25 Nov 2010
Is The Old Hotel haunted or not? You be the judge
By Bob Kirkpatrick
The have been analyzed, the data processed and the results confirmed and there does seem to be some sort of entity inhabiting The Old Hotel Art Gallery.
“There is definitely at the hotel,” Denise Ottosen, lead inquisitor with the Pacific Northwest Paranormal Investigators, said. “We had all sorts of personal experiences … saw shadows and have some impressive voice recordings. All of this shows us there is definitely one or more presence here.”
Ottosen stopped short of saying The Old Hotel Art Gallery is actually haunted, but paranormal happenstance is going on. Although the terms haunted and paranormal are often with conjuring up ghostly or spiritual beings, the two have different implications all together.
She said the general public will say “haunted” when there is any sort of paranormal activity going on and that’s OK with them, but they try to be very in the final written report. Both terms signify there is activity at a specific location, but the group of investigators only use the word “haunted” if they have a overwhelming evidence to back it up.
Sally Laufer stands in front of The Old Hotel Art Gallery. File photo.
“We have no problem with it at all,” she said. “We were trying to indicate in the report we didn’t get as much objective evidence as we would have liked to to assign that term. But, there is no reason why you can’t say it’s haunted.”
The paranormal investigative team from Moses Lake conducted their search for the elusive entities in May, after researching an article published in September 2009 regarding unwanted guests in residence at The Old Hotel and Art Gallery.
“When they called me in February, I told them about all the strange things going on here,” Sally Laufer, manager of The Old Hotel Art Gallery, said. “So they decided to come and check it out.”
Some of those strange things included the motion detector alarm bell going off several times a day on the first floor of the building while Sally was upstairs in her office and when no one else was in the place.
“It went off about 20 times,” she said. “I thought someone was playing a joke on me so I yelled out some not so pleasant words at whomever or whatever was doing it. I finally had to turn the thing off.”
She also said she’s felt a strong presence in her office and in the hallway leading into the cafe area. Some of her former volunteers refused to go down in the basement.
“They’d open the door and start down the stairs but would turn right back around and say they didn’t want to go down there,” Laufer said.
Rumor has it former owner Benjamin Deodies Curry 17-year-old Errol Tucker in the early 70s after a dispute over lack of payment for services rendered (the place used to be a house of ill repute) and chopped up his body and fed it to the pigs he was keeping in the basement.
Curry was with first-degreee murder and sentenced to 20 years in the state penitentiary in Walla Walla.
Haunted or not, there hasn’t been much in the way of paranormal activity since the investigation took place.
“The ghosts had been relatively quiet since the cafe has in August,” Laufer said. “But just the other day, I swear I saw someone standing outside my office door and when I got up to take a closer look, whomever or whatever it was vanished right before my eyes. It was kind of creepy.”
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