Back in the late 1990’s, I decided to go back to take a look at the first house in Seattle where the hauntings began. I had not been back to that house since we left there in 1969.
I did it partly to confront my fears, partly to try to exorcise the bad memories that had haunted me (no pun intended) all the years since.
But I will have to admit that part of me was just plain curious.
When I got to the house, I sat there a while outside at the curb just staring at it. A lot of memories came flooding back about the neighborhood and all my friends and the fun we had playing after school. But I was also flooded with the memories of being terrified as the house became a living nightmare every night once darkness set in.
After a while I finally got up the nerve to go and ring the doorbell. I realized I could very well end up sounding like some kind of a nut, but I just HAD to ask the present occupant if he had ever experienced anything strange in the house. So, I took a deep breath and rang the doorbell.
Now, I knew from researching the old Seattle City Directories that the house had an unusually high turnover rate. No one person or family had EVER lived in that house for more than a few years at most since the 1950’s. So, while making small talk I asked him how long he had been living in the house.
“About two years.”
I finally got around to asking him the question I really wanted to ask. I told him I knew this might sound very strange but that I had spent a year in the house in the Sixties and I was wondering… had he ever experienced anything strange in the house?
“Like what?” he asked.
“Like… (here goes) ghostly experiences?”
I will never forget his answer as he looked me straight in the eye.
“You BET I have.”
He then went on to explain the same types of things we experienced back in 1968. Footsteps walking up and down the hall at night, doors opening by themselves, lights going on and off at all hours. And the voices.
After we talked a while, I finally thanked him for his time and got in the car and drove the two hours home.
One of the first places I went after I got home was to see my Dad and my brother Tim, who both worked at the NAPA Auto Supply store in Selah, WA. I told them all about what the present renter had said and showed them some pictures I had taken of the house. Very soon after that visit, Tim and Dad began to have unexplainable things happen at the NAPA store. And the incidents at my own home began to ramp up to a greater level. I felt as if I had brought whatever it was back with me.
Since I live about 35 miles from where I work, I have occasionally stayed the night at mom and dad’s house, to break up the commute week, or if the weather is particularly bad. During this particular time, when the hauntings were at peak level, I stayed the night at their house. Mom had gotten a fax machine so she could send and receive documents related to her genealogy research. The fax machine had a handset, in case you wanted to use it to make a call. Since mom added the extra line as a fax line, it was never in any type of phonebook, nor did anyone know the number. I didn’t even know what the number for the fax line was.
In the middle of the night, I woke up to a phone ringing. In the confusion of being half asleep, I assumed it was someone from my family calling because of an emergency. In a few moments, I realized it was the fax line ringing. As I reached for the handset, it stopped ringing. Even though I was half asleep, I had the presence of mind to dial *69 so it would read back the last number that dialed the line. I grabbed a sheet of paper and a pen and wrote it down. I stuffed the piece of paper in my pants pocket and went back to bed.
The next day at work, I reached into my pocket for my keys and I came across a piece of paper. I wondered what it could be, but when I saw the phone number scribbled on it, I remembered the incident with the fax machine. So, I decided to pick up my office phone and dial it to see who would answer. Who called an unpublished, unknown fax number in my parents’ basement in the middle of the night? It rang.
“Good morning, Selah NAPA Auto Supply, can I help you?”