You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Haunted Places :: Water Street

Real Ghost Stories

Water Street


There is a neighborhood called Peaceful Valley not far from downtown Spokane, Washington. It is indeed a valley, in the lowest part of the city downstream from the famous "Falls" of the Spokane river. It was established in the late 1800's as an area of modest, small affordable houses built primarily by the Scandinavian working-class emigrants. Many of these homes were diminutive bare-bones "shotgun" houses with few fanciful decorations or amenities, and were built very close together on small lots. The area doesn't seem to receive its fair share of sunshine, and definitely seems to have a "feeling" about it. In the 1970's, it came to be known as a sort of "hippie" community, largely inhabited by the counterculture--and the go-to neighborhood to go shopping for items not available over-the-counter at the local drugstore!

I've heard that Spokane and Seattle lay claim to being among the most haunted cities in Washington State, and Spokane has no shortage of documented paranormal activity. It should be noted that history shows that white settlement in the area was less than kind to the Native population, where many bloody battles were fought. There are thought to be several ancient burial grounds that were developed over in the pioneering days of the city. The great river running through town (formerly a noted salmon fishing area to the indigenous population) is the subject of much folklore and paranormal mystique, and has claimed many lives over the years. The nearby Monroe St. Bridge has long been the go-to for suicidal jumpers (the bridge itself is said by some to be haunted), and not far downstream at the confluence with another small river is said to harbor all manner of whim-whams, itself being a noted Native burial ground. PV is located between the two. Looming above is the towering Maple St. Bridge, built in the late 1950's to connect the two tall riverbanks. It's my understanding that a worker fell to his death during its construction, and again during restoration work some years back.

On to my story: there is a short street adjacent to the river called Water Street (technically Water Avenue; we've always called it Water Street as there was once a punk band of the same name). It was here that once stood, off the street and towards the river, a casket factory. Long since closed, it remained a creepy boarded-up abandoned building that scared kids and made for much speculation before finally being razed decades later.

Many years ago, a friend (an ex-GF, actually) rented a house with some other girls almost directly under the MSB (a dropped hammer once fell through the roof during the aforementioned bridge reconstruction). I can't recall if the coffin shop was still extant at that time. Built in 1900, it was a dumpy, ramshackle (and cheap) affair, built on to over the years into a long, rectangular structure that extended back on the lot with the rear coming very close to the water. It was rumored that it was once a house of ill-repute of some sort or the other, and definitely seemed to carry some air of bad ju-ju to it.

This was known to be a bit of a "party house," and once a friend and I were relaxing there, smoking pot and having a brewski. The only ones in the room at the time, we were sitting facing each other on couches set 90 degrees to each other along the walls at a corner in the front living room. Suddenly, out of nowhere and without warning, we heard an unexplainable, fairly loud (and quite frightening) sound equidistant between us. While we saw nothing, we both stared directly at the source of the noise, which I pictured in my mind as a miniature tornado about 18" or so high emanating from the floor. The cacophony had a definite swirling quality to it, accompanied by an evil growling/snarling sort of noise. I've since described it as sounding like "A garbage disposal from hell."

Visibly startled, we recoiled in wide-eyed disbelief. My buddy looked at me aghast, and said "What the **** was that?! Was that you, dude?" Both silently knowing it was not, we hurriedly vacated the premises. Granted, we were less than sober, but no amount of impairment would've caused anything like what we simultaneously witnessed! You can imagine how my hand flew to my mouth some years later when I learned what a Vortex was.

Several years later, another close friend moved back to town after being away for a few years, and temporarily stayed with another mutual friend of ours who happened to live in the neighboring house a couple hundred yards to the east, past where the (now gone) casket factory stood. This small house actually stood next door to a quaint home featured in an on-set location for the 1990's Johnny Depp movie "Benny and Joon."

Not long after moving in, he was alone in the house when he heard a faint, crackling static noise and the kind of "wheeeee-ooo" modulation sound when tuning in an old AM or ham radio, and made out what he described as an "old-timey newsreel/broadcasting voice" fading in and out but managed to clearly pick up the phrase, "We got a jumper on the Maple St. Bridge!" before vanishing as quickly as it came.

He was understandably a bit freaked out, and set about locating a possible source... He examined the stereo, which was confirmed to be turned off. He grappled with the idea of relating the story to his roommate, and finally did so. Their faces both turned a bit white when he replied, "Dude--the same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago!" Same phrase and everything.

The latter was a second-hand story, but I've no reason to doubt it, especially being in such close proximity to my first-hand experience. Understandably, the whole neighborhood (and that block in particular) kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies! I'm eager to hear of any other unexplained phenomenon in the region.

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from Washington

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, SteveW, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

SilenceRecited (2 stories) (4 posts)
1 year ago (2023-03-30)
I've been reading a book by an author named Keith Linder. He has had experiences with a poltergeist for years in a house near Seattle. He has a YouTube channel with videos about his experiences as well. It might interest you to check them out. The book is called The Bothell Hell House.
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
1 year ago (2023-03-12)
Hi Steve,

I wonder if this is a case of chaos building upon chaos. Where the spirits, energy, vortexes, whatever is there, grows stronger because of the energy being fed in, a mixture of the land's brutish history with white settlers and natives, then in more modern times superstition and fear from the locals, can imagine the odd ouija board session taking place, neglect from local government, before you know it you got a paranormal hotspot.

That sound must have been wild, I can understand why you'd be looking into vortexes. The crackling radio messages are a definite theme in haunted locations, this site is full of descriptions of static sounds/messages/songs. Don't have much to else to add, just to say yep, it's a thingπŸ™ƒ

Thanks for sharing.
Sleeping-with-steve (guest)
1 year ago (2023-02-08)
Hello SteveW,

I'd love to see your images. Val has explained how to share your images and given you a link of sites to upload them to.

It's hard capturing anything in most cases, but you're lucky enough to have done that.

I enjoyed reading your posts and I'm really looking forward to seeing those images when you upload them.

Best wishes,
Linjahaha (24 stories) (137 posts)
1 year ago (2023-01-27)
Steve, I agree that the power sub-station 'may' have something to do with it.
I lived in a haunted house-The House on Erie Road. A story I submitted last year. There was an electrical sub-station located about 50-70 yards from the house in the wooded area behind the house.
We had strange, & downright alarming things happening all the time.
I'll be very interested to know what else you have the opportunity to learn about the area.
Very good read! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰
Pelatiah (4 stories) (74 posts)
1 year ago (2023-01-27)
Poverty Flats... I looked at Google Earth & it should be prime real estate from a modern development perspective, near the river, closer to in town. You've gotta wonder if there is an overall "feeling" that goes with the area that's sort of turned people off/away over the decades. (or flooding?) Bet that casket company wasn't a huge selling point for a mall developer though...
valkricry (49 stories) (3275 posts) mod
1 year ago (2023-01-26)
You can upload your images to a photo sharing site and drop the URL here in comments.
Here's a list of free sites for 2023:
SteveW (1 stories) (3 posts)
1 year ago (2023-01-26)
Pelatiah - ironically (forgot to include this in the original story), the area was originally referred to as "Poverty Flats."
Apparently, the real-estate marketers thought something a little more positive was in order, hence the adoption of the "Peaceful Valley" moniker!
Pelatiah (4 stories) (74 posts)
1 year ago (2023-01-26)
Funny, something we do in America (the country I love). We name things like "Peaceful Valley" on turbulent sites. We have a neighborhood here my kids & I have always laughed at. The builder clear cut acres for 200 homes & then named it "Shady Oaks."

It makes sense that there are places though where dark events of the past influence the atmosphere. Savannah, GA (all that yellow fever), Atlanta (where I live, Civil War battles everywhere in our modern neighborhoods)... I can't even imagine what it's like living in Old Europe!

The vortex thing is weird though, I'm going to look that up.
Rajine (14 stories) (797 posts)
1 year ago (2023-01-26)
Hi SteveW

It's not surprising that certain places are overwhelming with ghostly/supernatural activity, especially when those places have terrible history of bloodshed and death attached to it, I have this theory that such places are a feeding ground for inhuman, demonic entities, because of the violence associated with it.
SteveW (1 stories) (3 posts)
1 year ago (2023-01-26)
...I also found some creepy old photos of the first house (as well as the casket factory) but am unable how to attach images.
If anyone is interested in them, I may be able to pass them along privately.
SteveW (1 stories) (3 posts)
1 year ago (2023-01-26)
Update: been doing a little more research now that this is again on my mind.
Not coming up with much whilst researching vortexes, but this jumped out at me (from
"One belief is that portals most frequently form near
A body of water, whereas others say that sources of
Energy such as power lines can cause a vortex to
Open. There are also links between portals and
And also:
"There are also claims that certain sounds can be a
Sign that you are near a vortex, often a buzz or a
I pulled up a satellite view on g-earth, and sure enough - almost directly above the 2nd house in the story was a large high-tension power line leading across the river to a substation there.

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: