October Takeover: DIY Ghost Tours: Guidebooks for your Local Ghosts

~posted by Blythe S.

Have you ever wondered who is haunting your neighborhood? Ghost have purportedly taken up residence in a number of bars, theaters, restaurants, stores, parks and other places in Seattle–enough to create entire guidebooks on the subject.

Find Spooked in Seattle in the SPL CatalogFind Ghosts of Seattle in the SPL CatalogFind Ghosts Hunter's Guide to Seattle in the SPL CatalogFind Pacific Northwest Haunts in the SPL CatalogFind Washington's Haunted Hotspots in the SPL Catalog

During October a number of worthy ghost tours are offered to guide you through dark, damp streets. You will pop into establishments, and peek through windows, hoping to spot something unusual while listening to a guide give you the lowdown on the undead.  But if you want to avoid the skittish screamers and loud disbelievers, or simply explore an area without a tour, you can design your own.

Plan an evening walk through a neighborhood in Seattle or even visit a nearby town. One of the unexpected treats of seeking out Seattle’s ghosts is that you will inevitably learn a lot about the sordid history of this city’s past 200 or so years.

For example, one of the most haunted places in Seattle is the Butterworth Building – home to the first official mortuary in the city.  Linda Hazzard (1867-1938), the “doctor” who starved 40 patients to death, allegedly had her bodies cremated here.  Many businesses have tried and failed to stay for any length of time in the main floors of the building. People have witnessed unsettling ghostly figures, objects being thrown and door knobs rattling. Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub in the basement of the building has thrived, though there are reports of hauntings there as well.

In 1983 the Wah Mee Club in the International District was the site of the brutal murders of thirteen people. That portion of the building remained locked and abandoned but strange noises, shadowy figures and faces in the window were seen over the years. A mysterious fire broke out in the vacant, upper floors in 2013, proving devastating to other businesses in the building. A portion of the building was demolished, exposing the basement where the murders occurred.

Other highly haunted places include the Pike Place Market, and the Seattle Underground in Pioneer Square, but many neighborhoods boast ghostly inhabitants. Check out this list of books for help in planning your own haunted trip!

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