Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Haunted Hill: Capitol Hill’s Paranormal Places


‘Tis the season of ghouls, goosebumps and things that go bump in the night. To do the spooky holiday justice. The Spectator compiled a list of Capitol Hill’s rumored paranormal hot spots. From cemeteries to medieval pubs, these are the sites that reportedly play host to other worldly apparitions—or at least play tricks on the eyes.



Some sites claim that Seattle Central Community College is haunted, but the backstories of the school’s most famous ghost differ drastically.

The English Department building, which is reportedly the ghost’s favorite spot, originally belonged to the Burnley School of Art. Now called the Burnley ghost by some, he has plagued visitors for years. If you’re asking Seattle bloggers, the ghost is an 18-year-old boy who was pushed down some stairs in a fight after a basketball game in 1913—however, the ghost society believes the spirit is that of a young man who committed suicide in the South Annex.

Regardless of the disagreement, bloggers and fanatics alike report that signs of the Burnley presence include unexplainable noises, footsteps, overturned furniture, and moved and mangled objects. “Haunted Washington” reports that Burnley favors tormenting the university’s female students over its males and sometimes pushes them from behind or moves their belongings. In another rumored appearance, the microcomputer lab manager was bombarded with computer disks from the storage shelves that sat in the opposite corner of the closet.

Despite the number of reports online, it seems many at SCCC seemed to have never heard of Burnley.



There is a gorgeous cemetery just north of Volunteer Park that holds over 40,000 corpses. It seems that some of these corpses don’t like to stay in their graves.

Some ghost-minded sites report that spirits have been sighted roaming the grounds, including Chief Seattle’s daughter Princess Angeline, who is buried there.

But, come on, what cemetery doesn’t have weird noises at night?

Jim Cannon, the assistant manager of the cemetery, shot down this “haunted” rumor.

“There is no real proof behind the ghost rumor,” said Cannon. “Most cemeteries have a rather eerie feel regardless.”
Most ghost sightings can likely be attributed to eerie shadows lurking against trees and gravestones.

Even though it’s probably not haunted, Lakeview Cemetery is one of the most visited tourist locations on Capitol Hill because it plays host to a number of famous figures. Lakeview is home to Bruce and Brandon Lee’s graves, which are major attractions for the neighborhood, as well as the graves of Cushing Eells, founder of Whitman College, and George Whitworth, who founded Whitworth College.


128 16TH AVE.

The old Capitol Hill Methodist Church has all the elements of a good haunted building.

The original church is a gothic-looking building with brick walls and stained glass windows.

Rumor has it the building is frequented by a deceased preacher who is upset that attendance for his sermons has gone down. Not a particularly aggressive spirit, the ghost is believed to be Reverend Daniel Bagley, who died in 1905. Bagley—a significant figure in Seattle history—is one of the church’s former preachers.

According to Historylink and the book “Haunted Washington,” apparitions of Bagley’s deceased wife Susannah have also been spotted at the church. She is described as being seen in a bluish light and wearing a long gown. The recurring story is that a resident approached Susannah after she asked “How do I get out?” and, even though the witness pointed to the door, Susannah preferred to float out of the upstairs window.

Other sources, unsure of the spirits of Bagley and his wife, claim that regardless of these ghosts, the church has some kind of haunting presence.



The DeLuxe Bar and Grill is one pub that is said to carry the spirits of the passed on.

According to The Stranger, owner Barry Rogel, whose family has owned the bar since 1962, said there are three spirits haunting the establishment.

“There’s a boy and girl who are supposedly in the basement next to the liquor room. People who have seen them say they pop out of that wood-slatted wall,” said Rogel in a recent article in The Stranger. 

Although Rogel chooses not to “play off” the ghost stories when it comes to attracting customers, he said staff members have sensed a paranormal presence from time to time.

“Various people who have worked at the place have felt vibes,” Rogel said.

The Stranger reported that the third ghost is a dapper gambler from the early Prohibition era named Jack. Supposedly he is sometimes seen by the pool table late at night.


1207 PINE ST.

The Baltic Room is a Hill hotspot for drinking, dancing and ghost stories.

The alleged paranormal presences are the ghosts of a young man and a young woman who supposedly roam the bar as if they were breathing patrons. In an excerpt from “Ghosts Among Us: True Stories of Spirit Encounters,” author Leslie Rule reports that the ghosts at The Baltic Room are believed to be from the 1930s. The well-dressed woman sometimes peers down from the balcony to watch the piano player, while the man, who wears a fedora, walks around searching for someone.

Another report, from an individual posting on Washington Ghost Society, said that a drawing of a charcoal face mysteriously appeared under a mirror in the bathroom.

When asked about these claims, general manager Rion Haber explained that he and his staff have no idea where the stories come from. People have come to the staff with these rumors, but Haber has never seen or experienced anything strange.


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Another pub that is rumored to be crawling with jeepers and creepers is the Canterbury Ale & Eats pub.
The grey, three-story building sits on 15th Avenue right between Mercer Street and Republican Street. The inside nearly matches the outside with a dark and damp medieval feel.

The tavern opened in 1972, but didn’t make headlines until 1978 when a man was shot and killed in a bar fight at the tavern. According to a blog called “Haunted Seattle,” some regulars claim that he still lingers there, saying you can even see the ghost in the mirror by the fireplace. They say that when you look in the mirror you can see the reflection of a man staring down, and when searched for in the bar, he cannot be found. The blog also states that one employee discovered a pentagram drawn on the floor of the basement, which led some to believe that is the reason for the any rumored strangeness at the bar.

According to The Stranger, another one of Canterbury’s ghosts is a former cook and the last is an unknown woman who is believed to have died at the bar years ago.

Despite the rumors circulating online, one employee said he has never seen anything paranormal occur at Canterbury Ale & Eats.

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