The Shattered Window
Kim Strain, Alaska, USA
Years ago when I was a young girl, approx. 12 years old, my family moved us from our small hometown(Wrangell, Alaska) in southeast Alaska to yet another small town, but much larger than the first. (Ketchikan, Alaska). Of course I was unhappy because I had known nothing but my hometown and all of my little friends. I was sad and experienced my first bout of true depression during this time which lasted probably as long as it took me to find my first friend in this new town.
We moved into an old three story house on top of a huge flight of stairs which led from down town ketchikan into a residential area. Everyone in Ketchikan knew of the house we lived in. It was known as the "House above the Tunnel", as it was smack, dab right above a well known town landmark that everyone HAD to drive through at least once or twice a day to get to work and home.
I clearly remember climbing up onto the tunnel itself and tossing pebbles, etc. onto the street below. (this was obviously not allowed and often the town Police would chase hooligans that did the same away from the area). Since I lived right next to the area I knew all of the escapes and was able to disappear from there rather quickly. Anyhow, this house was well known not only because of its position above a local landmark, but because it was over one hundred years old and supposedly haunted.
Rumors about the house flew rampantly over the grapevine of which at the time I knew NOTHING about. My parents did a great job of shielding me from such tales and were determined that I and my sister know nothing of them.
It was the only house that the company my father worked for could find to house his family in on the short notice they had. They told my Father the so called "Haunted" story which he laughed off at the time and then accepted the house.
We would be living in the Main part of the house which consisted of three upstairs bedrooms, a large livingroom, diningroom, kitchen and pantry. Below us in the basement there was a small efficiency apartment that a quiet single man rented.
I don't recall ever seeing this man once the entire time we lived in that house. There was one bathroom in the house which was upstairs near the bedrooms. In the bathroom was the trap-door which led to the attic. We (my sister and I) were told never to touch that door for our own safety as my parents did not know the condition of the attic that lay behind it.
The very first day we moved in to this house I had the strangest feeling that someone was watching me. I shrugged it off as just part of the whole moving situation that I didn't like in the first place. When I told my father of this feeling he laughed me off and suggested that no amount of tales I could spin would get us moved back to our hometown, so I'd just better get used to it.
My sister and I shared a room at the top of the stairs. The room had closets with latches that automatically latched when closed, so we were afraid of them at the very start. we used the closet only to shove toys and other kid stuff in when we were forced to clean our room.
One evening when my sister and I were watching television something happened that I will never forget.
We were waiting for my parents to dress and go to a company dinner party so that we could watch a movie that was not allowed. I was old enough to take care of my sister so I often babysat during such outings that my parents attended. We sat there waiting for them to leave and it seemed to be taking an eternity. the movie we wanted to watch had already started but I couldn't change the channel until my parents were gone. "Nicole," I said to my sister, "Go upstairs and tell mom and dad to hurry or they are going to be late." My sister looked at me strangely. "But they already left," she said "They left a while ago!" I stared at her as if she were a fool. "No they didn't, listen, they are still upstairs!" we listened and could clearly hear our parents moving around in their bedroom laughing and talking with one another. My heart stopped in my chest as I strained to listen harder. I CLEARLY heard my parents in the room upstairs. I stood up from the couch and went to the window to see if the car was in its place. The car was gone! My parents HAD left already! I grabbed my sisters arm and we ran outside onto the porch dressed in our night gowns. I stood there staring up at the bedroom where the noises had clearly been coming from. The light was burning and I could see obvious shadow of figures moving around on the far wall of the room. "DO YOU SEE THAT?!" I spat through clenched teeth and the knot in my throat as I clutched my little sisters hand tightly. "Yeah." Nicole answered and we both began to cry. I don't remember how long we stood on that porch, but I remember being so grateful to hear the family car pull up in the driveway when it finally did. We ran up to the car and both spilled the story to our parents as they climbed out. "Kimberly!" my mother said sharply, "Don't you dare scare your sister with your wild imagination! now GET into the house and go to BED!" my parents ignored my sister as she tried to explain that she had SEEN the same thing I did and HEARD the same noises. I'll never forget the look my sister and I gave each other as we walked back onto the porch, glanced up at the window and saw that where there had been a light burning all night it was now dead DARK. Somehow that light had turned itself OFF, the shadows had stopped moving along the wall and the sound of the voices had died.
Many things began to happen after that. It was as if whatever was in the house was determined to let me know that IT knew I KNEW it was there. It seemed determined to scare the bejesus out of me as often as it could. One late spring afternoon I had just arrived home from school and ran into the house to use the bathroom. I tossed my bookbag on the coffee table and raced up the stairs. I stood outside the bathroom door and beat on it. My sister was in there already doing her thing and I had to go BAD. I listened to the water running in the sink and her moving around in there. I begged her to hurry up. "NICOLE, I'VE GOT TO GO!!" I yelled and beat on the door some more. She pounded back on the door, but didn't answer me. "DANG IT!" I cried about ready to wet my pants. The door opened slightly as if she were playing a game with me. I jumped up and shoved it open. The door opened easily and slammed against the counter. I stood there in shock as it dawned on me that no one was in the bathroom at all. I couldn't hold it anymore so I quickly used the toiled and raced out of the bathroom. The sink wasn't running at all...there was no one and hadn't been anyone in that bathroom. The door had been locked and wouldn't open as I had turned the knob. I had CLEARLY heard my "sister" moving about in the bathroom behind the door. I swallowed hard as I raced out of the house. I was alone inside and wasn't about to stay there. I found my sister who was playing with a neighborhood friend and asked her why she had played such a mean joke on me. In my heart I knew damn well she hadn't been in that room. I wanted to believe that somehow she had been. That somehow she had gotten past me as I stood square in front of that door. She looked at me like I was crazy and went back to playing with her buddy.
Another day I had been alone in my bedroom at the top of the steps when I "heard" my sister come in the front door downstairs. I heard her laughing and talking with her friend as they climbed the stairs toward me. I decided to scare them and leapt into the closet somehow forgetting that it automatically locked. The door closed behind me and I waited for her and her friend to round the corner into our bedroom. I would scrape at the closet door from inside and scare the crap out of them. I laughed to myself and waited. No one came. No one would ever come. She hadn't even been in the house at all. I was locked in the closet waiting for no one. I KNOW I had heard her. She had been laughing and joking! I heard the steps creaking as they climbed up! I pounded on the inside of the closet door for what seemed like hours. I cried and sobbed and scraped at the door. I knew I was going to die in that closet. Then, after what seemed like HOURS the door just opened. It just OPENED. I stared at the opening and couldn't believe what I was seeing. It wasn't possible that it had been open ALL of that time. I had twisted and turned and beat on that latch. I had tugged and kicked at the door several times. I WAS FULLY LOCKED IN and knew it.
I leapt out of the closet and stumbled down the stairs crying. I raced out of the house and to my neighbors looking for my sister. When I finally found her I learned that she had never been in the house all day. she had gone straight to our neighbors and had been playing at her place the entire time. I looked down at our house. I could almost feel it mocking me as it stood there waiting for me to come back inside. It was pointless to tell my parents about it. They would only get mad at me. What could I do? I would just have to try and ignore it.
One day came that I couldn't IGNORE. My parents both worked so I was always at home alone with my sister. We were latchkey kids before latchkey kids were cool. this one day we decided to get our roller skates on and skate around the house. A DEFINITE NO NO if my parents were home of course, but hey, I was a kid. We got our skates on and began to cruise around. There were these large glass "French Doors" that blocked off a good sized enclosed porch area. The porch area would be great for skating as it had indoor outdoor carpet instead of the shag in the livingroom. My sister stood up from where she was sitting on a dining room chair and began to skate towards the enclosed porch. "Wait" I said. "I'll come with you." I stood up and hadn't taken a step yet when I saw my sister suddenly "FLY" forward as if shoved HARD. Her body lurched and she "Flew" about 6 feet across the living room and literally through the glass french doors, shattering both of them. I stood there in total shock as I saw her lying in a pile of broken glass shards. I saw two very large chunks of glass sticking out of her legs and I immediately went into adrenaline mode. I ripped my skates off and ran over to her. I calmed her down and moved her out of the pile of glass. I gently took the large shards out of her legs (which were only barely stuck in, a bit more than superficially) and moved her to the couch. My hands were shaking as I dialed my mothers phone number at work. no connection. I dialed again. No connection, and again...still, dead silence on the line. I dialed my fathers number at work. The number would dial, but that was all. no connection. I tried this several times. It dawned on me that I might be panicking and not dialing properly. I took a deep breath and focused completely on dialing the numbers. No connections. I made my sister stay on the couch as I ran up the stairs to my parents room to try their phone. They had a separate phone number, a totally different line. This had to work. I dialed the numbers only to have dead silence on the end of the line. I raced back down stairs and tried one more time. This time I dialed a phone number that belonged to a schoolmate of mine and it went through. The schoolmates mother answered and I explained what had happened to my sister, gave her my parents work numbers and asked her to call them. She did and quickly my father pulled up in the driveway. MAN, was he PISSED. He had tried to call home after the schoolmates mother called him but the phone wouldn't ring. To this day I wonder how I was able to call the schoolmates mother? Luckily my sister was not seriously injured, but she sat silently as my father totally reamed us out and tended to her wounds.
My father left back to work and my sister glared at me. "What are YOU mad about, I saved your LIFE!" I complained to her. "YOU PUSHED ME!" she screamed. "NO I DIDN'T!" Even now, 20 years later my sister is so sure that she was pushed from behind. She says she felt two hands shove her HARD accross the room. I remember clearly it looking like she was shoved as well. The thing in the house wasn't just trying to scare me anymore. It was letting me know that was capable of MUCH MUCH more than that.
I know that it seems as if I am rambling on and on, but just remembering these things that happened in that house gives me a feeling of fear and wanting to share it with someone who might believe me.
The Rollerskates/shattered window incident was the incident that frightened me the most because whatever it was showed clearly that it wasn't happy with us in it's house.
A few more incidents stand out in my head which I will just jot down here.
I stood in the shower washing my hair with Prell. (I remember it was PRELL!) and someone knocked on the bathroom door. I was sure it was my sister so I told her to wait while I got a towel on. the knock came again,"KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK." Three clear raps on the door. "Alright alright, I'm coming!" I said. I opened the door and there was no one there. "Knock it OFF!" I yelled at my sister and climbed back into the still running shower. again. "KNOCK,KNOCK,KNOCK!" three sharp knocks at the door. "Dang it!" I said and stuck my hand outside of the shower curtain and whipped open the door. No one there. "OK NICOLE!" I shouted. "KNOCK IT OFF!" I shut the curtain and stood outside of the door with my towel on quietly so my sister would think I was back in the shower. I had my hand on the doorknob. "KNOCK,KNOCK,KNOCK!!" The door actually vibrated with the knocks. I yanked the door open before the final knock was even done. There was NO ONE THERE! I turned off the shower and flew downstairs in my towel, wrapped up in a throw blanket and waited for the fear to subside.
We had a large mirror that was on the wall in our dining room. When we came around the corner into the living room you could see yourself across the room in the mirror. One day I stood looking into the mirror and combing my hair. I saw my father pass behind me and walk towards the stairs that led to the bedrooms. He turned his head and looked at me in the mirror and smiled behind me as he walked along." "Hey dad!" I said and finished my hair. I went upstairs after him to ask him to fix my bike and couldn't find him anywhere. Upon asking my mother I learned that Dad still wasn't home from his business trip, he had been gone for two days by then. My skin crawled at the memory of "Dad" turning his head and smiling at me in the mirror.
One evening my mom was preparing dinner in the kitchen and she asked me to get her a can of mushroom soup from the pantry. I opened the pantry door and stepped inside. A sudden movement caught my eye and I SAW A MAN STAND UP from a spot in the corner of the pantry. The MAN stared at me and I screamed at the top of my lungs and ran from the area. I told my mother about the man and she said it was just my overactive imagination. (as usual) and told me to hurry the heck up and get the soup! I opened the door with heart pounding, grabbed the soup and tore out of there. I COULD SWEAR I SAW THE FACE of the man reflected in the glass on the window of the pantry door BEHIND ME!
One night the phone rang several times while everyone was asleep except me. ( I had snuck downstairs to watch TV when I should have been asleep ) I would answer and no one was there. finally, the last time it rang I answered and said nothing. accross the line came what sounded like laughter echoing from a tin can. I slammed the phone down and unplugged it. (and no, it didn't ring again) the hair stood up all over my body at the sound of the laughter.It could have been a prank call, but it never happened after that and no one really knew us in the town to call us like that.
Finally, (there were other things but this is getting out of hand in length!) we learned we would be moving away to another town in southeast Alaska called SITKA, ALASKA. (the place where my story the Reflection and other Horrors takes place) one day my parents were helping show the house to prospective renters/buyers and I happened to be in the room. The prospective renter just happened to say to my father "OH, so THIS is the famous HAUNTED HOUSE that everyone talks about, eh?" My father glanced at me and I locked eyes with him. "Yeah, I guess so." was all he could say. The man said "when the realtor told us that this was the house, I just HAD to check it out."
Later upon questioning my parents about this they both admitted FINALLY to me, that they had known about the stories surrounding the house but that they had decided NOT to say anything to us kids. (I can understand their decision now) They didn't want to frighten us unduly considering we had no other choice of places to live at the time. They were afraid that our imaginations would run away with us. I asked them what they thought about all of the things I had told them about and they said that they just hoped that if they ignored it the problem would go away, and that if they made an ISSUE of it that it would only get worse for us kids considering there wasn't any real way to prove such things. Since we would be moving soon my parents told me about the previous tenant moving out due to strange happenings when she lived there. She had sworn that her blow dryer had turned itself on on many occasions, that writing had appeared on her mirror while she slept and that she had seen clear apparitions throughout the house.It got so bad that she moved out rather quickly. She too had heard tales of the house before moving in and didn't put much stock in them. To this day I remember the house very clearly. I could walk through it right now as if I were still living in it. I went on to other places in my life where I have had scarier than hell things happen, but this is the place where my ability to "perceive" things began. Because of that house I believed for a long time that I had carried "something" with me to wherever else I went. I don't think I did, I think that I just learned how to pick up vibes in that house. Anyhow, thanks for listening.
Sorry the story was so long.