Local hospital offers historic ghost tours

Tour guide said many have reported supernatural occurrences over the year


EZEKIEL NELSON | The Daily Evergreen

An worn down, abandoned room inside the St.Ignatius Hospital in Colfax.

JONATHAN VILLANUEVA, Evergreen reporter

From an old brick framework to boarded up windows, Colfax has its very own scary attraction in St. Ignatius Hospital, a local favorite that sells out tours every Halloween season.

Valoree Gregory, director of Colfax Chamber of Commerce and tour guide, was born in the hospital and has noticed many strange occurrences over the past three years of tours.

The “residents” within the hospital still stay there, she said.

While on a tour with psychics from Coeur D’Alene and Spokane, Gregory said the psychics detected an entity in one of the rooms.

On the third floor of the hospital, in what used to be the nurse’s station, now nicknamed the kids’ room, Gregory said there was a little girl-like entity that would be angry with her because her dolls would not be there.

“Somebody had told us that there is a little girl sitting in the corner,” Gregory said.

EZEKIEL NELSON | The Daily Evergreen
A lone table and chair inside one of the rooms of the abandoned St.Ignatius Hospital in Colfax.

She said that before she was a tour guide, the previous tenant left a large amount of furniture, including the toys, in the building. When she was doing rounds, she entered the room and removed all the furniture and toys.

Each tour is a different experience, she said. Every time she brings in tourists, it’s a different reaction.

Gregory said the hospital was built in 1893 by the Sisters of Providence. There was no medical care nearby, with the next closest facility in Spokane.

“This was the only hospital in Whitman County,” Gregory said. “So all of the births and all of the deaths were here.”

St. Ignatius Hospital was closed down in 2003 due to financial complications, she said, and reopened in late 2015 for ghost tours.

In downtown Colfax, there are other haunted attractions besides St. Ignatius, Gregory said, like the masonic temple, an abandoned doctor’s office and a boarding house.

Thus far, Gregory said, she has had several paranormal investigative television shows ask to film the hospital. One of them, the second season of Paranormal Lockdown, had a run-in with one of the ghosts, she said.

“[The producer] jumped,” Gregory said, “because somebody hit him on the back hard.”

For the non-believers, Gregory said they would just appreciate the history of the building.

“I think everyone has enjoyed the tours,” She said.

Gregory said she sold 7,500 tickets in eight hours and that the tours continue until the end of November.

The community of Colfax, for the most part, embraces the supernatural and loves how it brings in more tourists each year, Gregory said.