The Haunted Hilltop House

Awoken at 2 a.m. by a rapid, loud thumping noise, Edward Davidson rose out of bed, threw on a bathrobe and went to the foot of the stairs. Thump, thump, thump. It sounded like the noise was coming from the upper level of the house. Davidson was alone in the castle, sleeping in the mural room on the mezzanine level.  Only 18 steps lead from the mezzanine to the third floor of the historic Jim Wardner’s castle. The noise continued. Thump, thump, thump.

“I waited to see who would emerge, who would come out,” Davidson said. “Nobody came out. It just kept going. And I thought, this is a funny story, there aren’t that goddamn many steps.”

Davidson said the event left him quite shaken.

Scattered with tombstones and busts of statues peeping through melting snow, Davidson’s front lawn looks as much like a museum as the inside of his house, located on the outskirts of Sumas, 20 miles north of Bellingham.

Davidson, 72, said many of the statues, books, ceramics, artifacts and oil paintings decorated the walls of Wardner’s Castle when he owned it for seven years at the turn of the century. He operated the castle as a bed and breakfast for about five years, and he lived in the castle the whole time.

The three-story mansion has 23 rooms, seven fireplaces, a sunroom, a three-story turret and a porte cochere, or a carriage porch, among other extravagances. The castle has passed through the hands of various owners since it was built in the late 19th century, and it was already a bed and breakfast when Davidson bought it in 1998.

Davidson denied belief in the paranormal, but said he experienced three strange happenings while he lived at Wardner’s Castle.

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