by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
A good time was had by all. On Saturday night, we had a little halloween gathering up at Wellington – lots of paranormal investigators from a couple of different teams and some friends and family who we wanted to show the place to. For the most part, the weather even cooperated. There was some rain early on in the evening, but it passed quickly and the stars came out.
Wellington is changing. It appears it will get early snow this year. Already all of the treetops at the summit of Stevens Pass are dusted with snow. The trees have lost their leaves. There is ice on the bridges when the sun goes down. The river runs higher and a little faster. Winter is just around the corner, and when it comes, it will be months before we can return to visit our ghostly friends there. I’ve often thought about what they do in the winter when no humans come to visit for months on end. Do they become more active as the climate and terrain begins to match the conditions when they died? Do they come out and freely interact with one another like any family that has spent a long time together?
But I digress. I was telling you about Saturday night at Wellington. I have to tell you – I didn’t expect much by way of activity. There were quite a few people up there. We were having a good time. One of the NWPIA investigators, Tim Corr, even dressed up as glow stick man. Groups hung out in the snow shed laughing. Others hung around the camp fire. We barbecued. We placed candles on the bridges in the shed so that people didn’t trip. So really, I didn’t expect much, if anything at all.
My first couple trips down the snow shed seemed to confirm this. The oppressive heaviness that seems to be there when you are going to have an interesting night was absent. When we got there, Tanner and I hiked down alone (it was still daylight), just to sort of get a baseline feel for the place. It felt like a hiking trail on a cold October afternoon.
Later, still during daylight, I hiked down with another group of friends who wanted to take a look at the place, and then with another. Each trip was peaceful – nothing strange. I figured our friends who were there would think we were nuts in our reports of everything that happened up there.
As night fell, we got a little something to eat, and smaller groups started to head into the snow shed. Our good friends Larry and Leslie were there, along with their kids, Matthew and Mackenzie who have gone to Wellington with us before and had experiences. They were eager to show their parents just what could happen at Wellington, so we headed down the snow shed with them. We went mostly lights out. On the way in, we ran into Bert of NWPIA, Mike and his friend Clay on their way out. They said they’d heard a child’s voice down in Area 61, so the kids were hopeful that something would happen.
There were a few little experiences, which was surprising given the size of the pack in which we were traveling. Leslie heard someone say “turn on your light” just before she got to a bridge that wasn’t marked with a candle. She complied and spared Larry from going ass over tea kettle on the edge of the bridge. Leslie also kept hearing small, fast footsteps right behind her. Matthew heard someone whisper “It’s a train” in his ear. Just small things that let us know that maybe there’s something or someone there. As we walked up the path from the snow shed to the parking lot, both Leslie and I heard male voices behind us and to the left, but there was nothing there.
After I warmed up my butt by the fire, I walked down the snow shed alone with Mike. As we headed down the snow shed, we ran into a group from NWPIA by the overlook. They were taking “ghost photos” using a blue and green light, long slow exposures and fast moving people and having a great time doing it.
We stopped and hung out for a few minutes and got our own “ghost photos” taken before we moved on down the snow shed. As we walked, we spotted another group down past Area 61, also hanging out and having a good time. We stopped and gabbed with them for a few minutes, and then we turned and started the trek back up the snow shed. As we came off of the bridge at Area 61, I suddenly spotted something about ten yards in front of me. There was a little ambient light. I had my flash light pointed at the ground. The group behind us had a flashlight as well. It took a minute to register what I was seeing, and almost as soon as I did, it disappeared completely.
Standing in front of us was a 3-D figure. It looked like a man. He stood about 6′ tall and was facing us with his arms at his sides. He was very dark, so I couldn’t make out any features at all. I would have thought he was a shadow except for a few things. He was three dimensional and he was standing in the middle of the snow shed. It wasn’t a shadow against a post or projected along the floor of the snow shed. He was also solid – his form had much more density than the darkness around him. He was there for a moment and then disappeared as quickly as he’d appeared.
As soon as I figured out what it was I’d seen, I got chills all over my body. And then I got excited – because it was just too darn cool. The people behind us shone their light at us, and I looked at our shadows reflected in that light. They were elongated and distorted, projecting up along the support columns of the snow shed. Definitely not what I’d seen. I walked behind Mike and flashed my light all over him. Every time I did, his shadow was long and distorted – quite obviously a shadow. There was no 3-D element to it, and the shadow was very clearly that – a shadow. There was nothing solid or dense about it. I couldn’t recreate the tall, dark figure that was standing there and then gone. I’m pretty sure I saw a ghost.
We returned to the parking lot with no further incident, but at that point, I didn’t really need further incident. I was happy – that is by far the coolest thing I’ve ever seen at Wellington. I’ve seen shadows far away. I’ve seen flitting bands of darkness that are darker and more dense than the darkness in the snow shed. But this was different. This was a solid, dark form with height, depth and dimension right there in front of me.
The kids, of course, immediately wanted to head back down, so we went in a group again, the kids, their parents and me. This time it was quiet in the snow shed. There were no other teams – everyone was out by the fire. We walked all of the way down past area 61 when I noticed that Leslie was hanging back. All of a sudden she made an exclamation of surprise. When I asked what happened, she said that she’d heard something behind her – footsteps. She turned to look and cast a shadow on the pole of the snow shed. When she laughed at herself for being startled by her own shadow, something unseen gave two solid pats on her hand.
We walked all of the way down to the collapsed end of the snow shed, and then turned to head back. As we passed through Area 61, I felt and heard Leslie walking right behind my left shoulder. I figured she was sort of freaked out by her earlier experience, so she was sticking closer to the pack this time. She sighed right in my left ear. I turned to say something to her only to realize that she wasn’t there. She was about 10 yards behind – there was no one behind me and to the left.
All of the way out of the snow shed, I kept hearing footsteps behind us. So did Leslie. We kept turning to look and shine our flashlights, but of course there was nothing there. Leslie said that she actually felt as if something was pulling her back towards Area 61. We made it out of the snow shed without further incident.
That was it for our Saturday night at Wellington. While it wasn’t as active as I’ve experienced it before, there were certainly a few gems in there. That’s one of the things I love about the place. Besides being stunningly beautiful and peaceful no matter what the season, there is always some new experience that awaits you. Even when you think that nothing is going to happen, Wellington is ready to surprise you.
I’ve only been going to Wellington since July, but I feel a connection to it. It is a 3-1/2 hour drive from my home, but I don’t care. I will keep returning to Wellington because it calls to me when I am not there. I can feel it tugging at me, inviting me back. And so I return, and will continue to do so as long as it calls to me.
I don’t know much, but I know this. It is going to be a long winter, and I’ll be happy to return when the snow clears in June.
Want to know more about Wellington? Here are some links.
Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington website
Karen’s first trip to Wellington
Audio from Wellington
More audio from Wellington
More Wellington audio
Karen’s follow-up experience with Wellington
Return to Wellington
Picture of an apparition?
More Wellington audio anomalies
Another trip to Wellington
More EVPs and audio anomalies
The Children of Wellington
Enjoy reading Karen’s blog? Her new book, Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington> is now available. Click here to buy.