Seattle—not to mention the whole Pacific Northwest—is known as one of the most happening places for the paranormal and weird. The first flying saucer sighting was over Mount Rainier 70 years ago. The ares has long been a hotbed of Bigfoot legends. And our dark, foggy climate makes the perfect backdrop for stories that blur reality.
Enter Liminal Seattle, a collaborative project founded by Hollow Earth Radio founder Garrett Kelly and author and permaculturalist Jeremy Puma. The crux of the effort is a map of paranormal or unexplained experiences people have had in Seattle, coded with icons for various categories: dark forces, time distortions, mythologies, cryptoids, thin places, high weirdness, classic UFO, strange animals, and our favorite, “straight-up ghosts.”
Stories—preferably ones you experienced directly, not the time your uncle’s ex-girlfriend’s dad saw a ‘squatch—are submitted directly to Puma and Kelly for inclusion on the map. “We want genuine encounters only,” read the guidelines. “However, we encourage acts of spontaneous mythologizing. We’ll be able to tell the difference.”
“We’re going beyond the typical ghost stories and alien encounters that everybody already knows about,” said Puma in a press release. “We are looking for ‘conventional’ supernatural encounters, but also ’I saw a crow and it looked at me weird’ type stuff.”
The goal, said Kelly and Puma, is to help break down the taboo of talking about your weird experiences so everyone can have better time exploring our weird world.
“We want folks to dig deep and think of an encounter they felt was too strange or embarrassing to share because people might not believe them,” said Kelly.
Submissions so far range from very specific animal encounters—”I once saw a squirrel sitting on a huge pile of horse chestnuts going to town on a chocolate donut” near Interlaken Park—to the story of a ghost encounter in a Madison Park restaurant. Occasionally, things do veer into “spontaneous mythologizing”: “there’s a water spirit shrine in Cal Anderson park at the weird kiddy pool that’s always dry,” reads one submission. “It’s where the water is supposed to bubble out from.”
Eventually, the goal is to put a printed edition together. For now, the website is there for sharing and analyzing the mystery around us.
Submit your own close encounter at liminalseattle.com—or if you just want to be briefed on Seattle’s paranormal happenings, the pair are running a weekly-or-so newsletter with highlights. The first issue: “Waiter, there’s a cryptid in my soup.”
- Liminal Seattle [LS]