We met at the Gum Wall. I’d heard about the Gum Wall, seen photos of it and thought it sounded cool – until I saw it. The brick wall filled with chewed gum truly is disgusting and ranks as the second most germy place in the world, topped only by the Blarney Stone. However, the Gum Wall draws a lot of tourists – ones who pose close to the wall with their tongues hanging out. I just hope they have other remembrances of Seattle, too.
Penny, our tour guide, introduced herself to the five of us, and gave us a short history of the Gum Wall. It began in the early 1990’s when people waiting in line to attend productions at the Market Theatre began placing their gum on the wall. They used it to anchor coins to the wall, but the coins were stolen leaving only the gum. No matter how many times it was power washed, people continued to stick gum there, so now they only power wash in front of it.
Then we were off to hear the details of the hauntings in and around the Pike Place Market which gave me a whole different view of what goes on there. I’m used to buying ultra fresh produce, seafood and other food items, but at night the market gives off other vibes.
In the Market Theatre, they reserve chairs for their ghosts. “Down Under” in the lower level of the Pike Place Market, we were told about the large woman who owned the barber shop there many years ago. She would sing operatic arias to her customers until they fell asleep and then pick their pockets – made a great deal of extra money that way. Then, her health failed, she had a heart attack after closing and the next day, the owner of the store beneath her barber shop found her legs had sticking through his ceiling.
The owner of Grandma’s Attic, a store from the market’s past, used to come to open up in the morning, find the front glass broken and a tea set configured on the floor for a little girl’s tea party.
That’s just a taste of what you can learn on the Market Ghost Tours, which run year round. Voted second best ghost tour in the nation by Trip Advisor, the guided tours are reasonably priced at $15.
By the way, while we were on Post Alley hearing tales of drunken soldiers, my grandson told me he felt heat, a sure sign spirits were present – or is that cold? He also said to call him right away if my photos revealed any orbs. They did not. Maybe I’m too much of a skeptic, but I loved the rich history divulged during the tour – whether the ghosts revealed their presence to me or not.
For more information, visit www.seattleghost.com.