Philemon Vanderbeck, senior investigator for AGHOST (Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle/Tacoma) surveys the American Cancer Society offices on Queen Anne (2120 First Ave. N.) last month during a search. Photo courtesy of Christina Kelly
Philemon Vanderbeck, senior investigator for AGHOST (Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle/Tacoma) surveys the American Cancer Society offices on Queen Anne (2120 First Ave. N.) last month during a search. Photo courtesy of Christina Kelly

Ten years ago, the American Cancer Society’s Queen Anne office (2120 First Ave. N.) was declared haunted by a group of Seattle paranormal detectives called AGHOST (Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle/Tacoma).

The same group returned to the Queen Anne offices late last month to reaffirm that their first declaration was true, and the 93-year-old building has paranormal activity.

The building once was part of the old Children’s Orthopedic Hospital block, in the 1920s, complete with underground tunnels that took nurses to the hospital next door, from their lodging at the current ACS site. The morgue was located in the basement of the building.

Over the years, ACS staff reported odd smells, glimpses of someone who isn’t there, strange noises and an overall sense that they were not alone. In fact, on-boarding for new ACS employees used to include a statement years ago, mentioning that the building was haunted.

Ross Allison, president and founder of AGHOST, said old buildings will often have energy — either intelligent energy, or energy that plays itself over and over again — like a snippet of a loop. The energy snippets have never left the building. He said the evidence shows on their equipment, like temperature and light changes, or motion on infrared and thermal cameras.

Christina Kelly, ACS divisional communications manager said when she walked in the building for the first time, about three weeks ago, the building did feel different.

“This is a 100-year-old building — an era long past, so you do feel a little historical presence in the place,” she said. “Most of us have acknowledge that if the building is haunted, we’re OK with it. We’re not afraid of no ghosts.”

Now, with an official certification that the building is haunted, Kelly said the organization might consider a fundraiser in the future—maybe a haunted dinner—to raise funds for cancer programs.

“On a serious note, cancer is scary, and the American Cancer Society is here to help save lives in many ways,” Kelly said. “We have a lot of programs to offer, and apparently, a few apparitions.”