Seattle's Haunted Pike Place Market
Vintage Postcard View 1st & Pike Street, Seattle
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is located on First and Pike in downtown Seattle and is one of the most haunted places in Washington. Native American apparitions are reported to appear regularly in “The Market Down Under.”
Long before white settlers arrived, the area and surrounding lands where the Pike Place Market now stands, was inhabited by the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes.
In 1855, the settlers created the “Treaty of Point Elliott” forcing all Native Americans to leave their lands and live on reservations. A large portion of the Market was built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground. This fact has been confirmed by the Duwamish who have officially stated the area is a documented tribal cemetery.
The Pike Place Market was created in 1907. It all began because of local merchants fixing prices. As a result, the Seattle City Council soon established Pike Place Market along the newly constructed four-block boardwalk known as Pike Place.
On opening day, August 17, 1907, residents, eager for fairly priced fresh food swarmed over the first dozen farmers. They were sold out within minutes.
The Great Depression
Before long Frank Goodwin, a Pike Place land owner, built the first actual marketplace building. He opened an arcade on November 30, 1907. The Outlook Hotel and Triangle Market were added the following year. Soon the city had to extend the shelter in 1911 and hired the first "Market Master.” His job was to run the daily lottery for assigning stalls. During this time a number of multi-level buildings were built, most of them are still part of the market and operating today.
At a time when almost all other markets were suffering effects of The Great Depression, Pike Place Market still thrived, as it offered the best prices and food in town.
However, the market has been reported to be home to more than just vendors but is said to contain a number of restless spirits. One of the market’s most famous visitors is said to be Princess Angeline, the eldest daughter of Chief Seattle. Though the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott required all Duwamish Indians were to leave their lands for reservations, Princess Angeline refused to budge.
Living in a waterfront cabin Angeline made her living taking in laundry and selling hand-woven baskets. She became a familiar figure along the waterfront. She was usually seen wearing a red handkerchief over her head, a shawl around her shoulders and ambling along with a cane.
About this time a young photographer, Edward Curtis, found her to be a good photographic subject and often took pictures of her.
Angeline Not Ready to Leave
Princess Angeline died at the age of 85 on May 31, 1896. Seattle residents gave her a fine funeral. Her casket was made in the form of canoe and she is interred at Lake View Cemetery on Capitol Hill. But apparently Angeline was still not ready to leave.
The market, built upon the site of her former cabin, is said to still be her home. Over the years, many people have claimed to see her. Her apparition appears as she did in life, ambling slowly along with a cane. Witnesses say she looks like a real person until she suddenly disappears. Others say the specter changes colors from glowing white to lavender, blue and pink. Sometimes she is accompanied by a young Indian boy.
She is most often sighted by a rough wooden column in the center of the lower level. Some say the column seems surrounded by cold air and photographs taken around the column have displayed abnormalities. Several exorcism attempts have been made by a Native American Shaman, to no avail. Angeline refuses to leave her land.
The spirit of Arthur Goodwin, nephew of original Pike Place Market developer, Frank Goodwin has also been seen hanging around his former upper-level office swinging a golf club.
Then there is a spirit, most often referred to as the "Fat Lady Barber,” who also lurks about the market at night. In the 1950’s this barber was known to sing her customers to sleep with lullabies and then rob them. However, while remodeling was being done in the 1970’s, the floor collapsed and she fell to her death. Today, maintenance workers report sounds of lullabies while cleaning at night.
Many shops at the market also have their own ghostly tales. The spirit of a small boy is said to live at the Bead Emporium. When renovations were being done on the business some years ago, a basket of beads was found in a wall. A wall which had remained untouched since before the store opened. It is believed he is hiding the beads in the wall to play with. Other odd things happen at night such as the cash register drawer opening and closing of its’ own violation.
Not to be outdone, Sheila’s Magic Shop is also said to have its’ own special haunt. The spirit of a woman, known as Madame Nora, who inhabits a crystal ball. This restless spirit apparently haunted a shop called “Pharaoh’s Treasure” before moving to Sheila’s.
The story goes Pharaoh’s Treasure came into possession of the crystal ball from an old woman wanting to trade it for a scarab. During the haggling, the old woman repeatedly warned the shop owner about the spirit of Madame Nora. However, the proprietor was a bit of a skeptic and made the trade anyway. Shortly after, objects began to be moved at night. The owner wasn’t as skeptical anymore. Research revealed Madame Nora was said to have operated a place called the Temple of Destiny in the markets’ early days. Madame Nora practiced crystal gazing, Egyptian sand divining, and Indian psychic projection. The store owner finally got tired of Madame Nora’s annoying habits and the crystal ball ended up in the possession of Sheila’s Magic Shop.
Mr. D’s, a Greek deli in the triangle building, reports spirits who are known to fight in a downstairs walk-in freezer. Some employees are so frightened of the quarreling duo they refuse to go in.
And at the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore, owners would arrive every morning and find a certain book taken off a shelf and tossed to the floor. Every day it was placed back on the shelf. The next morning the act had been repeated. Finally, someone had the sense to destroy the book.
As you can see, Pike Place Market is the place to go if you’re ever in Seattle.