(Martha Washington Park)

6612 57 Avenue South, Seattle, WA

(206) 684-4075

Status: Former Home for Wayward Girls; Murder/Suicide Site; Demolished; Public Park


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Photo Courtesy of the Seattle Public School Archives (Image #392-1)


The first Martha Washington School for Girls was on Queen Anne Hill (1900-1903), then on Mercer Island (1903-1914) and finally in the location that is now Martha Washington Park (1920-1971).

The land originally belonged to Judge Smith who bought it in 1889. The Judge built a home, a greenhouse and a boat house on the property.

In 1920 the Judge sold the house to the Seattle School District for use as a home for delinquent girls. The School District built classrooms and a dorm in 1921 and another dorm plus a gymnasium in 1930.

In 1957 the State of Washington took over ownership of the school. It operated until 1971; when it was shut down.

The buildings were eventually demolished in 1989 and the land converted to a public park.

Although it has even been called a school for insane girls, most the students were, in actuality, orphans and disadvantaged girls.


Paranormal Activity

The original caretaker’s residence was built on an Aboriginal gravesite.

Mediums speaking with the still very much angry Aboriginal spirits have confirmed it was them who drove the caretaker crazy leading to his heavy drinking and eventual crime.

Sometime in the 1950’s a caretaker attacked and strangled a number of the students as well as staff members. After strangling the staff members; he hung their bodies from the madrone tree that is still in the park.

The madrone tree is said to be very active with apparitions appearing in photographs, touches by unseen presences and disembodied voices.

The murdered students were either tossed in the lake or down a well.

After the school was closed it is said a Satanist group used the buildings for dark rituals. This being in the time of America’s Satanic Panic this story needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Oh there was a Satanic cult operating on site is in way too many histories of haunted places for it to be true at most of them.

Rows of bright lights have been seen moving through the park. The disembodied cries and sobs of young women are also reported.

Strong gusts of winds that come out of nowhere are felt at night.

The ghosts of the girls are also seen in the park; with the most often seen being that of a transparent girl in a nightgown. The ghosts are even said to be very protective over vulnerable girls in the park even to the point of intentionally frightening anyone bullying a girl.

People walking the park’s docks have felt something unseen grab their ankles. The ghost of the murderous caretaker has been known to push people off the docks and into the water.

Unseen entities have laid 2 hands on people’s shoulders.

The sound of phantom footsteps are frequently heard in the park.

Ghostly images of young ladies have shown up in photos taken at the park.