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Urban Legends, Monsters, and Haunted Places in Washington State

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DS Duby is an avid traveler and writer with a keen interest in horror and urban legends.

Read on to learn about urban legends, monsters, and haunted places in Washington.

Read on to learn about urban legends, monsters, and haunted places in Washington.

There has always been a lot of mystery wrapped up into the state of Washington. With it's diverse landscape and climate, ranging from foggy coastlines to snow covered mountains, comes a large variety of urban legends and haunted places to choose from.

When researching this project, I knew from the beginning that this state had a rich history of mythological beings including Bigfoot and lots of alien sightings, but those aren't the stories you'll be reading today. We're going to delve deeper into the mist to find the more obscure tales passed around the great state of Washington.

The Bottomless Pit—Eastern Washington State

They call it Mel's hole, named after the man who first reported the pit's existence. Apparently, the hole is located in the hills of Washington somewhere near Manatash Ridge, in Ellensburg, Washington.

As the story goes, much like any bottomless pit legend, you can throw in as much stuff as you want, yet you will never hear it hit bottom, and the hole never seems to fill up. Now, if this was all to the legend, I would simply pass it off as an underground stream or something of that nature, washing away anything that might be thrown in, but there's more, much more.

According to the legend, the hole was once used for cow dumping, an act once commonly practiced to dispose of sick cattle. The story told by Mel Waters, a self-proclaimed inter-tribal medicine man named Red Elk, and several other eyewitnesses is that at certain times of the day, a black beam can be seen coming out of the hole.

The witnesses have described this beam as a dark column-like shadow, rising straight into the air and appearing out of nowhere. Waters also tells the tale of a local hunter dumping his dog into the hole after its accidental death, only for the dog to appear trotting out of the woods several hours later. All witnesses involved, have claimed to feel an uneasiness whenever they're near the pit, and that animals seem to avoid the area as much as possible.

To add a little more mystery to the story, it should be said that this is not the only bottomless pit story to come from Washington. Authorities have found and are currently studying a pit located in Woodinville, Washington. The hole was first discovered by a neighborhood kid named Cody.

What was originally thought to be an average pothole collapsed after a garbage truck parked over top of it. Nothing too strange about that, except you couldn't see the bottom of it, and the hole continued to grow larger. When the road crew showed up to fix the growing pothole, the fire department, police, geologists, and every news station in Seattle soon followed. The bottom of this pit still couldn't be found.

The hole is said to be nearly perfectly cylindrical and at least 1,000 feet deep. Witnesses claim when standing near the pit, you can feel a cool breeze like air-conditioning blowing out of it. As of yet, no further reports have been made as to what the pit may be, but it's still being investigated.

The Faceless Roamer

The Faceless Roamer

The Faceless Roamer—Auburn, Washington

The story takes place in the downtown area of Auburn, most often on "A" street. I vaguely remember hearing this story myself, when I was very young, from a family friend visiting from Washington. This story is what brought me to choose Washington for this week's edition of the series, but for the benefit of the tale, I researched the story again for a fresh and accurate telling of the tale.

As the legend goes, the faceless man is a former resident of the city of Slaughter which is now named Auburn. In life, the man was a wealthy land owner who had sold the property that was to be built into the thriving city of Auburn. According to legend, he walks angrily up and down "A"' street, often seen passing through walls and appearing on the other side.

It is unknown why the man is seen as faceless, but it is said that his anger is based on his unhappiness with the way his land was developed into the city it is now. Many of the witnesses claiming to have seen this faceless man claim that he seems to find a sort of amusement in terrifying the unlucky souls who cross his path.

When doing research on the faceless man, I also discovered at least 20 other hauntings in the Slaughter/Auburn area, including the high school and the local inn once known as the Slaughter Hotel. Apparently, this town has a lot of troubled history.

Steps to Hell—Maltby, Washington

The steps to hell are said to be located in the Maltby Cemetery in Maltby, Washington. These particular steps start at ground level and descend into the ground leading to the back entrance of the tomb of a once wealthy, local family. Though for the life of me, I have no idea why a tomb would need a rear entrance or exit. A fire escape, I suppose, in case of reanimation, you know how those zombies like to party and smoke.

According to the story, you were to go into the cemetery sometime after midnight. After finding the stairway the brave are then supposed to descend the 13 steps, then suddenly all sound is said to cease, it would feel as if everything in the world stopped moving all at once.

The real fear isn't supposed to come until reaching the bottom step; once there, you are to turn around and behold an evil vision of Hell. The people who have been brave enough to attempt this feat often buckle at the knees and pass out from fear, other children have been known to emerge from the staircase in a complete state of shock, sometimes never speaking again.

One witness claims to have attempted it when he was 16, with a group of friends. According to him they arrived around midnight and searched for an hour or so to find the stairs. Upon locating it, the kids attempted to shine a light down into its depth, but were unable to see anything.

The witness then claims to have begun walking down the steps alone. In his account, he claims to have first felt a little sick after the first couple steps, two more steps, and he felt lightheaded, two after that, and he felt as if he was going to puke. It was at that point that he turned around to flee the evil place. As he attempted to make his way back out, he claims to have heard muffled screaming and felt hands pushing at him to leave the darkness.

Upon exiting, he found that it was his friends that had been screaming to him. He told his friends that he had only gone down 6 steps, but his friends say he had disappeared completely from view. He said he has never gone back to the 13 Steps To Hell, and he never will.

Gravity Hill—Prosser, Washington

In Prosser, Washington is an area said to defy the laws of physics and gravity; it also just happens to be haunted, so it's twice as special. Let's start with the apparent reverse gravity this hill is thought to display.

According to the locals and various visitors to the sight, you stop your car on an actual starting line and put it into neutral. Let your foot off the brake, and your car will then roll up the hill to the crest and then down the other side. Some people say it's only an optical illusion, but many others claim you are definitely going uphill. I suppose the only way to know for sure is to try it for yourself. There are many other states that also claim to have gravity-defying hills.

The legend of haunted Gravity Hill is centered around a gray barn, located near the crest of the hill, where stories are told of several young girls who were allegedly raped and murdered. Believers of the tales claim that if you attempt to do the aforementioned neutral roll on a dark night, you can actually see the ghosts of the murdered girls pushing your car up the hill to help you escape from a fate like theirs.

Others have claimed to see the apparition of a girl with wet hair watching or slowly moving towards them. They say she appears as though she may have just crawled out of the nearby canal. The same canal that no longer holds water, it's now nothing but a dried-up riverbed.


This was only a small dose of all the supernatural and ghoulish goodness that Washington has to offer us. If you have any urban legends or ghost stories of Washington, or anywhere for that matter, that you would like to share, feel free to do so in the comments section below.

If you're not a member of HubPages, don't worry, there's no need to be; simply sign yourself in with a screen name and you're ready to go. Thanks for stopping in and reading another edition of Urban Legends And Haunted Places.


Clif on April 06, 2020:

I wanna here more stories about Auburn

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on July 30, 2017:

Awesome Story! I'm not sure I'd have gone back either!!

JML on July 30, 2017:


Just read what was here and I have been to the so-called 13 Steps to Hell. I grew up on my grandfathers ranch just outside of Snohomish and I now live in Everet, WA. Some friends and I had heard about the legends out in Maltby, when we were in High School, and decided to go and check it out. Each of us went down the steps all tbe way to the bottom and discovered absolutely nothing. Yeah it was a bit chilly and musty, but by and large we were disappointed with the experience. However, the next day we went up to the ice caves and all four of us felt as if we were being watched and/or followed. No sounds could be heard; no insect, animal, not even the creaking of the trees could be heard. All of us were experienced hikers and campers and we all new that there was something wrong when everything went absolutely quiet half-way to the ice caves. We all looked around to see if maybe we had crossed into a bear's newly staked out territory or if perhaps mountain lion had happened along (thing is with four capable males together we were fairly certain that it wasn't a mountain lion). There were no tracks other than the ones made by other hikers like ourselves heading up to the ice caves. It was the middle of July and it hadn't rained for over three weeks so the ground was dry and we only found tracks near the ferns along the hiking trail to the ice caves. We continued along the trail to the ice caves and spent the majority of the afternoon there and still didn't hear any kind of noises from the wooded area around us. It was just before sundown that we started to head back down to our parked cards when we heard a some leaves scrunching and twigs snapping. We thought that there might have been another ice cave visitor like ourselves that had decided not to use the trail that we were on and go through the trees instead and we didn't think anything of it. Half-way down the trail there was a thumping that we could feel on the ground with our feet and we could hear heavy deep breathing. We immediately thought bear and began running down the hill section of the trail. We knew that regardless of how many of us there were we would evening entrees for a bear if we had passed into it's claimed territory. We arrived at the cars and jumped into them (a Honda Accord and a Ford LTD). I had jumped into my friends Accord and I looked behind us for the first time, the only thing that I saw was the other two of our friends in the Ford LTD had just gunned it when there was a loud bang and the LTD's back end swung out to the left at almost a ninety degree angle. We all thought that the bear must have slammed into it with it's body and must have been a good sized bear at that. However, when we got to Monroe to fill up with gas we noticed that there was a dent in my friend's rear right fender just behind the rear wheel and there were three scratch marks running from the center of the dent to the now missing tail light. I has been 25 years and none of has been back to Maltby or back up to the Ice Caves since that day.

kim on July 11, 2016:

Im totally creeped out now! LOL I have heard all these stories. I livei n Washington too and totally feel a sense of magical wonder in the woods and all around this beautiful state. Eerie, Magical, and beautiful all at once. Mels hole really creeps me out. Heard it on coast to coast a long time ago. I read that the hole is either hell, or a lava tube! There are lava tubes all over the world that connect and who knows...maybe it connects to hell as well !!

Shane on April 26, 2016:

I am from Ellensburg Washington. I have lived here most of my life and I can tell you that Mel's hole is a very real thing.

You can hear screams coming from the hole late at night and sometimes even laughing. People say that if you put a dead animal... like the family dog in the hole, a couple of days later they would see the family dog running around in the area around the hole.

Alyssa on August 17, 2015:

I live in prosser! (((: on August 30, 2014:

how do I get to the steps of hell. im planning a trip with some friends to the scariest most haunted places in Washington. any ideas?

Katie on July 05, 2014:

Do you know any legends about large, mysterious, or deadly fish? I want to have Jeremy Wade from River Monsters come here for the start of Season 7.

T on March 19, 2014:

I live in Washington and I love those storys I would love to go to the 13 steps to hell

e1stunna on February 24, 2014:

I just moved back to utah after living in shelton washington for 9mo. I miss it there, but what is with the feeling you get there I don't know if it was the enclosing trees and almost magical wilderness all around or something more? Also the gravity hills you mentioned before there is one in american fork utah the road entering american fork canyon it is an amazing experience also a very heavy place up the canyon said to be a burial ground of the victims of ted bundy.

Skerry on May 13, 2013:

i live in shelton, Wa we have an urban ledgend called stick indians its said that you see an indian at the indian burial grounds and if they turn and vanish then you die soon after.this indian burial grounds was dug up along time ago cause of looters taking the jewelry off the bodies so they move them elsewhere.i got strange pics by the empty tombstone but never seen one. the indian burial ground now is cleared for construction

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on February 13, 2013:

Thanks for reading and commenting ninjagirl, these types of legends are always so much better when told by someone who has been there. I'll bet you have some good ones for that area.

ninjagirl on February 13, 2013:

I use to live in auburn i no damn near all of the stories in that area ivee always been fasinated by thw high achool janitor. and cheer leader one in the high school said to he an accidental death to both but i haven't looked into it in years not sense i was younger

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on July 16, 2012:

DS Duby this is scary and chilling but i enjoyed reading, thanks. Voted up and shared.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 17, 2012:

I guess that's why they're Urban Legends and not Fox news stories lol. Thanks for commenting and reading.

Bob on June 17, 2012:

I actually live in Prosser and gravity hill is just an optical illusion. My friend s grandma lives in the house next to the barn and there have never been any killings or rapes out there. Buuuut it's still extremely creepy at night.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 14, 2012:

Thanks for reading and commenting Precy Anza

precy anza from USA on June 13, 2012:

Scary. I'm a scaredy-cat but such topics interest me. And this hub reminds me of Saturdays with me sitting on the couch glued on the television watching "Haunted History," "Celebrity Ghost Stories" and other series. :)

Nell Rose from England on June 11, 2012:

Hi, I love all these Urban legends, the gravity hills are supposed to be an optical illusion, but still fascinating, and the holes in the ground would fascinate me, I would love to take a look, really interesting, cheers nell

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 07, 2012:

Thank you for reading and commenting, the thing about Gravity Hill is there are places like this all over the world there may even be one near you. Thanks again.

sammimills from California, USA on June 07, 2012:

I am really interested on reading and hearing stories about this topic. The Gravity hill story is a little creepy. Great hub!

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 07, 2012:

Thank you Rahul those are the ones that really grabbed my attention as well when doing the research. Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing. I appreciate it.

Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on June 07, 2012:

I was particularly intrigued by the bottomless pit and the Gravity hill!

Really interesting hub

Dominique L from Oregon on June 06, 2012:

I haven't heard an Oregon version of the Windigo (doesn't mean there isn't one, we don't talk much about our ghosts and monsters here, so you really have to dig for them), the version of the Windigo I hear are Canadian including several from British Columbia, and Oregon, Washington and British Columbia legends tend to bleed together.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 06, 2012:

That is so cool! I'd love to visit that area. Hey doesn't the legend of the windigo monster involve Oregon? Thank you for the kind words, I always look forward to your comments Dominique L.

Dominique L from Oregon on June 06, 2012:

Ha! You got 'em! I didn't know about the stairs to Hell, but I knew about the others (Oregonian here). And there are actually a bunch of gravity spots like that all over the northwest. Y'all should come to the Oregon Vortex. We've got reverse gravity, backward flowing rivers and houses built on perfectly flat land that tilt (Oregon pride shining through).

Well done, as usual!

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 06, 2012:

Thank you Maryhoneybee its probably the reason I quit checking into it in the first place, thank you for the link though I will still check it out.

maryhoneybee from Richmond, Virginia on June 06, 2012:

Apparently the "drilling to hell" incident was just a hoax/embellishment/urban legend type thing. Snopes wrote about it, if you're interested:

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 06, 2012:

I want to try the Gravity Hill as well. There could possibly be one near where you live too, apparently they are located all over the world.

Madeleine Salin from Finland on June 06, 2012:

Creepy and exciting. I really like these kinds of stuff. Gravity hill is interesting. I'd like to try that with a car. Great hub!

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on June 05, 2012:

I remember hearing about that, did the ever come up with any ideas of what caused the screaming sounds? I remember I was very fascinated by the story when I first heard it but wasn't able to find a lot of details on it. I might just have to research it again. Thanks for reading and commenting.

maryhoneybee from Richmond, Virginia on June 05, 2012:

Strange. The Bottomless Pit and Steps to Hell prompted me to do a search on those reports of drillers claiming to hear screaming from deep in the earth. Though the legitimacy of that claim has been disputed, evidently. Anyway, if I ever visit Washington, I know what to check out! Voted up.