Background: My informant, ET, attended the University of Washington from 2009-2013. I asked her about campus/Seattle folklore, and this was her response:
ET: “Pike Place is supposedly haunted. My freshman RA thought it would be fun for the floor to go on a haunted Pike Place Market tour. But apparently people have like, died, at Pike Place Market. They accidentally slipped on the ground with the fish and everything, because you know how they throw the fish around, so there’s apparently lots of haunted fish mongers, and you would see them walking around after the markets closed.”
Me: “Do you feel like Pike Place is haunted?”
ET: “Me? I only go during the day so I hope not, but I also wouldn’t be surprised since it’s so old. It’s also close to the Seattle Underground tour, and people say that place is haunted too, so yeah, maybe it’s just a downtown Seattle thing.”
Analysis: I love a good ghost story. Having been to Pike Place myself, I can confirm that all the traditions–the fish toss across the market every half an hour or so–could naturally progress into ghost stories too. With all of the history and bustle in the market, it seems natural that a place with that reputation would naturally have a few ghost stories as well–it seems entirely plausible that a fish monger in the process of throwing a raw fish across the market died while slipping on the floor. People primarily go to Pike Place for the market itself, but I think the existence of ghost stories like this one once again offer room for multiplicity and variation–I’m sure each fish stall at Pike Place likely has their own variation on this story depending on their brand–but also invites tourists and other visitors to be in the in-group in a location that would otherwise seem like a one-dimensional farmer’s market.