Locked away in attics, basements, and dark corners across the world are stories of beings and beasts that hide in the night.
These are those stories.
This is the Sleepless in Suburbia Podcast
I’m Brooke, case manager for our team, and this is the audio recap for Case 119: Paranormal Marriage Counseling.
Before we unpack case 119, Lo and Claire asked me to make sure you’ve listened to the case 115.5 Windam’s West Bank Hideaway update episode from last week. If you’ve been waiting on details on what’s going on at the Windam’s West Bank Hideaway, make sure to give last week’s episode a listen.
And one more quick ask. It is a massive help for us and will just take a min or two of your time. If you’re up for it, please rate and review us on Apple Podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and we promise not to send any ghosts to haunt you at night. Okay, okay, all dramatic flare aside, rating and reviewing us is especially helpful in getting our cases out there in front of more people.
That’s enough of the housekeeping, let’s get into case 119: Paranormal Marriage Counseling.
“Ready to add ‘relationship counselor’ to your resume?” Prus asked, handing me a grande iced americano.
I looked up from my copy of “The Wives” by Tarryn Fisher and around the Deja Brew Roastery’s almost empty patio. “I know you aren’t talking to me,” I said, taking a drink of the strongly caffeinated goodness. “Thank you,” I added, nodding at the drink.
There are many things in which I excel. Making seven-layer fiesta dip, detailed recaps of just about every 90s teen drama tv shows, and awkward first impressions, to name a few. But I’m a relationship walking disaster. Seriously how Asher’s put up with me this long is proof of miracles.
Pru took a sip of her iced mocha before saying, “Oh, you don’t give yourself enough credit B.”
I arched an eyebrow.
“Fair point,” she said, putting her hands up in surrender. “But this is paranormal related, so we’ll be working in your wheelhouse.” She pulled a tablet from her large grey faux leather messenger bag. “Listen to this…”
Pru and Posse,
The ghosts in my house are going to end my marriage. We’ve been married six months, moving into our starter house the day we returned from our honeymoon. In the first week, things started happening. Voices from this air. Knocking from inside the walls. Things disappear or move around the house. Most recently, something is following me around the entire house, like a shadow I can’t shake. I feel its presence regularly. The worst part. My husband thinks it’s all a figment of my imagination, and I’m annoyed he doesn’t believe me. Please help. I don’t want to end up divorced before our first anniversary.
Paranormal marriage counseling…. That was a first.
Amelia and Carter lived with their rescue beagle, Marvin, in Capeville. The craftsman style home needed a facelift, but the couple loved the bones of the property. Low pitched roof, expansive front porch, exposed beams, and a huge brick fireplace were significant selling points for the couple. The home has three bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, and a partially finished basement.
They moved in knowing a lot of work needed to be done, everything from the kitchen to the bathrooms. Still, they were excited to tackle as many of the projects as they could together. Beginning in the master bedroom and bathroom.
Claire is still baking up a storm, much longer of her culinary distractions, and I’m going to need to invest in bigger pants. Her son Dean, he’s 14, is having some sleep disturbances. He keeps getting woken up by growling coming from the hallway. Pets in the home include a snake, a handful of creatures caught from local streams, and a bearded dragon named Al. Nothing to my knowledge that growls. Is the black hell beast back in Claire’s world? We’ll look into it and keep you up to date.
Ford is caught smack dab in the middle of an epic prank war with her siblings. Over the weekend, she talked me into committing a B&E, breaking and entering for you non-law-breaking types, to assist in a creepy prank. While her sister Kemper worked an overnight shift at the hospital, we broke into her house with a creepy peekaboo doll in hand. I’m not sure what these dolls are actually called, but this one stands about 3 feet tall, with braided pigtails down its back, wearing a floral floor-length dress, and demonic creeper hands covering its eyes. We placed the evil thing in the shower, so when she took a shower after a long night’s work, she’d find the doll back to her in the shadowy shower.
When I rolled out of bed the next morning, I had a text from a number I didn’t know. It included a picture of a bloodied elbow and two words… You’re Next. Ford assures me that Kemper’s revenge for my part in causing her to trip over her bathroom rug bashing her elbow on the corner of the vanity, will probably not include the shaving of one of my eyebrows or anything too permanent. Kemper, if you’re listening to the show, I swear I told Ford the demon doll was a terrible idea; she doesn’t listen.
Pru and the giggling from the night, we have an update, but it’s not what we’d hoped. The blessing on the house seems to have only fueled the nighttime spectors attention. The laughing is stronger than ever, and one night last week, when letting Knox out for a potty break, something watched her. Not in the way you feel like something is watching you, but she actually laid eyes on something standing on the edge of her backyard. She noticed it about a second before Knox sprinted from the yard, past her, and back in the house. Looking from her bedroom window over the backyard, she swears the figure waved to her. We are reaching out to some other friends of the show for options to get rid of whatever the waiving night giggler is.
The adventures of sleepwalking Brooke continues paired with the most vivid dreams I think I’ve ever had. The most disturbing has stuck with me five days later. In the dream, I’m walking down a seafoam green-tiled hallway. The bare tube lights flicker overhead. There’s a buzzing sound filling the silence around me as I walk. Pushing through a wooden door, I find a man in a yellow surgical gown hunched over a metal autopsy table. I can see ashen colored legs on the table, but the surgical gown man blocks the rest of the corpse. I walk closer, holding my breath. The man in the gown is old, 80 years old, maybe with a gaunt face, eyes splattered with cataracts. He’s performing an autopsy; I look at the person on the table; it’s the same gaunt smoky-eyed face. He’s performing an autopsy on himself, pulling intestines from the craterous abdomen, and putting them on a hanging metal scale. I back away, knocking over a standing black fan. The yellow gowned man looks at me, licks at a gloved finger, and grins with crimson streaked white teeth. As I start to scream, I wake up. So yah…. Sleeping is an adventure best avoided at this point. I’m going to have to invest in some serious under-eye concealer; if you have any suggestions on insomniac strength coverup, dm us we’re at sleeplesssuburbiapod on Instagram and Facebook.
Lark is back home in the Puget Sound area for a few weeks break before fall semester kicks off. She’s going to handle as much online research for us as possible, while Pru gears up for returning to the library in her elementary school. The Puget Sound area is full of intense energies, not seen in many other places, so we hope Lark will also flex her investigating muscles at a couple known hotspots in the area. And of course, spend time with my amazing big brother Sam. Note the subtle sucking up.
Lo has a friendly reminder as our resident IT/Cybersecurity goddess…. Resist the urge to take part in those social media history of me type quizzes. You know the ones she’s talking about. They have questions like My high school mascot was, I learned to drive in this car, my first pet was a _____, and it’s name was ______, my first job was…. You get the idea. Cybercriminals can use the information provided on quizzes/history recaps like these to hack passwords and security questions. So as cute and fun as it is, Lo says just don’t. And that concludes this week’s segment of Cyber Safety with Lo.
Historical Society Research
No ancient burial ground, no battlefield, but there is a pet cemetery very close to the property line…. Like within walking distance. I didn’t realize there were cemeteries specifically for pets, Stephen King’s book excluded. A tiny path takes you to the Innocent Spirit Memorial Gardens from Amelia’s property, the final resting place for everything from tarantulas and horses to dogs and pythons. The property is beautiful, there’s a pond with a water feature, benches to sit under shade trees, and even a whitewashed gazebo. It’s a beautiful final resting place for pet family members. And thankfully looks nothing like any depiction of pet cemeteries from movies or books.
The home was built in 1910 by wealthy businessman playboy William Fitzgerald. William was known to have a different stunning socialite on his arm for each gala or business event. Until he met school teacher Helen Lane in 1916, the two fell madly in love. They were married and, after a great deal of time, were expecting their first child. Everything was perfect for the couple, enter… the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918. William awoke one morning, drenched with sweat, body in agony. He told Helen to stay with her sister to not further risk infecting her with the flu. In less than 36 hours, William succumbed to his fever in the house.
Helen returned to the home, eventually welcoming a little boy into the world, Henry William Fitzgerald. Helen and Henry continued living in the home; Helen unwilling to move because she said she could feel William’s presence around her in the house. Henry grew up, becoming a teacher, like his mother. Helen died on the property at 61 years old.
So the property had some possible activity magnets going on, two known deaths on the property, and a pet cemetery. Interesting combination.
Onsite Interview Recap
We were greeted by the friendly bay of an adorable bouncing beagle. “Marvin, hush hush.” Amelia said, touseling the dog’s floppy ears.
The house smelled of fresh-cut wood, paint, and….. I breathed in deeply. Amelia smiled, “Cinnamon rolls, I just pulled them out of the oven, let’s take them and the mimosas out on the patio.”
She didn’t have to tell me twice.
“He thinks I’m nuts,” Amelia began. “Like I’m misplacing things and forgetting about them or not actually hearing things.”
“What do you believe you’re experiencing?” Lo asked.
The activity in the house began, not surprisingly, right around the time construction began. There’s something about remodeling and renovations that can kick up once quiet spirit activity. The activity started out as little things, keys vanishing from their hook by the door to the garage, reappearing under throw pillows on the master bedroom bed. Tools disappeared, first a tape measure that ended up being found in Amelia’s sock drawer and then a hammer later located under the coffee table in the living room. On the regular, tools ended up missing only to be found in new strange places around the house.
“She doesn’t like us updating the home,” Amelia said. “Oh, I’m sorry, Lo, they’re vegan… I didn’t even think to mention it.” She said, pointing to the untouched cinnamon roll on Lo’s plate.
“Thanks.” Lo smiled, pulling off a piece and popping it in her mouth, considering for a second. “She?”
Carter gave a dismissive blink, causing me to count to 10, before turning my attention back to Amelia.
“The woman, she’s the one causing all the weird stuff to happen around the house. I mean, I think it’s just her, I haven’t noticed anyone else,” Amelia said, glancing at Carter, who pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers.
I stared at him, forcing the kindest words possible through a clenched jaw, “You haven’t had any paranormal or unexplained experiences in the house?”
Laughter burst from his lips, “No, I think sometimes Amelia forgets where she puts things and uses her creative imagination to concoct stories.”
Ford put her hand on my leg; I pressed my lips together. 10…..9……
“Why would I put a tape measure in my underwear drawer?” Amelia snapped.
“You’ve been distracted since the honeymoon,” he shrugged. “Maybe you’re multitasking too much and forgetting where you set things down. I don’t know why you’re making things up and bringing these soccer moms into our house.”
No, he did not. 8….7……6
Of all people, I have been guilty of setting things down in the wrong room while bustling around my own house, distracted by finding James’s hockey sock or Michael’s tryout jersey. Still, I don’t know that I’ve ever put something in a drawer or under furniture by accident. And I don’t know anyone who would blame a ghost, to avoid what? Getting in trouble by their far from understanding life partner?
“I’m not making it up,” Amelia said, chin giving a slight quiver.
“Tell us what’s happening,” Ford said softly, a warm smile balancing out my pinched eyebrow glare in Carter’s direction.
The footsteps began a couple of weeks after the vanishing tools. Amelia first heard them while washing her hands after a late-night trip to the bathroom. The bathroom was dark, to not wake Carter with the light, and over the sound of the faucet, she heard footsteps walking down the hall. Hands still soapy, she turned off the water, listening, they were coming towards her. She walked as quietly as possible across the bedroom towards the door, the footsteps quicked. By the time she pulled the bedroom door open, the footsteps had sounded like they were running away from her into the dark hallway. Another time while in the same bathroom taking a shower, she heard footsteps walking around the bathroom, accompanied by a cold draft. Pulling open the shower curtain to ask Carter to close the bathroom door because of the draft, she found the bathroom empty. The door shut—no explanation for footsteps or the cold chill.
The footsteps seemed to step up their haunting game. Not able to sleep one night, Amelia went to the kitchen for a Diet Mt Dew; she figured that she’d caf up and get some painting done if she couldn’t sleep. Popping open the tab of the can of soda, she leaned against the counter, enjoying the first couple drinks of bubbles, when a feeling of unease crept over it. There were eyes on her, but looking around, she was alone in the partially demolished kitchen. Leaving the light on, she went to the office, ready to paint some baseboards. Listening to her favorite podcast, My Favorite Murder, she got to work, forgetting about the weird feeling from the kitchen.
She’d finished two walls worth of baseboards when she noticed a shadow stretched out before her on the floor. A shadow next to her own shadow. Something breezed against her arm, and she stood dropping the wet paintbrush. She whirled around, no one, she was alone in the room. The shadow was nowhere to be seen; the feeling of being watched was gone, leaving behind a pounding heart.
While sitting in the living room, flipping through a magazine, Amelia felt the couch cushion beside her bow. She reached over to pet Marvin, but the seat was empty. It was just her on the sofa. Spooked, she called for Marvin, who trotted in, standing in front of the empty couch cushion head tilted to the side. He wouldn’t jump up to join Amelia.
This presence has become a daily occurrence. Amelia will occasionally see a tall woman with rich brown hair pulled up in a bun just outside of her eye. Turning to look, the woman is gone.
With encounters happening more and more frequently, Carter and Amelia’s relationship has become strained to the point of breaking. Carter seemed immune to the haunted happenings. The more Amelia insisted on the possible paranormal activity, the more frustrated Carter got. Bringing him to the snarky unsupportive human we met.
I imagine it’s hard to believe in something you’ve never experienced yourself. I know it’s difficult experiencing something other people can’t see. They are at an impasse, like many couples meeting at a point where they can’t see eye to eye, just most couples don’t get there because of a possible haunting.
Looking through the snide looks and snarky comments at the couple sitting next to one another across from us at the teal metal patio table, you could see it. It wasn’t all tense interactions and lack of understanding. In glances, in the way he almost absentmindedly rubbed his thumb over the bony point of her wrist… there’s love there. But the distance between them is also palpable. This marriage was on seriously shaky ground. And I was about one more starting at ten countdowns, from telling this guy exactly what I thought of his tude.
“Ghosts haunt I don’t know, old falling down asylums,” Carter said, taking a long drink from his IPA bottle. “Not a suburban craftsman.”
OH… he had no idea.
“Yoga studio,” I said.
“Yoga studio, equestrian facility, a house in the suburbs of Kansas.” I replied. “All with a great deal of paranormal activity. The backdrop doesn’t have to look like the set of a horror movie to be haunted.”
“Show me,” he said, tone somewhere between pleading and perturbed.
Besides the footsteps and persistent presence, there were other haunted happenings taking place in the home.
- Whistling from the basement when Amelia was the only one home.
- Marvin barked and seemed to follow something unseen around the house.
- The door to the basement opened and closed on its own
- There’s a faint smell of lilacs ( we checked there aren’t any lilacs planted in the surrounding area)
- Lights turned off on their own.
- Amelia’s best friend Ella was sleeping on the sofa after a whine and whiskey night; she woke up and watched a hazy figure walk through the wall into the next room.
- Knocking rattles from inside the wall, always in sets of 4.
- Humming is heard in what is now the office.
- Amelia has had her shirt pulled while walking in the hallway.
Our investigation kicked off on Sunday, with the couple and Marvin staying the night at Carter’s parent’s house. We noted with our initial sweep of the house that there is a bit of traffic noise from a highway that runs somewhat close to the house. It’s also an older home, so there are many creeks and whatnot, which is expected as a house matures.
Ford, Lo, and I would investigate the home together as one unit, so we only needed one research pack.
This investigation Research Pack included:
- 3 – Digital Voice Recorders
- Digital Camera
- 1 – EMF detector
- Some bandaids I’d pulled out of my SUV – I’d forgotten to pack the actual first aid kit, bad idea with Ford on board
- 3 – Flashlights
- Trail Mix & Cocoa Nibs
- Phone Charger
- 3 – Salt Bowl Kits
- Sage Bundles
These are our Experiences….
Three hours into the investigation, and the house was quiet.
“I think it’s a quiet zone guys,” Ford said, making another pass down the hall with the EMF detector.
That I was not willing to accept, not yet. “Something’s here; I can feel it.”
“Or do you just want to find evidence to prove Carter’s wrong?” Lo had a very fair point.
Then, there was a cold spot… Ford’s footsteps stuttered on the hardwood floor. She’d walked into a patch of air measuring nearly 10 degrees cooler than other hallway spots. Standing just outside of the office, surrounded by chilled air, Ford asked questions.
What’s your name?
Do you like the updates to the home?
We listened back to the audio, the three of us huddled around the digital recorder in the darkened hallway. Nothing, and then this EVP played through; let’s listen.
Please Listen to Show for EVP
Did you hear someone say, Hello?
We weren’t alone in the craftsman, after all.
The playback ended, and a knock jolted the silence. 4 knocks just like Amelia had described. Together we walked towards the direction of the knock; it came from the kitchen or maybe the living room. I turned too quickly, knocking Ford backward, she stumbled, dog toy adding to her stumbling momentum, and fell on her butt on the living room floor.
“Sorry did you hear that?”
“The sound of Ford hitting the floor,” Lo laughed.
“No that?” This time it came from below us. “Sorry Ford”
This game continued. 4 knocks, we’d walk in the sounds’ direction, find nothing, then four knocks in a different location. All this moving from room to room helped us get our steps in, but it also allowed us to catch this EVP. Here it is, what do you hear?
Please Listen to Show For EVP
We heard what sounds like a woman humming.
Ford had another exciting encounter (that didn’t involve me knocking her to the ground) while coming out of the hall bathroom. Clicking off the light, she turned back into the bathroom to grab the digital recorder she’d forgotten on the counter. Light shown in from a small window high up the wall of the shower area. She noticed what looked to be a misty shadow come through the wall touching the office, moving into the bathroom, and through the opposite wall bordering a storage closet. The shadowy mist had a steady pace and didn’t notice or care that Ford was observing it.
Lo sat in the dark basement alone, conducting an EVP session. She got two intelligent responses.
Here’s the first:
When asked, what’s your name? She received the following answer:
Please Listen to Show For EVP
Did you hear the name, Helen? Could this be Helen Lane, who lived in the house in the early 1900s?
The second intelligent response is here. When asked why they still hang around the house, a disembodied voice responded with this:
Please Listen to Show For EVP
Love? Is this again Helen saying that she stayed here in life and still in death to be with her husband and son?
I captured our last piece of evidence for the investigation.
I caught this interesting EVP sitting in the living room on the floor, rolling Marvin’s Kong toy around. Give it a listen.
Please Listen to Show For EVP
Did you hear the cat?
I didn’t hear the cat while recording the audio, which makes me wonder if there is an afterlife feline wandering over to hangout from the pet cemetery.
What started as a quiet evening ended up with us capturing several pieces of substantial evidence to take back to Amelia and Carter.
Though it’s possible that Amelia is putting too much on her plate, with everything she’s juggling in life and the home renovations, we’re confident that the activity going on in their home isn’t from an overactive imagination, but instead paranormal activity.
We were pleasantly surprised by Carter’s response to our evidence; he instantly apologized to Amelia for not believing her. Seeing, or I guess hearing, really is believing. He still hasn’t experienced any of the knocking or footsteps, but he’s stopped blaming Amelia for things moving around the house without explanation.
We offered to have Micah, a friend of the show who’s a medium, come out and help the spirit cross over. But, at this point, Amelia doesn’t want her cleared. If Helen’s spirit (or who we firmly believe is Helen) wants to stay in her family home, Amelia is open to learning how to adapt to having a paranormal roomie.
With nothing dangerous happening in Capeville and Amelia comfortable with the spirit remaining, we are comfortable closing Case 119: Paranormal Marriage Counseling.
We will be back next week with another case; until then, thanks again for listening to Sleepless in Suburbia. If you like our cases, tell a friend so that they can join in our scary adventures. And if you’re looking for even more spooky tales to fill your listening time, check out the ladies from What Lurks in the Dark. Macie and Jamie are a couple of warrior nurses from Louisiana, who spend their downtime talking all things spooky. When you give What Lurks in the Dark a listen, leave them a review, and let them know the girls from Sleepless in Suburbia say hey.