A friend of mine bought a 1940’s farmhouse in North Seattle in the early 2000’s near a Catholic cemetery. Originally the home had several acres and as time went by, it was divided and sold off lot by lot to make the existing neighborhood that stands today. My friend was buying his first home, just starting his family and this appeared to be the best starter home and the best deal, as it was a discounted, repossessed bank owned property.
Standing in the front yard with their then Broker, a neighbor walks by and says, “Don’t buy that house, everyone that has lived there has either gotten divorced or died.” Never to be deterred by a “good deal”, they bought the home and moved in to raise their family.
A few months passed and the wife was weeding the flower beds in the front of the house, when she uncovered what initially looked like sticks, but knowing from her husband’s hunting excursions these were not sticks, but bone fragments and they were too large to be those of an animal. The homeowners called the police department and they came to investigate. A crime scene excavation and full investigation was performed and more bones were recovered, they were taken to the crime lab and they never heard from the detectives again.
After this event they started experiencing strange and frightening events in the home. One evening while watching a somewhat scary movie, the sofa was pushed hard across the floor, while they were sitting on it. There was no reasonable explanation; no earthquake, no children in the room, no pets, and no movement to make the sofa slide. On another night at 2am, their 4 year old daughter started screaming and insisting that there was a man in her room. This happened several times, but the parents couldn’t find any evidence of a man or a break in. Being a religious family, they concluded that a local priest had to come and bless the house. He went room to room with holy water, incense and anointed oil above every doorway. The activity was quiet for awhile, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long and there was still an uneasy presence in the home.
One afternoon the 4 year daughter was standing by the front bay window gazing out into the yard, when she yelled, “Hey Papa, there is a little boy in the yard, can I go out and play with him?” When the dad looked, he saw a blonde boy about 6 years old, dressed in early 1900’s clothing and he was running toward the back of the house. He went outside to run after him, but he had disappeared. Interestingly, the cemetery is on the other side of the woods to the back of the house.
In 2013 when I came to look at the house for a Market Analysis to evaluate it for sale, after his divorce, the hair on the back of my neck did stand on end, and I had chills throughout my body. I dismissed it to the chilly day and the vintage feel of the home, but I should’ve listened to my intuition. I advised my friend to do a few repairs and clean and paint to prepare it for sale. Being a friend, I offered to help him do that and came back a few times to help. The master bedroom was painted red, which obviously needed to change in order to make it more appealing to prospective buyers. I was prepping the room to be painted one summer evening around dusk. I went to the kitchen to get a tool and when I returned, the light was off. Flipping the switch, nothing happened and then I saw the glowing face of an older woman on the ceiling. She reminded me of auntie Em from the Wizard of Oz.
I just stood there frozen and wondering if I was hallucinating from the paint fumes and watched her face spin around the light fixture. I reached for the light switch again and the lights worked this time and she had disappeared. The next day, I was in the house alone when the door bell ran;, it took me maybe 4 seconds to get to the door and nobody was there. The driveway is long enough that unless a person was sprinting, they wouldn’t have made it out of sight in 4 seconds.
A few weeks later, after the home was cleaned and staged, we were standing and talking in the living room when we heard footsteps down the hallway. We both looked in that direction and saw a pair of men’s work boots just sitting in the middle of the hall and then they disappeared. I feel that these ghosts are probably the farmers that originally built the home, worked the land and were having a hard time leaving.
Another occurrence when I was there to witness it was near the back utility area. I was leaning against the washer, talking to my friend when I felt something brush against my arm. I looked down and saw a decrepit hand and forearm extending from the wall which was the children’s room; it brushed my arm as if the say, “It’s OK”. My friend saw it too and had no idea what to say, other than, “Did you see what I just saw?” Yes, yes I did!
From my experiences, feelings and studies, I’ve concluded that there are floating sprits who “walk” the earth and are not attached to one particular place, like the little boy running back to the cemetery. There are also those spirits that are attached to a particular area or home where they have a connection from their lives, like the farmer and his wife. The bones in the front yard could’ve been 100’s of years old, Native American, or settlers who knows. People that are buried in shallow graves are the most unsettled, the angriest and possibly the most harmful. Some say, by putting them to rest in a proper grave will help them find peace.
So what do you do when you think your home is haunted? In this case, the owner decided to stay in the home for awhile and make peace with those gentle spirits, but he continues to bless, cleanse and protect the home on a regular basis. A perimeter of salt around the house said with a blessing can help keep those wandering ghosts out, but likely he won’t ever result in a completely ghost free property. If you are thinking of buying a home in Shoreline, ask me first and I’ll share the location.
What’s the moral of the story? Be wary of those “good deals” , there is usually a reason a home is below market value and research your home’s history or you too could be sharing your home with those you can’t see. I can also refer you to full time, real mediums that are able to detect spirits.