Astoria, a port town where the history feels haunted and spooky sites abound, gets a starring role in the Travel Channel series “Ghost Adventures.”
Four episodes titled “Graveyard of the Pacific” investigate the landmarks and hidden corners that locals know well — the rusted bones of the Peter Iredale at Fort Stevens State Park, Cape Disappointment’s North Head Lighthouse, and Astoria’s Norblad Hotel and cavernous underground tunnels. The first part debuts Saturday.
When The Daily Astorian spoke with the crew last spring, they said the research team had homed in on the Columbia-Pacific as a place practically vibrating with paranormal possibilities — a ghostly, fog-enshrouded region with a dangerous river bar, a long catalogue of shipwrecks, unidentified bodies washing ashore, well-preserved old structures and maritime mysteries.
At one point last April, the adventurers stayed overnight in the basement of Gulley’s Butcher Shop on Commercial Street.
Co-owner Diana Gulley, who didn’t know the show was shooting in the region, had struck up a conversation with a crew member who dropped in to grab a sandwich. He and his colleagues were filming at the Liberty Theatre on that block, he told her, showing a picture of the theater’s basement.
“He said, ‘Isn’t that scary?’” Gulley recalled. “And I said, ‘You should see our basement if you want to see scary.’”
Still not knowing who he was — she thought the filmmakers were collecting footage for a documentary — she took him on a basement tour.
A short time later, a producer came by and asked if she knew about “Ghost Adventures.” She said she’d heard of it, but explained she doesn’t watch TV. Then the cast and crew arrived. She gave them a follow-up tour while the cameras rolled.
“Real nice guys,” she said. “Really funny.”
She handed them the key, signed a secrecy agreement and left them alone to seek out whatever spirits lurk on the premises. The team came and went over the next couple of days.
Eerily enchanting as the butcher shop’s basement is — with floors strewn with debris, walls of blackened wood, antique household items casually lying around and a chill-inducing ambiance — Gulley doesn’t descend too often. “I don’t like to be down here that much,” she said, glancing around the dim space. “It is kind of creepy.”
The show, which premiered 10 years ago and is entering its 17th season, has explored many locations in the U.S., the United Kingdom and other far-flung locations.
For the “Graveyard of the Pacific” premiere, Gulley said she probably won’t do anything special. The butcher shop has already planned an unrelated customer-appreciation party for Saturday afternoon.
“We might come up with a haunted sausage,” she said.
‘Graveyard of the Pacific,’ four episodes of ‘Ghost Adventures,’ debuts at 6 p.m. Saturday on the Travel Channel.