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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.
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. 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, The Manresa Castle.
The three different owners since 1968 have all done their part to lovingly renovate the building to modern standards while maintaining its Victorian elegance. For example, there were only 3 bathrooms when the Jesuits left – today we have 43.
Reported Paranormal Activity:
The Manresa Castle, at 651 Cleveland St., is one of a number of Port Townsend hotels gaining fame for claims of being haunted, along with the Palace Hotel at 1004 Water St.
Its two most famous allegedly spectral guests are a man described variously as a “monk” or a “preacher” in Room 302, who hung himself due to a loss of faith, and a young woman in Room 306, who supposedly threw herself out of the window when her lover either failed to arrive or was said to have been lost at sea. A cruel twist in the tale is that the reports of his death were apparently exaggerated.
Kimberly Smith, the front desk manager at Manresa Castle, has worked for the hotel under both the previous and current owners and said the hauntings weren’t “as promoted” under the current owners, whom she described as more neutral to the phenomena.
“We still have a lot of people who see things, though,” Smith said. “We hear from them at least two or three times a week, so it’s still going on.”
When asked to describe the nature of the phenomena, Smith characterized it as “nothing negative or evil. They just seem to be making their presence known.”
In addition to Manresa Castle’s more infamous spectral guests, Smith has received accounts of a “sad” unseen violinist, as well as a giggling child and a woman named “Natalie.”
Our Paranormal Investigation:
Be sure to check out the Photo Gallery below for some amazing photos. (Click on Photo to enlarge)