In Which There Is A Haunted Castle

Three years after my father passed away, Gentle Reader, my mother finally decided that she was ready to scatter his ashes. He had always dreamed of being a mountain man, and there was a spot in the mountains where he and my uncle had used to go hunting. Thus it was that we set out for Port Townsend, where that branch of the family lives, to scatter him. When we arrived, it turned out that we couldn’t get access; the roads and trails were still closed for the winter. Port Townsend is several hours from home, for us; we decided to stay the night, and visit the relatives.

In this case, of course, that didn’t mean stay with them. My aunt and cousins were living in a beautiful, tiny house – crazy pinks and sea-foam greens and oranges, inside and out, with ceilings only barely six-foot high, and while cozy, there are larger studio apartments. My uncle was unavailable, as well, and even if he were available, he was living with his twenty-six year old ex-girlfriend, her husband, and a couple of babies. Maman and I noticed the castle on the hill, laughed, and discovered that it was a hotel.

Manresa1

They’ve expanded the place since this photo

Not only was Manresa Castle a hotel, it was purportedly haunted. There was some girl who thought that her fiance was lost at sea, so she committed suicide, and a priest hanged himself in one of the towers. I stopped reading the brochure at that point, because we were about to meet Auntie L. and my cousins for cocktails in the castle’s lounge. Which looks like this:

bar-in-the-castle-keys

Sorry, it was the best photo I could get from the Internet.

The cousins come and go quickly, but promise to meet up with us later on, downtown: one of them has a gig with his fairly successful band, and the other has to pick his girlfriend up from work. My aunt and her best friend – who is gay, incidentally, and with whom she was trying to set me up – stay, and we’re having quite a pleasant time of it.  Well, we were, but after six Manhattans, Maman is a little less charming than usual. Just about exactly when I was about to disappear for a stroll with my aunt’s friend, Maman falls off of her bar stool, ensuring that she gets cut off – especially when she tried to blame the ghosts.

angry_ghost_BW

It’s rather possible that this entire blog is about nothing but ghosts, judging by how often I get to use this picture.

While I was carrying my drunk mother up three flights of stairs, in a considerable hurry because her bad hip was acting up†, she was threatening to vomit, and she was still talking about how the ghosts were responsible, the friend slipped away himself. He did not leave contact information; as I later discovered, my mother was a little too intense for him.

Auntie L. was still waiting for me; it had been among my fondest desires to get right royally plastered with my eccentric, bohemian, English, artist aunt, and she was determined not to disappoint. Neither of us drive, but that’s for the best, considering our plans; no matter. My aunt determinedly hit on an elderly lesbian couple until they agreed to give us a lift down to the under-city.

Lesbians

Did I mention that there’s an under-city in Port Townsend? On this occasion we didn’t go exploring it, but it exists, and there’s a bar in one of the safer bits of it, where there was some sort of festival‡ going on. That’s how we gave those kindly lesbians the slip – we got separated from them in the crowd, and I had to stick close to Auntie L.’s heels or get lost in the press. After a brief stop at her studio, we met my other cousin and his girlfriend at a different bar, where Auntie L. confronted me on my sex life. She’s very sex-positive – and so am I, where other people are concerned. She kept pressing the issue, and plying me with gin, until she got to the bottom of the matter. It was, briefly, ugly – I am haunted by aspects of my past, if you will. She packed it in for the evening, and my cousin, his girlfriend, and I, hit the only remaining bar in Port Townsend, having a wonderful time.

A cab ride home, slipping into the hotel room (not quite silently – as Maman said, “If it’s the ghost, just leave me alone!”), and bed. In the morning, Maman was chock full of talk about the ghost waking her in her sleep, and how, evidently, the ghost had vomited in her bed before she’d reached it. We tipped heavily, and explained about the ghost-vomit. The staff was not amused.

Piling into her little red VW convertible, Dottie, we turned down my aunt’s breakfast invitation, both feeling a little haunted by our actions of the night before. As soon as we were out of town, after stopping for Bloody Marys, we laughed until we were exorcised, absolved.

**********

† I can’t imagine why, at that point, her hip would have been acting up.

‡ The festival was where my cousin was playing in his band.

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About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
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10 Responses to In Which There Is A Haunted Castle

  1. Hilarious memory. May I say you strike the right tone with this relation? I loved the playfulness of the style.
    ALSO, you are so very lucky: castles, ghosts. We don’t have any of that shit in L.A. Or if we do, it is not accessible to the poorfolk like me. Only rich people in L.A. get ghosts.

  2. paisleyglen says:

    Thank you, Natalie! I’ve been working very hard to find the voice of this blog, and I think I’ve finally hit on it. Looking back at many earlier posts makes me cringe.
    While it *is* a real reproduction castle, it’s really not that expensive – it was last redecorated in a 1970’s imagining of the Victorian era, and is comparable to other local hotels. I can imagine that in L.A. such things would be reserved for the elite – you *have* elite down there.

  3. As I was perusing the list of highlighted posts of yesterdays, I chanced upon this one concerning haunted castles and instantaneously Manresa Castle reared it’s spired head in mine. I frequent Port Townsend several times each year and there really is no other “haunt” I prefer for lodging. I too have left my “mark” upon this most prestigious landmark by means of the creation of what is currently referred to as the “Blue Room”. Amidst electrifying flashes of lightening and cascades of sheeting rain a former lover and I proceeded to wallow in the seas of absolute pleasure. Come the first rays of dawn we noted how the majority of every surface in the room had a pretty blue tinge and the bottle of Karma Sutra was alas, grossly depleted. I have since blamed the ghosts.
    On another occasion one of the supposed specters did make their displeasure known as the alarm clock rang out once each hour beginning around 1: a.m. and concluding in its most annoying manner just after 8:30 a.m.-This I vehemently blame on our invisible visitor.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      Those ghosts are just incredibly naught, tricksy creatures, are they not? I love your memories, my dear. ❤

  4. ekgo says:

    And once again, there is the ghost I have come to know and love!

    One day, we will tour all the haunted places, you and I! I will experience nothing and you will come away with tales. It will be divine.

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