The Drawbridge Ghost

Deep in the bowels of one of the many drawbridges of Seattle (I shall not say which one), lies a dungeon-like room that is dark, damp, and empty except for three folding chairs. I don’t know why the chairs are there, but I must confess that whenever I enter that room I get the feeling that I’m not alone.

It probably doesn’t help that the cavernous room just next to it is always full of eerie classical music so as to keep the pigeons from roosting there and pooping on the girders. (We do that on every bridge with mixed results. Some birds are apparently music lovers.) Shades of Phantom of the Opera. And going from a huge room to a tiny one with very low ceilings makes it seem all the more claustrophobic. The lock on the door that you have to struggle with to unlatch and the yellowed, humming, old fashioned fluorescent lights that pause for an eternity before coming on definitely add to the other-worldly ambience as well.

Even though I don’t feel like I’m alone down there, I usually am alone in the corporeal sense, so that makes it all the creepier. But I have to go there whenever I work on that particular drawbridge. It’s part of the job. No exceptions just because the hair on the back of my neck stands up.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t get a sense of evil down there. I don’t think anyone or anything means me harm except for the occasional rat. What I get is a profound sense of sadness, depression, confusion and loneliness. It feels as if someone has been sitting by himself in one of those chairs, alone in the dark and damp, for a long, long time.

Knowing that this creepy little room is going to be a part of my life for years to come, I decided to confront it, even though I did feel slightly silly. My coworkers, if they ever read this, will never let me live it down. Nevertheless I went in there, closed the door and said, “Look, I’m sorry you’re so sad. You don’t have to be if you can find the light and go toward it. This is not a good place for you to hang out. But I wanted to tell you that I mean you no harm. I have to come here sometimes for my job. Sorry if I disturb you. I’ll try not to bother you whenever that’s possible. I do wish you well.”

I wish I could say that that little speech made me feel better in that room, but no. It still gives me the chills. But at least I put that out there, just in case someone really is listening.

Happy Halloween.


I’m amazed that when I took this picture, it wasn’t full of orbs.


13 thoughts on “The Drawbridge Ghost

  1. KerikM

    I had a tour of one once–I shall not say which one either–but I did not see that chamber. I wouldn’t mind if you took some more pictures of those sectors not usually seen by the public…

  2. KerikM

    Now I am curious to know what music it is that is played there. I like a lot of classical stuff. I imagine the little room was intended for storage and not much is stored there right now. I don’t believe much in spooks and so on, but there are places that just aren’t made with human comfort in mind and a suggestible mind can get spooked. It’s happened to me–there’s a shopping district to the south where, across from the main mall is an everything-store whose builders set it back from the sidewalk for no good reason–the blank north wall is separated from the sidewalk by planters full of miserable hawthorns [they like sunshine] and dank niches with what look like nascent kiosks for undiscernable purposes. It’s always dark and dismal there, it seems, and no one ever hangs out in those niches. It’s just wasted space, and that alone is creepy. Only in summer, at sunrise, does light ever fall on that place.
    Lastly there is the possibility of infrasound. There’s a lot of it, all around us, everywhere, but the room you mention just might amplify a certain frequency, just below the threshold of actual hearing, that can make some people vaguely uneasy, perhaps including yourself. Experiments (deliberate or otherwise) with this have produced varied results. I know infrasound is serious business–I once almost blew out a speaker that way, playing with a synth…

    1. Something does dance along my nerve endings, for sure. But anyone who has read this blog knows I also have an a active imagination. Next time I’m down there when they’re doing a station identification, I’ll let you know. It does seem to be all classical, all the time, though, and I don’t ever hear commercials. Just some brief, calm talking now and then. It’s unsettling late at night somehow. I guess because you don’t expect it down there alone amongst the pigeons.

  3. KerikM

    Sounds like it must be Classy KING FM [98.1], my all-time favorite. If you know how to use a BB gun you might have a handle on the pigeon problem…

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