KALAMA — When Colin and Allison Norton moved into their century-old Kalama home seven years ago, they didn’t believe rumors that it was haunted.
Colin Norton, who grew up in Kalama, knew the stories surrounding the house at 180 South First St., but he thought the previous owners “cooked up” some of the tales to bring in business to a bed and breakfast they ran there.
“It was kind of a wake-up call when we found out that wasn’t the case” he said.
Norton, his wife and their four children ages 18, 13, 7 and 5, all report paranormal encounters in the house over the years, including a coffee cup flying across the room, the sound of coins being dropped on the ground, and their dog watching the basement stairs for hours.
On Friday, an episode of a new Travel Channel television show, “Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests,” investigates what’s behind the reported paranormal activity in Kalama’s “Montgomery House.”
The show is a spin-off of the “Ghost Brothers” series, which aired in 2016 and 2017. The new series follows friends Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass and Marcus Harvey as they travel to homes across the country and stay the night to investigate paranormal activity.
The episode is not the first time the Montgomery house has been investigated on film. In 2010, medium Danielle Egnew released the documentary “Montgomery House: The Perfect Haunting” exploring the house’s history.
The house was built in 1908 and soon after used as a boarding house. From the 1960s until about 13 years ago, the house was owned by a family who also had an antique business and used much of it for storage.
Eric and Julianna Montgomery bought the house in 2006, renovated it, and reopened it as a bed and breakfast in 2008. However, they put the house on the market just months later because a zoning rule prevented them from holding special events at the house.
The Nortons bought the house in 2013. Colin Norton said his paranormal encounters began shortly after moving in. One or two months into living there, he recalls after saying “if anyone’s here, I’d like to meet you,” a globe light fell from the ceiling.
It wasn’t until about four years ago the family acknowledged as a group the strange things that kept happening to them, Norton said.
“We started combining all these stories and found there’s a lot of stuff going on here,” he said.
The Nortons and show producers got in touch in February, and the cast and crew filmed in Kalama the last weekend of March, he said. About 20 people were involved in the filming, Norton said, including the three “Ghost Brothers,” producers and camera operators.
“It was a lot of work but a lot of fun,” he said. “They were a joy to work with.”
Although the crew filmed around Kalama, including a town hall meeting of residents telling their stories about the house, Norton said it didn’t make the final cut. The couple said they and the producer were disappointed the town wasn’t featured as much as they thought it would be.
The “Ghost Brothers” stayed in the Norton’s attic overnight Friday and investigated through the weekend, he said. Allison Norton and her oldest daughter stayed in the house Friday night, while her husband took the other children to stay in a hotel.
She said the producers prompted her to face her fear and venture into the unfinished basement in complete darkness. Even with a light on, the dirt-floored basement is dark, with a dank, muggy smell. A pile of the Norton’s belongings are near the bottom of the stairs, but most of the space is unused because no one wants to be there, she said.
“That was a crazy experience,” she said of her venture into the dark. “I couldn’t believe we were doing that.”
The next night, her husband and their 13-year-old daughter stayed with the crew. He also had to go into the basement, which he said is “by far the creepiest part of the house.”
“I don’t want to do that in the daylight,” he said.
Despite the eeriness of being in the house with all the lights off, the Nortons said the crew couldn’t have been more accommodating.
“From the producers to the Ghost Brothers themselves, they were all so nice and brought the kids into the experience,” Allison Norton said. “If anyone didn’t want to do something, they didn’t have to. I would do it again.”
She said the family has never felt threatened or endangered in the house.
“We’ve never felt anything but benevolence from what’s there,” Colin Norton said.
The couple said they think the episode accurately reflects the “vibe” they get from the house.
“It’s funny and not making anything out to be terrifying,” he said. “When I die, I’m totally gonna haunt that place.”