❄️Update, Feb 9: Due to the weather, the first installment of Give Up the Ghost is being rescheduled to March 9. See you then!There comes a time of night when the mind turns to ghosts. It's around 10 pm. It's that hour when you let in the unknown, and shades reveal themselves, and possibilities open. Encounters with the inexplicable float back to mind. Dead people can seem more real than living ones.
At a new monthly night at Queen City (which is "the oldest bar in Seattle... maybe"), Seattle's best storytellers will be exploring the eerie and the ectoplasmic. Whether it's encounters with the dead, paranormal occurrences, or tricks of radiance or energy or time, Seattle is full of ghosts. Plus, new people are dying every day. Not to mention all the people dying everywhere else.
Give Up the Ghost's storytellers will include fiction writers, nonfiction writers, poets, journalists, and artists of all kinds. I am the curator of the series. The first guest will be Charles Mudede on Saturday, February 9.
When I asked Charles just now what he will be sharing tomorrow night, he said, "A ghost story! I have a real ghost story."
Mudede also wrote about Queen City when it reopened last September under the ownership of Linda Derschang. During an interview, Mudede and Derschang got to talking about ghost sightings, and she mentioned that she has seen a few ghosts in other businesses of hers:
"I once saw the feet of a ghost in the Baltic Room," Linda offers at one point in our conversation. "I was sitting there at the end of the night with the manager. It was just the two of us. It was around 2:30 a.m. The manager had his back to the stairs. And as I was talking to him, I saw feet and legs, about to the knee, walking down the stairs."
Wait—what exactly did she see? "I saw the hem of a skirt around her calves, and some 1920s chunky heel shoes. I can still see it in my mind. And I was mesmerized. And then all of a sudden—poof!—gone. I said, 'I've finally seen the ghost!' Because many others who'd worked at the Baltic Room had seen them. It was a couple. And the way she was walking was toward the side of the stairs, it was as if someone else was walking down them with her. That place is haunted for sure. It was once a horse stable..."
Prompted to tell me about other ghosts, she says, "My employees also tell me there are ghosts in Oddfellows, or in its basement. They have seen and heard them there. I'm not kidding."
During that conversation back in September, Derschang told Mudede, "As far as I know, there are no ghosts in Queen City. But time will tell."
I followed up on this a few days ago when I was down at Queen City and talking to its manager Kerry Zettel. He said it's "definitely haunted." Maybe on one of these upcoming second Saturdays, I'll be able to persuade Kerry to fill us in about that. Other upcoming ghost story guests will include Nathalie Graham and Rich Smith.
Give Up the Ghost starts at 10 pm on the second Saturday of the month. It's free. Get a seat, get a drink, and prepare yourself for the story at 10:30. The story will last about 10 minutes, and then you'll have the rest of the night to tell your own ghost stories to the friends you come with, the people sitting next to you at the bar, and anyone else, living or dead, you may meet.