As always, it’s starting to get spooky in Port Gamble the closer it gets to Halloween.
The annual Ghost Walks run from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October (except Oct. 1, 2 and 22) including a special tour on Halloween where attendees are encouraged to dress up. Other dates run through April 2023.
Take a guided tour of Port Gamble highlighting the town’s history, paranormal experiences, and includes stops in the Walker-Ames House, Historic Museum, Post Office and the Buena Vista Cemetery. Join paranormal investigator and host of the Paranormal Pete Show, Pete Orbea, for an evening of history and ghostly experiences. View the dates and get tickets at www.portgambleparanormal.com.
I like to describe the Ghost Walk as a history tour with a lot of ghost stories. I also let tour attendees know to be ready as many paranormal experiences have happened during the tours. Participants must be age 16 or older; $25 per person.
On Oct. 31, adults can bring their little ghouls and goblins for an afternoon of SAFE Halloween fun and trick-or-treat Port Gamble businesses from 1-5 p.m.
Coming next month, from Nov. 11-13, is the 13th Annual Port Gamble Ghost Conference at the historic Port Gamble Theater. The conference is one of the longest-running of its kind on the West Coast and is suited for those simply interested in the paranormal to paranormal investigators.
The conference offers speakers from across the country. Sarah Lemos will be speaking and teaching again. She is known for being a cast member on Discovery and Travel Channel’s Ghosts of Morgan City and Ghost Town Terror.
The conference will offer classes, workshops and a Psychic Gallery Reading with Ankhasha Amenti. Throughout the weekend, there will be investigations in some of Port Gamble’s hot spots of paranormal activity like the Walker-Ames House.
Registration for all three days is $45/person, or get a one-day pass for $30. Go to www.portgamble.com/upcoming-events/ghost-conference for tickets.
The Annual North Kitsap favorite Roots Rock Run’s Spooky 12k takes place in haunted Port Gamble Oct. 30, where the hills aren’t the only scary part of this race. Dress up for this one, with the best costume contest to follow the race.
Run into the woods and follow the trail to see the old bears den before running back to town. Go to www.poulsborunning.com for race registration and details.
In other news
• Effective Oct. 1, fair trade store Tango Zulu Imports will go on winter hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. See www.tangozuluimports.com for details.
• Port Gamble Town Yard Sale will be Oct. 15-16. For more go to www.facebook.com/port.gamble.
• Port Gamble General Store & Cafe kicks off the holiday season with the 13th annual Holiday Open House Nov. 12-13. Stay tuned to www.portgamblegeneralstore.com to get all the details.
Bite-Size History: Buena Vista Cemetery
Arguably one of the most serene locations in the already tranquil little town of Port Gamble, Buena Vista Cemetery is on a hill overlooking the community, Gamble Bay and Hood Canal. It is encircled by a white picket fence. The cemetery was placed there as the location was considered “out of the town,” but the town grew up around the cemetery around the turn of the 20th century. Most of the unmarked gravesites were originally adorned with elaborately carved wooden markers.
Some of the tombstones seen today are believed to be carved from granite that came from Maine, where most of the town’s original residents hail from. The cemetery’s founding date is unknown, but in late 1870 a group of the town’s women were concerned over its shabby appearance and raised several hundred dollars at a needlework fair to hire men to fence and grade it. In 1945, the Puget Mill Co. contributed to efforts by the Masons and Oddfellows to do some restoration. Ongoing efforts are taking place to continue tombstone restoration along with weekly grounds upkeep.
Burials include many men, women and children from Maine. Other places of birth and records reveal a mix of nationalities that passed through Port Gamble. Kansas and North Carolina are represented along with Austria, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Prussia, Scotland and Sweden. Records show that the founding/leading families interred their dead elsewhere.
It is believed that the original chart of graves was lost or misplaced decades ago, however much work has gone into identifying as many known burials as possible. Efforts are ongoing to clean and restore as many headstones as possible. New interpretive signage has been placed along with markers identifying some of the unknown or illegible original grave markers.
Peter Orbea writes a monthly column for this newspaper about Port Gamble.