haunted house podcast

Haunted House Uses Alexa

I recommend turning your Alexa’s listening feature off before you listen to this episode because this is about our Alexa and I will be using the wake-up word several times during the next 20 minutes. Your Alexa might just drive you insane as you listen to my story.

My name is John and I live in Casper Wyoming with my daughter Lindsey. My brother passed away a few years ago and left me some money, so I decided to buy an old house and fix it up.

This house was a mid-size house with 3 bedrooms and it was sitting on 20 acres of land. The house was built in the 1920s and had a lot of issues. The main problem was the fact that no one was living in it for the past 17 years, so it is very run down. 

Maybe that is why the price was so low. I bought this house for the value of the land it was sitting on. Probably most people would have torn this house down to build a new one.

The house needed new doors, a new roof, new windows, and of course a new paint job.  The price was very low, so that left me enough money to fix it up.

The real estate person who sold me the house was very happy to see it go because they had a bet at the office that this house would never sell. She also mentioned that the people who moved out of the house 17 years ago experienced a lot of supernatural problems with it.

I asked, “what do you mean supernatural problems?” She said paranormal stuff, you know, ghost and things like that. Then she said, “I’m only half kidding, but there were rumors in town that this house was haunted.”

 It even made the newspapers back a few years ago when some kids broke in and spent the night there.  It was a dare from their friends. Most of the kids got scared and left the house, but a few of them stayed the night. Of course, they told scary stories about it.

I said, “imagine that, a haunted house in Casper, maybe I should turn it into a museum and charge money for a tour of the house.”

She said, “good luck with that, I doubt if you get any takers.”

Lindsey and I moved into the haunted house

I interviewed and hired a few contractors that I found in the local paper. They started working on the house. Lindsey and I stayed in the living room while the contractors renovated the bedrooms.

During the time we spent rebuilding the house, it was almost like camping since we were using sleeping bags, and the fireplace to keep warm. The plan was to get the bedrooms finished first so that we could move our furniture into the house and start living a normal life. 

At the time, we didn’t understand that living in this house would never be normal.

While working on the house, the contractors mentioned that they had heard stories about this ole house, and they didn’t want to work past sundown. One of the carpenters said that he had worked on this house about 27 years ago, and he had a lot of spooky stories about it. I thought to myself, “no wonder there were a lot of rumors going around. This guy was probably the source of most of them.”

I really should thank him, because it was his stories that kept the price down and kept other people from moving in.

After 3 months of house repairs it was looking pretty good.

Lindsey ended up moving into the largest bedroom, and I took one of the smaller ones. We use the third bedroom as an office.

Lindsey ran her own Internet business giving guitar lessons online. She had a lot of students and was able to make pretty good money without leaving home.

I also run a small business on the Internet selling stuff on eBay. I buy old things that most people would consider junk, then I fix them up and sell them for a nice profit.

So Lindsey and I shared the office, but we usually worked at different times of the day.  I usually wake up early and work until about noon, while Lindsey usually wakes up about noon and works way into the night. With our different schedules, we would go several days without seeing each other.

Lindsey said, "I want to turn this into a futuristic computer home"

I asked her, “what are you talking about?” She said, “you know, we can automate the entire house so that when we walk into a room, the lights turn automatically. Plus we can set the entire house on a computer so that it can regulate the air temperature, and install cameras so we can see who is at the front door, things like that.” 

I said, “sure, that sounds good to me.”  I like the idea of having security cameras. So we spent a few thousand dollars more and installed several security cameras that connected to a hidden DVR system that recorded and stored our security videos.  We also installed several lights that were connected to our wifi so that we could turn them off and on using our smartphones.

We bought several Alexas so that we could control our house and provide entertainment and information. I really like using Alexa for getting quick daily news, and weather reports. Most of the time I use Alexa to help me spell words when I am typing.

Our Alexa starts acting up

One day, Lindsey took off a few days to visit one of her friends in Spokane Washington, so I had the house to myself. I decided to go to the movies one night and when I got back home, I was surprised to hear voices, when I arrived on my front porch. I unlock my door and noticed that all of my Alexas were playing music from the 60s.

What the hell is going on? I yelled, “Alexa Stop” and they all went silent.

I was wondering, “how did that happen?”  I went to my computer and checked the security camera footage to see when the Alexas started playing music and learned that they all went off about 10 minutes after I had left to go to the movies.

I did some research and learned that if one Alexa receives a command, they can be connected so that all of them share the same music.  We had 3 Alexas set up in different rooms, so I thought maybe one of them is defective. 

I didn’t really think too much about it, but in the middle of the night, all of my Alexas started playing music again. This time it was spooky Halloween music. Something called “Creepy Halloween.” 

Again I yelled “Alexa Stop” and they went silent.

My first thought was that Lindsey was playing a practical joke on me, using one of her Alexa apps.  The next day I called Lindsey and confronted her, and she said that she had nothing to do with Alexa going crazy.  Maybe it’s the haunted house.

I was still convinced that Lindsey probably had something to do with this, after all, that is a great gag to place on someone who is staying alone in an old haunted house.

But then it got really freaky.  I was sound asleep in my room when Alexa started talking again. This time it was about 3:00 AM.

Alexa woke me up by saying:

Murder is spelled "M-U-R-D-E-R"

Then she went on to say: “The definition of murder.”  OK, I have had enough of this, so I unplugged my Alexa.  I didn’t really want to get rid of Alexa, because I used it all the time and got used to having it help me with stuff.

I thought that somehow, someone was programming my Alexa as a joke, but at this point. I knew it wasn’t Lindsey.

I started doing research and learned how to secure my Alexa so that no one could control it using an outside app. I thought, “this should fix it.”  I have it set up where it will only accept voice, commands. No more outside influence, just voice commands.

Now I am sleeping much better, no more Alexa problems, or so I thought!

It was quiet for about a week, but then it happened again. At about 4:30 AM Alexa started up again, this time she was spelling “Haunted House.”  Wait a minute, I thought I had this all figured out.

I went back to my DVR which holds all of my security videos and was surprised to find a video picking up a shadow just moments before Alexa started talking. Holy Crap, what is that? I watched the video several times and noticed that the shadow seemed to be transparent, and it seemed to float a few inches off the ground. I had Lindsey watch the video and it totally freaked her out.

This is way beyond a practical joke. It’s some kind of paranormal activity. We played the video over several times, then Lindsey said, “I think I hear something, play it again, this time turn up the volume.”  I turned the volume up all the way. We could hear someone whispering to Alexa, “Alexa, Spell Haunted House”

So, our house really is haunted.

I’m pretty open-minded about stuff like this, so now I do believe that we are sharing our house with a spirit from the other side.

We decided to bring in a specialist who deals with stuff like this.  After a few sessions, our paranormal investigator said that we did have a spirit. A person who died of natural causes, who lived in this house during World War II. It was a teenage boy, who died at the age of 16 after catching the flu.

We learned that our spirit didn’t mean to scare us and that he only wanted to get our attention. Well, it sure worked, because it was pretty scary, having Alexa wake us up in the middle of the night, spelling Murder.

We also learned his name was Tim, and his birthday is on April 7th. We found that out one day when Alexa started singing the happy birthday song. Apparently, Tim has a good sense of humor, because Alexa will randomly tell us a joke without even asking.

Tim has fit right in with our family and we find ourselves talking to him occasionally. Sometimes we will ask questions to Tim, and Alexa will answer.

Does your Alexa ever randomly startup?

Has Alexa ever just started talking to you, maybe giving you the news when you haven’t asked for it, or maybe start playing music? Well, it might not be just a technical problem, it might be that you have a ghost living in your home. Since I have researched this topic, I have found out that many people seem to have similar problems with their Alexa, so we weren’t alone.

Who knows, Alexa might be the best way to find out if your house is really haunted. I just hope for your sake, that your ghost is a friendly one, like ours. I wonder if living in Casper Wyoming has anything to do with this? You remember Casper the friendly ghost, right?

Over the next few weeks, we started learning more about Tim, through the use of our Alexa. Now he seems like part of the family, kind of like a pet that you don’t have to feed. And he doesn’t pee on the floors either.

So Tim and I came to an understanding. He can use Alexa, just don’t do it in the middle of the night, because it freaks me out.

Personally, I don’t really have a problem with our ghost, just as long he doesn’t start ordering stuff from Amazon. Just keep in mind, when you have Alexa, you are never really alone.


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