Late one night, Barbara was driving home around 10 p.m. after a company Christmas party. It was a clear night when she passed Second Avenue on Jackson Street. Right after that, she suddenly slammed on her brakes as a small boy stood in the path of her car. Clearly, she had run over the child. Shocked and in a panic, she quickly jumped out of the car while fussing with her cell phone to call 911. While she was doing this, she proceeded to look around for the injured boy, but there was no sign of him, until she realized his body must be still under her car. At this point, an older man came over to assist her. Fearing to see the condition of the child, she asked with tears in her eyes if the man could look under her car for the body. He proceeded to do so, but there was no child in sight. They both looked around the area but found no child.
Walking into this tavern, a visitor might almost feel like stepping back in time. With its wooden paneling, mounted antlers and fireplace, Canterbury Tavern looks more like an old medieval tavern than a modern pub. The Canterbury Ale and Eats opened in 1972 in what was once the Capitol Hill Food Shoppe, Swift Cleaners in 1937 and Gaslight Café in 1968 to name some of its history. The building itself is the Fredonia Apartment built
Back in 1978, a man was shot in the face during a bar fight. No one knows who started the fight or why, but the tragic event took place near the fireplace, where the man eventually died.
Folks accustomed to the ghost living in the Tavern say that he can be seen in the mirror closest to the fireplace. If you look in the mirror, you will soon see a strange man looking down at the ground in the reflection, but this man is nowhere in the bar. They also say that if you look at him long enough, he will eventually begin to look up at you, only to show you that he has no face.
Late one night, a bartender was closing up. He shut down the jukebox as always, and then went on to finish his other closing time duties. Naturally, he was surprised to hear the jukebox switch on all by itself, but the strangest thing was the song it played, “The End” by the Beatles. Others have sworn that they have seen the dark figure of a man wanders through the bar only to vanish in front of their eyes.
It was also discovered that in the basement area was found a giant pentagram drawn on the basement floor. Employees working there today feel that this could be why they experience many strange events throughout the building.
After hearing these stories, it’s hard not to believe that the past still haunts this tavern. Could this man whom had been killed here be stocking about looking for his killer? Or are we dealing with something more sinister?
Extended Story from the Spooked in Seattle Book
were offered free food, such as finger sandwiches and hardboiled eggs, with their nickel beers. With the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the sign was changed to read, “Merchants Café – Beer and Restaurant.”
Merchants Café with a real ghost hunter on the Spooked In Seattle Ghost Tours.
Once nestled on the streets in Belltown (2nd Ave & Virginia St.), this hotel was built in 1909 to accommodate the mad rush of gold seekers of the early 1900’s. This historic building was originally known as Hotel Nelson and was designed by Seattle architect William P. White for the Coblentz brothers. In the 1920s, Seattle had a huge hotel boom, during which many luxury hotels were built. Failing to compete, many older properties were forced to convert to apartments or cheaper hotels. At this time, this location became the inexpensive Hotel Wayne. But like most hotels following the Great Depression of the 1930’s, this hotel started its decline into despair, only to be remembered by locals and its last remaining guests as a flophouse. Guest reviews online suggested this place was nothing to be desired, with blood-stained walls, dirty sheets, smelly rooms and bug-infested beds. Plus, locals had complained of shady people and drug deals going on outside the hotel throughout the night. So it’s not surprising what became of it.
However, many guests staying at this forgotten hotel spoke of ghost hauntings as well, from things moving, lights turning on and off on their own, to dark figures seen coming down the staircase. With its history of nasty events and questionable guests, it very well may have held onto some negative energy from its long gone past.
Many locals surrounding the Hotel Commodore were happy to see it come down in 2008 after it sat vacant since 2006. Plans were to build a six story condo in its place, but due to the economy it remains a parking lot.
Before the building saw its last days, the first floor was boarded up for a few years to prevent any trespassing and vagrants claiming it. Locals living in the area claimed to see strange lights and shadowy figures move across the rooms through the upstairs windows. In fact, these sightings led to calls for the authorities to investigate possible trespassing violations. But when the building was checked over, there was no sign of a living person inside.
(taken from the Spooked in Seattle book)
Guendolen in 1931
Thomas T. Minor
Who Went Missing on Dec 2nd 1889
|The Ghost Story:
As told by Guendolen C. Plestcheeff (1892-1994)
On Dec 2nd 1889, my mother was visiting with Mrs. Henrietta Haller, the mother of G. Morris Haller when she mentioned she had witnessed seeing her son earlier that day. “Oh, I just saw Morris, and he was standing there…. with his jacket off” she stated, unaware of the tragedy that had befallen him just hours prior to her encounter.
The Mystery Begins:
In an article for Seattle Met by Nena Peltin
George Morris Haller knew danger and adventure from an early age. At 12, he fought at Gettysburg beside his father, Major Granville O. Haller, a renowned (and, today, notorious) Indian fighter who fled to the wild Washington Territory after supposedly insulting President Lincoln and acquired sprawling tracts of land here. With that leg up, Morris Haller climbed fast. He became one of Seattle’s top lawyers, sharing a practice with Judge Thomas Burke, the UW museum’s namesake. Young Haller had vast holdings in seven counties, including nearly 2,000 acres in Seattle. (By contrast, Paul Allen owns about 60 acres here today.) He organized train and utility companies and served as
It was a time when cities were rebuilt in a year. And fortunes rose and fell in the blink of an eye.
Then, on June 6, 1889, the Great Fire devastated Seattle. Haller and other businessmen saw the chance to replace charred wooden buildings with the sort of brick-and-stone downtown a real city ought to have. He hired Elmer H. Fisher, one of postfire Seattle’s most prolific architects, to design a five-story commercial building at the corner of Second and Cherry.
Soon after construction began, in early December 1889, Haller set out on a duck-hunting trip with Dr. Thomas T. Minor, a physician, civic leader, and public schools advocate (Minor Avenue and T. T. Minor School
are named for him); and Lewis Cox, a 22-year-old apprentice in Haller’s law office who was also his wife Anna’s brother. The three embarked from Stanwood by canoe, intending to cross Skagit Bay and the treacherous Saratoga Passage to Whidbey Island. They never made it. Search parties found some of their belongings washed up on the frigid shore.
The three embarked by canoe for Whidbey Island. They never made it.
Assuming the trio had drowned, Seattleites turned out for a massive memorial service two weeks later. Local and state dignitaries heaped on accolades, praising Haller’s and Minor’s civic leadership. Anna Haller had lost a brother and, after just a year of marriage, a husband—and still the tragedies piled up. Among the relatives who came to Seattle to offer comfort was Anna’s 14-year-old brother Norman. On January 3, 1890, he went sledding, crashed into a telegraph pole, and died within the hour. That same day, Morris Haller’s badly decomposed body surfaced off Whidbey Island. The newspapers responded with extravagant expressions of sympathy and horror, but Anna was practical: She postponed Norman’s funeral so she could bury them both together the next day. Her brother Edward’s body was found in February on Camano Island; Minor’s was never recovered.
When Haller died, he had already invested $40,000 in his building. His parents spent $20,000 more to complete it and blazoned his name across the cornice. But over the ensuing 34 years they let the building run down. Finally they sold it to the Seattle Title Trust Company. It was demolished in 1957 to make way for the 19-story Norton Building, which stands there still.
A few years after Morris’s death, Anna Haller’s name disappeared from the newspapers and the phone directory. By 1948 only one descendant of Granville O. Haller still lived in town; now none of the Hallers listed in the directory claim any relation to him. Only Haller Lake, which Morris’s brother Theodore named for himself after purchasing land along it, perpetuates the family name in Seattle. (Theodore also erected a fountain dedicated to his father and brother in Port Townsend.)
Had a curse fallen on Morris Haller’s clan? If so, it seemed to reach even his architect Elmer Fisher. After designing much of the city that sprouted up after the fire, Fisher lost his own property in the Panic of 1893. He moved to Los Angeles and died in obscurity in 1905. Few of his many buildings stand today. But one, the magnificent stone-clad Pioneer Building, still dominates Pioneer Square, a Romanesque Revival reminder of a time when cities were rebuilt in a year and fortunes rose in the blink of an eye—and ended with the tip of a canoe.
So is it possible that Guendolen’s mother had seen the ghost of Haller wandering the streets of Seattle? I’m thinking so, maybe he was trying to get word to someone about what had happened that fateful day.