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You may be familiar with today’s subject, famous for the fish market and throwing sea creatures into the air to catch them. A cramped market next to the bay in Seattle, Pikes Place Market has been part of the Seattle experience for over 110 years. Considered one of the oldest continuous farmer’s market in the U.S., this place has more than wares for you to purchase, there are also former customers and vendors that still walk the alleys after their death. Today, let’s explore the ghosts of Pikes Place Market in Washington State. 

Started in 1907, Pikes Place Market needs no introduction. At its inception, it replaced a market a few blocks away and quickly picked up steam as an easier alternative to middlemen and consumers and brought them right to the producers of the produce and seafood the populace wanted. On its first day in existence, the market consisted primarily of farmers with their own wagons. Before the day was over, every vendor was completely sold out, and that began the legend of Pikes Place Market and turned it into one of the most visited sections of Seattle practically overnight. 

The first permanent building was built in 1907 and named the Main Arcade on the 9 acres designated for the market. In 1971, the location was designated as the Historic Pikes Place Market by the citizens in Seattle, who called it the heart of the city. Visiting today is just as exciting as the old farmer’s market stalls were for the growing port city. There are crafts-makers, farmers, fishermen, buskers, and trinket shops lining the narrow streets of the market, and something for almost everyone can be found near puget sound. 

However, a darker history haunts this stretch of 9 historic acres in downtown Seattle. Many ghosts have been reported in the market, as if customers just can’t stop coming back to the market and checking out what’s new for sale that morning. The first spirit that has been recorded is Native American royalty and known as Princess Angeline. Chief Sealth’s only daughter, the princess lived in a shack on the site of the future Pikes Place Market at a time when indigenous people were not allowed within the city limits of the brand new city of Seattle. Born in 1811, her spirit resides on the land she once claimed as her own that the market grew on top of. She is said to be seen coming up the stairs on Washington Avenue, near where her shack was before the development of the land. Guests say she smells repugnant, and is often seen out of the corner of one’s eyes, wandering the narrow streets, possibly looking for her former home. 

Another spirit in Pikes Place is one of the original founders, Frank Goodwin. Frank kept his offices in a basement on the market’s main row, where he would pass away in 1954. He’s seen in a full body apparition, especially on the stairs of the Alibi, sometimes introducing himself as Frank to the customers who stop to talk to him. He is said to offer directions to visitors who look lost, just like he would have done all of his mortal life. When they look back, Frank would have disappeared into nowhere, despite a dead end street nearby. 

A young boy is sometimes seen in street urchin clothes wandering alone in the market. This is said to be the ghost of Jacob, a 9-year-old boy who died of the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1917. He’s believed to haunt the Merry Tales toy store the most, being seen looking at the toys he would have loved in life. Sometimes, with some provoking, the spirit is said to throw things off the shelves in the toy store and causing poltergiest activity all over that section of the market. Kindly, the owner of the toy store made Jacob his own room with a bed and toys, and he calmed down and stopped vandalizing the toy market. 

Finally, a spirit known only as “The suspender man,” is reported to appear all over the market’s grounds. The building that now houses Kell’s Irish Pub was originally a mortuary in the days before the market expanded. A man can be seen in the building that wears suspenders and a newsboy cap, as if he’s from the 1920s when the mortuary was at its peak on Pike’s Place. Many believe he was a former employee, and still watches for the dead he’s meant to prepare for burial. All he finds nowadays are very much alive tourists and locals. Photos have been captured of the suspender man, but he still has no name for anyone to call. 

When you visit Pikes Place Market, it’s a sensory overload with the market full of people, shopping and exploring and sometimes even haunting. Keep your eyes peeled and you might just see a ghost. Just don’t throw a fish at them, I guarantee they won’t be able to catch it. 

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