Haunted in Seattle

Old stone house on foggy night
Old stone house on foggy night. Matt Champlin/Getty Images

A suburban homeowner in Seattle experiences bizarre haunting activity that made her question her sanity

Haunted places aren't always ancient castles or decaying Victorian mansions. Quite often they are ordinary split-level homes of the kind that can be found right down the street from you. Perhaps you live in one. In some cases these hauntings might be caused by some trauma or death that took place in these locations, and other times the cause is more elusive.

Consider the following experiences of Christine V., whose suburban Seattle home was plagued by all manner of ghost and poltergeist activity and high strangeness. Nothing overtly threatening, but things so odd that she began to question her own sanity.

This is Christine's story....

BETWEEN 1995 AND 2004, my (now ex-) husband Ted and I lived in a suburban house north of Seattle, Washington. The house was a standard split-level built in the 1970s and had had only one owner, an elderly couple from whom we had bought the house and who were still living. The house had not been well-maintained and some features (plumbing and electrical in particular) had not been done very well in the first place. As the result, the house did make some strange settling noises and needed a lot of work. Still, poor construction quality would not explain some of the weirdness we experienced.

I wrote down five of the creepiest events that happened while we lived there. They are true other than that I changed some names. I can also say that these types of unexplained incidents stopped the moment we moved out, and I've never experienced anything similar since that time.


One morning I got up and stood at the top of the stairs at the front of the house, thinking I heard my husband in the lower floor. As in any split level, the top of the stairs face the front door, but the view of the lower floor is blocked. I could not see down below, but I heard distinct footsteps coming up on the other side of the staircase.

Then I saw "Ted" round the corner, dressed in his olive green button-down shirt over a white t-shirt and washed-out blue jeans. But he looked me straight in the eye, a weird, blank stare, and then... dissolved into a black mass. The mass was exactly his size and shape, but just pure black, like ink. This mass then turned and returned down the stairs, and I could even hear the steps creak in the other direction!

As I stood there gaping, the real Ted came out of the second bedroom, wearing the same outfit other than that his shirt was plaid rather than solid olive. He asked me why I looked like I had seen a ghost. No joke!


I was watching TV in the room downstairs. A pair of large, stereo headphones were plugged into the receiver and laying on the floor. Suddenly, I noticed the top of cord (plugged into the receiver) swinging violently. Nothing had moved it or been anywhere near it. Plus, nothing in nature would have caused that motion: it was swinging as if an invisible finger were pushing and pulling the cord from the top in a back-and-forth motion.

After about 20 seconds it stopped, the swinging stopping gradually. I thought that was weird but not scary, so I immediately went over and tried to recreate that motion. Yet I was unable to do so: my fingers rocking the cord back and forth made the bottom of the cord vibrate or jiggle in the opposite direction, something that didn't happen when the "ghost" did it. I still don't know what that was about.


One night before Ted moved in, I was sleeping alone in the bedroom. It was around 11:30 p.m. Suddenly, I heard one of the cats digging around in the closet, and then it suddenly darted under the bed. I looked up to see what looked like the light from a flashlight on the wall. It was moving around as if searching for something, and the fine movement and brightness made me think it was held by someone close by. As in, inside the house! So I just freaked out. I was sure someone was in the next room.

I jumped out of bed, only slowed down to grab my coat and wallet on my way out the door, and got into my car. I sat in the car and almost drove away, but then I noticed there was no one outside, no unusual cars, and no doors or windows had been opened. After a few minutes, I finally got the nerve to go back inside, turned on every light and checked every closet. There was nothing and no one.

Some days later, I tried my own flashlight to see if it was possible for someone outside or in a house across the street to shine a flashlight into that bedroom and land the light on the inside hallway. I was not able to do it.


This one had me wondering if I was just crazy. But if so, my insanity was restricted entirely to the 1,100-square-foot area of that one house.

I got home after dark, went downstairs and noticed a rented video on the coffee table in front of the TV. I can still see it clearly: a close-up of an elderly Irishman on a dark background with white lettering across the top entitled Waking Ned Devine. I looked at it for 10-20 seconds, turning it over to see a few quaint photos on the back. I thought it was very funny because this type of film was not Ted's taste. So I went upstairs, actually intending to tease him about it.

Surprisingly, he just seemed annoyed and said he hadn't rented that movie. He had rented his all-time favorite movie, Saving Private Ryan. I went back downstairs and, sure enough, the video I had seen was gone. I could now see Saving Private Ryan, one Ted had bought instead of rented. Odder still, it was sitting at an angle at the top edge of the coffee table on top of another video.

The phantom Waking Ned Devine I had seen had been alone and aligned squarely with the bottom edge of the table. How did I see it and why? Where did it go? What does that even mean? Deeply disturbing!


This is by far the weirdest story from this house. It took place in fall of 1995. One night I got home from work after dark, and as I pulled into the driveway I got a very apprehensive feeling about going inside. I went to every room and turned on every light. Everything was in its place. Yet when I turned on the kitchen lights, for a moment I saw globes of light floating over the stove. That was weird, but I thought it could be an illusion.

I looked into the bedroom, and at that moment the clock radio suddenly started flashing midnight. No other power had been affected. As I took a bath, I could hear distinct footsteps in the hall outside the bathroom. I got up to check. No one was there other than the cats, who do not make audible footsteps! The vent cover then started banging when there was no wind. And so on. I eventually counted eight unusual things that happened that night.

That night I had a very lucid dream that I went up into the attic and saw one of my coworkers huddled in a corner. I recognized him as "Robert", someone I hadn't seen in a long time and had rarely spoken to. I asked him what he was doing there, and he replied that he was a ghost. A ghost in my attic.

The next morning, I woke up very early and feeling very weird, I got out of the house as soon as I could. My mind was racing the entire 30 minute drive to work about what in the world any of that meant. I had no idea. So I got into work and the moment I sat down, my boss walked in and closed the door. He then explained that he didn't want the "rumor mill" to start, but that "Robert" was dead. He had been fired months before (unbenownst to me), had gone back to the east coast, broke up with his girlfriend, and had killed himself.

Well, I was shocked. Yet I was relieved that I now knew what the experience meant. I hadn't even known him that well. We had only spoken a few times. I definitely would not consider myself psychic, and all the unexplained stuff that has ever happened to be me took place in that house or while I lived in that house. I haven't had any sixth sense about when my own relatives have had accidents or passed on.

So maybe it was the nearby powerlines or effects of the shoddy electrical work. All I can say is that living there was a very interesting experience, and I sometimes miss having these stories to tell!