Are There Barfly Ghosts in an Old Mining Town?

I'm a Cowboy, Baby

Instead of ghostly clanging chains, how about clanging spurs? If I were a cowboy ghost, you can bet I'd be wearing spectral ones for sure to match my spirit ten gallon hat.

In this edition of PNW Wonderfully Weird, we're exploring the oldest saloon in Washington in continuous operation, The Brick. Located in the tiny town of Roslyn, the bar is supposedly haunted by a few ghostly barflies.

Roslyn - Namedropping some film credits

Roslyn is a mining town in the Cascade mountains, founded in 1886. If you remember the 1990s TV show, Northern Exposure, you've likely seen Roslyn (it subbed in for Cicely, Alaska). The Brick served as the exterior for Holling's tavern in the series.

Fans of Dick Van Dyke (and aren't we all fans, really) may know a movie he did called The Runner Stumbles (1979), where Dick visits a jail cell, which was filmed in the basement of The Brick. And finally, in our namedropping portion of the program, if you watched The Man in the High Castle on Amazon (if you haven't, go do that now), little Roslyn subbed in for Canon City, Colorado in the series.

Okay, film credits aside, let's talk spooky. The stories about the ghosts in the saloon reference a cowboy, a little girl, and a piano playing itself.

What songs do ghosts like, I wonder?

Any building as old as The Brick - originally built in 1889 but rebuilt out of (wait for it) BRICKS in 1898 - is bound to have some spirits, or at least legends of them. The saloon is as old as the state, for goodness sakes.

The town is only 90 minutes from Seattle, so visitors could check out both The Brick and the huge historic graveyard that dates from 1886 and still be back by dinnertime.

Ghost Stories

In "Ghosts Among Us: True Stories of Spirit Encounters" by Leslie Rule, a bartender shared his recollection of seeing the ghostly little girl in 2003. He claims he saw her on a security camera after hours. According to his account, she wore white puffy sleeves and when he and his roommate searched the bar for her (they lived above The Brick), she was nowhere to be found. (cue spooky music)

I believe in ghosts. I don't know what they are, why we experience them, or what any of the gizmos and whizbangs that can supposedly "prove" their existence actually show. But if you want to follow the ghost trail to Roslyn, I can't say whether you'll find a Cowboy Casper, but you'll definitely find a town set in a picturesque part of the world with good eats, good spirits (ahem) and sights definitely worth seeing. Yeehaw, ghost lovers. Check it out for yourself.


Thanks to Susan Thorpe for the photos of the town.

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