Two years ago, Kristie Choate of Olympia was hospitalized for an infected dog bite.
Her heart stopped, and she was resuscitated by a doctor.
“After that, I could see the spirits,” she said.
Last week, Choate opened Ghost Whisperer Christian Spirit Gallery at 502 N. Tower Ave., Centralia.
The opening exhibition features 70 photographs that were selected from a collection of more than 100,000 images featuring faces of humans and animals that Choate has captured with a simple point-and-shoot digital camera. She calls the images spirits.
One of her favorite images resembles her son, who committed suicide in 2007. Choate said she knows it’s him.
“A mother knows the shape of her child’s face,” she said.
Choate said she can view spirits all the time, but that she’s able to photograph them only when she’s smoking marijuana. She said she uses cannabis medicinally to relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
“I think that probably any kind of smoke would make it work,” Choate said.
Tiffanie Terry of Olympia, who has known Choate for about a year, said she was moved by the exhibition.
She described it as a peaceful experience, and added that she saw angels in some of the images.
“It was quite emotional,” Terry said. “I did not expect to see what I saw.”
Choate said she’s not afraid of what she sees in the smoke. In fact, she said she enjoys interacting with the spirits and asking them to smile for the camera.
Choate said she hopes her gallery will help people who are grieving find solace. She said she also wants to reach out to people who are curious about spirits.
“I don’t want people to come here and be afraid, or think something’s evil,” Choate said. “I don’t allow that.”
If you go
Ghost Whisperer Christian Spirit Gallery is at 502 N. Tower Ave., Centralia. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $5 adults, $3 students and seniors, and free for those who are grieving a loved one. For more information, email Ghostwhisperer firstname.lastname@example.org.