(The Gessner Mansion)
6420 Carleton Avenue South
Status: Former Gambling Saloon; Former Brothel; Former Boarding House; Private Property
This article contains stories of self-harm as well as of harm to children. Reader discretion is advised.
This 3-storey mansion was built by a blackjack dealer named Peter Gessner in 1902.
Gessner set up the house as a gambling saloon and a brothel and moved onto the second floor. He didn’t get to enjoy his castle for very long though; in 1903 he killed himself on the second floor. He did this by drinking carbolic acid which would have been extremely painful burning his face and lips and then disintegrating his internal organs. When he was found, he had begun to dissolve completely.
At least it was ruled as a suicide and all suggestions of murder were swept under the carpet. You see Gessner’s wife – Lizzie – had just left him for a chicken farmer of all people.
There are multiple stories of murder, rape and infanticide surrounding this house.
The mansion was left abandoned for almost 2 decades after Gessner’s death. By the 1920’s it was running as a brothel again. Some time in the 1950’s -60’s it was converted into a boarding house; this is when the stories of the house being haunted began to surface.
By the 1970’s it was abandoned again and began to fall into disrepair.
It was briefly used as a business called Georgetown Catering in the 1980’s
The house is now privately owned – since 2004 for the current owners - although its unclear if anyone actually lives in the house. The current owners have restored the mansion back to it’s former glory.
Gessner, himself, haunts the second floor of the mansion. By all accounts he is not a happy ghost and all reported accounts of meeting him are terrifying and more than a little unsettling. With no public access to the house, he is most often now reported in the windows of the second storey glaring out at the world.
A former owner found a secret room in the house which it is thought was used for running illegal card games. The room is inexplicitly much colder than the rest of the house; this is thought to be the ghost of Gessner making himself known.
The second ghost in the mansion is Mary Christian who is said to be a former employee (prostitute) who was either strangled by a magician (?) or shot by a pimp. She’s been seen dressed in a white gown with long thick red hair. Despite her violent end Mary is said to give off an air of tranquil energy and is quite pleasant to encounter.
There is also a legend of an unwed mother – who may have been Gessner’s niece – who was imprisoned in the home’s tower and separated from her baby. Her baby is said to have been murdered – possibly by a pimp but some say by Gessner himself – and buried on the property.
The phantom sounds of the baby crying are heard from underneath the house’s porch at night. The ghost of the baby’s mother is seen as a woman dressed all in black with coal black hair, pale skin and black sunken eyes.
The woman’s ghost has been named Sarah and is described as quite insane as she surely became before her death. Occasionally, her unearthly wails will be heard coming from the house.
Other Activity: disembodied voices; phantom footsteps; light anomalies; unexplained mists; shadow figures and feelings of being watched and not being wanted.
By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/people/29311691@N05">how_long_it_takes</a> - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/29311691@N05/4496228711/">Kell's Irish Pub</a>, CC BY 2.0, Link
In 1903 Butterworth & Sons Mortuary moved into this building. It was the first location to become a permanent mortuary in Seattle and as such did all business around the subject of death. A loved one’s entire funeral could be done in this building from purchasing a coffin to burial in the cemetery of your choice.
The building even had the first elevator on the west coast for easy movement of the deceased remains.
The bodies were brought in through the basement; brought in through the door that is now used by customers to enter the pub.
The Mortuary moved to a bigger location in 1923.
Founded in 1983 the basement of the building was opened as Kell’s Irish Pub and Restaurant. A great place to grab a pint or a whiskey with a meal and perhaps run into one of the former customers of Butterworth & Sons.
There are 2 ghosts here that are referred to as the regulars:
1) A little girl with red hair who is known for playing pranks on adults but she is most active during the day when there are living children in the pub. She loves to play with these children and will even move toys. She is thought to be one of the victims of the 1918 influenza epidemic and one of the friendliest ghosts in all of the locations on the website.
2) Then we have the pub’s most famous ghost. An elderly man named Charlie and seems to thoroughly enjoy that he’s now haunting a pub. Charlie most often appears as reflection in the Guinness mirror – usually smiling, wearing a double breasted white coat and wearing a derby hat – who appears most often when live music is playing at the pub.
Other Reported Activity: apparitions of the mortuary’s other customers; mirrors shattering; plaster unexplainably falling; disembodied voices; unexplained banging; faint whimpers that are believed to come from a suicide victim; shadow figures; glasses moving on their own; light anomalies and feelings of being watched and not being alone.
(Martha Washington Park)
6612 57 Avenue South
Status: Former Home for Wayward Girls; Murder/Suicide Site; Demolished; Public Park
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.
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.