Spokane has a great gardening culture. People come from all over the world to explore our award winning public gardens and they’re known as calm places of serenity. Whether it’s the manicured English style garden, a traditional Japanese garden or even a near vertical climb of a garden, Spokane has a park for everyone.
Now you may be wondering why an article about gardens leads with a picture of a broken, vandalized staircase that is crawling with overgrowth. Well, the answer is easy – this isn’t a story about gardens. This is spooky season and you’re looking at the entryway to Spokane’s most haunted location… and it used to be a beautifully manicured garden that led to the Elk’s Rest Cemetery.
That garden led to this mausoleum that is now in disrepair and covered with graffiti, but was once a beautiful landmark for the Elk’s cemetery. Due to financial circumstances, the copper and brass that once adorned this building was sold off. The giant elk statue that was atop the building had been lost as well. Why is all this important? Well, if this was your resting place and the beauty that made your final destination grand was disturbed you might be kinda angry too. Enter the ghosts that haunt what is known as the 1,000 steps.
Climbing the 1,000 steps has become a rite of passage for high school kids and young men testing their metal. Of course climbing the steps is treacherous on its own as time and nature has made the trek precarious by breaking the steps and in some places they’ve just disappeared. If you dare challenge the 1,000 steps then be aware that the cemetery has a night watchman that knows this is the destination for thrill seekers.
Atop the steps, the cemetery has even built a locked fence to keep folks away from the rear of the mausoleum. However, a quick sidestep will get you to where you want to go. But you might not be alone. Ghosts aren’t the only things you need to watch out for.
Covens and others performing rituals use the rear of the mausoleum for places to connect with things I’d rather not meet.
Pentagrams and symbols adorn this building, and you can only imagine that with that kind of activity, local ghosts might not be the only thing you have to worry about. I’m sure some nonlocal entities may now call this haunted location home as well. Reports of ghost and full bodied apparitions are normal here. This location is also home to the most historic part of the cemetery, making the vibe of the area that much creepier.
Side note: if you have a little kid in your life, train them to point at any and all cemeteries then ask why the woman in white is crying as you drive by. Everyone in the car will freak out when they don’t see anyone, trust me… it’s totally worth it.
I visit this location a few times a year. My wife’s family is even buried within eyesight of this epicenter of Spokane’s paranormal activity. I’ve not yet experienced anything personally. However, I’ve never challenged the unknown at night. Nor do I plan to. If you’re looking to test your resolve, you can visit the steps freely during the daytime at the Greenwood Memorial Terrace. It’s just west of downtown Spokane so an e-bike and a healthy amount of courage can turn a nice fall day into an adventure if you’re brave enough.