The rumors are true — Whidbey is haunted, and a Coupeville woman promises to tell guests her supernatural secrets this Halloween.
Gabrielle Robles is offering to take guests on a Haunted History Tour of Whidbey Island on Oct. 29 and 30. The 30th has sold out but there are still seats left on the bus for the Friday night tour on the 29th.
Robles, who has been leading tours across the country for decades, moved to Whidbey about a year ago. When she learned about its haunted history she decided she would see how much interest was out there. She was shocked at the outpouring on social media when she posted about her idea.
“It was amazing — people are definitely interested in learning more,” Robles said.
The event begins at 7 p.m. at Oak Harbor Cinema. Attendees can grab drinks at the bar or food and soda from the concession stands at 7:15 p.m. Then they will board a shuttle at the theater and take off into the night at 7:45 p.m. Guests will return to Oak Harbor Cinema around 11 p.m. and can choose between watching “Poltergeist” or “Halloween Kills.” Tickets cost $45 and include viewing one of the movies.
Robles didn’t want to share too many details of the tour — after all, she wanted people to buy tickets — but said one of the first stops would be at Sunnyside Cemetery in Coupeville to visit Sir Isaac Ebey’s grave. Ebey, who came to Whidbey in 1850, was the first Europe-American settler of the island and a major figure in local history. He was killed and beheaded by a visiting tribe in 1857 in Ebey’s Landing.
She plans to tell guests Ebey’s story and lead them to other sites with a haunted past, lantern in hand.
Robles fell in love with Whidbey easily because “it’s history you can touch,” she said. She used to work in New York and offered similar tours, but the experience wasn’t the same. Here, she can take guests to places that are rumored to be haunted and are confirmed major historical sites.
She admitted that people don’t always believe in ghosts, and she’s fine with that.
“Some people don’t believe me and that is absolutely fine,” Robles said. “I’m just giving them information.”
She said she has had a penchant for the paranormal since she was young.
“I’m not a psychic, I’m not a medium — I’m sensitive,” she said simply.
Despite the overwhelming interest, she has received some pushback from people who thought it best to leave the spirits and their stories alone.
“I’m just giving them information. I do not mean to disrespect anybody, and I will have rules for guests that they must follow,” she said.
Masks are also required on the tour and the event is limited to people 21 years and older.
She said she hopes to offer other local tours in the future. Ultimately, she hopes that it will be a fun way to learn more about the island.
“It’s going to be a good time to go out, enjoy the night and learn something new,” she said.