The Old Washington Military Museum With A Truly Haunted Past
The beautiful Lewis Army Museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying the history of Fort Lewis, the Army component of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. It’s fascinating to see so much of our local military history so perfectly displayed, but what’s even more interesting is the paranormal activity that has been common in the building for years.
But once you hear its sordid history, you may understand why there are still active spirits here, despite a fairly recent exorcism… yes, an exorcism.
The Lewis Army Museum is located at Fort Lewis.
It's housed in the historic former Red Shield Inn, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You may have seen this brilliant building from I-5 before.
The museum's displays tell the history of Camp Lewis, Fort Lewis, and Army component of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
You'll leave with a better understanding of the Army's defense and development of the Pacific Northwest.
Walking through these halls, you'd never know that this timeless structure was once a hotel... but it was.
The Red Shield Inn is one of two surviving Fort Lewis buildings that date back to the World War I era, back when this area was known as Camp Lewis. The building was constructed in 1918, and it didn't become the Lewis Army Museum until 1973.
In 1927, the movie The Patent Leather Kid was filmed at the Red Shield Inn. Rumor has it that during that time, an actor was tragically murdered on the second floor.
Not long after, hotel guests reported seeing the apparition of a man in a cowboy costume, and he seemed angry.
The angry cowboy ghost roamed these halls for decades until, at last, an exorcism was performed in order to get him to leave.
Apparently it was successful, because there have been no cowboy sightings since.
However, this museum definitely still has some strange and unexpected happenings.
One night in 1999, post military policemen responded to an alarm at the museum. Upon their arrival, they found the building locked, and no alarms had been tripped. But when they got back to the MP station, the alarm went off again. And ask anyone who has worked at the museum for awhile and you're sure to hear a few strange stories.
Of course, haunted or not, this is still a fantastic place to visit for anyone interested in our local military history.
The museum is open to the public, and there's no need for a visitor's pass. It's open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
4320 Main Street , Joint Base Lewis-McChord , Dupont, WA, 98433
Would you visit a museum if you suspected it was haunted? If you’d really like to spot a ghost here in Washington,
here’s where to go.
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