Don’t camp in spooky houses, malevolent spirits will kick you out

Night in empty, rundown house turned dark quick during seance with ghosts



The exterior of the abandoned Hamilton House on Saturday in Colfax, Washington, looms in the darkness before Evergreen employees entered. With the intention to stay until the witching hour, the on-scene clairvoyant attempted to ask why the spirits are inhabiting the house. However, the spirits became agitated and the group was driven out of the house.

ZACH GOFF, Evergreen reporter

The Halloween season started early for Johanna Matthynssens, a junior environmental major at WSU, when she and Mia Giglio, local clairvoyant, hosted a seance at one of Giglio’s favorite abandoned houses Saturday night.

Giglio, an English major at University of Idaho, has communicated with spirits for about a year. As an empath, or someone who experiences the nuanced emotions of others, they’ve felt spiritual connections all their life.

“An empath has been described as somebody who has a hard time differentiating between their own energies and other people’s energies until they start learning and practicing with it,” Giglio said.

We planned to stay the night in the abandoned house. Giglio said they wanted to talk to any of the spirits that were still there in a respectful, educational way.

“At first it was really fun and interesting because it didn’t feel scary,” Matthynssens said.

The building plays host to the spirits of Ed and Vivian, who we felt in the house with us.

“I was excited when Ed came through because he usually doesn’t like talking much,” Giglio said.

During the seance, a third entity joined the group. The spirit attached itself to Matthynssens.

“I’ve been haunted since I was 8 by a ghost wearing a bowler hat,” Matthynssens said.

Giglio did mention she realized multiple spirits had latched onto Matthynssens and called her a magnet.

“A magnet is somebody that acts as a catalyst,” Giglio said, “someone that has a very strong energy that draws in other things.”

Matthynssens didn’t know this about herself prior to this experience, so she was startled by the events of the night. She was even more horrified to have her suspicions confirmed.

“I was freaking terrified,” Matthynssens said. “I did not sleep that night.”

The rest of the night was primarily focused on this new entity, which was definitely the same spirit from Matthynssens’ childhood.

“The whole place is creepy,” Matthynssens said. “When we first got there and were talking to Vivian, it was fun. [Then] we were talking to Ed and then all of a sudden the energy got even darker.”

Giglio also noticed this energy shift and commented on the house’s energy in general, which they said contained one of the heaviest-feeling energies they’d found at a house still safe for people to camp out in. The room also dropped several degrees when the energy darkened.

“We could see our breath at one point and we checked, and the temperature was 53 [degrees],” Matthynssens said. “I could see [Giglio]’s breath, which was the terrifying thing. I was so, so cold.”

Matthynssens went around the property taking photos and videos, hoping to catch the infamous orbs that are known to appear in photos of haunted dwellings.

Only one photo caught any evidence of these supernatural sightings. When she tried to export the videos, Matthynssens found the files were corrupted.

“Part of me doesn’t believe it,” Matthynssens said. “It’s a really weird contradiction inside me right now.”

While Matthynssens was unsure of the events of the evening, Giglio said the night went exactly as expected, apart from the intensity of the Bowler Hat Ghost.

“It was cool to be able to talk to Jojo [Matthynssens] and see her energies come through since you never know exactly what’s going to happen,” Giglio said.

Giglio had some advice for people who want to try and communicate with spirits.  First, don’t do it in a place where people live. Start small with how you talk to them.

“Ouija boards are very serious, I wouldn’t even mess with one because I’m not experienced enough, so just don’t,” Giglio said.

Giglio also said searching abandoned places may be fun, but it’s dangerous. Bring masks, gloves and heavy boots. If you see needles or other drug substances, leave immediately. Above all else, respect the area.

“Don’t disrespect and trash these places,” Giglio said. “It ruins it for people like me who want to go and document the place and leave as little of a mark as possible.”

Earlier in the week, I spoke with fellow Cougs about whether they’d had any of their own spooky encounters. Here’s what they said:

 Sean Fischer, freshman psychology major

“Back home I was showering, minding my own business and I noticed all of the lights starting to flicker. Then out of nowhere they all shut off and the bathroom door opened and slammed shut. I thought it was my family but when I got out of the shower the house was empty.”

Sohye Jang, junior nursing major

“So it’s not about ghosts, but I did have sleep paralysis one time. I was taking a nap during my free period in high school and I heard the bell ring to dismiss everyone for the day. My eyes opened but my body couldn’t move. I felt like someone glued my entire body to the couch. I can hear my phone ringing because people were trying to contact me to come to soccer practice but my body still wouldn’t move. It got really hard to breath for a bit and the next thing I knew I fell back asleep for five minutes and when I woke up I was fine.”

Taya Boston, junior elementary education

“When I was younger my parents and I went and stayed the night in an old mining town in Nevada called Virginia City. We ended up staying in this haunted hotel just to see if we’d see anything.

“My aunt and my cousin were with us too and we got rooms that were conjoining.

“We ended up sleeping on the floor because the beds were small so my cousin and I didn’t fit on them with our parents. My cousin and I went up to the hotel room to get something and when we were going to leave, the conjoined door between the two rooms slammed shut, even though there was no wind or windows open.

“After we had fallen asleep we both woke up at the same and heard footsteps right outside our door. We both got up and looked and there was no one outside. We closed the door and then we started hearing it again.

“We know it wasn’t people because one of the rooms next to us aren’t allowed to have guests and there was no one else staying in the rooms near us. So we kept hearing them but we couldn’t see any shadows of footsteps. Then they ended up stopping for a while. But like an hour later started again and they stopped at the door so we opened it and no one was there.”