Halloween is just around the corner and the Market Ghost Tours are in full swing. It is the perfect time for a ghost story. This is an excerpt from the book I wrote and published myself, Seattle’s Market Ghost Stories;
A ghost that is seen often in the Market is the spirit of Arthur Goodwin, nephew to Frank. He made his way to Seattle shortly after 1907 and is responsible for the interior design of the Market. His parents were both actors.
Having grown up around the stage, Arthur brought theatrical elements to the Market. If you look at the archways, pillars, and ornate decorations in the Economy Market you can see the theatrical influence.
At one time over 20,000 light bulbs lined the ceilings of the arcades and were lit up 24 hours a day. The flood of light was a security measure and a not so subtle competition with Luna Park, a giant amusement park across Elliot Bay on Alki Point in West Seattle.
Arthur was known for coming to work dressed in his finest, donning a top hat as he checked on vendors. He was responsible for assigning spaces to farmers and it was said that while he was a horrible actor, he could mimic any dialect in the Market. He also loved to dance. It was a treat for me to see black and white footage of him dancing, that his descendants shared with me.
Arthur’s office was in the Economy Market at the corner of First and Pike, on the second floor. It is in the window to his former office that his spirit is seen today. In the winter months he is visible standing at the window with a notepad in hand, perhaps planning his daily placements.
He is also seen inside the Economy Market, in the Atrium, a huge open space created by gutting the original building. Today there is a sculpture of a giant squid hanging from the ceiling. My parents’ shop,Watercolors Fresh Daily, is located in the Atrium. My father has been asked about the ghost of a man dancing. People see him in the building. The “Dapper Dancer,” as my father calls him, occasionally graces the interior of the Atrium, wearing a black suit and top hat.
Through the early 1940s, a dance hall existed on the top floor of the Economy Market, right across from Arthur Goodwin’s office. Arthur would attend dances on Saturday nights. That is where he is still seen today, dancing on a dance floor that no longer exists. Those who have seen him say he is dancing in thin air.
Interestingly enough, there is a theater in the very bottom of the Economy Market, The Market Theater. They have a ghost they call “Arthur” who also dances on their stage.
We recently opened an espresso and retail shop in Lower Post Alley, Pike Place Market. You can find us under the Pig and just before the Gum Wall at 1499 Post Alley. You can also find the book, Seattle’s Market Ghost Stories for sale at the shop.
Mercedes Carrabba, www.seattleghost.com
* I wrote a post about the Goodwin family earlier this year: you can read it by clicking here: The Goodwin Influence