Over the years, this beautiful building has served many purposes and remains in use today. It was built as a home for a successful immigrant and his wife, used later as a training college for Jesuit priests, and is now a hotel and restaurant enticing guests with the possibility of supernatural occurrences.
In the mid 1800’s, Charles Eisenbeis emigrated from Prussia to Washington with the intention of setting up a humble bakery. It became successful enough that he started to sell animal feed as well. This was only the beginning, as the area of Port Townsend began to flourish as a shipping port. Eisenbeis recognized this and expanded his business to construction and real estate. He grew very wealthy very quickly, and in the meantime married a woman named Kate.
However, Eisenbeis was far from finished. He was elected as the town’s first mayor, and soon after built an enormous hotel. Unfortunately, this was never opened and later burned down mysteriously. The entrepreneur was not fazed, rather he began construction on his dream home. Eisenbeis Castle, as it came to be called, featured artisan woodwork, thirty rooms, and walls twelve inches thick.
This accomplishment was the last in Eisenbeis’ life, as events took a turn for the worse. His son, also his business partner, committed suicide at their real estate office. The distraught father died five years later of a kidney disease. His widow continued to live in the castle until 1905, when she remarried three years later. With Kate gone, the building was idle in the hands of a local caretaker for nearly 20 years, until an attorney had the idea of turning it into a nuns’ vacation home. This idea failed, and two years later Eisenbeis Castle was sold to a group of Jesuit priests.
Used as a training college, the building became home to monks attending their final year of study. In order to accommodate its new residents, the castle was expanded to hold a chapel, even more rooms, and an elevator. The finishing touch was to rename the building Manresa Hall, after the city in Spain where their order was founded. It was during this period that the most famous death in the building occurred, when one particular monk felt he could no longer go on. He hung himself in the attic, located right above what is now room 302 in the Manresa Castle Hotel. Some guests brave enough to stay there have reported hearing footsteps coming from the ceiling and occasional sounds of a strained rope. One even claimed to have been visited by a black hooded figure.
The second spirit haunting the building belongs to woman also by the name of Kate. She had stayed in room 306 during the 1920’s, though not for very long. Upon hearing the news that her lover had died at sea, she jumped from the window to her death on the ground below. While the stories of why she committed suicide vary, her presence at Manresa Castle seems consistent. Some of the scarier incidents include sightings of a woman standing over beds or looking out the window, but it is more common for just the lights and television to switch on and off at random. In addition to hotel room spooks, glasses in the restaurant and chapel sometimes explode or turn upside down.
Manresa Castle has become famous for its supernatural activity, and was featured on many television shows. To add to the ambience, the rooms even contained a “ghost register” for patrons to record any odd experiences. This seemed like a great idea, until some were upset by reading it and requested to switch rooms.