Saturday, January 17, 2015

Flavel House, Astoria OR...something weird in this picture!

Just before New Years we took some of the cute granddaughters out to Fort Columbia.  Last summer we had taken the girls out there and I had promised the oldest one that I would take her back out there to go "ghost hunting".  I'm pretty sure the number of people that died on the property of Fort Columbia is probably closer to one than it is 10. I downloaded some supposed ghost hunting apps for my smart phone for the occasion.

We let the girls roam around the fort for a while and they took some very cool picture. (see the article here)
They were down in the bunkers of the fort and they said that one of the door they remember being open was now closed. They asked me to use my phone to see if any thing was there. I turned on an app called ghost detector. This app has a screen that says EMF detector. It showed no change in readings when I used the app near the door.

Let's be real for a second here. There are apps you can download that call themselves ghost detecting apps. Smart phones are wonderful and sometimes amazing things but lets face it there are few things that the meager sensors in these phone can read. The ghost detector app has three screens. One, a twirling radar looking screen that little lighted dots pop up when supposed ghosts are nearby. That screen is pretty stupid. It will say there is a ghost right behind you and if you turn the position of the "ghost' doesn't change.

There is an EMF screen, Elector Magnetic Field detector, it looks like a tachometer off an old semi. This screen actually reacts to magnetic fields. I suspect it can read the signal change across the phones antenna. If you hold it up to a wall outlet it would make the meter get higher readings.

The third screen is suppose to be able to let you ask a question of a ghost and it will give you a one word reply. This one is even more dubious than the first screen. I never ask the phone/ghost any questions, I have a personal rule don't communicate with the dead, I just entertain myself watching what words will pop up. Let's face it, these phones now know where we are at all times, and when I turn this app on when we first got to the fort, the first word that popped up was....wait for it. Explode. Now I'm sure some of our more gullible brethren would think a ghost must be present. That is the beauty of this app, just by the power of suggestion this thing can make you think it works. Very dubious.

There is another app called Ghost Radar and it does much the same thing, all on one screen, except any words that pop up it says them audibly. This one is just as dubious. Like is says when you download the app. "This is for entertainment purposes only"

These are fun when you have kids around because you can mess with them with the little ghost screens...grin

Well it was a cold morning out there at Fort Columbia, and the kids had taken a ton of pictures and climbed all over it messing around being loud so their voices would echo through the place. We made our way back to Astoria on the Oregon side of the river to roam around town some. There is an huge old Victorian Mansion there in Astoria that is a must see if you go to Astoria. Actually there are two must see homes in Astoria OR. One the Victorian, the Flavel House, and two the Goonies house on the east side of town. If you missed out on the 80's Goonies was kind of a coming of age goofy Indiana Jones type movie that had a bunch of crazy kids in it.

I blogged about the Flavel House a year or two ago, I think it was in relation to the ghost we have in our house. This place is cool, especially if you can appreciate Victorian architecture. I got some pictures while I was in there. The interior has been maintained as it was when the Flavel family lived there.

Who were the Flavels? The first thing you need to know is that the Columbia River Bar is the most treacherous in the world. A river bar is usually where the river meets the ocean and in this case it is eats up ship for dinner. There are hundreds of ship wrecks around the mouth of the Columbia. A man name George Flavel offered his service to the powers that be to start a Pilot Service. Because of his knowledge of the conditions and currents at the mouth of the Columbia her was given the rights to run the only Pilot Service on the Columbia. This of course made him rather wealthy and it wasn't too soon after that he started a family.
He was a good business man and a well trusted citizen so it wasn't to long before he owned a good part of the town of Astoria. Befitting of his status he and his family built this huge house.

Picture found on Wikipedia.
It is truly a huge house. A while back the cute girlfriend and I took a tour of this house. One of the rooms was being repaired at that time so we didn't get to see it but we toured the rest of the house and were fascinated by the bathroom. This house was built when indoor plumbing was in it's infancy, yet this place had a toilet of sorts, tub and sink. Cute Girlfriend last time was curious what the toilet looked like because it is hidden under a wood cover. I was behind her waiting to take a look when the cabinet under the sink next to her opened on it's own. I spent a few minutes trying to see if I could get this cabinet door to pop open again by moving around next to it, leaving it partially unlatched and moving around. I could not get it to replicate the popping open incident. Cute girlfriend didn't want anything to do with the room after that. Ghost?

This time around we took the cute granddaughters there to show them a "possible" haunted house. Some of the Flavel family has died in this place so who knows. Well this time I took a lot of pictures.
Cute girlfriend loves these rooms they all have pocket doors.
These are the two sitting rooms at the front of the house.
The Parlor looking east.
Parlor looking west, with a picture of Capt. Flavel on the right....make note of that picture.
Dinning room.
Here is the bathroom. It is upstairs, unheard of when this house was built. The toilet is under the wood box on the left, and the door that popped open last time is under the sink on the right. I asked if it wanted to pop open again but it didn't want to...grin
Here is the galvanized tub.
I think this was the guest room.
Bedroom, this one shared a water closet with another room.
The other bed room with the water closet to the right.
Capt. Flavel and his wife had connecting bedrooms.
The Capt. Quarters.
This is the huge hallway that connects all the upstairs bedrooms, and the oldest cute granddaughter haunting it...grin
Here is the kitchen.
There was this one place in the entry foyer that had two mirrors facing each other on opposite walls. This was a pretty cool effect with the cute granddaughters.

I took a lot of these picture with the hope that I might get a reflection of something in a mirror or glass cabinet, or maybe a light effect. It might have paid off. This is a huge maybe.

This maybe isn't to far of a stretch but I'm open to what we are seeing as Pareidolia. Humans have an interesting trick that the mind does where you may see a face in something like a reflection or the way the leaves of a tree layout. Jesus on toast is Pareidolia. Click on the link above for more. It is an interesting artifact that is on this specific shot.

If you remember the shot of Capt. Flavel, the one I said make note of? The picture is covered in glass. There seams to be a reflection in the glass that crosses the Captains beard. It helps if you can make the picture bigger. Take a look at it first and find out what you see.

I took two pictures of the parlor from the same door so you may be able to see what caused this reflection. The problem is the the picture is presented to the door with a backwards tilt and an odd angle in relation to the door. Here is what it looks like to me.

I see what could be a woman in a long Victorian dress, with a puffy sleeved shirt with a lace collar and what could be her head is in the Captain's left eye, the eye on our right.

Another problem is the reflection fits in with facial features of the captain so this could be Pareidolia.
I will let you be the judge. Like I said it is an interesting artifact.

We left the Flavel House and went to a few antique shops in town, One had all these cool old doors and other salvage architectural pieces. It even had the wheel house from some poor old fishing boat. At one shop the cute girlfriend found some cool Christmas stuff for next years tree.

On the way out of town I found out where the Goonies house is. I was walking the dog so I couldn't get any pictures. The cute granddaughters said it was cool and had all the gadgets that were in the movie attached to the house.

It was a great outing with the granddaughter and I can't wait to have another adventure with them.

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