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Seattle's Most Haunted Pub & Hotel

Feb 3rd, 2021

More and more people have been calling Seattle home these past few years, and it’s no wonder! The city is attractive to everyone from artists to entrepreneurs to hikers and more. And there’s so much to see and do. 

There are some residents who have been here for their entire lives, but there's a group of residents who have called Seattle their home for hundreds of years already, and that’s the ghostly population in Seattle’s most haunted places.

From the tragedies of the Great Seattle Fire to the mysteries of Seattle’s Underground, the dark mysteries of the city occasionally come to light when the immortal residents of the city make themselves known. 

If you live at our luxury Seattle apartments, then you’re in luck! Some of the most haunted places in Washington are right here in Seattle, especially these two extremely haunted buildings below. This Pike Place pub and First Hill hotel are some of the most haunted of their kind in the country, so go check them out!

Most haunted pub in Seattle: Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub

If there’s any place in Seattle that should be haunted, it’s Kells Irish Pub. 

Many pubs can lay claim to the title of “most haunted pub in *insert city name here*,” but this Seattle pub can not only claim to most haunted in the city, but most haunted in the country, too!

The ghostly happenings that make this Pike Place establishment famous aren’t necessarily connected to the fact that it’s a pub, but rather because of the building that the pub is housed in. Built in 1903, the Butterworth Building was constructed specifically to be Seattle’s first mortuary, and one of the only mortuaries of its kind in the country at the time. It was also the first building on the West Coast to include an elevator!

The building featured multiple rooms for all death-related services, such as coffin showrooms, embalming rooms, morgues, funeral chapels, preservation rooms and even stables that housed the funeral wagons and horses! This building was one of the first of its kind to be constructed for the purpose of being a mortuary, and so it’s no wonder that the building is riddled with ghostly sightings and spooky specters. 

Although the Butterworth & Sons Mortuary company moved buildings in 1923, the paranormal activities have remained in the building and often occur in the pub that occupies the basement, where it’s said the embalming room and crematory used to be. 

Two of the immortal regulars to frequent the pub have been identified as a young girl and an older gentleman, both of whom are friendly and appear more often than others. The girl, who has been said to have bright red hair, often plays pranks on the adults in the pub, but is more fond of playing with other children. Small handmade toys will appear out of nowhere during the day when children are allowed into the restaurant, leading many to believe that the young girl is lonely and looking for a friend to play. 

Another regular is an older man who is usually noticed in the mirror behind the bar. The gentleman, known affectionately as Charlie, is recognized by his derby hat and often manifests when live music is being played. He’s a happy spirit who seems to feed off the positive energy of the pub. 

In addition to the two regulars, there are other spooky occurrences that give the impression of there being other presences in the building. Mirrors will shatter randomly, plaster will start tumbling from the walls, visitors will hear the echoes of footsteps and even the owner’s sister has reported seeing a tall, thin man walk through the pub before fading away into the walls. 

Here’s a short documentary about the haunting and history of Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub!

Most haunted hotel in Seattle: Hotel Sorrento

As far as haunted places go, this century-old hotel certainly takes the cake. Hotel Sorrento, which opened in 1909 in the First Hill area, is not just the oldest and most haunted hotel in Seattle, but it’s also the most haunted place in Washington State. And, in 2015, it was named as one of the most haunted hotels in the country and the world! But despite the hotel’s grand reputation for the paranormal, no one is really sure why the hotel is haunted in the first place. 

The surreal specter, which haunts the hotel is that of Alice B. Toklas, an early 20th-century writer, art aficionado, musician and, allegedly, inventor of the pot brownie. However, Alice was not a Seattle native and only spent a few years of her life living in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle before moving back to her hometown of San Francisco.

Alice and her family moved away from Seattle over 10 years before the Hotel Sorrento even opened! It’s unlikely that Alice ever visited the hotel in her lifetime, although some say that her connection to the hotel is through the grounds, rather than the building itself.

However, Alice’s paranormal presence in the hotel is strong enough to both identify her and provide the hotel’s ghostly reputation. She’s said to have been seen wandering the hallways, around room 408 in particular, clothed in white or black clothing of her time. Diners in the Dunbar Room have reported their drinks rattling around and lights flickering, although that’s been the extent of the paranormal activity. 

In fact, Alice’s presence in the hotel is not just tolerated, but it is also celebrated! The hotel hosted its first annual dinner in Alice’s honor in 2018 and has even named a drink after her!

These spoooooky establishments luckily feature fairly harmless houseguests, so don’t be afraid of checking out these places for yourself. You may even get to add your own ghost story to the mix!


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Featured photo courtesy  Pixabay/Pixxel_Worx

Author of Article

Colleen Ford is a South African who now lives in Spokane, Washington. She loves to travel, camp (in warm weather) and bake.

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