Pete Orbea poses for a photo in front of one of the many fireplaces inside the Walker-Ames House in Port Gamble. Nick Twietmeyer | Kitsap News Group.

Pete Orbea poses for a photo in front of one of the many fireplaces inside the Walker-Ames House in Port Gamble. Nick Twietmeyer | Kitsap News Group.

In Port Gamble, one man chases ghosts

“Hello,” said Pete Orbea as he opened the door to Port Gamble’s historic Walker-Ames house, despite the residence being uninhabited. Still, Orbea announces his presence when entering the house for the benefit of what he calls “our long-term residents.”

Orbea leads ghost walks, paranormal investigations and organizes an annual ghost conference through Port Gamble Paranormal. Built in 1888, the Walker-Ames house, Orbea said, is home to a number of different apparitions and is one of the stops on his ghost walks. According to Orbea, the location is bustling with paranormal activity. He estimated that any given tour passing through the house has about a 50 percent chance of encountering some manner of paranormal event.

Disembodied voices, ethereal figures, shadows darting from room to room, footsteps, and the opening and closing of locked doors, Orbea said, have all been — and continue to be — reported at the Walker-Ames house.

“Ive been doing research and investigations for about eight years now,” Orbea said. “I’ve just had so many experiences in this house that I guess you’d say I’m a believer.”

Orbea relayed one of his more harrowing experiences, wherein he said the apparition of a woman appeared before him as he led a group through the house. Just as all of the members of the group noticed the woman, the spirit vanished.

“We all saw her,” Orbea said. “The group wanted to go outside, because they were freaked out.”

“You could feel her. You could feel that her energy was here. It was very staticky,” he added.

Orbea also says the ghost of a young girl has contacted groups passing through the house.

“There’s a little girl known to be in the house. Her name’s Annabelle, at least that’s what she said her name is,” Orbea said before taking out his cellphone and playing an audio recording of what he maintains is Annabelle talking to paranormal investigators.

The Walker-Ames house sprawls with an old Victorian aesthetic, and the drafty house’s many cold spots speak to the obvious necessity of its numerous fireplaces.

The fall months often enshroud the house and the surrounding town of Port Gamble in a thick fog, thereby adding an ominous element to an already eerie location. Coinciding appropriately with this time of year is the Port Gamble Ghost Conference, which promises three days of classes, paranormal investigations and psychic readings from Nov. 16-18.

Those who wish to attend the Ninth Annual Port Gamble Ghost Conference may purchase tickets at Ghost Walk tours and more in-depth investigations of the house may be booked at

—Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at

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