Friday, May 22, 2009


One of the places we stopped on my cruise was Astoria Oregon. I went on a shore excursion to the Flavel House for tea and then a tour of the house.
The Flavel House was the home of Captain George Flavel, one of Astoria's most influential citizens in the late 1800's.

The house is approximately 11,600 sq. feet. It has six original fireplaces. The first floor has 14 foot high ceilings and the 2nd floor has 12 foot high ceilings.

The house was very modern for it's day. It was fitted with indoor plumbing and gaslights.

The outside of the house is done in the Queen Anne architectural style.

There is a beautiful octagonal shaped tower and a wrap around porch. Lots of moldings and patterned shingles were used.

They are in the process of upgrading the house so we couldn't go in through the front door. But, even the side and rear entrance are amazing!

The Flavel's were one of the richest families around. Captain Flavel was a noted river bar pilot on the Columbia River and a prominent business man.

He married his wife Mary Boelling when she was only 14 and he was 30. They had two daughters, Nellie and Katie and one son, George Conrad.

The two daughters never married, but, the son did and he never lived in this house.

As we entered the beautiful house you couldn't help but feel the history of the place.

The family owned and lived in the house until 1934 when Captain and Mrs. Flavel's great granddaughter, Patricia Flavel, gave the property to the city.

From 1937 through the World War II the Red Cross, Public Health Department and the local Welfare Commission all had offices in the house.

In 1951 the city wanted to tear the house down and turn it into a parking lot. However the locals organized to save the home and the Flavel House was made into a museum.

In 1995, the Clatsop County Historical Society, was given the title and returned the home to its original state.

So let's go take a look around.

This was the bedroom of the daughter, Katie. She spent many years sleeping in this room.

However, once her father died, she moved into his room and passed away in that room.

Volunteers have told stories of strange things happening in this room.

The curtains have been closed by the volunteers and when they leave the room and returned after a few minutes the curtains are opened again. Yet, no one else is around.

They believe that it's the ghost of Katie, who always wanted her curtains opened durning the day, that is opening them up.

This is the library. It is where Captain Flavel spent many hours doing research on the tides and reading.

This was the room they called the heart of the house.

This room is the formal parlor. It was used by the family on special occasions and where the daughters entertained their male visitors.

It is also the room where the Captain's body was viewed after he passed away in 1893.

This is the music room. Both daughters loved music and could play several instruments.

They would spend most of their time in this room while they waited to receive visitors and practicing their music.

In the evenings the often entertained visitors with a song or two.

One of the volunteers, who now work at the house, said she would often hear music coming from a music box that used to be in this room. It had a large, heavy lid, which had to be lifted to start the mechanism.

The volunteer would sit in the hall near the front door and could see everyone who came in and out. Yet, no one would even be in the house when she heard the music box playing.

Once she told other volunteer workers about hearing this they also said they had heard it several times too.
In 2006 a writer asked about the music box. He was told that the music box used to be in the music room but, one day when the volunteers came in, it was gone.

To this day, no one knows what happened to it. There was not a break in.

I didn't notice it at the time but when I uploaded my photos I noticed an orb was in this room. I put a circle around it as it's a bit hard to notice.

You can click on the photo and it will enlarge making the orb easier to see.

Could this be one of the sisters watching us tour the room they so loved when alive? I don't know.

The main bathroom was something else for that time period. It was super modern with a built in tub, running water and even a flush toilet.

I took a few photos and then felt a tap on my shoulder and heard "Look again". I turned around fully expecting to see one of the other people on the tour with me. Yet, no one was there.

I was last to leave this room. So I clicked another photo and saw an orb was now over the tub area.

I wasn't sure if my mind was playing tricks on me or what was going on. But, out loud I said "If someone is in here with me can you show up more so I can see you better." Then I clicked this photo.

As you can see an orb that is much larger in size showed up.

Could this just be a coincident or was it a ghost who tapped my shoulder and said to look again? Again, I can't say for sure. But, I can tell you it was an eerie feeling.

I loved the sink faucets.

The box looking item is the indoor flush toilet. You would lift up the lid and the seat would then be exposed.

This is Nellie's room. She did not die here but had been very sick.

You can see another orb on her headboard.

The Historical Society keeps the curtains closed and shutters closed to keep the sun off the furniture and while they allow you take photos you are not allowed to use your flash.

Therefore, none of the orbs seen, could possibly been due to the flash on my camera as I had it turned off.

This is one of the beautiful fireplaces. The tile and wood work are all original. They were all lovely.

The Historical Society volunteers provided us with a wonderful tea. I loved my tea cup. I also found out that I enjoyed the tea and had two cups. I don't normally like tea but whatever this was very enjoyable.

The Tea was held in the dinning room. It was a lovely room with high ceilings and beautiful woodwork.

They served the standard Tea items. Finger sandwiches, scones and little cookies as well as lemon bars.

We were served tea out of the Flavel Family's actual silver tea sets.

The kitchen was pretty small compared to the rest of the house. But it had all the modern appliances of the day.

Even a large refrigerator/freezer.

This is the what the back side of the house looks like. It's still lovely, isn't it?

Another volunteer told of a story about her son and daughter in law and grand children who came to visit her. She took them through the Flavel house and they took lots of photos.

When they got home they noticed that one shot was taken with two different cameras and both showed shadow figures of three women dressed in "old fashion clothes" up in one of the windows.

Another volunteer said she was going to go up in the tower and was 1/2 up the stairs when she got a strong feeling to not go up there. Several others had that same feeling in the past and one claims to even have heard someone tell her to "Not go any further".

Since so many workers have had things happen on those stairs the tower has been closed off to the public.

Another volunteer told a story of a man who paid for the tour that came running down the stairs and ran outside. He refused to go back in the house.

When asked why, he told them he saw Captain Flavel in his bedroom and when he called for his wife, who was in the other room, he noticed the Captain disappear as if sinking into the floor.

So is the Flavel house haunted? Well, many people besides me would say "Yes, it is".

Speaking of haunted places, this Saturday I'm going to take a class from TAPS. They are a well known Paranormal group and have been seen on several TV shows.

After the class, which is 5 hours long, we are going to do an investigation of the Granada Theatre in Ontario CA, which is said to also be haunted.

I'll try to get photos up and a post on Sunday about that.Photobucket


Harbor Hon said...

Oh Joanne, what a fantastic post. I enjoyed the pictures and your story very much. Can't wait to see what you come up with next. You should do a 'Haunted Series.' You're very good at it. xxoo

Glenda said...

How exciting. You missed an orb in the green bedroom. It's faint and on the headboard. There was a young woman setting on the bed with a cream and blue dress on, with long brown hair, and some up on her head.

Have fun in your experience this weekend. You know I am jealous.


Allidink said...

Oh my gosh! How cool! I wish I could have gone with you to see TAPS! How cool! Thank goodness those people saved that house! It is so neat! I just love everything about that house. How cool that you got those orbs! You should take the pictures to the TAPS guys and see what they think! What an awesome place to have a tea party.

All the best,

Donna @ Party Wishes said...

Joanne, you creep me out! What awesome stories!

You need to take me on one of your Ghost tours!

Unknown said...

The architecture of that old home is beautiful! Too bad it's haunted. I guess you like that, aye? Thanks for all the photos, it was interesting.

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Kaylene said...

We just returned from a trip to Astoria, OR. We toured the Flavel House and I too have several pictures with Orbs! People are skeptical, but I see in your pictures they are the same as mine just in different locations! I also had an experience in Captain Flavel's room. I felt someone grip my upper right arm as if to pull me back. I also took a picture of his closet and later when I got home discovered a leg and foot silhouette behind me, yet I was the only one in the room. It was an amazing old home, with a little bit of creepy!

Kaylene said...

We just returned from a trip to Astoria, OR. We toured the Flavel House and I too have several pictures with Orbs! People are skeptical, but I see in your pictures they are the same as mine just in different locations! I also had an experience in Captain Flavel's room. I felt someone grip my upper right arm as if to pull me back. I also took a picture of his closet and later when I got home discovered a leg and foot silhouette behind me, yet I was the only one in the room. It was an amazing old home, with a little bit of creepy!

Unknown said...

I just moved to Astoria and thought I'd get a bit of history by visiting the museaums. As I entered the main hallway I paused for a minute at the first room on the left and noticed a great looking piano. I said to the receptionist "what a gorgeous piano!", but she did not reply. After a moment more I noticed faint music coming from the roped off room-I believed it to be an added aspect for the tour by the museaum restoration crew as this room was labled as a 'music room'. Now that I think about it, however, there were no noticeable speakers. The haunted music box that you wrote of in this posting comes to mind.
The part of my visit that made me search the Flavel house on the internet was an experience entering a bedroom upstairs. I stepped into the bedroom at the far end and to the right of the hall and immediately I felt chilled. I haistily read the articles on the wall and continued on to the adjoining bedroom with the fireplace and chill subsided. I realise this might be nothing, but I thought I'd relate my experience.

The Biscotti Lady said...

I went to the Flavel house and felt a choking sensation in the captins room as if a portion of the oxygen had been removed. I triple checked my response by going through the rooms over and over, same response. The closet was the worst because I felt fear and violence. I am a bit of an empath, so take this how you want. At the end of the tour the attendant confirmed my suspicion, that room was reported to be haunted. I did no prior research. Contact me if you choose.

Junkero said...

I have been in the Flavel House twice now and both times had something interesting happen. My cute girlfriend and I were in the bathroom where you got the orb shot. She was checking out what was under the toilet cover out of curiosity. I was standing next to her close to the sink. The cupboard door under the sink sprang open with a noticeable click. I tried to get the door to pop open again several different way including jumping up and down on the floor. We felt a little spooked after that but went on with the tour. I went back a couple of times during that visit to watch the room, but nothing more. The second visit we had some of the grand daughters with us and we showed them the haunted bathroom. This second time took lots of pictures of the rooms especially focusing reflections off of things with glass. I took a picture, of a picture of Capt. Flavel that was inside the door of the downstairs south room. There looks to be an image of a woman in turn of the century cloths. You can't make out the face because it mixes with the image of Flavel. It is very interesting. The house is a must see if you are in Astoria.!

Junkero said...

If you would like to see the image mentioned above go here.

Tina said...

We visited in November 2018. I am not a ghost hunter but I am a sensitive with a variety of past experiences. I did not study the house or the family in advance, and I had no preconceived expectations. My visit was for love of architecture, history and museums. None of the docents mentioned anything to me about the house being haunted. I toured the main floor completely without incident. I had vivid personal experiences on the second floor. Specifically on the grand staircase, in the hallway at the top of the grand staircase (very strong) and in Katie’s room (the one with the fireplace). The information in the room states that she died in that room of something similar to starvation from complications of another illness. Captain Flavel passed away in his own quarters. I have nothing to report about the remaining rooms including the Captains room. Based on my experiences here I don’t believe this house is actively haunted but I am willing to say that there are residual energies present, be it of the homes past residents or from the decades of visitors who have passed through it since. Perhaps it’s a combination of all of this but I cannot confirm either way. It left me melancholic and intrigued by the Flavel family and their history in Astoria. You may contact me if you are at all interested in the details of my experiences here or elsewhere.