Visitors to the basement at the Asotin County Museum are greeted by a coffin, complete with mannequin.
ASOTIN - The Asotin County Museum certainly offers an educational experience.
And it also may offer a place for inhabitants of the spirit world to reside.
One thing is for sure, the museum holds many interesting items. There are fashions from the turn of the 20th century, Civil War discharge papers signed by Abraham Lincoln...and a special guest.
“We have a ghost – definitely,” claims museum President Jo Anne Miller. “The ghost haunts the museum's basement, scaring off dogs. Dogs will not go down there. They will stop at the steps and that's it.”
For over 30 years many who came down the stairs weren't alive and one might have left his or her spirit behind. That's because the museum used to be a funeral home and the basement is where the embalming was done.
“Harry Merchant had built this into a mortuary and it was a funeral home for many years,” says Miller.
The museum took over the space in 1972, but the former owners left a couple of morbid items behind.
“We have a casket down there that has a mannequin in it.” “The kids all get really excited over that.”
There is also a wicker carrying basket which was used to bring bodies out of homes to the mortuary.
Miller says she's never felt scared in the basement and believes the ghost is friendly and gives off a warm feeling.
And because children are so intrigued by the ghost, the museum is holding a “Name Our Ghost” contest.
“We've had 12 children come in and name it and there is going to be a prize for the children when we name it and we are going to let a Ouija board decide the winner,” said Miller.
When asked if she knew if the ghost were male or a female, Miller said no one seems to know.
“We don't. We really won't until the Ouija board decides by the name.”
If you would like to meet the ghost and check out a wealth of history, the museum is open from 12 to 4 Monday through Saturday and will take your suggested names through July 15.