let no detail escape his eye when it came to the interior design of his show place. Finished rooms featured oak paneling, which is quite unusual in a house in that time and place. Three fireplaces coal burning fireplaces warmth on long and cold winter days. More fireplaces are believed to exist in the structure, but as yet have not been located. Charles and Kate lived in Eisenbeis Castle as it was called in town for 20 years until Charles death in 1902. True to his status as one of the richest men in town, his is the largest gravesite in nearby Laurel Grove Cemetery. Kate remarried a few years later and moved out of the castle. She died in 1955 and was cremated. Her ashes now lay next to Charles.

 

For twenty years, the house stood vacant and empty save for a lone caretaker. In 1925, an attorney from Seattle bought the home with the intentions of using it as a vacation spot for nuns who taught in the Catholic schools. Monetary and location problems lead to the abandonment of the plan and the house was sold in 1927 to the Society of Jesus, to be used as a training school for 16th year students. The Jesuits built a structure in back of the main house in 1928. The mansard roofed structure held bedrooms and a chapel. Due to the unusual contrasts between the brick main house and stucco addition, the entire house was stuccoed-over in the late 19020s to give the house a more uniform appearance. It was also at this time, the house acquired its name of Manresa from the birthplace of the founder of the order, St. Ignatius Loyola who was born in 1491 in Loyola, Spain.

 

From 1928 until 1968 the priests called Manresa Castle home. In 1968 the house was sold due to cost of upkeep, and turned into a hotel. Since 1968 there have been three owners of Manresa Castle.

 

In the early 1990s stories started to come out about supposed haunting of the Castle by two different ghosts. The first is the tale of a priest driven to madness after committing a cardinal sin. In his despair, he is said to have taken refuge in a room in the left tower. It was here, that the story tells us that he made his peace with death, and after begging God for forgiveness, slung a rope over a beam and hung himself. The second story is that of a young woman who was staying in the hotel sometime in the 1970s or 80s. She occupied room 306 and was said to be waiting for a lover to come, but he never showed. In her agony and pain, she threw herself from the window and onto the pavement below.

 

Upon research for this article, the author contacted Manresa Castle and spoke with a gentleman named Roger. According to information given by him, the stories of the lady and the priest are false and actually fictitious. About 10 or so years ago, the Castle employed a bartender who, tired of the constant badgering from tourists and visitors, concocted the stories to amuse them.

 

However, Roger did mention that strange things do go on in the castle. Footsteps and the sounds of walking on the floor are heard, lights turn of and off by themselves and the sounds of music are heard. Stories of toilets flushing in the middle of the night are also heard. Although pictures of orbs and ectoplasm, have been taken by AGHOST members, and a psychic was filmed for the series Ghost Stories starring Patrick Macnee, Roger was adamant that the lady and the priest are just fables.

 

But who are the ghosts of Manresa Castle? Perhaps its Charles, or one of his two wives, or his children. Until further investigation by AGHOST, we may never know.

-Wolf C., Director of Research 






The group was very excited and anxious about the investigation of Manresa Castle in Port Townsend, WA.

We were all familiar with the stories of the Monk who hung himself in the tower above room #302, and that of the woman named Kate, who jumped out of the window of room #306 to her death.

Joining in this investigation were Ross, Patricia, Mark, Barbie, Dina, Dana, Cody, our newest members, Joel and Glenn, as well as Dinas boyfriend, Gary and a fellow filmmaker of Cody named Ben.

We all arrived in Port Townsend at about 2:00 pm on Saturday, March 9, 2002. While waiting to check into our rooms, #302 and #306, the reported haunted rooms, we wandered around the castle, taking pictures and, basically, getting a feel for the place.

At about 2:30, we were notified that our rooms were clean and ready, so we unloaded our gear from our cars and climbed the stairs to the third floor.

Upon entering room #302, Barbie felt a definite energy in the middle of the room, which is located directly under the tower attic.

It was decided that we would all get settled in our rooms, then meet downstairs in the parlor at 3:00 pm to go over the itinerary, which was arranged by Ross and Cody.

At that time, it was decided that we would break into two groups, one led by Ross and one led by Patricia. We would each cover areas of the castle, inside and out, and then meet back in the parlor to discuss what we discover.

At about 3:30 pm, both groups gathered back in the parlor to discuss their feelings. Most felt definite energies in areas of the castle. Barbie especially felt a presence in the banquet room, which appeared to be designed similarly to a photo of a chapel that was hanging on the wall. Here, she claims to have heard the sound of chanting.

The next item on the itinerary was an interview with Roger O'Conner, the manager of Manresa Castle. Much to our disappointment, Roger stated in the interview that the stories of the Monk and Kate were not true. He stated that they were made up by a bartender, about 8 years prior, because he was tired of saying I dont know when people would ask about the identity of the castle ghosts.

Following the interview, Roger showed us the basement and then, basically gave us free reign to check out the castle.

A few members decided to check out the attic, in which a stationary video camera was to be set up after dark.

At about 8:00 pm, the camera was placed in the attic by Ross and Cody. Upon doing so, an orb was almost immediately captured on video which, though not extremely bright, came directly toward the camera.

The rest of the evening consisted of relaxing, walking around the castle taking pictures and video , and checking for EMF readings.

At about 11:00pm, we all sat down in room #302 to attempt a seance, led by Barbie. A Ouija board was placed in the middle of the table and a tape recorder was set up, in an attempt at an EVP.

The seance went on for about 25 minutes, but was unsuccessful, though a few orbs were reported to be seen in the room, near the light fixture on the ceiling above the bed.

It was then decided that the attic would be checked out, once again. Two groups of 4 or 5 would go up, one at a time, to investigate.

With the stationary camera running, the first group climbed the stairs to the dark attic. After a few minutes, they returned and the second group, which included Mark with the video camera, made their way up.

After a few minutes of scanning the attic, activity was noticed in an area to the right of the hot water heaters. This area contained boxes of Christmas ornaments, as well as other misc. items, including a white iron end table, with a glass top. The activity was centered around this area. In a five minute time span, five small, very bright orbs were caught on video. They were all very active and jumped across the video screen from different directions.

After locking up the attic, several members decided that it was time to call it a night. Those of us remaining went downstairs to the lobby where we spoke with Jim, the night clerk. He told of many strange incidents witnessed while working the night shift, such as a mirror on the wall near the front desk, which one night, suddenly fell to the floor. A grandfather clock in the parlor, which had not worked in many years, suddenly chimed. Hearing doors in the hallway of the first floor opening and closing, when upon inspection, there proved to be no one around.

The stories peaked our curiosity and we decided to take one last walk around the castle and the grounds outside, hoping to discover something.

After scouting the outside of the Castle for half an hour or so, we all decided it was time to turn in and, though the stories that originally intrigued us to check out the castle turned out to be false, we still agree that there is definitely something present at Manresa Castle. We hope to return again and continue the investigation further.

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to see ghostly photos from the investigation