Visiting a place and knowing that it has been reported haunted is a thrilling experience. You go there with the expectation that something— or someone— will make you jump out of your skin. The desire for confirmation of the paranormal activity is so strong that you may even begin to exaggerate your experience. However, what’s far more unsettling is when you enter a haunted location unaware of the ghosts that lurk in the middle of the day in plain sight. Such was my luck while wandering the walkways of Pike Place Market.
Located in the heart of Seattle, Washington, Pike Place Market is an outdoor historical landmark occupied by local shops, cafes, and the best fish market on the West Coast. The market is also known as the most haunted location in Seattle and perhaps the entire Evergreen State. Had I known that I might have been walking among spirits, I would have paid closer attention to my surroundings. But many have described these unexplainable formations as appearing as real as any living patron. Although the number of spooky stories surrounding the Pike Place Market are infinite, only these five ghosts are known to locals by name…
Princess Angeline, the Native American Peacemaker
Princess Angeline is one the most frequent ghostly patrons of the Pike Place Market. She was the daughter of a Native American chief and their tribe lived on a Duwamish reservation near the where the market currently sits. The early settlers of Seattle referred to her as “princess” because she acted as a mediator between them and her tribe. Despite a treaty set in place to force the Native Americans off the reservation, Angeline insisted on staying. She spent her days working in the laundry business and made hand-woven baskets to sell in the downtown area. In 1896, the princess died at 85 years old and the local settlers provided her with a proper funeral ceremony and buried her at Lake View Cemetery on Capitol Hill in Seattle.
For over a century, Pike Place Market regulars have reported sightings of Princess Angeline, often mistaking her for a live person… until she disappears into thin air. If you happen to be in the lower levels of the market and spot an old woman wearing a red scarf and carrying a woven basket, don’t be fooled.
Arthur Goodwin, the Nephew of Pike Place Market’s Developer
Arthur Goodwin had a solid helping hand alongside his uncle Frank Goodwin in the development of the Pike Place Market. For twenty years, Arthur maintained the title of Market Director with his office residing just above the shops. He would often look at the market through his office window to catch a glimpse of the ongoings below. Since his death, Arthur’s old office has been converted into the Goodwin Library which is now used as a conference room. Many Pike Place Market employees and customers alike have spotted an apparition resembling Arthur Goodwin through the Goodwin Library window, sometimes swinging a golf club.
The Fat Lady Barber, the Singer and Local Pickpocket
Although the formal name of this spirit is unknown, “The Fat Lady Barber” has become a regular of the Pike Place Market scene. Legend has it that in the 1950s this woman worked in the market and was notorious for lulling her patrons to sleep with the sweet sound of her lullabies. As they nodded off to slumberland, she would rob them of any cash in their wallets. It is believed that The Fat Lady Barber died when a section of the shop floor caved and she fell all the way down. Some janitorial workers at the market have reported hearing the sounds of the songstress as they tidy the place.
Madame Nora, the Psychic Reader
Madame Nora is no stranger to the paranormal realm as she spent her life as the owner of Temple of Destiny, where she worked with crystal balls and psychic projection. Post-mortem, Madame Nora has continued to do what she loved, her spirit once lingering at Pharaoh’s Treasures and now at Sheila’s Magic Shop where she— by no surprise— inhabits a crystal ball. The crystal ball is said to have been received by Pharaoh’s Treasures by an elderly woman eager to barter it for a scarab. The woman gave fair warning that Nora’s spirit was stored inside the crystal ball but the shop owner dismissed this and accepted the trade. When Pharaoh’s Treasure became Sheila’s Magic Shop, the crystal ball remained. As an active medium in life and an active spirit in death, Nora has been known to move objects throughout Sheila’s Magic Shop at all hours of the night.
Jacob, the Bead Shop Boy
Popular arts and crafts shop Bead Zone is best known for harboring a young ghost boy which owners Ram and Nina have named Jacob. It is unknown, the cause of Jacob’s death, but it has been suggested that he was a stable boy many years ago as the shop occasionally smells of hay and manure. Before child labor laws, it was not uncommon for children to work long hours in stables around the market, shortening their life expectancies.
Like all the ghosts of Pike Place Market, Jacob has proven to be harmless yet restless. When ownership of the shop first changed hands, strings of beads were discovered inside the walls. It is believed that Jacob had taken a liking to the beads and had been holding them for his own use. Nina has reported several incidents in which her inventory has been reorganized— supposedly by the boy— and sometimes items go missing altogether. Despite the mischief, Ram and Nina have a special place in their hearts for their disembodied apprentice as they have kept a small cart and toy basket in an area of their shop which they have designated “Jacob’s Room.”