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10/12/10 – SECOND PLACE WINNER in the Photo Manipulation challenge in The World As We See It group.
I took several photos of Manresa Castle in Port Townsend, Washington (USA), on my recent trip to visit my family. This is now a hotel, but there are stories, going back many years, that it is haunted. We lived a couple of blocks away, when Brian was a teenager. He swears that he saw a ghost of a woman looking out one of the upper windows. Ten years later, he took his wife to meet our family and they stayed in Manresa Castle. She says that she saw a young boy, dressed in 19th century clothing, in their hotel room, an experience that rattled her. Brian thought it was cool.
I wanted to portray this place the way my children saw it, as they were growing up. I can’t remember everything that I did, but it involved several layers, filters and blending modes. I used the Redfield bas-relief filter to get the etched look and an abstract fractal for the sky and road. The Nik Photography plugin with the “Midnight” option added the dreary look, along with the Flaming Pear Melancholytron filter, which darkens and blurs the edges of the photo.
Manresa Castle is on yahoo news’ listed of Top 10 Haunted Hotels.
Port Townsend, Washington
Built in 1892 in the palatial Prussian style of the owner’s heritage, the Manresa Castle remains beautifully preserved in a Victorian seaport town in Washington (about two hours from Seattle). The Jesuit order occupied the castle in 1927 and used it as a training college until 1968 when it was converted to a hotel. The castle is supposedly home to two distinct spirits that reside on the third floor. The first is the ghost of a Jesuit priest, who hung himself in the tower attic. Guests staying in room 302, located directly below the site of the priest’s demise, report hearing footsteps, a man crying, the clanking of chains, and the sound of a straining rope above. One guest even reported awakening in the night to see a dark figure in a hooded robe standing over his bed. The second frequently sighted ghost is that of Kate, a young woman who once stayed as a guest in the castle . . . and never really left. After hearing news that her lover was lost at sea, she threw herself out of room 306. Visitors at the haunted hotel today claim to see the translucent image of a woman wearing period clothing sitting at the window and staring out to sea, while others have awoken in the middle of the night to see the shape of a woman walking around the room. Room rates from $109/night.”
The original photo of Manresa Castle is shown below. It was taken in September, 2010 with a Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS camera.
The Manresa Castle, along with many of the homes in Port Townsend, are on the National Register of Historic Places. I picked up some information about Manresa Castle on their website:
The Castle was completed in 1892 as the home of Charles and Kate Eisenbeis. Mr. Eisenbeis was a prominent member of the early Port Townsend business community. His business interests were diverse including a bakery, brick works, lumber mill, brewery, bank and a hotel. In 1878, when Port Townsend became the first incorporated city in Jefferson County, its citizens elected Eisenbeis as the first mayor.
In keeping with his status in the community, Eisenbeis built what was the largest private residence ever built in Port Townsend, consisting of 30 rooms. Locals referred to the building as the “Eisenbeis Castle;” its design was reminiscent of some of the castles in Eisenbeis’ native Prussia.
The walls were 12 inches thick, made with bricks from Eisenbeis’ own brick work’s and the roof was slate. Tiled fireplaces and finely crafted woodwork were installed by German artisans.
Charles died in 1902 and Kate remarried a few years later. The Castle was left empty for almost 20 years except for a caretaker
In 1925, a Seattle attorney bought the Castle as a vacation place for nuns teaching in Seattle schools. This plan did not work out well and in 1927 the Jesuit priests purchased the building for use as a training college. The priests spent their sixteenth and final year of training here studying ascetic theology.
In 1928, the Jesuits added a large wing housing a chapel and sleeping rooms. They also installed the elevator (an Otis) at a cost of $3,400 — a substantial sum in those days. When their addition was complete, the Jesuits stuccoed over the bricks of the original portion to give the building a more uniform look. They named the complex “Manresa Hall” after the town in Spain where Ignatius Loyola founded the order.
The Jesuits left in 1968 and the building was converted into a hotel. The elements “Manresa” and “Castle” were taken from the two previous owners to create the current name.