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Legend of the Mysterious Capitol Hill Soda Machine

It ghosted the neighborhood four years ago 👻

A soda machine with a red Coke sign has faded yellow buttons that read "?Mystery?"

You never knew what this eerie apparition would serve.

Photo by Another Believer via Wikimedia Commons

Gather ‘round the campfire, kids, and pass the ‘Smores. We’re going to tell you the chilling tale of a mysterious soda machine that haunted the streets of Capitol Hill — and then fizzled away without a trace. Mwahahaha. 🔦

Wait, a mysterious what now? 👻

*Shines flashlight under chin* For many years, there was a vending machine that stood on the corner of John Street and 10th Avenue East looking like the carbonated living dead. When passersby gave it 75 cents and pushed the faded-out buttons that read “?Mystery?”, it would dispense random soft drinks.

Some were flavors that were long discontinued: Lemon-Lime Slice, Mountain Dew Code Red, Diet Hubba Bubba Bubblegum. Others were regular cans with vintage labels — but nobody knew who stocked the machine, or where it came from.

Okay, yeah, that’s kinda freaky 😱

*Opens eyes wider, bares teeth* Sometimes, it would cruelly eat your money without giving anything back — but it never seemed to run out of soda, no matter how many people used it over the years. Almost like it was possessed. And then, one day in the summer of 2018 — poof. It was gone. Never to return.

Liminal researchers blamed it on a time traveling portal. A boring explanation was that local street construction may have disrupted its service. All that remained was a cryptic note that said, “Going for a walk, need to find myself. Maybe take a shower even.”

Is it… right behind us? Ahhhhhh 🪓

Well, no. “We don’t know who owned the soda machine, why it was removed, or where it is now,” said a Seattle Department of Transportation spokesperson, who notes that someone moved the vending machine months before the roadwork four years ago. Can you say conspiracy?

There were hints online earlier this year that it still lives and is hiding in the woods somewhere — damaged, but ready to lurch back. If there’s a sequel, we’ll be the first to let you know. *Clicks flashlight off… takes sip of Crystal Pepsi.*

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