Ghost Story | Black Diamond, Washington

Ghost Story | Black Diamond, Washington


Tony encounters the ghosts of coal miners while investigating a cemetery in Black Diamond, Washington.

Tony* settled into the worn leather seats of his late-model Buick. It was going to be a half hour drive from Renton to Black Diamond and there could be rain. After all, it’s early fall in Washington state. Rain happens. And it screws up digital photography.

Getting water droplets in your ghost photos is a cardinal sin for paranormal researchers. Especially when you do it at one of the most haunted places in Washington.

He pulled up to the gravel parking area outside the main entrance on Cemetery Road, popped the trunk, and removed his deployment kit. Tony looked up into the overcast sky. It was dusk and he could see fog trapped in the evergreens at the foot of the Cascade Mountains.

He came alone to investigate. Many of his friends think this is a pretty odd hobby. Most of the time, he agrees with them, but curiosity gets the better of him and out he goes to find something, anything.

For this investigation, he wants to focus on EVP, or electronic voice phenomena, to capture evidence. He also has his favorite ghost hunting device, a K2 EMF meter. It measures the changes in energy in air. When it goes above 2 milliGaus, a ghost might manifest.

Black Diamond Cemetery isn’t much to look at. It sits along a gravel road with a chain link fence surrounding it and nestled between a few houses on either side. Sometimes, you can hear the digging equipment from nearby quarries. Its lawn and headstones are well-kept. You can easily read the names of the departed on each granite marker.

The town of Black Diamond was settled by Irish and Welsh miners in the 1870s. They left California after they’d mined the diamonds from nearby hills. That town had a cemetery, too. By the time they left, it was full of miners who died in the mines. That Black Diamond cemetery has very similar ghosts to the ones Tony wanted to find.

He moved from corner-to-corner of the lot. He’d stop when his K2 meter got a red light and ask a series of 10 questions like “what’s your name?” or “how old are you?”. It seemed like speed dating with the dead.

An hour into the ghost hunt, Tony picked something up on his meter. It was stronger than your usual burst of ghost activity. The EMF-detecting light popped up to 4 milliGaus, a strong signal. He dropped his bag in the middle of the cemetery, not far from the Lorena Jones tombstone, and looked for a camera. But he stopped.

You could hear whistling across an otherwise silent night. No ghost gizmo needed to capture it.

By now, a damp haze had settled among the grave and moisture fogged up his camera lens. He reached in his pocket for his phone, but it couldn’t focus in the fog. He stood still and looked toward the whistling.

Toward the south end of the cemetery, you could see them, flickering one-by-one, a cluster of 5 lights. They swayed left and right in unison, like people carrying candles in lamps, while they walked.

It didn’t last long, maybe 5 minutes, but Tony was very excited. He looked slacked jawed at the dim lights and almost giggled like an 8-year old boy. “Well, I’ll be damned” was all he could say before the lights faded into the gray mist around him.

He packed up his gear and headed back to the old Buick by the gates. He popped the trunk, carefully placed his deployment kit inside and opened the driver’s side door. As he went to sit down on a well-worn leather seat, he paused again.

The clip-clop of an invisible horse’s stride echoed down the road.

Black Diamond Cemetery is one of the most haunted places in Washington state. It’s a 60-minute drive to the southeast of Seattle, not far from Covington. You can find the cemetery at the corner of Morgan Street and Cemetery Road.

*Name changed to protect identity

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