Everything seemed normal at Avenue One—a restaurant operating out of the former Butterworth & Sons mortuary—then one day, customers noticed wine bottles levitating off the shelves and hurtling across the room. Things were never the same. After a vacancy period, the space was taken over by Kells Irish Pub, which coexists with its hauntings and today welcomes Market Ghost Tour’s intrepid guests to hunt for spirits during the Mortuary Chapel Tour.
Such paranormal activities are commonplace for Market Ghost Tour founder Mercedes Yaeger. She grew up with the ghost stories of her father, who spooked locals with tales on Halloween nights in Pike Place Market. Since then, Mercedes has self-published a book, Market Ghost Stories, compiled from exhaustive research of municipal archives, newspaper accounts, and freeze-frame analysis of Scooby-Doo archives. She spins many of those yarns on excursions with Market Ghost Tour, which the Seattle Post-Intelligencer named “one of Seattle’s best and weirdest attractions.”
Aside from the Mortuary Chapel Tour, Mercedes and her guides lead guests on two other year-round exterior tours. The 75-minute Market Ghost Tour treks past the 9-acre district’s mortuaries, graveyards, and brothels as visitors hear frightening historical tales. Meanwhile, the Seattle Lust Tour recounts incidents of serial killers and 24-hour grind houses along the street formerly known as “Flesh Avenue.”