1,000 Haunted Measures | Out There Outdoors


“You know, these stairs are not in fact haunted,” the secretary says, eyeing me warily right after I acquire permission to wander the grounds. “Oh, I know,” I assure her, and myself. “I do not think in ghosts.”

The afternoon is so humid I can really feel its resistance, like I’m going the incorrect way down a 1-way street. The byzantine map the secretary gave me only tends to make me really feel additional lost. 

Though Spokane’s Greenwood Memorial Cemetery is scarcely 130 years young, it feels ancient. This is the way of woods. A sign in front of a thickly wooded region reads Non-endowment Section. This, I later understand, is exactly where you go if you want to be untrammeled, to seriously rest in peace, to be the most forgotten. 

In 1980 each single brass ornament—even the brass elk that stood atop the mausoleum—were unceremoniously pried off and sold for scrap by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks to aid spend off its substantial debts. This abandonment of the order’s fallen, and their after illustrious resting spot, is broadly regarded the supply of the haunting. 

Photo by Nick Thomas

I ultimately spot the stairs, hidden back in the woods a handful of yards. The staircase rises above me, significantly shorter than I’d imagined, and nowhere close to the mythic thousand—yet somehow far additional treacherous. I raise my camera to snap a image just as blurred shapes drift into view at the top rated. A person else is up there, the flash of a telephone points down the stairs. I begin to climb and attempt not to let the presence impact me. None of us are alone in this spot anyway.

Numerous methods are broken, and all are off kilter. Some are gone totally, swallowed by time, so that you have to stretch a bit to haul your self up. “There’s my exercise for the day,” I say to the 3 ladies who flitter about at the top rated. They smile hesitantly then drift away, not breaking their silence. 

A gray granite vault stands ahead of me, the backside covered in decades of graffiti. The front is remarkably clean and dominated by rusting gates. Constructed by the Elks about the turn of the final century, the mausoleum now stands as a monument to the excess of the Gilded Age. It is filled not with the bones of brothers, but rather sadly, discarded lawn care gear: coils of rotten hoses, splintered wheelbarrow handles, rusting t-posts. The brothers are scattered about in graves. Some inscriptions are lichen encrusted and rendered illegible. The air feels additional humid than I can ever recall, virtually suffocating. Each time I appear down at my notepad I really feel like I am becoming watched. When I appear up no 1 is there, save a sprinkler’s incessant shushing. It is at this point I take my leave, scurrying down the methods, feeling no need to have to count them. Ideal stick with 1,000. As I climb in my vehicle and begin the engine in 1 fluid motion, I comprehend there’s absolutely nothing like a brief stroll down a lengthy and crowded cemetery to be reminded of one’s mortality, or make 1 really feel additional alive.


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