GREENWOOD CEMETERY

1000 STEPS

211 N Government Way, Spokane, WA

(509) 838-1405

Status: Historical Cemetery; Urban Legend

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All Photos Courtesy of Craig M


History

Previous to the founding of this cemetery there were only a few small cemeteries on the edge of what was called Spokane Falls in the Washington Territories. This cemetery was founded in 1888 after a population explosion with people coming to Spokane to seek their fortune in timber or mining.

Bodies and gravestones were moved here from both Mountain View Cemetery and Moran Prairie Cemetery to make way for the expansion of the city.

Greenwood was designed with an eye on Europe’s beautiful garden cemeteries. Its paths follow the contours of the landscape and the cemetery includes a waterfall and spring fed fountains. It was designed as a place for the community to enjoy.

 

Paranormal Activity

One entrance built to the cemetery is one of 1000 steps – a haunted staircase.

There are many legends about this staircase including: 1) It was original entrance to the cemetery – untrue the existing main entrance of the cemetery has always been so. 2) The stairs lead to a tunnel entrance – also untrue the stairs lead to an old mausoleum which could be confused with a tunnel entrance. 3) The terraced staircase was based on an agreement with the Elks wherein the bodies of their wives and children would be buried on a lower terrace that the men – this may have been true but the wives were unhappy with the agreement and the relationship between the cemetery and the Elks broke down fairly quickly. 4) The staircase is haunted.

Now here is where the stories and accounts of paranormal activity come into play. The urban legend side of the story tells tales of Satanic Rituals – like most urban legends – but the numerous reports seem to say there is more than a legend at work here.

Numerous reports by people of all walks of life tell stories of the faces of men, women and children that are seen by those climbing the staircase. Should you be able to brave the apparitions of the dead higher up you will hear the cries of the dead and feeling something like rain falling on your skin leaving you wet even on the sunniest days.

The 1000 stairs actually number something just over 60. The stairs are now on private property – permission must be gained before using them – and they at best unsafe as there is no longer any maintenance or upkeep on the stairs.