What do you know about the Haunted Vending Machine of Capitol Hill Seattle?
Haunted Vending Machine
Inspired by the talk about Bananas and how that supply chain worked
Capitol Hill's mystery soda machine was a vending machine in Capitol Hill, Seattle
- Densely populated residential district just east of Seattle's downtown business district.
- known for counterculture communities and vibrant nightlife
- home to some of the city's most prominent local coffeehouses. David Schomer's Espresso Vivace on Broadway credited as birthplace of artisanal coffee culture and latte art in Seattle (and thus the United States)
- associated with the grunge scene from the early 1990s, although most of the best-known music venues of that era were actually located slightly outside the neighborhood
- Also CHAZ and CHOP in 2020 Protests after the murder of George Floyd
in operation since at least the early 1990s until its disappearance in 2018.
It is unknown who stocked the machine
A drink could be chosen using one of the "? mystery ?" buttons and the dispensed drinks were rare cans that were either ordinarily unavailable in the United States or have not been in circulation since the 1980s.
It has been reported that Lemon-Lime Slice, Pepsi AM, bubblegum-flavored Hubba Bubba Soda, and the infamous Crystal Pepsi could be acquired from the machine — although I have no documented evidence
- Lemon-Lime Slice was replaced in the PepsiCo lineup by Sierra Mist in 2000
- Pepsi AM existed only briefly as a test between 1989 and 1990 and was removed from shelves after failing to take off
- Hubba Bubba Soda launched in 1987 before fading into obscurity by the 1990s
- Crystal Pepsi flopped spectacularly in the early 1990s.)
For much of the machine’s lifetime, the majority of its buttons — at least four of the six — dispensed specific sodas, with only one or two of the buttons bearing the “?MYSTERY?” label. For example, in October of 2002, The Stranger reported that five of the buttons at the time dispensed particular sodas — namely Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, 7 Up, Barq’s Root Beer, and Pepsi — while just one offered the “?MYSTERY?” option. Photos taken during the summer and fall of 2009, however, show that by that point, only four of the buttons dispensed identifiable sodas — two spat out cans of Coke, one Mountain Dew, and one Pepsi — while the “?MYSTERY?” buttons had grown to two.
By 2014 all of the buttons were Mystery
Not only was each button labeled Mystery, but the machine itself was shrouded in it.
2014 Interview with Vice, Mickey manager of Broadway Locksmith“I’ve honestly never seen anyone open it,”
“Do people get soda out of it frequently?” I ask him
“Oh yeah, all the time. All day long,”
“ And yet in a decade-and-a-half, you’ve never seen anyone tampering with it or refilling it?” I asked.
“Nope, He must come in the middle of the night on a weekend or something.”
Or, as our theory states, the soda emissary could be a restless, undead spirit able to transcend the laws of space-time in order to supply an endless assortment of carbonated drinks.
Curiously, despite being targeted by countless vandals and irate customers over the years (the machine has a propensity to eat bills particularly, but also sometimes change), Seattle residents familiar with it note it’s almost never out of service and report that any time the machine is damaged, it is generally fixed within a day or so.
A common hypothesis is that the machine is owned and operated by the owners of Broadway Locksmith, which the machine is housed immediately outside of. Supporting this idea is the fact that the machine draws power from Broadway Locksmith and that the heavy padlock keeping it secure was seemingly bought from there. However, if Broadway Locksmith is responsible for stocking the machine, they have made a commendable effort to convince people otherwise. In addition to flatly denying that they have anything to do with it, both the owner of Broadway Locksmith and random employees have stuck to the exact same story over the years while being grilled by everyone from USA Today to Vice. They claim they don’t know who restocks the machine and that they’ve never seen anyone open it up to put something inside or collect the money it contains.
Now, at this point you may have found yourself thinking, “Okay, but surely the city knows who owns the machine because whoever owns it must have a permit or something, right?” Well, Jessica Lee of The Seattle Times had that exact same thought and reached out to city officials about the matter in an attempt to discern once and for all who actually owned the machine. According to Lee, a spokeswoman for the city eventually got back to her and explained that, for some reason, the city didn’t have any records pertaining to the machine in question.
Social Media proves it's not haunted
Pics captured and shared online of actual people stocking the machine
but not the
In January 2018, the same month Seattle passed its sugary drink tax, the machine raised its price from its typical $0.75 to $1.00.
In June 2018, the machine mysteriously disappeared and a message was posted to the machine's Facebook page stating "Going for a walk, need to find myself. Maybe take a shower even." A note was taped to the rail where the machine used to be: "Went for a walk". During this time, its Facebook page featured photoshopped images of the soda machine in a forest and at Machu Picchu.
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They do not have an acknowledged ruleset for players; as in real life, they determine the "rules" either through trial and error or by setting their own boundaries. Narratives present a fully realized world: any phone number or the email address mentioned works, and any website acknowledged exists. Games take place in real time and are not replayable. Characters function like real people, not game pieces, respond authentically, and are controlled by real people, not by computer AI. Some events involve meetings or live phone calls between players and actors.Real life as a medium. Games use players' lives as a platform. Players are not required to build a character or role-play being someone other than themselves. They might unexpectedly overcome a challenge for the community simply because of the real-life knowledge and background they possessed. Participants are constantly on the lookout for clues embedded in everyday life.Collaborative storytelling. While the puppetmasters control most of the story, they incorporate player content and respond to players' actions, analysis and speculation by adapting the narrative and intentionally leave "white space" for the players to fill in.Not a hoax. While the TINAG aesthetic might seem on the surface to be an attempt to make something indistinguishable from real life, there are both subtle and overt metacommunications in place to reveal a game's framework and most of its boundaries. Inspiration 1905 short story "The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown" by G. K. Chesterton (part of a collection entitled The Club of Queer Trades) seems to predict the ARG concept While investigating a case of assault brought by Major Brown, Rupert Grant, the private detective, and his brother Basil stumble upon the Adventure and Romance Agency, Limited, an agency that creates adventures for its clients. 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Other break-the-fourth-wall actions in theater and performing art The concept has had cultural touchstones throughout post-WWII pop culture. the Beatles' "Paul is dead" phenomenon. the 1997 movie The Game with Michael Douglas Earliest examples of ARG include Webrunner: The Hidden Agenda to promote "Netrunner" Dreadnot from SF Chronicle published at sfgate.com in 1996 The game included working voice mail phone numbers for characters, clues in the source code, character email addresses, off-site websites, real locations in San Francisco, real people (including then-Mayor Willie Brown), and of course a fictional mystery Marketing for the Blair Witch Project expanding the world of the movie online, adding backstory, and treating the fiction as reality through real-world media such as fliers and a fake documentary on the Sci-Fi Channel. 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