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Thornewood Castle Investigation

2009-06-30 | Thornewood Castle | 8601 N Thorne Lane SW | Tacoma, Washington

Location Information
Location Web Site:

Brief History:  
Built in 1908 by Chester A Thorne who formed the National Bank of Tacoma and was one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma. He purchased a 400-year-old Elizabethan Manor in England and had it dismantled and shipped, brick by brick, from England to be included in the building of the 27,000 sqaure foot Thornewood Castle which sits on 3 acres. The castle was a gift to his wife Anna.

The Thornewood has 54 rooms in total, including 28 bedrooms & 22 bathrooms.

The Thorne family sold it in 1959 and it was again sold to it’s current owners Wayne and Deanna Robinson in 1995.

The Thornewood Castle was used in the Stephen King TV Mini-Series "Rose Red" as well as the prequel "The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer".

The Thornewood in 1910


Activity Reports:
– Cadwallader Colden Corse who was married to Mr Thorne’s daughter was shot in the head bny a rifle but survived, to this day the details are unknown but many claim it was a suicide attempt. It’s reported that his spirit walks from the bathroom located under one of the staircases into the grand fireplace room.

– Books moving, foot steps, voices, & smells are reported throughout the castle.

– In Anna’s old room which is now the Bridal Suite (the castle is rented for weddings & receptions) a bride when wearing her wedding dress is seated in front of the mirror some have reported seeing a woman (believed to be Anna) in period clothing standing behind her. When the bride turns the woman is gone.

– There are claims of unknown foot steps and noises coming from the old servant’s quarters section of the castle.

– A full bodied apparition has reportedly been seen in the "Red Room" which is one of the nicer rooms visitors can rent. The pale tall thin man is reportedly around 30 years old, has dark clean, closely cut hair and wears a white shirt with a vest and dress pants. He seems unaware of others in the room.

– The current owners have reported seeing a large vortex appear in the Great Hall on the Grand Staircase. They saw several spirits come out of the vortex.

– There are a few reports of seeing a man and a woman appear on the Grand Staircase. The man is said to wear a leather outfit and the woman is wearing an Empire style dress. The smell of old leather is also reported.

– Random light bulbs have been reported to become unscrewed quite often in the Smoking Room.

– An apparition of a child is sometimes seen next to the lake where the grandchild of the former owners drowned.

– Staff have claimed to see the apparition of Chester Thorne walking the grounds and in the castle wearing a brown riding suit and spurs.

– A woman has been reported to be seen sitting in a window looking down at the gardens.


Investigation Results

Investigators: John Francis & Cheri Francis

Areas Investigated:
All floors and most unoccupied rooms

Visual Evidence:
No visual evidence was found on any of the camcorders or still cameras.

EMF Readings:
Readings would vary but never went above 1.2 mg

Personal Experiences:
The only experience we had was that Cheri’s Cell phone got unplugged and moved on it’s own

Links to Investigations from other Groups:
We’ve looked for hours trying to find links to previous investigations. There seem to have been 2 investigations done. The first by a team led by Max Burnsteim, the second by the Washington State Ghost Society led by Henry Bailey.

We have sadly not found many web pages of true investigations.

The Washington State Ghost Society page doesn’t even list an investigation but does list Thornewood on it’s Haunted Washington page.

If you know of any further information please let us know and we’ll gladly update this page!

Thornewood Investigation by
Henry Bailey

WSGS/Evergreen Paranormal 2002 Seattle Times Article
Recovered Investigation Page – Evergreen Paranormal

  Investigation Summary:
Alaska Ghost Hunting could find no evidence of it being haunted.

This does not mean that the Thornewood is not haunted. We went to the Thornewood with limited equipment.

At some point in the future we will be taking much more equipment and more investigators.

The Thornewood is a very beautiful and is very well taken care of. If you ever need a quiet place to stay in the south side of Tacoma not far from Interstate 5 we highly recommend it.