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One of the most haunted spots in WA | Captain and Clark The countdown to Halloween is upon us. We’ve always made it a tradition to visit haunted and spooky places this time of year. Some of you may remember our journey to the most haunted house in Korea. With only 8 days to the big event it seemed like a good time to talk about one ...
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One of the most haunted spots in WA

The countdown to Halloween is upon us. We’ve always made it a tradition to visit haunted and spooky places this time of year. Some of you may remember our journey to the most haunted house in Korea. With only 8 days to the big event it seemed like a good time to talk about one of the most haunted places I’ve ever been to in the great state of WA, Clay City. Back when I was going to PLU, Clay CIty was a secret right of passage. For anyone looking for one of the most haunted spots in WA or for something scary to do before Halloween, this is an excellent story.

The legend of Clay City...

The legend of Clay City…

Clay City was supposed to be a lumber town, outside of Kapowsin, over one hundred years ago. As luck would have it though, the settlers built the city on a huge concentration of clay. It turned out to be more cost effective to make bricks than to mill lumber. Clay City became a booming little town until (and here’s where the story differs) a great tragedy struck. One story says that a woman who lived near Clay City was killed unjustly. With her dying breath, she cursed the town and everything (except her home) burned to the ground. The other version has it that the Kapowsin tribe, after being pushed from the land by the Clay City settlers, breathed a desperation into the Earth. They wove it so deep that nothing would grow and no children would be born there. Everything would wither and turn to ash in the area. One woman, a member of the Kapowsin tribe, remained. After Clay City started to falter in the Great Depresion people began to abandon it in a mass exodus. The few people who remained suffered great hardship in the brick factory. The people who stayed blamed the Native woman. One night, a group of men when to burn her house down, but the fire spread to the rest of the city and left her house unscathed. The fire razed everything to the ground that wasn’t made of local clay. Today, only the shell of a small home remains.

When I was given directions to Clay City they were given to me like this:

Follow Highway 161 south until you see a Shell station with bars on the window and turn East. Follow the road until you see the Devil’s eyes and turn right. You’ll drive down a winding road until you see a sign for Clay City Rd. If you turn left and follow this across the railroad you’ll eventually come to a yellow gate. You’ll have to go past the gate on foot and follow the old road up to the empty lot. From there, look for the house. 

the most haunted places in WA

Highway 161


Clay CIty, WA

The Devil’s Eyes


the story of Clay City

Turn left at the sign


Haunted places in WA Clay City

Follow the road past the railroad tracks


the most haunted places in WA

The gate to Clay City

*It should be noted that the property of Clay City is currently owned by Hancock Forest Management and is private property. We do not condone trespassing and want to remind you not to trespass on private property. 

Please Do Not Trespass

Please Do Not Trespass

I’ve been several times to Clay City, (before the trespassing) always at night. The footprint of the town is eerie enough, but there is a physical and gut pummeling force that you can feel right before the boundary of the house. It’s a ruined shell of a brick house. A frail skeleton of a minuscule structure. It creeps in the bramble at the edge of the clearing and reeks of darkness. The interesting thing about Clay City is the sound. Every time I’ve lead a group there we’ve heard it. It’s a low hum, like a distant ATV. It’s never in the same spot and moves around while you’re out there. Almost like a generator, but mobile. The thing about the sound is, it only happens when someone is afraid. If no one is scared, there is no sound.

I remember one time I went with a group and we were all laughing and having fun. The ubiquitous fog of the Pacific Northwest wasn’t as thick as usual. We were about to get to the house when we came up on a fallen tree across the path. Right as we were about to jump it one of our group announced that she had an uneasy feeling about it. As soon as she spoke the words aloud, the sound was there. Some unidentifiable conglomeration of a 2-stroke engine and an animal’s guttural growl. It is, by far, the most disturbing part of the trip. The sound stalked us for the remainder of the journey until we cleared the forest, hopped the gate, and drove off.

scary things to do in WA

Of all the haunted locations we’ve investigated in WA, Clay City is the one that calls me back time and time again. If nothing else the drive out there is one of the most beautiful in the county. It is also one of the most mysterious. IMG_5037

Happy hunting.

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  1. Hogga
    October 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Hogga recently posted…Seeing Montreal with Le St. MartinMy Profile

  2. Colleen Brynn
    October 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    K but I don’t understand the devil’s eyes!!!
    This is the creepiest shit – that sound!!!
    I just did my own pseudo Halloween type post… and I gave myself nightmares that night!
    Colleen Brynn recently posted…Oh, Mr. Sandman…My Profile

  3. Alana - Paper Planes
    October 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Crazy – I’m from that area and have never heard of Clay City… Also had several friends go to PLU – I’m sure we have some people in common!
    Alana – Paper Planes recently posted…>> Finding an Apartment in Chiang Mai >>My Profile

    • Captain & Clark
      October 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      That’s insane. PLU was a quality institute. You’ll have to check it out when you get back from Thailand.

      • not the only one
        November 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm - Reply

        I had some friends a while back that would go out there. They saw the ATV go off a cliff and have gone through the old mill that at the time it was still there they saw children playing and disappear. The little girl made contact with me a couple others after they stopped going back there.

    • Rod
      August 29, 2014 at 8:42 am - Reply

      Clay city is at the south end of lake kapowsin. Used to drink out there when I was a kid. Used to ne alot of great places to party and explore. Too many great places are closed nowadays.

  4. chad
    November 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    I remember you guys from Tripfilms! Glad I found your site, it’s awesome!

  5. mariajones22
    November 21, 2013 at 3:25 am - Reply

    this was pretty awesome.

  6. Aras Androck
    November 30, 2013 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Creepy! But I’d love to see the spots for myself too. Sounds like a visit is in order.
    Aras Androck recently posted…Tales of Roulette Strategy – $50My Profile

  7. J
    December 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    I went there a dozen times, before the yellow gate went up about 13 years ago. I have retold my experiences there over a hundred times. I’ve never experienced anything like it; horrifying, but you keep coming back.

    I too saw the little girl in the blue dress, later that morning my brother found that same dress on top of one the interior structures (this was in the old mill) it was used to wrap up a rib carved from wood, and a crucifix necklace. There was also a little boy’s tshirt with a pocket watch and knuckle bone also carved from wood wrapped inside of the shirt.

    This place had so much crazy crud going on constantly that it was insane. I had 100 x 100 foot section of trees violently shook back and fourth for no reason, shadow people, voices calling my name, ghost images that seemed to be stuck in time, apparitions (little girl, dude with glasses and mustache in a white shirt, and a dude in a green trench coat), local satanist types trying to get us out of there, rifles misfiring on their own, and the list goes on and on I could right a short book on this place. Very curious about other peoples experiences and any history that I can find out. My girlfriend found this page and told me to check it out.

    I’ve never seen anything on any of those ghost hunting shows that came anywhere near what I experienced there. But be warned if you go there because I had something follow me back once and it was less than cool.

    • Captain & Clark
      December 7, 2013 at 11:16 am - Reply

      That’s a crazy story. We totally feel you though. Thanks for sharing it. There is an ever present darkness there.

  8. Tugs
    March 26, 2014 at 3:16 am - Reply

    I walked back past the yellow gate until there was a Y in the “road” and took a right until a concrete clearing on the right. Nothing really happened but we thought we might have seen some sketchy stuff off the side of the road…did I not go far enough back? How far back is the building and stuff?!?!?

    • Captain & Clark
      March 26, 2014 at 7:18 am - Reply

      The brick building is on the right of the road, just past the concrete clearing. You’ll have to go past the clearing and maybe 10 yards up the dirt road. You should be able to see the outline of the building in the forest, 15 yards off the road and into the bush.

  9. Morgan Sanchez
    April 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    I live like 20 mins from this place and I have never once heard that stop light called “the devils eye “lol I know NUMEROUS people who have gone back there, the common thing I hear is of a random dog showing up then just books it running, another person got scrathes on there body and had no clue how, object were moved , and the creepiest ones is a random burning cross, and more grusom thing prolli cant say on here…

  10. Adi
    April 9, 2014 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Thanks for this information. I am a thirty year resident of the Bonney Lake and Sumner area. I enjoy learning about areas such as this. I had never heard of Clay City but have been to and through Kapowsin many times. I do know of a house that a friend used to rent in Kapowsin that he claims was haunted but I never went there. Morgan’s post really left me wondering what exactly she is talking about, left me hanging…….
    And so there are satanists in Kapowsin – bummer!

  11. loni
    May 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    I grew up in Kapowsin on the creek side to the north, I have never heard of Clay City. This has me intrigued is there a map of the area that I will be able to explore? I am in a class on Enviro. Science and doing a project on destruction of a habitat and Kaposwin was a thriving habitat at one time! would like to go for a walk through the area.

    • Captain & Clark
      May 28, 2014 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      You should be able to GoogleMap it. Search for Clay City Rd near Kapowsin.

  12. Traci
    January 11, 2015 at 10:13 am - Reply

    I live in Kapowsin and have driven past that yellow gate many many times. I’m actually within walking distance of it. I’m going to go check this out today and if anything happens I’ll post about it.

  13. Lori Haun
    February 25, 2015 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I recently opened a group on Facebook called The Kapowsin Group.
    I am looking for pictures and stories about the area. You are welcome to post them. Nust no gruesome stuff.

    I knew about Clay City from when I was a teenager. My older brother and some of his friends biked up there back in the early 1980s and described the “feeling” of the place like something out of the movie Deliverance.

    I would like to know more about the Kapowsin indians who used to live out there. Where did you hear of or find out a out the tribe?

    Please share your photos with me in my group. Thanks.

  14. Josie Johnston
    April 17, 2015 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    I found this to be a really interesting and well written story, but if anyone is interested in the actual researched history of the area, the link is here. Also, I am from Eatonville and these legends are not at all usually taken seriously out here. It is the opinion, mostly, of those of us who live closest to Clay City that the worst things you might encounter out there are crank cooks, not possible specters, so watch out.
    Josie Johnston recently posted…Eatonville’s Sakura reflects on WWII internmentMy Profile

    • Captain & Clark
      April 22, 2015 at 8:22 am - Reply

      Thanks for the info. It’s always great to get more history on a place.

  15. Emily
    October 23, 2015 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Dudes! The Pacific NW has some seriously haunted places, I love it! Especially all the ghosts stories coming from the coast… but I will say that every time I go camping around Mt. Hood, I feel this heavy weight and disoriented. Weird.
    Emily recently posted…The Houseless Experiment: Weekly Roundup 2.0My Profile

  16. alisha
    March 13, 2016 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Does anyone have any recent pictures from this place?

  17. Johnny Webster
    May 6, 2016 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    I was one of 5 or so friends who used to go to Clay City clay pits at night,15 years ago back when the enormous long abandoned factory buildings with giant cast iron machines still inside, 40′ brick dome kilns in rows, & even the old brick towers still stood. There were 6′ diameter holes in the center of these kilns that went so far down into the earth we never heard rocks hit the bottom. There was an elaborate (low clearance)tunnel system under the conveyor belts slab where we found old boxes of nails, light bulbs, & 100 year old soggy dynamite. I have seen shadowy silhouettes move eerily by 2nd story windows in the moonlight, heard chains rattle, had doors slam shut 10 feet from me there. Its a place carrying a shotgun won’t even make you feel safe. I thought only a handful of friends, & whoever was spray painting all the satanic crap on the ceilings knew about clay city, & thought only we knew it was certifiably haunted. They demolished & bulldozed the place a few years back, after I talked it up & arrived with a couple newbies who didn’t believe me haha. Its still capable of making your skin crawl at night though, the sound of the place never left..

  18. Paul Spadoni
    December 29, 2017 at 1:30 am - Reply

    My grandfather worked in Clay City when it first opened in the early 1900s. He actually met the old woman from the Kapowsin tribe who cursed the site (just kidding). I’ve written an article about the history of Clay City, and two other stories about what happened to it later.
    Paul Spadoni, author of An American Family in Italy: Living la dolce vita without permission
    Paul Spadoni recently posted…Genetic diversity in DNA testing of Italians should be expectedMy Profile

  19. David Lucero
    July 17, 2018 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I am putting together a documentary for a local [Pierce County] non-profit about Clay City and would really like to talk to anyone who has had any experiences there that they can substantiate with some kind of documentation (audio recording, photos, video, etc.).

    If anyone had any Family members that worked at Clay City and can share photographs of them in the town, I would also like to talk to you.

    Please contact me via email or through my website!

  20. Joe Balkwill
    January 4, 2019 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Very interesting read! I enjoyed reading the input. I made about 6 trips to the Clay City brick factory from late 1999 to 2003ish. Never heard of any other freaky stories about the place until now, I always just thought I had bad luck when I ventured there. I would always envision the hustle and bustle of early workers at the factory while I explored and how the many bricks shaped our surrounding city’s that were manufactured there. The strangest thing was that something would always go wrong on my visit. I remember a friend had became ill and started vomiting soon after walking around. Another time, a friend and I were shooting shot guns nearby into an old post and a dirt berm. Either a pellet or debris had shot back and hit me underneath my eye and I had began to bleed pretty good. I was nearly 30 yards from the target which was strange. (I know, you’ll shoot your eye out!). Twice, with two different people I had taken there, we picked something up in a tire just after the railroad track. The worst incident was near the gate where we had parked years before it was demolished. A couple friends that were brothers and I decided to walk down the steep ravine to the creek. An old tree that looked like something from that forest in the LOR movie was at the base of the creek. My buddys bro made a jump to the lowest branch, possibly to do a pull-up. The entire branch broke off as he fell and out came 100’s of wasps. We couldn’t manage to go back up and we all slipped on the wet and mossy rocks. Our bodies were weak with the amount of stings we endured and clothes soaked from falling in the creek. And the sounds, I do remember hearing some odd sounds. I’m not one to believe in ghostly tales but I can’t even make this stuff up. Sorry for such a long post!

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