and, speaking of ghosts…

Oct 29, 2014 | 2 comments

Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula

Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula

Evening before last, a reporter from Longview’s Daily News called to talk to me about Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula. We spoke for the better part of an hour and I wish I had caught his name. He was a great interviewer.

He said the story will come out in tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) paper and he promised to send me a copy. I am eager to see what he made of my answers to his questions. Interviews are always a bit of a crapshoot, especially telephone interviews. But I enjoyed this one so I have high hopes.

For one thing, this reporter had read the book from cover to cover. That’s not always true. More than one interviewer I’ve talked with over the years has glossed over the ‘homework’ part of their assignment and based their questions (and, unfortunately, the resulting article) on impressions gleaned from titles or covers. Not so this time.

In fact, there were several questions that would never have occurred to me. “Do you think there are more ghosts per square mile on the Long Beach Peninsula than there are in other areas?” he asked. That question gave me pause but I finally said I didn’t think so. For one thing, I expected that my book talk at Adelaide’s last Saturday would generate a lot of personal ghost experiences from the audience, but that was not the case.


The Glenmorag 1896

Only two people spoke to me about their own knowledge of ghosts, other than the ones in the book. One couple referred to the elusive spirt (or maybe two) at the Lamplighter in Seaview. I’ve been pursuing that story for some time and maybe this lead will help me pin it down. Another woman spoke to me of experiences at her house – also in Seaview as I recall. I took phone numbers…

The other question that the Daily News reporter asked concerned ghostly mariners. Did I have knowledge of any? In an area so closed to “the graveyard of the Pacific” there surely must be tales of restless spirits – sailors or ship captains who appear, “Flying Dutchman” like, along our lonely storm-swept beaches?  That’s a question I pondered, too, as I gathered stories for the book. But I never heard a whisper.

The Alice

The Alice, 1909

At the Oysterville cemetery, there is an area of graves specifically for unidentified bodies that have washed up on the beach near here. The phrase from Revelation 20:13 “and the sea gave up the dead that were in it” is written on the marker. But, to my knowledge, there have never been reports of hauntings by these (or any other) unknown sailors. It seems curious.

I’m eager to learn what my interviewer will make of my answers to his questions. Looking forward to tomorrow’s article gives an added dimension to trick-or-treat… at least for me.


  1. Mary Elizabeth Nye

    Dear Sydney,
    I JUST finished reading the article in the Longview Daily News about “Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula”. Tom Paulu is the reporter who interviewed you and we were active friends when I used to work for the Printing Company that used to be “attached” to the Paper. Tom is excellent in many ways. I’m glad you enjoyed him.

    Living in Longview most of my life, the Long Beach Peninsula feels like my “vacation home” even though I do not own property there. Our family spent many of my childhood vacations there, I started digging razor clams when I was four years old and still do. My husband and I vacation there every year, took our children there MANY times, and usually celebrate our Anniversary there as we honeymooned there in 1983. Aside from Longview/Kelso, it is one of the only other places on earth that I know like the back of my hand.

    Having said all that, I HAVE to tell you my story about Mary Pesonen!!! I was surprised that you haven’t met someone with a story to tell about her….

    • sydney

      Thanks for sharing, Mary. I have placed your story and your contact information in my reference file and if there is an opportunity for a revised edition in the future, I’ll be in touch with you!


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