Interesting fact: Italian law prohibits non-native tour guides from plying their trade around historical monuments in Rome, Venice, and Florence. If the Seattle City Council were to draw similar restrictions, Pike Place Market ghost guide Mercedes Yaeger, the daughter of longtime Market vendors, would remain in business. Continuing a 27-year oral tradition of the Markets legendary haunts and salacious gossip, Yaeger has crafted an entertaining hour for the skeptic and believer alike. With an air of lighthearted campfire scuttlebutt, she cheerfully recounts tales of whorehouses, murders, eccentrics, and conflagrations during the Markets first century. Evoking Seattles early years, innocent-looking pubs and lounges are repainted as scenes of dastardly death-dealing. If youve ever wondered about the carnival atmosphere of the Markets interior, Yaeger will not only introduce you to the man behind this zany concept, but can point out the phantom ballroom where theatrical Arthur Goodwin, a founding Master of the Market, has been seen waltzing in thin air. Though the tour rhetoric occasionally leaned on Noble Savage clichés to tell the story of Chief Sealth and the Suquamish nation, their tragic tale of dispossession is tempered with hilarious anecdotes, like Sealth cannily taxing the city fathers for the use of his name. The tours rich regional perspective can fill in some of the more disreputable vignettes that Washingtons history curricula neglect. Meet at the pig. 322-1218, www.marketghost.com.