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Colfax brings old hospital to life with the undead

Colfax brings old hospital to life with the undead

COLFAX, Wash. - St. Ignatius hospital was boarded up and left for dead until the city reopened the building for ghost tours hoping to interest a buyer.

It's been abandoned for years, but now the hospital is bringing in ghost hunters from across the country.

Built in 1893, St. Ignatius is rich in history and horror.

"We've heard walking down the hallway and nothing's there," said tour guide Valoree Gregory.

First a hospital, then a home for the mentally ill, the facility closed in 2003 but some believe many paranormal patients stayed behind.

Last year, the city reopened the building for ghost tours, KXLY4's Alyssa Donovan joined a group to find out who or what still roams the halls.

"When the light starts blinking we have ghost activity," said Gregory.

Armed with detectors and flashlights, the group heads into the 50,000 square foot building.

Gregory has brought thousands of people through the building in search of the undead.

"So, we have seen shadow figures on the first floor that cross from room to room," said Gregory, "We've heard voices in the kitchen, like two women who are kind of talking."

The tour takes us past old hospital equipment and peeling wallpaper up to the second floor. That's where an eerie feeling settles over the group.

Sure enough, as we walk into the confessional at the end of the hall, our detectors go off and a flashlight turns on that no one was touching.

"So we don't know who's in this room but we know it's pretty active," said Gregory.

Gregory leads us up to the third floor, which is infectious diseases, explaining it's the most paranormal floor in the hospital.

Many of the rooms are named after patients who lived there. The children's room, Dave's room and Rose's room, which some people refuse to enter.

Each floor has its own stories and its own ghosts.

"We call it the hand room because a group of people were in there and actually saw a hand on the window," said Gregory.

That horrifying moment is exactly what people are looking for when they visit the hospital.

"People love it. People have come from all over the United States to come in our tours," said Gregory.

Something she knows all about, Gregory is also on the Colfax Chamber of Commerce. She has watched the building go through an unexpected resurrection.

"Our intentions were to find an investor so that we could bring it back to life. So the way we did that is we opened it up for ghost hunts," said Gregory.

In the process, the haunted tours of St. Ignatius hospital gained Colfax national attention, at least from those looking for a scare.

"That was the whole thing," said Gregory," We wanted to bring tourists in and make them aware of the building."

And the plan worked. An investor is looking to purchase the building soon, a vacant building that's already occupied.