Arts & Entertainment

Who you gonna call to hunt ghosts? Tacoma Ghost Tours!

Do you ever wonder about the dark history behind Downtown Tacoma’s historical landmarks? Tacoma Ghost Tours knows the answers. Does your mind harbor any dark curiosities about the slums buried underneath Tacoma’s tide flats? Tacoma Ghost Tours will satisfy your curiosity. Do you enjoy close-to-home stories about mummies, ghosts named Gus and the worst maritime disaster in Tacoma’s history? Tacoma Ghost Tours wants to tell you all about it.

Better yet — are you craving a ghost hunt near the UW Tacoma campus the Friday before Halloween? Grab a recording device, an extra set of underpants and all the courage your soul can muster. On Oct. 28, Tacoma Ghost Tours will storm Brandy’s Attics on Antique Row in an attempt to make contact — and they need your help.

The four-year-old Tacoma Ghost Tours — operated by Andrew Hansen and his father, Charlie Hansen — continues to receive high marks from local press and tour-goers alike for their unique take on Tacoma’s gritty history. The News Tribune featured the tour in a two-page spread for their Halloween issue in 2014. The Weekly Volcano presented them the “Best Ghost Tour in the City” award in their 2014 “Best of Tacoma” edition. Their single Downtown Tacoma tour expanded to an additional Stadium District tour earlier this year, with a grittier, adults-only Tide flats tour soon to come.

With a family-wide obsession with Tacoma, history and all things horrific, the Hansens commit themselves to digging up the dark facts you can’t easily find elsewhere. Much to their surprise, the numerous hauntings, ghost sightings and disasters dotting Tacoma’s history hardly receive any attention beyond the city’s own records. Tacoma reserves the more substantial records of paranormal activity for its own historical landmarks, like Old City Hall. Because of this, local records don’t provide much history about the Mecca Building, home to Brandy’s Attic, despite the building’s 100-year-plus lifespan. According to Andrew, signs of an alleged haunting first came word-of-mouth from the current owners.

“It’s been used as hotels, apartments, restaurants, speakeasies, brothels and more than a few different movie theaters. It was first exposed as a haunted place when the owners of Brandy’s attic moved in about three years ago. They didn’t believe in ghosts, but that changed when they moved in … weird sounds, moving objects and the bathroom door closing on its own. We hope to find more evidence and maybe even answers to why at least some of these things are happening,” says Andrew.

A prior hunt, also conducted by Tacoma Ghost Tours, allegedly unearthed over 20 different voices on various pieces of audio recording equipment.

Owner Jason Brinar notices the three sets of phenomena enough times to name three separate ghosts who may be responsible: Fred, Willa and Tony. He also claims to see strange, unexplainable shadows on his security cameras on a regular basis. Because of this, Brinar maintains the belief of supernatural happenings in his business, despite his previous skepticism.

The Brandy’s Attic ghost hunt will be another spine-tingling notch in the creepy Tacoma Ghost Tours legacy. Oct. 28 will be the first chance for Tacoma residents to experience their own sighting of the elusive Fred, Willa and Tony with a group of Tacoma’s most fervent ghost obsessives. If the event turns out to be a success, Andrew Hansen promises more hunts in the future, so more chances will be coldly slithering up your shoulder in due time — that is if Fred, Willa and Tony don’t get to you first.