The Most Haunted Places Near Seattle

Written by Marisa Wilson
Published: October 17, 2022
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Seattle is a fantastic destination. Finding a spot to start could be challenging because there are so many distinct locations. Pike Place Market is where some visitors start their visit, while others would view the Space Needle. If you are not visiting for leisure, family, or shopping, then learning about Seattle’s spooky side may interest you. 

Seattle features a large number of haunted locations. You will find some chilling stories of the events that may have caused the alleged haunting of the location. One thing to know is that while you are reading, the chills you get will feel as if someone is watching you. Let’s look at some of the most haunted places in Seattle.

The Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery

 Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Park, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington.

Some Civil War soldiers rest at the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery, said to be haunted.

©Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons – License

Washington is home to a few graves from the Civil War. Although the Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865, and Washington didn’t become a state until 1889, the Washington Territory still participated in waging the battles on behalf of the Union Army. But because Washington was the farthest away from the main battlegrounds of the war, the volunteer men there did not engage the Confederate State Army. 

Instead, they stayed in defensive positions to fend off potential enemy naval or land assaults. Some Civil War soldiers rest in Seattle’s Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery. Considered haunted, the cemetery is north of Lake View Cemetery, on the northern slope of Capitol Hill. Although the cemetery is lovely, it is also relatively small. 

Many residents are unaware that it even exists. In 1895, the cemetery was built on property that David and Huldah Kaufman donated. Until 1922, the cemetery was cared for by Grand Army of the Republic posts before being given to the city of Seattle. The headstones of the soldiers who took part in one of our country’s first conflicts are fascinating to wander around, and if you hang around until nightfall, there’s a chance you may even see more than you expected. 

Visitors have claimed to have seen a real-life apparition of a guy dressed in a Civil War outfit. Others assert that you can hear the moans and wails of those who suffered war-related injuries and eventually passed away. Since no Confederate-Union engagements were fought here, this is obviously a bit of a stretch. You never know, though. What are the chances that everyone who hears these cries is making it up? 

The Sorrento Hotel 

 Sorrento Hotel, First Hill, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Reports of a ghost roaming Sorrento Hotel’s halls leave it as one of the most haunted places in Seattle.

©Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons – License

There are reports of Alice B. Toklas strolling the hotel’s halls. In particular, this is near room 408. She usually wears either white or black clothing. Rumors spin that she has cursed the lights, which is why they flicker. There are even rumors that when individuals are present in the Dunbar Room, she curses beverages and makes them move. 

Even though we know the ghost is Alice, we don’t understand why she haunts the hotel. In 1877, she was born in San Francisco. To attend the University of Washington, she would later relocate to Seattle in 1890. She was a music student. The family would live close to the hotel’s property but would not return there for more than ten years before the hotel opened. 

Even when she passed away, she would not do so here. She had endured a prolonged illness before passing away in Paris. Alice probably hadn’t ever been in the hallways when she was alive. She is still very much present at the hotel. Her presence is so impactful that the hotel is listed among the top 13 haunted hotels in the nation.

Furthermore, the hotel staff reportedly acknowledge Alice and like her. They even held a luncheon in her honor in 2018. Additionally, before hotel tours, tourists received dinner in the form of dishes from her cookbook. Sites frequently visited by Toklas were part of the tour. This is a gentle way to see ghost activity if you’re looking for a paranormal experience that isn’t violent and destructive.

Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub

Kells Irish Pub, a haunted tavern in Seattle

Having once served as a morgue, Kells Irish Pub is one of the most haunted places in Seattle.

©The Image Party/

This building once served as a morgue. This mortuary was constructed for the large number of corpses created at the start of the 1900s. Many people died from mining accidents, violence, and the plague. According to rumors, the bodies that landed here belonged to patients of Linda Hazard, a physician. She held the opinion that hunger was a cure for any illness. All of her patients would be starved. 

Only thin broth was permitted for them to eat. She often administered enemas to them as well. It is thought that the new establishment carried a remnant of this troubled past. This indicates that the tavern is haunted and is currently home to several ghosts. The positive energy that a bar emits is thought to attract spirits; after all, there are young people there having a wonderful time. Ghouls enjoy absorbing this uplifting energy. 

There are reputedly two ghosts who are regarded as regulars. The first one is a little child with red hair. The visitors are aware of her tendency for pranks. She will pull practical jokes on grownups, but her genuine desire is to play with other kids who come into the café. Although no one is certain who this young girl is, she is presumed to be among the many kids who died from the flu in 1918. Charlie is the second most frequent visitor. 

He has a history of manifesting the Guinness mirror, then vanishes. Charlie usually shows up when bands are performing. There are reportedly many additional spirits remaining in the bar, with some bizarre events that take place there. Even when nobody is nearby, glasses have been witnessed to fall from the bar and table. The plaster will sporadically come off the walls, and mirrors will randomly break. 

The Moore Theater

The Moore Theater, a haunted theater in Seattle

One of Seattle’s oldest structures, the Moore is also one of Seattle’s most haunted.


Developer James Moore built the Moore Theater, one of Seattle’s oldest structures and the city’s first theater, in 1907. Moore developed the space with a friend and former Seattle mayor, William Wood. However, this famous location’s lengthy history goes beyond its significance to Seattle’s past. Many stories of ghosts and inexplicable happenings haunt this building.

For more information about this eerie theater where plays run on long after lights out, those daring enough to visit should join UG Ghost Adventures. The Moore Theater is most well-known for being where Kurt Cobain may have died from a drug overdose when he was in the band Nirvana. Local rumors say that Cobain, born and raised in Seattle, died in the Moore Theater. Despite the rumors, official records say he was found dead in his home.

Why was he there, exactly? And why conceal information about this renowned grunge legend’s place of death? Nobody is certain. Many actors and actresses played and performed on stage in the theater. Some of these actors’ ghosts may still be in the theater, wishing for just one more bow. Visitors have claimed numerous sightings or sounds of female spirits at the theater over the years. Where most stories situate them, backstage or on the stage, their restless presence can be felt among the seating aisles. 

Others claim they get an unsettling sensation, a breath on their neck, or a thickening of the air to detect their presence. Additionally, it makes sense that Moore would not want to leave his treasured body of work when he passed away because he devoted years of time and affection to his theater and the adjacent hotel. Theater owners and customers have reported Moore’s presence over the years. 

West Seattle High School

West Seattle High School in Seattle

After a student reportedly hanged herself in the hallways of West Seattle High School, the school is now considered haunted. It is unknown if Rose Higginbotham ever actually existed.

©Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons – License

Rose Higginbotham is a poor soul. One can only speculate what may have caused the girl to hang herself in the West Seattle High School hallways in 1924. Rose’s suicide left a tragic legacy for her classmates, teachers, faculty, and the local West Seattle community, which was much smaller and more tightly knit than it is now.

Whatever turbulences of teenage years that cause high school students to take their own lives were undoubtedly just as powerful and significant at the time Rose took her own life. Due to the survival of consciousness after death, it’s likely that Rose’s soul roams the hallways of WSHS and nearby Hiawatha Park on particularly hazy days. 

Perhaps the trauma Rose underwent left an imprint on the foundation of WSHS, and it now periodically “plays back” depending on the experiencer’s emotional or psychical condition. Whatever the case, the West Seattle High School apparition has made its mark on Seattle’s paranormal history. Every basic search for Seattle’s Most Haunted Places reveals Rose. The tale of Rose Higginbotham does have one minor flaw, though. 

Rose Higginbotham, the dejected high school student whose ghost still stalks WSHS, doesn’t seem to have ever existed. The “Philip Experiment,” as it has come to be known, appears to demonstrate that if someone pays enough “attention,” they can generate or summon an entity in some way. Tulpa is the term for this kind of being. Rose Higginbotham might be a tulpa. Rose is, in this sense, truly liminal — a ghost that both exists and does not exist. A ghost of a deceased person or a spirit made up of our beliefs or fears—which is worse?

The Canterbury Ale House

The Canterbury Ale House in Seattle, Washington

While the Canterbury Ale House closed its doors in March 2022, the structure the bar once occupied could still be haunted.

©Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons – License

In a way, entering Canterbury was like traveling back in time. The tavern didn’t appear at all contemporary. Compared to many modern bars today, the appearance was that of a medieval tavern. It was several other things before it became the Canterbury Tavern in 1972. The Fredonia Apartments — erected in 1978 — were a well-known feature of the structure.

In 1978, during a bar brawl, a man was shot next to the building’s fireplace. The man died at the scene. That victim has never really left the neighborhood, though. People claim that they occasionally see him. He frequently appears in a mirror close to the fireplace where he perished. You can see a figure emerge from the mirror and turn to stare at the ground if you approach it and look into it. 

Visitors claim that if you stare at the man in the mirror long enough, he will slowly look up at you. The creepy moment is when the man looks up at you, revealing his faceless appearance.

Other odd occurrences took place here. As one employee closed the bar, he always turned off the jukebox. As he carried on with his other tasks, the jukebox would sometimes turn on by itself. The song playing was The Beatles’ “The End”. Numerous witnesses also claim to have seen the dim shadows of a man repeatedly wandering through the pub. However, as soon as they approached this figure or attempted to speak with it, it immediately disappeared.

Unfortunately, after over 45 years of operation, the Canterbury Ale House closed in March 2022. Reports have said that a new restaurant — Meliora — is to open in the space the ale house once occupied.

Northern State Mental Hospital

Northern State Mental Hospital in Seattle, Washington

Once-mistreated patients of Northern State Hospital could now roam its haunted grounds.

©Arnie Lund/

This asylum is infamous for having performed horrible experiments. During their time at Northern State, several patients received heavy medication dosages. The asylum’s worst feature? Most patients were simply down on their luck rather than suffering from mental illness. The patients underwent “treatments” such as lobotomies and electroshock therapy, which are incredibly controversial and viewed as cruel. 

Another popular treatment form was using strong medications to cause extreme sedation. In Northern State, thousands of patients passed away. Rarely did families claim the dead, leaving the state to decide how to dispose of them. Numerous cremated patients’ remains were discovered in tin cans labeled with their numbers. There are rumors that other patients packaged the remains in the hospital’s canning plant. 

According to hospital records, one thousand four hundred eighty-seven dead are buried on Northern State Mental Hospital grounds. It’s tough to believe that the facility wouldn’t be home to some paranormal activity, given the amount of death and misery there. It seems unlikely that these would also be joyful entities. Visitors to the asylum’s abandoned structures have noted several unusual occurrences. 

There are often cold areas, ghostly voices, and chilling feelings of being watched. There are also reports of odd shadows darting through the cemetery. The most frequently encountered spirit is of a young girl with a red ball and a man pursuing her. Although most claim the girl is standing in the cemetery, some have observed them racing through the old hospital’s confusing hallways.


Every haunted place has a unique story, whether good or bad. Mental institutions used to use patients like lab rats and treat them like wild animals. Some ghosts try to communicate with music or by destruction. Occasionally, some are friendly or want to enjoy good company. Now that you have read about these haunted places, what’s stopping you from visiting them? 

Who doesn’t want to see a haunted hotel or cemetery? If you’re looking for anything spooky, try to visit one of these locations. Schedule tours if available, and avoid trespassing if you’re looking at a closed area. What do you hope to see as you explore haunted places? Friendly ghosts or tormented spirits? Share this article while you decide what you wish to discover.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons – License / Original

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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