A young married couple moves into their dream house in idyllic Snoqualmie, Washington. But, things change when a ghost begins to terrorize them and their cat.
This is part one of a six-part series on the haunting in Snoqualmie.
Welcome To Your New Home
Amber opened the dark oak door and stepped into the sunlight of the great room. Pausing for a moment, she looked across her new home. Three bay windows stretched from the floor to the ceiling, letting the sun beam inside on a rare cloudless day in November. The light glinted off the metal frame of the fireplace and traced along the cherry oak wood floors. To her right was the newest kitchen appliances, like those used on those reality TV cooking shows.
She and Don had pinched, scrimped and saved their pennies for four years to finally own a slice of suburban bliss in Snoqualmie. The increasing house prices and rents made them move out of Amber’s home town, Seattle. Snoqualmie’s a quiet town near a waterfall and the Cascades. If you took I-90 east of Seattle for 40 minutes, you would find yourself at that same waterfall.
Don, her husband, seemed more interested in hauling boxes to their assigned rooms. Amber had written each placement in black, block letters on the top and sides of each one. They both hated moving and this type of organization would cut time and expenses. It was move-in day and the movers got paid by the hour.
Chester’s Not A Happy Kitty
Amber looked over her shoulder and saw Don’s frowning face. She needed to hustle and not admire the house. There’d be enough time for that. After all, there were 3 bedrooms to fill, a living room to set up, kitchen ware to put away, and a cat having an anxiety attack in the car. Chester, the mackerel tabby, especially hated car rides and moving. Doing both on the same day would turn her lovable kitty into a pissy little bitch.
A few hours passed as the movers shuffled furniture from the truck, like a line of ants going back-and-forth to their nest. Finally, Amber could bring Chester in. She grabbed his evergreen carrier out of the evergreen Subaru Outback and brought him up upstairs to the master bedroom. The carrier rested on the bare California King mattress and she could feel Chester squirming around inside. The metal door squeaked as she opened it. Chester hesitated for a few minutes, but the perturbed cat stuck his head out and, after another few cautious seconds, stood in the middle of the bed.
Chester looked at Amber and yawned, but then his eyes drifted behind her. In an instant, the scared and tired kitty arched his back, hair and claws extended. He hissed at something. He even reared up with his front legs in the air, like he wanted to give you a slashing high-five. But the cat leapt off the bed and hid underneath it. He latched his claws into the beige carpeting and let out a low warning cry that lasted ten seconds.
Amber stepped back, surprised by how her fur kid reacted. She knew he would be skittish after the move, but this reaction was extreme for him. ‘He just needs some time to decompress,’ she thought. ‘Maybe he could use some catnip?’
“Chester baby. Don’t be scared. Mommy will give you snuggles,” she said in her best Betty Boop voice. “You wanna play with the feather?”
Nothing she said seemed to calm the cat. She got down on the floor and gave her little boy a few scratches behind his ears and blew him a kiss.
As she left the room, she walked into what seemed like an invisible, gelatinous blob of cold air. It oozed over her arms, back and neck, chilling her. Amber shook off the feeling and checked the windows and doors on the second floor. All of them were closed. Then she checked the digital HVAC gauge in the master bedroom. It was set to ‘Off.’ The invisible blob no longer hung in the air. Shrugging, she shut the bedroom door and hoped her little guy would get over his fear soon.
Chester would stay fixed to his spot for three days.
Whisper Sweet Horror In My Ears
Down in the garage, Don opened his gym equipment boxes. Luckily, this was one area Amber hadn’t assigned a placement. He was free to set the home gym up as he liked. Piece-by-piece, he assembled the treadmill, racked the free weights, and hung the punching bag. You see, Amber had become a bit of a kickboxing guru, and he liked the fact that his wife could smash someone.
Don made the garage’s northeast corner the gym, leaving space for their two cars. As he moved the treadmill over a black rubber mat, he heard a thump behind him. ‘Did something fall over?’ he thought. He turned around and saw nothing out-of-place. The weights were still on their rack beside him, and none of the tools on a nearby workbench had fallen.
He thought nothing of it and looked at the blank dry wall in front of the treadmill. Don wanted to build a shelf for a TV, some towels, and, just maybe, a mini fridge for some beer. Amber would soon have a wine rack in the kitchen, so some beers in the garage seemed reasonable.
As he grabbed the tape measure, he heard a whisper.
At first he thought it was his imagination. Then it repeated.
“Check your wife.”
This time, he felt a cool, gentle breath on his ear, like someone stood next to him as they said it.
“Better go check,” the voice said. “Before I take her.”
Startled, Don turned around and saw no one. His mind raced with questions: ‘Is there a neighbor messing with me? Can I hear someone’s TV? Is it one of my friends here to help set stuff up?’ Although saying something like taking his wife would be fucked up, even for his pals.
Don set down the tape measure on the cement floor and went to find Amber. As he opened the mud room door into the kitchen, he found her. She had opened the kitchen ware boxes and held a stack of plates that weighed more than her.
‘Thank God. It’s just my mind fooling with me,’ he thought. Don then cleared his throat to draw Amber’s attention.
“You need some help?” he asked.
“No, I got this,” Amber said and pushed the stack into a cabinet.
“Hey, have you heard from Gary yet?” Don asked.
“He sent a text and said he’d be here about 5 (p.m.),” she said. Don then asked if the movers had left or if she had the TV on.
“No, the last mover left about 30 minutes ago, and your TV is still in a box in the living room,” she said.
“It’s just I thought I heard a man in the garage…,” he trailed off.
“Maybe it was the neighbor?” she said.
“Well, the garage door was closed, so I shouldn’t be able to…,” Don stopped.
“Baby, sometimes voices drift on the wind. If you’re worried, we can put up the web cams tonight,” Amber said.
“Ok, I guess it’s nothing.” Don wanted to change the subject and told her about the shelf he planned to build.
That made Amber quite happy. “Now I can watch Real Housewives while I’m kickboxing!” she practically squealed and planted a big kiss on his cheek.
As Don turned to go back to the garage, Amber told him to watch out for Chester in the master bedroom and that he may need to work on the HVAC system. He shook his head in agreement.
When he entered the garage, the tape measure laid next to the wall. The wall where he planned to make the shelf. Its tape extended to six feet.
In Part 2, Chester has another nasty run-in with the ghost. Look for it later this week.
Ed. Note: To keep the couple’s privacy, we’ve used pseudonyms. This story is inspired by events at a home in Snoqualmie, Washington, so treat it as fiction.