I spent four years living in a house in the Crown Hill neighborhood of Seattle. In 2011 my mom and I moved out of necessity into a run down mother-in-law unit. The main house was built in the early 1900’s, but we’re unsure of when our unit was built. The house was a mess; we had burst pipes, mushrooms grow through the carpet, black mold, our oven and bathroom light were broken for multiple years all the way up till when we moved out. The other pressing issue was the presence of something or multiple somethings causing us emotional distress and even physical harm.
I first noticed something wasn’t right when I felt something watching me from the corner of my bedroom. It was every single night and day that I felt something peering at me for hours. I hid under my blankets like a child, instead of an angsty teenager almost every night. I would sit up abruptly at random trying to see what was looking at me. I never was able to catch an actual apparition but my mind always supplied me with the image of a short thin woman with black hair and boxy bangs. This was unnerving but the haunting became apparent quite quickly.
My mom and I would hear banging and clanging in the kitchen from the living room and my dog would start to growl. It happened so frequently that we started to not even stop in our day to day activities to check it out. One night my mom burst in furious because she thought I had been in her room. I had no idea what she was talking about but she told me a box filled with crayons she had sitting on her bookshelf was on the floor. It wasn’t spilled on the floor like it had been knocked over, it was just sitting on the ground like it had been placed. I reassured her I hadn’t been in there and she seemed to realize it could be whatever was also clanging in our kitchen. My mom and I were very open about our experiences or uneasiness felt in the house. We never hid what was happening though there were times she didn’t tell me until much later to avoid scaring me in the moment. There was another night where I had a friend over my mom again, burst in furious because a bottle of vodka she had on the fridge was now on the ground. Again it was not knocked over, just sat on the floor. My mom and I are very close and when I quickly explained we hadn’t been drinking, she believed me. Those two incidents where unnerving because it couldn’t just be explained away by gravity. Both times the items had been neatly placed onto the ground.
A time my mom and I both saw the activity was one night on the couch. We were watching TV when suddenly my mom muted it and motioned for me to look. I looked over to see a tissue box sitting on the table slowly have a tissue pulled from inside to almost completely out of the box. My mom tried to return to watching TV but we quickly ended up leaving the room.
We would take the dog out into the side yard. From there you could see into the main house through a window looking into their back room. One day my mom took out our dog as usual, looked up and saw a woman peering at her from the window. My mom described the woman as short, skinny, with black hair and boxy bangs. The woman disappeared quickly. My mom checked with the our landlord who lived in the main house to see if she had anyone visiting. No one was. When my mom told me about this incident I froze. The feeling of being watched I had been trying to write off as anxiety for ages. Now my mom was describing a woman that fit the image my mind would always supply me with of whoever stood in the corner of my room. My mom knew I felt watched, but she wasn’t aware that I had this picture of whoever or whatever was watching me in my head. I told her and my mom was frightened and angry that this woman was what was tormenting me each night. From there the haunting got worse.
My mom started getting scratched in the living room so frequently I would say it happened three times a week. She was adamant it wasn’t from our dog but I was a bit skeptical. The scratches would appear on her arms and even her back. Sometimes just one or other times in threes. I still wasn’t sold on it but I quickly came to believe her. I was laying on the couch watching TV with my arm holding my head. I’d been just sitting there for probably an hour at this point and I hadn’t moved at all. I then felt a stinging sensation on my arm and saw that suddenly a long scratch had appeared on my arm. I hadn’t gotten up, the dog hadn’t been near me, and now all of a sudden a fresh angry scratch had appeared. I was 15 at the time and still ran into my moms room like a child after a nightmare. That was the only time I was scratched but my mom continued to be.
We both worried we were feeding into each others belief in the haunting. We took all of it with a grain of salt and some terror. My friend thankfully first hand witnessed something as well one Halloween night. We were watching some videos in my room when suddenly a pair of sunglasses I had sitting in the very back of a shelf on my bookshelf flew off onto the floor. We screamed and ran into the living room. It wasn’t a fall like something had knocked it over, it flew off like it had been flung. My friend was worried about coming over after that.
The most terrifying incident happened soon after. When you walked to the kitchen from the living room you’d pass a hallway. The hallway led to my room and the bathroom. I hated that hallway. I constantly felt a terrible feeling even just looking at it. There were times I’d run through it to get to the bathroom and out of the hallway as fast as possible. One night I was watching TV in the living room and got up during a commercial break to get a snack in the kitchen, passing the horrible hallway. I quickly got my snack before my show came back on and started to walk into the living room. Then I screamed. Right at the start of the hallway where it entered into the living room I saw a shape of a person. It wasn’t complete but it was vivid in color. I could see the shape of the head, its shoulders, and its torso. There weren’t any hands or legs. It didn’t have a face or even details I could see like what it was wearing. It was just the shape, glowing in bright oranges, yellows, and blues. I imagine it’s what an aura might look like. I ran like bat out of hell into the living room racing past it. I then screamed for my mom to get to the living room. I was so shaken I started crying. I told her what happened and what I saw and then I saw the fear take over her face. She then told me she had seen it as well a few nights prior. Her description was almost exact except she saw legs. She told me she hadn’t wanted to mention it because she knew I’d be terrified to even go to my room. I slept in her room that night.
When we finally moved out of that house we said goodbye to the horrible conditions we had been forced to live in by our landlord and also whatever had been terrorizing us. I still after years and years felt something watching me in my room and I was excited to get better rest. While my mom was packing the truck our neighbor from across the alley came to say goodbye. She had previously rented the unit with her daughter before buying her own home. She talked poorly about our landlord and the condition of the house and also mentioned how much her daughter had hated it. My mom asked what in particular her daughter had hated about it and she told my mom about what she had also experienced in that home with the disclaimer that she would sound crazy. She had her own slew of paranormal stories but there was one that stood out. Her daughter hated staying in that house because when she would try to sleep, she would feel someone watching her every single night. She said her daughter had seen a woman staring at her from the corner of the room. My mom asked what bedroom her daughter had lived in. It was my room. My mom asked which corner. It was the corner I always felt watched from. My mom asked what the woman looked like. It was the same description: a short thin woman with black hair and boxy bangs.
I can’t stress enough how happy I am to be out of that house. It felt like a physical manifestation of our own personal hell.