Gentle Reader, you’re well aware of my fascination with the dark, with the macabre, with spirits. Therefore, Miss M quite correctly picked up tickets for us to attend the Spooked in Seattle* tour as a Christmas gift. I was beyond thrilled, and set out to meet her feeling suitably spooky. After some typical bus-travel, we debarked into the dark of a crisp, fresh evening and trotted through the black to the Spooked in Seattle Headquarters†. Down the stairs, and yet more stairs – two sets of antique double doors, some voluminous velvet curtains – into a faux crypt and museum of the odd and funereal. The receptionist is also a licensed embalmer, because of course she was, and she directed us to wait with patience until our guide was ready. While we were examining the various curios, Miss M snapped a shot of me‡. When our guide, Jerome, turned up, we were both pleasantly surprised to find a slickly dapper gent sporting a bowler and a moustache à la Souvarov. He explained that the tour explored themes of “deeeeeeeath” – his pronunciation was so delightful, Miss M asked him to repeat it – “deeeeeeeath”, and if at any point, anyone was uncomfortable, to simply step away for a few minutes to recover. Considering the type of tour it was, M and I both found that a bit silly, but we don’t work in anyone’s legal department. Besides, we were too busy ogling the delectable ghost hunter to worry about warnings. So off we went, into the sinister Seattle streets. Most of the tour is detailed otherwhere in rather better detail. M and I were a little disappointed that there wasn’t more exploring of buildings, or more time spent in the under-city. Again, though, we don’t have to deal with a legal department, or insurance. That said, our guide really made the tour – particularly when, brightly, apropos of nothing, he burst out “Now, let’s go down this dark alley!” After a few more stops, in the same tone of voice, he inquired if we were ready for the bar. Grabbing cocktails, we descended into the basement of the Merchants Cafe. There’s a small slice of the Seattle Underground there, but it’s well lit, and we didn’t venture beyond that room. Jerome told us about the various paranormal happenings there, including a haunted portrait, a portion of which is seen here. After just a few moments at the haunted Merchants Cafe§, we had to slam the rest of our overpriced cocktails quickly down or be left behind. This is really my only complaint. After some more wandering and more fascinating anecdotes, we returned to the Spooked in Seattle headquarters, where we were to view the portion of Seattle’s Underground directly under their control. Finally! This was what we’d been waiting for all night! Unfortunately, though the showmanship was spectacular, there were only two rooms and a segment of street that they gave us access to. Our guide and the receptionist/embalmer were most engaging, most helpful, and let us hang around after the tour to question them, try to get more pictures, take some notes. Jerome even posed with me in front of a vintage coffin which had been reclaimed from a Masonic hall in the under city. All in all, we had a marvelous time♠.
*Www.spookedinseattle.com is not paying for this, nor are they responsible for anything I say.
†They also have a more local branch, Terrified in Tacoma, that I’d love to check out at some point.
‡Both my camera and M’s were acting up that night. Any photos we actually took are dark and blurry – which seems appropriate.
§The oldest continuously operated bar/restaurant/ whatever in Seattle, predating the Great Seattle Fire and also the underground.
♠Okay: if you want to explore underground, this isn’t the tour for you – you’re better off sticking to the usual, daytime, Seattle Underground Tour. If you want to see actual ghosts? Probably not your jam, either. If you want to wander around at night and hear about sudden, grisly, death? Interspersed with commentary from an actual ghost-hunter? And also recordings and photos of spectral evidence? Sign up for this posthaste, yo.