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Valley of Shadows

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The dirty ghost of Dalby house

Built before World War I, the Dalby place just north of Sandpoint is now a rental, but someone, perhaps the spirit of a former female resident who died long ago within its walls, remains in some form to this day.

The tenants there, until last fall, experienced nothing except one curious incident with their granddaughter. The young girl came into the living room one evening asking her grandparents who the lady upstairs was. As far as they knew, they were the only three in the house. A quick search turned up not a living soul.

The current tenants, however, have experienced a more lively time of it. Moving in last fall, it wasn’t long before they began experiencing unusual phenomena.

The first sign of something out of the ordinary came when the husband went out the back door for only a moment and, upon returning, all the drawers, doors and cabinets were open. It took the next incident, however, to convince his wife that something suspicious was going on.

One night, with her husband already in bed, she had just finished a shower and stepped out into the hall, turning the bathroom light off as she went. A few steps from their bedroom, she heard the snap of the switch and light flooded out into the hallway.

 Her first thought was faulty wiring, but upon returning to the bathroom, found the switch in the up position as if someone had flicked it on. Turning around, she wondered if someone was indeed inside the quiet house, but the September night was blameless.

 Turning the light back off, now with a sense of being watched, she was again at the threshold of the bedroom with the light again switched on. Returning, she again found the switch up. This time, leery of the otherwise shadowed and still unfamiliar house, she left the light on and hurried to get her husband. The light snicked off behind her.

 Waking her groggy husband, he shuffled to the bathroom and flicked the switch on and off several times. It worked perfectly. “Probably just a loose wire.”

“But the switch actually moved on and off,” his wife protested, to which he had no answer.

 Other times, the TV would come on by itself as well as the radio and CD player. One warm evening a few weeks after moving in, the wife suddenly experienced a sudden swoop of cold air accompanied by an unusual odor, the closest description being an unusual cologne.

Then there was the sound of singing that would waft through the old vents originally used to transfer heat from the old coal furnace. The same vents would also conduct the sound of music from upstairs.

One time, the couple’s two dogs could not be coaxed inside for anything. Another time, laying in the living room, both animals suddenly looked up at empty air and begin to growl.

 The wife occasionally worked odd hours at her job and her husband was left to entertain himself. Sometimes he’d be out working in the garden and look up suddenly, expecting to see someone looking at him from a second floor window, but all would be empty.

 Finally, one of the most dramatic incidents happened upon returning from a trip to Spokane. It was early evening and upon going upstairs, they found the bathroom steamed up, the mirror obscured. Thinking their son had come by and taken a shower, the wife pushed the stall’s curtain aside to find it empty and dry. Calling their son, he told them he hadn’t been there since a visit two weeks previously. Hey, not only can a dirty ghost shower up, but he or she can do laundry all at the same time.

Next month from the VALLEY OF SHADOWS, the special tale of “The Blue Guitar,” for a very special edition of the River Journal.

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Author info

Lawrence Fury Lawrence Fury is an inveterate letter-to-the-editor writer, and a conservative conscience for this area of North Idaho. He's also an expert on local ghost stories, and is compiling a group of them for future book publication. You can read more about him in a Love Notes feature for the River Journal

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