Spirits of Sycamore Square
Not everyone in Fairhaven believes in the supernatural. April McAllister, building manager of Sycamore Square on Harris Street, says she doubts the existence of ghosts. She does, however, recognize the peculiar occurrences she has witnessed during her six years at Sycamore Square.
“I’m always hearing noises like people are working in the back office, but no one is there,” McAllister says.
One day several people at work asked McAllister if the ghosts had been acting up; she replied they had not. When she went back to her office, she was stunned to see her chair across the room.
“It was like the ghosts were saying, ‘Oh yes, we are here!,’” McAllister says.
Earlier this year, the Washington State Ghost Society did an investigation of the building and found evidence suggesting the presence of ghosts. The investigative team found sharp changes in temperature, heard electronic devices which sounded like microwave timers and a fax machine going off by themselves throughout the empty building, and recorded supernatural sounds on a tape.
Two members of the team searched the building but heard nothing. The special electronic voice phenomena recorder, though, told a different story. It had captured on tape the eerie sounds of a howl and a woman’s voice singing.
A Daunting Past
Anna Williams, employee at The Fairhaven Pub and Martini Bar, says she believes rebellious spirits of people who populated the district in the early 1900s haunt Fairhaven.
“It was wild and wicked here it was all the no-nos,” Williams says.
Taimi Dunn Gorman, owner of Gorman Publicity and co-founder of the Colophon Café and Doggie Diner, also believes the ghosts are a part of Fairhaven’s unruly past.
“Fairhaven, at the turn of the century, was extremely energetic,” Gorman says. “When you have a place where a lot of people have lived and died, there’s a lot of energy.”
Some of this energy could reside in the pub and martini bar. Williams says the ghost of a woman haunts the building, and although she has never seen her, she can sense her.
“We wouldn’t be surprised if the ghost was one of the madames who used to work here,” Williams says. “She just didn’t want to give up all the fun.”
The spirits that might have haunted the former Doggie Diner, now Mannino’s Italian Restaurant, did not have as much fun as those up the street at the pub and martini bar.
The diner was originally the site of Benton’s Bath Parlor and Tonsorial Palace, where people went to get their tonsils removed. Many Doggie Diner employees complained of hearing babies crying upstairs, Gorman says. She imagines children died while having their tonsils removed, and now their spirits haunt the building.
Although the disturbances were unsettling, Gorman says she is at peace with the presence of ghosts. She accepts them as a unique part of the old buildings in Fairhaven.
“If you work in Fairhaven, you just kind of get used to it,” Gorman says. “It comes with any Fairhaven building. You’ve got your lights, your heat and your ghost.”
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