Boo! 6 Seattle locations everyone swears are haunted

haunted seattle
[Image by Flickr user pasa47]

Seattle isn't the oldest city on the West Coast, but with a history as sordid as this town's, it's no surprise that there are plenty of stories about spooky activity.  

Here are just a handful of the places that visitors and residents alike swear are haunted by Seattleites who seem unable to leave.

  • Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub: Kells might just be the most famously haunted spot in town. Featured on more than one ghost hunting television shows, Kells is located in the basement of old Butterworth Building, which used to be the city's first mortuary, which was later believed to have been the source of corruption and other dirty dealings.

    Kells owners and staff say they've experienced moving objects, creepy feelings, and even the brief appearance of specters, like a young girl who, legend has it, tries to lure other children to come play with her.

    Don't believe it? KOMO News even investigated this haunting several years ago. 
     
  • The Cadillac Hotel: Built at the height of the Gold Rush in 1889, the Cadillac Hotel on Second Avenue in Pioneer Square has been through its fair share of rough times. Built right after the Great Fire which leveled much of the neighborhood, it played a temporary home for Seattle's early loggers, miners, and other raucous young men, who frequently had female visitors of ill repute.

    Declared not up to code in 1970 when an arson at another hotel forced city officials to pass new laws about fire safety, the upper half of the building was simply shuttered. During the time that the top floors were closed, passers by reported seeing apparitions in the windows -- even though there was no one there.

    The three-story Victorian brick building was further damaged in the 2001 earthquake, which prompted Historic Seattle to move in to save the building. It since been retrofitted and remodeled, as well as turned into the Klondike Gold Rush Museum...which may have chased away any ghosts who were previously tethered to the building.
     
  • The Moore Theatre: A visit from SyFy's "Ghost Hunters" team made the Moore's rumored haunting famous nationwide, though the TAPS team was unable to substantiate any claims of paranormal activity. Still, staffers claim to have seen flickering lights, apparitions and moving objects -- though other employees have noted that they've never seen anything unusual.

    The oldest operating theater in Seattle, the Moore is currently renovating the upper balconies of its auditorium -- areas that, while maybe not the home of actual ghosts, are certainly haunted by unpleasant memories.

    "It was segregated," noted the Moore's Public Relations Manager Antonio Hicks; for decades, attendees of color where only permitted to sit in the steep, crowded nosebleed seats. 
     
  • West Seattle High School: Rumor has it that a student named Rose Higginbotham committed suicide inside of West Seattle High School (formerly West Seattle School) in 1924 -- though no records have ever been found to confirm this legend.

    Still, that doesn't stop students and visitors from claiming to have seen an apparition of the girl roaming the hallways and surrounding areas. 
     
  • The Sorrento Hotel: This looming 1909 building on First Hill looks like something straight out of a horror film -- and in fact, there is one legend of a famous neighborhood figure who, hotel staff say, still wander the halls. Alice B. Tolkas, a marijuana activist and one-time Seattleite, at one point lived on the same block at the Sorrento while attending the University of Washington.

    Now, visitors and hotel employees swear she still wanders the fourth floor (though it's unclear whether or not she actually ever stayed in the hotel.) Still, the Sorrento honors Tolkas, who the Sorrento's Facebook page calls "a friendly ghost," every year on Halloween with a special dinner menu at their restaurant, The Hunt Club.
     
  • The Owl N' Thistle: Pike isn't the place in Post Alley with a spine-tingling secret. Bar staff say that this dark spot is home to at least one ghost who likes to play the piano when there's no one else around, while others have reportedly felt a presence behind the bar.

    Which isn't surprisingly -- it's located right on top of Seattle's famed underground tunnel network, which was used for all kinds of nefarious reasons back when the waterfront was the notoriously shady Skid row. Also not surprising: Just about every other bar along the waterfront claims to have a ghost, too!

What's your favorite Seattle ghost story? Share it in the comments, if you dare.