Point Defiance Park is a seven hundred acre park that attracts over three million visitors to Tacoma Washington each year. The urban park is notorious for its zoo and aquarium, Rose Garden, Rhododendron Garden, beaches, trails, boardwalk, boat house, ferry dock, dog park and old growth forest. Many nature watchers are delighted by the commonly seen bald eagles, sea lions, deer, fox, birds, raccoons, and squirrels.
Many history buffs travel to Point Defiance to visit the historic military reservation of the Wilkes Expedition in the 1840s to map local bays and estuaries. Many search the area and enjoy hearing stories about Point Defiance being strategically placed to be able to “defy” the world. In 1888 President Grover Cleveland declared the area a public park and soon after, street cars, the waterfront pavilion, and seaside resorts brought even more people to the area.
Point Defiance, as it stands, is a retreat for joggers, cyclists, and hikers. To circle the point is five miles round trip. Although it is not without some caution that joggers and hikers are encouraged to visit the area. Unfortunately, the area is currently known to be haunted by fourteen year old Jennifer Smith. She does not take kindly to strangers in her neck of the woods.
Reports indicate that a pair of joggers found a body in the late 1980s. Although a thorough investigation was completed, no one was ever convicted of the crime and the killer was never found. Some argue that the killer was none other than Terapon Dang Adhahn. Adhahn was the convicted sex offender who was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a twelve year old girl in Tacoma, Washington in 2008. He is most notorious for being the alleged abductor of Amber Hagerman, the young female namesake of the Amber Alert. Adhahn’s rap sheet was nearly as long as the list of unexplainable events prominent in the area.
Hikers, bikers, and joggers on the five mile journey commonly report coming upon a young girl, reportedly either walking or biking along the road. When they call out to the girl, she doesn’t answer, continuing her travel. Everytime, the unknowing traveler comes up on the girl and tries again to get her attention. Slowly, the girl swivels her head around and an eery grin spreads across her face, failing to reach her eyes. Big black holes remain where her eyes used to be. Without warning, while the unlucky victim reels, the girl disappears.
Another entity is claimed to call Point Defiance home. A man and his wife were hiking in the area when suddenly she had disappeared. The man stopped for a moment before turning back. When he came back upon the lake, he found his wife. She was face down in the lake, a victim of a drowning. The man, unable to contain his grief, committed suicide shortly after and is said to roam the park.The pagoda is known as a “hot spot” where visitors commonly report hearing sighing, seeing footprints and feeling extreme cold. They have reported phantom faces peering into their car windows, the sensation of someone unseen speaking or breathing into their ears, and even have reported being chased out of the area. Even those that are lucky enough to rush out of the park safely at nightfall when it closes, who survive seeing the ghost girl, or Jennifer attacking them in the woods, or any other of the other strange occurrences often find themselves back at home, thinking they are safe, until they start to review the photos they had taken at the park that day…