So, don’t lie to me, you didn’t drive in to Seattle to check out the water front did you? No, no, that’s ok. I understand. Maybe it was: too rainy, too cold or you were fearful of the traffic, all valid excuses. Perhaps you need a little more to convince you into visiting. Maybe you need a few more tidbits of odd history or folklore that you couldn’t possibly resist? OK, I’ll try again….
Mahoney Trunk Murder – New Baker House/New Oregon Apartments – 1 Av/Bell St
1920, 67 year old Kate Mooers became a very affluent woman thanks to her now ex-husband. She wore expensive jewels, drove a seven passenger Westcott sedan and was well known. However, she was also miserable, short, stout and balding. From her new found riches she purchased the New Baker House, which offered nice living spaces. This building was managed by her friend Nora and Nora’s 35 year old daughter, Dolores. Upon visiting one day to assist in collecting rents, Kate was introduced to Jim Mahoney, Nora’s 36 year old son. According to reports, sparks flew and the two were married in February 1921. After a few months of marriage they decided to finally take a Honeymoon. April 15, Kate collected nearly $2000 cash from her safe deposit box and then purchases a few travelers checks and informs friends and neighbors she’s leaving the next night for King St Station. Eleven days later, the groom returned home without his wife. Stating that she was enjoying the vacation too much, he was now in charge of all her affairs. He emptied her accounts, attempted to sell her assets and businesses while enjoying the high life. Family started to get worried when they received letters and postcards from Kate but not in her hand writing. After an investigation, it appears that on April 16, Jim hit Kate over the head with a club, stuffed her body in a steam trunk and poured quicklime over her body. He then hired a transfer company to take the trunk to a rental boat dock near Lake Union. There, Mahoney rows out to the middle of the lake and dumps the trunk overboard. The police search the ship canal for weeks but find nothing. The trunk finally floats to the surface some 4 months later. The remains were identified as Kate Mooers Mahoney, although the face was gone, the false teeth and wedding ring inside the trunk were hers. Autopsy results indicated she was drugged with over 30 grains of morphine prior to the head trauma. Having been a mean woman in life, why not be a mean woman in death. There have been reports of Kate wondering the hall of the New Baker House/New Oregon Apartments, possibly attempting to collect rent. Tenants have heard the clicking of heals in abandoned hallways. Just think she might have been the first cougar in Seattle?
The Rivoli Apartments – 2100 Block of 2nd Avenue
Thanks in part to the political views of Former Pres. Regan, many sanitariums were shut down for being considered inhumane. One patient in particular found her home here at the Rivoli Apartments, as at the time during the 80’s this was considered low-rent property. She had been institutionalized since infancy and required a quite a bit of attention. Twice a day nurses tended to her needs and administered her meds, however that just wasn’t enough. Often times she would plug up her toilet causing a plumber to come out, sometimes for up to a few hours a day to assist in retrieving items flushed away. Since her passing, this is the only documented haunted toilet in Seattle to date.
Around that same time a young couple found themselves living in these same apartments. One night the other tenants report hearing a loud argument between the Cuban male and Eskimo female. It was reported that both parties left the area. A few weeks later the landlord came by to collect rent but there was no answer at the door. He then waited a few more days and gained access into the apartment. Upon entering he was overwhelmed by a horrible stench, after searching for a few minutess – the landlord found the female tied up and decaying in a Murphy Bed. The case is still unsolved as the boyfriend’s whereabouts are unknown.
The infamous apartments then took a starring role in the tv show “Unsolved Mysteries”. A few psychics visited the apartment building hoping to assist with the prior issues. Little did they know they would get visited by two other tenants who lived and died in the building. The two spirits spent most of their time caring for HIV/Aids patients who lived in the building, before both succumbing to the disease themselves. With the lowest reports of DV (domestic violence) and police calls for the area – perhaps they are still watching over the tenants.
Built in 1907, The Moore Theater was and still is an important part of Seattle history. Many bands got their start in this theater and to this day the theater hosts a wide range of entertainment. Notably known is the Moore Hotel located next door, host to an overdose by front man Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. Although he didn’t die here, he did have a near death experience.
In the late 80’s two employees playing with a Ouija board were walked in on by a manager – fired on the spot, the two were never able to properly close the board. Many things have happened since that incident and many employees were unable to walk into that office without uneasiness or the unsettling feeling of breathing down ones neck. Management turned it into a very large and spacious closet.
A certain chair up on the balcony has a history of ghost scent. No matter how many times this chair is cleaned or reupholstered the scent of cigar smoke is still present. Mr. Moore himself just can’t be taken away from all these headliner acts!!
Just further south from the theater is another creepy, er, um, I mean lovely building. Built taller because of the jealousy with Mr. Moore. The Josephinum was built up since it couldn’t be built out due to zoning. However, what the owner didn’t know is that he built this facility on sacred grounds. Having been the first unofficial cemetery in Seattle, some bodies still remain under the structure – not all families could afford the price to have their loved one moved. After sitting abandoned some time after the depression, the Catholic Church purchased the building and turned it into a retirement facility. Maybe this upset the buried clients because a female voice can be heard crying loudly up and down the stair cases. But no one ever seems to be found.
As always: Feel free to check these places out, respect private property and no trespass signs, if posted. Use common sense and be respectful to your surroundings. And be prepared for the unusual! Happy Hauntings.
Dani Davis is a member of Puget Sound Ghost Hunters, a sensitive and former guide for a paranormal tour company in Seattle.