Place: Starvation Heights
Location: Ollala, WA
Date of Investigation: 7/16/11
A woman named Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard ran a sanitarium back in the early 1900’s or so. Her theory was that any disease could be cured by fasting (going for weeks, sometimes months, on end without food). It is said that she intentionally starved her “patients” (Most often referred to as victims) to death and buried them on the sanitarium grounds, planting a tree over each body, and when she ran out of room for bodies, she threw them off of the cliff on the back side of where the building once stood. Her reason for killing the “patients” was out of greed: she had wills written up (some of them fake) that gave her full possession of her deceased “patients'” money and valuables, causing her to gain a fortune by their deaths. All that stands of the sanitarium today is the foundation, and the incinerator in which she reportedly cremated some of the bodies. And the trees that act as sinister headstones to the many nameless innocent people who fell victim to the woman’s twisted, immoral and cruel scheme.
The family experienced some ghostly phenomena over the years. On one occasion, the woman who lived in the house was in the kitchen cooking dinner. She was facing the stove, which was against one wall, and the bathroom door was behind her. She moved back and forth between a counter on her left and the stove for several minutes. When she turned around, she saw that every chair in the kitchen, and a few from the room next door, had been piled up against the bathroom door.
The woman had been alone in the house at the time, and it’s doubtful that someone else would have taken the time to sneak in and silently pile all the chairs up against the door while the she made dinner. Gregg Olsen was skeptical, but suggested that if there were any ghosts, the owners might want to close off the bathroom where people once experienced enemas and hard massages, or if they died, were autopsied by Hazzard. Some people say the bathtub in the bathroom is the original, others that it is a replacement made after she died.
In the attic were several low “ledges” where the family stored small items. A psychic once said she saw the spirits of many of Hazzard’s victims sitting on the ledges, too afraid to move even in death. The psychic burst into tears several times over the anguish she felt saturated the walls of the little house.
Washington State Paranormal Investigations and Research (WSPIR) visited Starvation Heights three times during 2005-2006, and Weird Washington spoke to their President, Darren Thompson, about some of their experiences there.
The first time, they divided into three teams, each of which had a psychic. To keep the destination a secret, they blindfolded the psychics and put them in separate cars. During the drive, technicians sat next to psychics and recorded every action and statement made with a video camera. Along the way, two psychics felt they were going to a large institution having something to do with medicine. When they arrived at the cottage, the teams removed the blindfolds from the psychics and kept them from communicating with each other. Each psychic was to go through the house alone.
WSPIR investigators Jill and Darren went inside with a psychic named Merlyn. As Merlyn walked up the stairs she saw a book, which she picked up. Upon reading the title, she said, “Oh no!” and threw it down. It was a copy of Fasting for the Cure of Disease. Merlyn was disappointed because this knowledge tainted her impressions.
Darren asked the owners about the book, and they admitted they owned a copy, but had hidden it away so that no one would see it. They did not know how it had gotten there.
The investigators also got some evidence on video and audio tape. One team recorded a video that starts inside their car, then pans outside, where the microphone recorded a muffled statement made by a team member. The video then pans back inside the car, where one can hear a strange, breathy voice, saying “Help me!” The voice could only have come from the inside of the car, and was not made by team members either inside or outside of the car.
Another WSPIR team recorded pictures and audio outside of the house while walking toward a ravine where Hazzard may have hidden victim’s bodies. Their audio recorder taped a voice that said, “Are you talking about me now?” The team members did not hear the voice at the time, and continued their conversation. Another voice seemed to say, “Take us up” or “Dig us up.”
One man tried relaxing in the Hazzards’ former room: the room in which Linda died. The man never had any psychic experiences before, but he felt like something spiritual was in touch with him. He went into a trance and answered simple questions with rumbles of “yes” or “no” from deep in his chest. It seemed he was in communication with Linda Hazzard, who was still in the house. She refused to leave, and refused to let anyone demolish it. Her spirit was wrong, however.
We investigated Starvation Heights twice, once on July 16, 2011 and again on November 4, 2011.
Our report will be coming soon. Be sure to check out our Photo Gallery for some amazing photos.