No I’m not babysitting Kim and Kanye’s kid North West, I’m doing something far more exciting and interesting. Today I’m heading off to Port Townsend, Washington to join Amy Bruni, Adam Berry, Chip Coffey, Aiden Sinclair, and John Tenney at the Manresa Castle for a weekend of spooky fun and a little science! I’ll be speaking on “The Science of Sensed Presence” or what we know about how, and why, we might feel we are not alone (my op-ed for The New York Times will give you a hint of what I’ll be covering, or you could buy my book!).
I’m very exited to add another destination to my list of haunted properties, especially one with such a fascinating history. Built in 1892 as private home (I know right) for the first mayor of Port Townsend, it has 12 inch thick walls (what didn’t he want people hearing?) and 30 rooms–i.e a castle. Charles Eisenbeis died in 1902 and the property was left vacant after his wife remarried which makes me think she had to have some pretty powerful and maybe even dark memories to walk away from such an estate. The site was purchased in 1925 by nuns who used it as a vacation home (?!), and then 1927 by Jesuits who used it as their school until 1968 when it was sold and became a hotel. Lots of the rooms are thought to be haunted, and you can read more about the history and ghost stories here or here. I’m very curious to learn more about Kate–what would motivate someone to walk away from such a castle.
After my adventures in the NorthWest I’ll be heading home for just a few days and then off to Chicago for the annual Society for Affective Science conference. This year I’ll be attending the “Brain Camp” pre-conference led by Lisa Feldman Barrette so this sociologist can learn more about the structure and function of the brain. I can’t wait to hear what’s hot in affective research (seriously), and I’m looking forward to speaking about my own research and the ups and downs of collecting psychophysiological data in the real world.
Here’s to new adventures!