Unsolved Mysteries of the World
The Bothell Hell House - Demons in Seattle
The Bothell Hell House – Demons in Seattle?
This is Unsolved Mysteries of the World, Season four, Episode 14, The Bothell Hell House, Demons in Seattle.
The seemingly nondescript, modern family home in Bothell, Washington State gained instant notoriety when it was featured on the popular Ghost Adventures show. It was popular on two fronts, one from those who believed that home was manifesting extreme demonic activity and haunting the occupants for the past several years and from those who believed the house was nothing more than an ordinary dwelling with individuals hell-bent on publicity and notoriety.
Keith Linder, a Bothell native and published author of “The Bothell Hell House: Poltergeist of Washington State”, lived in the house with his then girlfriend Tina for four years before moving out in 2016.
Keith Linder claims that various paranormal incidents plagued him and his girlfriend Tina, including floating objects, strange symbols and spontaneous fires. The incidents were reportedly increasing to such a magnitude that they would be nearly daily occurrences.
Keith explains that the incidents of the haunting happened almost as soon as they moved in. While unpacking they heard a child like cough coming from one of the bedrooms. Joking, as they have never experienced a haunting before, they thought, although it was strange, it was probably explainable. Then as the years went on, Keith and his then girlfriend, whom rented the house, experienced one of the most active hauntings ever recorded.
It became known online through Keith's Youtube channel chronicling the haunting as The Bothell Hell House. Keith videotaped and used audio recording devices to capture Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVPs – a way paranormal investigators believe is a way to capture the voices of the dead.
The Bothell Hell House gained little traction in terms of video views or comments but Keith pressed on determined to find a reason why this seemingly normal house had so much strange activity.
From 2012 until 2014 Keith and his girlfriend are said to have witnessed paranormal activity numbering in the hundreds. Keith claimed that it wasn't just an ordinary haunting and contacted the local press to showcase his home. He claimed objects flew across rooms, cupboard doors were opened on their own, crosses would go missing, objects would disappear and reappear later in different locations, security alarms would go on and off and electrical devices did not work properly.
Keith also reached out to his community for religious support and is said to have had to house blessed, dosed with holy water, and smudged with sage. He claimed nothing worked and the activity just increased.
Now bibles would burn, their were strange Native American symbols painted on the walls and 666 painted over doors. Keith believed after these incidents that he was dealing with some sort of dark energy and perhaps demonic activity. But Keith also claims to have seen ghosts in the house including a grey lady and a white lady.
Now, armed with a multitude of video cameras, recorders and gadgets he attempted to get the activity recorded for proof. Yet, besides the audio, nothing appeared on camera. All of the activity was off camera and no definitive proof was captured.
Here are a few EVPs, Keith has displayed on his Youtube Channel.
The rest of the recorded audio is very hard to determine what it is, or what if anything they are. Skeptics will point out that if demonic forces were responsible for the haunting, and they could paint on walls, draw pictures and burn bibles, why would they only say one word phrases and mumble nonsense?
Using a ghost box program that scans radio frequencies and plays pre-recorded words the paranormal investigations revealed some further information. In fairness, even Keith Linder is skeptical about the programs use. The program takes words and plays them over top of radio static. The list of words pre-programmed into the machine are all ones you would think ghosts or demons would say like “Help Me” and “You are Not Alone” and “Demons!!” Here is a sample of the Bothell Hell House Ghost Box recordings and investigations:
With all the evidence gathered, the regular audio EVPs seem to be the most tangible, however, no one can accurately say what each EVP is saying and there is wild speculation about each one. This may simply be a case of audio paradolia. One person hears the word “No” while another hears “Stop” while yet another hears the name “Keith”. Without prompting the words and phrases are open to speculation and even with prompting it is evident no one hears the same thing.
With no luck capturing the activity on camera, Keith contacted the producers of Ghost Adventures, the popular, yet, often sensationalistic and ridiculous ghost investigation television show. The production team arrived along with its star cast and they proceeded to investigate the house in total darkness. At one point, Zak Bagans the main character of the ghost investigators comes face to face with Keith's girlfriend. Keith's girlfriend acts odd in this clip – she approaches Zak and gets into his face with her eyes wide open. Zak claimed it frightened him and he scurried off. Yet, Keith tells a different story that was cut on the editing floor. Keith claims Zak and everyone laughed off the incident as each had almost bumped into each other in the near perfect dark room.
The production continued for another five hours yet when the show finally aired, the Ghost Adventure crew found zero evidence of a haunting, let alone any demonic or poltergeist activity. Now, this is peculiar because in each episode the Ghost Adventure crew finds all sorts of activity. And let's face it, this is entertainment at best, you don't maintain or increase your audience by standing around in the dark on television for an hour finding nothing but moth balls.
So this left the paranormal community thinking that Keith had made the entire story up and even the Ghost Adventure crew could not find any activity. But there is more to this story than that simple explanation. For months prior fans and skeptics of the show pointed out the fact that no matter where the crew went, even to known fake haunted locations, they found activity. With online rumours swirling that Keith is making the haunting up, did the Ghost Adventure crew note this and follow up to show their fans that indeed they are truthful and not every location is haunted? Or did Zak Bagans find that the house was competitive with his very own Demonic Hell House – remember the Indiana Hell House Zak Bagans purchased and was making a book and documentary about? It seems you can't have more than one Hell House.
Keith, disappointed that the production found no evidence of a haunting, he sent them a photo of the latest incident that happened in his house. Apparently, the demonic forces took his blue jeans and nailed them his wall.
After the airing of the show, Keith came out and told his side of the production and to no surprise he was quiet harsh about the whole endeavour.
Keith continued to live in the house and disappointed with the media attention he contacted two paranormal investigators: Steve Mera and Don Philips. Each, however, are very media focused. Their web pages, online videos and wording is highly sensationalistic and media driven. It looks like hype and a lot of it from awful animated gifs of demons to fake stamps on investigative notes reading “Confidential and Top Secret.”
With the new publicity, the community was once again divided and activity again started to increase, now with heavy furniture being moved about and doors and walls smashed and broken. Keith wrote a self-published expose of the activity in the house and released an ebook in 2018. The book is poorly edited and written in a simple tone of voice. The book chronicles the activity and tries to find explanations. Keith also indicated he is working on two more books about the house. Both investigators Steve Mera and Don Philips have used the house to produce books and documentaries. Both appear to be amateurish in production value and have extremely poor logic. Apparently, they believe the anomalies found on audio are of an Irish accent.
Did Keith Linder experience a haunted house? Or did he simply fake the activity to garner media attention? Keith maintains a Youtube Channel, a Twitter Account and a Facebook Page that showcases the house and the evidence he has collected. He has appeared on many podcasts and in print media to tell his story and sell his book. Visiting each of the social media outlets it is clear that, if the goal was some sort of fame, the audience is not there. At most, some posts get 3 likes and most get none at all.
This is almost a cautionary tale for those experiencing any sort of paranormal activity. I applaud Keith for doing his own recordings, yet when the experts (in quotation marks) are brought in, with known paranormal entertainment celebrities the story and the truth get muddied quickly.
But it appears, even though Keith is no longer living at the house, the story just keeps rolling. In a recent post Keith writes:
“Part Two of The Bothell Hell House by Keith Linder comes out Mid-2019. Book will darker. More evidence. Morbid experiences will be shared. More revelations. Including why the house was haunted. Prepare yourself. This book is not for everyone.”
Keith claims previous occupants of the home experienced the same kind of haunting, yet none of this can be verified. The home is now occupied by another family and they report nothing out of the ordinary, save for the curious onlooker who drives by the house trying to grab a glimpse of a ghost or demon.
It appears the real story is buried somewhere in truth, in lies and in mystery.