Taimi Dunn Gorman met us in the ground floor lobby of the Victorian era Sycamore Square building in Fairhaven, a glass of wine beside her and a glowing device on the table. The TV-remote sized machine picks up waves that ghosts make, and she has used in during her research into ghosts in the 1880s era buildings of this restored downtown section of Belllingham. Her book, Haunted Fairhaven, has sold well and she wanted to share some of the spirits she regularly meets in this part of the city.
The spirits, she said, are all around, and she’s found proof of their existence not only by the dozens of anecdotal evidence from residents but by the orbs that appear in photographs taken in various rooms of certain haunted buildings. The orbs show up, unexplainable dots too big to be dust, in photographs again and again. There are too many instances to dismiss them as simply dust. She’s convened many gatherings of psychics who back up her claims that there are many spirits living among the living here in Fairhaven.
Fairhaven was named after the Massachusetts city of the same name by Dirty Dan Harris, who befriended a man who ended up leaving him the land the he parceled out and sold as the railroad made its way up from Seattle in the late 1800s. Side by side are sturdy Victorian brick buildings built back in the day and carefully constructed modern buildings with many of the same lines. The neighborhood features a London city bus repurposed as an indoor-outdoor fish and chips joint, and the Sycamore Square building, with four stories of offices, shops and clubs all built around an elaborate staircase that winds three stories up and around–it is here that Gorman said a women either jumped or was pushed off the top floor–and here is where she has seen orbs and felt the presence of her ghost.
In another store, there’s a cowboy in the dressing room…only the third one, where a stairway was once located but now is blocked. That cowboy wants to climb those stairs, Gorman said. He keeps knocking the curtain off the dressing room door. In a lovely old saloon, we climbed the stairs to the top floor and one of us shot a photo and indeed, it had an orb in it, an unexplainable dot that Gorman said is a ghost’s presence. Yes, indeed, this is a haunted part of town.