A few years ago my friend and I were walking by the Maynard Alley and she asked me if I had written any stories based on the Wah Mee Club Massacre.
What she really wanted to know was, had I written any ghost stories based on the Club.
I told her I had not.
She told me that was a good idea.
This is the reason why I haven’t done it:
Whenever I walk by the Alley I think of these lines by Shirley Jackson:
Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
I think that something walks alone in the darkness of the Wah Mee now
If you live in Washington State you have the choice of visiting a great Haunted House hosted by a local radio Station and in addition to that choice ( you lucky Devils ) you can also opt to go on Ghost Tour and learn about Seattle’s real life haunted past.
The KUBE 93 Haunted House is going to scare you senseless this year at the creepy, insanely authentic location at the former Georgetown Morgue south of downtown Seattle.
And if you want to add to your Halloween Fun then consider taking
The Haunted Seattle Tour
I happen to love a good story and I love the ones with that taste of reality in it. Unlike the Haunted Houses, which are fun and you should do at least one in your life time, tours like the one Jake will take you on will leave the ‘what if’ door in your mind’s eye wide open.
And do you know what walks into doors that are left wide open?
I don’t do the haunted house tour thing ( you know, after you’ve worked in a Funeral Home and had to visit real morgues and years later all you can remember is the taste of McDonald’s French fries because you were consistently assigned removals in the afternoons- just before lunch)- Morgues don’t exactly scare me-
the thought of them now just makes me hungry.
For French Fries.
The super-sized serving.
I thought the setup for the Georgetown Morgue was a fun idea, a very neat story and the building the “morgue” is staged in is way over the top and looks the part.
Most funeral homes, let’s face it, were supposed to blend because they were either near churches or in neighborhoods and people actually lived in them.
However subtle- some of them are they are weird if you know what to look for the weirdness- take a look at the garage doors and back doors which are wider then normal to accommodate you know, things which require a lot room to move through, and though the writer of the above mentioned article does toss in the small smoke stacks at the Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home and how unscary they are but he fails to mention the actual creepy thing is the mirror mounted on the roof and tilted upwards towards the smoke stack.
The Funeral Directors use this mirror to make sure the smoke doesn’t turn dark during the cremation process…see CREEPY.
You just need to know where to look to find it.
However- there’s always an however isn’t there?
On a visit Dubque Iowa, I saw this amazing funeral home called Behr’s- which looks scary by any measure.
So what do I think about the ‘debunking’ of the Georgetown Morgue?
I’d say the writer who did this didn’t prove anything other then the only story he could come up with was the deconstructing of another writer’s work.
Creating a world and a story and legend for you to follow isn’t easy, placing it in terms that invite readers to want actually walk ( or drive ) to that door is actual work, bringing a building and people who never existed to life, takes effort, writing a vindictive little hit pieces to ruin the moment for people who wanted to visit the “Georgetown Morgue” ?
Geeze- now that’s just mean spirited.
So visit the setup site for the Georgetown Morgue,it’s actually well done- I thought the way they wove bits of Seattle’s real history into the ‘legend’ was pretty clever – the earthquakes, the hint of the Wa Mee Massacre, the death of a famous local musician wrapped in media hype- made it possible for present day for local residents to ‘relate’ to this building and to the story.
So no- I wouldn’t visit the haunted house- I couldn’t even be bribed with French Fries…however…if someone were to tell me more stories about the Georgetown Morgue– they would have my undivided attention.
After all, this is what we do during Halloween- we spin yarns, tell tales and for one night not only do we get to face the monsters-
Once I was sitting on a beach late at night when a man walked by me and said, “It’s dark down there ” and as he walked away from me I realized he had been looking to his left as he spoke…and from his left I thought I heard an answer
nobody was to his left …
except for the Ocean.
All these years later I’m glad for one thing…that I never got a good look at his face.
Strange things happen at Sea…This true story is one of them.
Crewman’s disappearance during rescue in Alaska unexplained
Story Updated: Mar 29, 2008 at 10:02 AM PDT
By JEANNETTE J. LEE, Associated Press Writer
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – As the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger sank to the bottom of the Bering Sea, crewman Byron Carrillo and 1st Assistant Engineer James Madruga struggled to stay afloat in the rough and frigid waves.
With Carrillo drifting into hypothermic shock after nearly five hours, the arrival of a Coast Guard rescue helicopter was a blessing, Madruga said Friday. He told the rescue swimmer to “take Byron first” and watched the panicked crewman being loaded into a dangling basket.
But when he reached the helicopter himself, Carrillo was nowhere to be seen…
Here, where the world is quiet;
Here, where all trouble seems
Dead winds’ and spent waves’ riot
In doubtful dreams of dreams;
I watch the green field growing
For reaping folk and sowing,
For harvest-time and mowing,
A sleepy world of streams.
I am tired of tears and laughter,
And men that laugh and weep,
Of what may came hereafter
For men that sow to reap:
I am weary of days and hours,
Blown buds of barren flowers,
Desires and dreams and powers
And everything but sleep.
Here life has death for neighbour,
And far from eye or ear
Wan waves and wet winds labour,
Weak ships and spirits steer;
They drive adrift, and whither
They wot not who make thither;
But no such winds blow hither,
And no such things grow here.
There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things;
Dead dreams of days forsaken,
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Wild leaves that winds have taken,
Red strays of ruined springs.
We are not sure of sorrow,
And joy was never sure;
Today will die tomorrow;
Time stoops to no man’s lure;
And love, grown faint and fretful,
With lips but half regretful
Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure.
From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no man lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
Then star nor sun shall waken,
Nor any change of light;
Nor sound of waters shaken,
Nor any sound or sight;
Nor wintry nor vernal,
Nor days, nor things diurnal;
Only the sleep eternal
In an eternal night.
I found your blog while doing my monthly search for all things Nightmare Theatre online, and as usual I enjoyed the reminisces of people who remember the show with as much fondness as I do. I was born in 1968, and watched it religiously from when I was three to when it went off the air in the late 1970s. (As cheesy as many of the films seem now, I’ll take them over 98% of the dreck on the market today.)
Poe was a favorite of mine as well. (The House on Haunted Hill was the bomb, and his performances in Roger Corman’s Poe adaptations were absolutely unbeatable.) I was also a big fan of the Hammer fare, with Curse of the Werewolf and Brides of Dracula (both regulars on Nightmare Theatre’s sometimes repetitive schedule). One of my favorite memories, though, was the showing of The Mole People followed by Invasion of the Saucer Men, a double-bill which I repeat for nobody’s pleasure but my own about once a year. God bless VHS and DVD technology.
The program was such an influence on me that I am now a professional writer focusing on–you guessed it–all things horror, from award-winning fiction to film history and criticism. Since there has been very little written up about KIRO-TV’s late night show and it’s star, Joe “The Count” Towey, I decided a few years ago to start a fan site devoted to both, which–in light of web host problems over much of 2007–I had to rebuild this last month. (Just in time for Halloween! Forget Christmas; we Nightmare Theatre addicts know what the best holiday of the year is.) Anywho, if you are interested in revisiting a bit more of your childhood, check out my site (Nightmare Theatre NW) at www.nightmaretheatrenw.net.
I have a page devoted to nothing but reminisces like yours, and you’ll probably get a kick out of reading the television schedules for the Friday nights you found yourself–like me–glued to the tube.
It’s nice to see that others are trying to keep this small piece of Northwest history alive. Keep up the great work!
Scott Aaron Stine
P.S. The Scary Mary clip is absolutely hilarious! It’s amazing what a little bit of creative editing can achieve. (Now if modern filmmakers were at least half as clever, some of the more recent horror fare might by as “scary” as they claim.)