A Medley Of Cases
Over the years, I have worked many cases. Some have been interesting; others have been duds. Some have been sad; some have been funny. It is really a mixed bag and you never know just what to expect. So, you learn to enter a case with no preconceived expectations and expecting the unexpected. Anything or nothing can happen. You just never know.
Sometimes a case will last a long time. Many other cases end up being one or two night affairs. However, not all cases end up being stories. While some interesting things may happen on a given case, not all cases can be turned into a story, let alone a book. Whether you are writing an article about a case or a book, you need to have three things: a beginning, a middle and an end. Of course, an interesting subject matter helps too. In many cases, you don’t always have an end. In cases where the activity has been minor or well spaced, it can take a long time before you know with any certainty whether the problem has ended, if indeed it was deemed a problem to begin with.
You see, it is not that uncommon to be called into a case by a worried person or family. However, what really has them worried is not so much that there may be a spirit in the house; it is the fear of what kind of spirit it is. For a variety of reasons, people often fear that there a demonic spirit in their house. They could have gotten this notion from something they saw on a TV program or perhaps from a book they read. Sometimes a friend or relative plants the notion in their heads. Once you do the investigation, you may be able to determine that the spirit is quite human indeed and poses no threat. In that case, once the person or family realizes that, they feel much better and find themselves no longer frightened and that is the end of the case. There may have been some interesting stuff but it does not make for a long story. That being the case, I have decided to write about a few cases that were notable for the activity that took place but are by themselves, not something you could write a long article about. Let us take a look at a few.
A Touchy Feely Spirit
I worked one case where the reported activity was interesting but fortunately not threatening or horrific. Just the same, the couple wanted it to stop. Although it was quite a distance from me, I was more than willing to work the case. I enjoy working cases and helping people so I sometimes work cases that are geographically inconvenient. When people need help and I can help them, it is an easy decision to make, even if it means a long commute. In this case, the people needed help. Once I started the case, I was hooked. What hooked me was what happened the first night. I had heard a few things about the spirit in question but as I said earlier, you never quite know what to expect. When I entered this particular house, I did not feel anything unusual. A few minutes later, the woman of the house took me on a tour. As soon as I entered the master bedroom, it was like, bang. There certainly appeared to be something in there. I often experience something like a small electrical current when I am in a room where there is a spirit present. It is almost like having the hair stand up on your arms or the back of your neck. However, it is not foolproof. It bears pointing out that I have no way of testing this. I know that I sometimes have this experience and I am usually right. What I don’t know is if there are times when there is a spirit present and I don’t know it. That could well happen.
In any event, it did not take long to prove my feelings right on that case. As I was setting up some of my equipment, the door to the room I was in slowly shut itself. Believe me, it was nothing dramatic and not at all frightening. Just as I was watching the door close, I heard my camcorder power on and then the red record light came on and the camera slowly turned towards me. That was cool. I guess the spirit figured that if I were going to film him, he would film me. That's a fair exchange. After I finished setting up the rest of the equipment, I walked into the kitchen to ask the owner if the bedroom door has a habit of closing on its own. (Mine does, for whatever reason. I have to keep a weight in front of it if I want it to stay open.) I asked Mrs. P if her door did that and she told me that it had never done so before. Knowing that, I made a note on my activity sheet. However, if I had any doubts, they would easily be dispelled later on.
We decided to try to communicate with the spirit in question. Since it spent most of its time in the master bedroom, we decided to start there. Mrs. P stretched out on the bed and I sat on the floor next to it. My wife, Pat, stood at the ready with our camcorder. We started by asking whether there was a spirit present and we asked it to give us a sign that it was there. It did; it decided to pull my hair. I must point out that it was not a hard tug; it was more of a gentle, “just letting you know I am here” tug. I was grateful for that. Personally, I can't afford to lose any hair. As soon the hair incident happened, one of the meters began reading high, almost ten times the baseline.
The basement was also a hot spot so I went down there for a while. After sitting there for a few minutes, I heard the sound of movement off to my left. I immediately turned around and took a shot with my camera. As soon as the flash went off, I heard some boxes move to my right. Again I spun and fired off a shot. Next, the spirit knocked some things off behind me and as soon as I turned around, some boxes fell in front of me. Mind you, this is all happening in a pitch-dark basement. In plain English, the spirit was playing with me. By the way, nothing strange showed up on the film.
I had been told by the owner of the house that the spirit would often push down on the bed when she asked it a question. (I had asked it to knock but for some reason, it chose not to do so.) Well, in the hopes of getting better information, I decided to lie next to Mrs. P and ask questions. Pat stood by with the camcorder, ready to film whatever took place. A few seconds into this, the spirit grabbed my ankle and then slowly the invisible hand proceeded to move up my leg. When it got to my knee, I told it that we didn’t know each other well enough for that. For the record, I am the king of saying inappropriate things at inappropriate times. Needless to say, the touching stopped.
Over the few months that I worked that case, I was touched several times. It was never painful or threatening. I saw some odd lights in that house and I also picked up a few voices on tape. One investigator actually saw an orb. It is common to get them on film but rarely do you see them "live". The spirit in question was definitely human and it never did anything to suggest that it was malicious in any way. It just liked to touch people. As far as I know, it still does.
Benign, Even Helpful
I worked a case that fell under the category of cleaning up someone else’s mess. In that case, a group had been called in because of some rather unusual activity. In one instance, the couple and their two children went out to a store. When they arrived home a few minutes later, they found many of their children’s toys lined up in the hall. Other odd things included some of their children’s battery-operated toys operating quite nicely. The kicker was that there were no batteries in them. Mischievous? No question. Evil? Let’s get real. You will see why I said that in a minute.
Another odd thing happened when the mother went into her baby’s room with an armload of laundry. It had been a warm spring day but a cool evening. The room had grown cool and she saw that the window was opened a bit and that the baby had kicked off her blanket. She made her way to the bureau and put the laundry down. She then started walking to the window with the intention of closing it. Just before she reached it, the window closed slowly by itself. Needless to say, this frightened her badly. She then turned toward the baby and saw the blanket slowly rise to cover the sleeping child. This nearly freaked her out. On another night, she heard her two year old laughing in his room. When she entered it, she saw that the mobile above the bed was spinning on its own. She decided it was time for some help.
Later that week, an organization came in to do an interview and supposedly an investigation. According to the family, nothing happened while the “experts” were in the house. However, based on what they were told, and having nothing else to go on, they declared to the frightened young couple that there was a powerful demon in the house. Furthermore, they believed that it might even be a devil. The following morning, the couple placed a “For Sale” sign on their lawn. Since they had put every cent they had into the house when they bought it a few months earlier, they were about to lose their shirts.
They discussed the situation with a former student of mine and she suggested that we come in and evaluate the situation. Again, my former partner and I went to the house. We listened patiently to all of the activity that had taken place and simply shook our heads. I have never heard of a demon that would cover up a child to prevent it from being cold. Maybe I am nuts and God knows a strong argument can be made for that but in all my years of studying demonology, I have never heard of one that had compassion. It does not happen. They are incapable of it. Anyway, I have written a lot about “experts” like those that decided there was demon based on imagination and little more. What I want to talk about is some of the things that happened during our investigation.
The first odd thing was EMF readings that were very high around the children’s toy box. Batteries can trip a Gauss meter so I checked each toy. None had batteries in them. To try an experiment, I took all of the toys from the box and moved them into another room. The area around the toy box read zero. When I went into the room where I had placed the toys, the meter immediately registered 10 milligauss. Since the baseline for that room was 0.4 milligauss, it was obvious that they toys were giving off the high readings. A child attached to the toys, perhaps? That would explain the mischievousness.
Later on, I went down to the basement to check on one of the junior members of our team. He was talking with one of the family members at the time. I turned on my Gauss meter and it began to register a little higher than the baseline. When he heard the meter go off, he took a picture. There, just above my head was a small orb. He then took a shot on the other side of the basement and saw several orbs. I walked over to the spot where he caught them on the camera and sure enough, the Gauss meter went nuts. I love that kind of validation. It validated both the Gauss meter and the digital camera.
We caught a lot of orbs throughout the night and had a door close by itself but little else happened that night. What we did do was educate the frightened family and we convinced them that there were no demons in their house. No demons, no devil and no evil. Based on what we heard and experienced, there was little doubt that there were spirits present in the house. There was also no doubt that they were benign and even benevolent. Rather than trying to hurt the children, they were watching out for them. What about the moving toys? I would have to say that the likelihood is that there was also the spirit of a child in the house.
As is my practice, we stayed in touch with the family. I was thrilled to hear that after we left, the “For Sale” sign was taken down. As we suggested, the mother asked the spirits to please not frighten the children and while some minor things happen from time to time, there has been nothing major. The young couple no longer lives in fear in their own home. To me, that is the epitome of a successful case. I want to note here that the mere presence of a spirit does not constitute a bad haunting. In far more cases than not, contact with spirits are benign and in many cases, benevolent. Fortunately, such was the case here.
Unusual With No Explanation
I worked a house in New Jersey one time where the owners reported hearing movement in the basement. On several occasions, they thought they had a prowler on their hands. However, when they went down to check, there was no one there but they saw that objects had been moved around. Toolboxes would be moved from one workbench to another, holiday decorations would be out on the open instead of in the boxes they were stored in and that kind of thing. The couple checked the door and all of the windows and there was never any sign of forced entry. Just to be safe, they changed the lock on the door.
The movement in the basement continued for several months before they decided to call anyone about it. When I entered the case, the first thing I did was photograph the entire house. As I often do, I used two different cameras. Since this was before the days of Gauss meters and digital equipment, the only other tool I had was a tape recorder. I sat in the basement for two nights and nothing unusual happened. When I had the film developed, everything seemed normal. However, when I showed the pictures to the owners, they pointed out that I did not have any pictures of the small storage room that was in the basement. I knew I had taken some shots there but to be honest, I did not think much about it.
That night, I took several shots in that room and I walked around dictating into the tape recorder. Again, nothing happened that night or the next. When I had the film developed, I found that the photos taken in the small room did not come out again. I listened to the tape recorder and made another discovery. Nothing I said while I was in that room came out on tape either. You could hear me say that I was entering the room and then the tape was blank for a few minutes and the next thing you heard was me mentioning that I was leaving the room. We experimented several times with that and every time, nothing would record. I had no explanation for that. Perhaps it had something to do with geomagnetic influences but I had no way of testing it and quite frankly, I have never heard of anything like this taking place.
We ended up tearing that room apart but we never found anything unusual. I went to that house several times over the next two years but we were never able to get photos or recordings in that room and I could never come up with an explanation for it. The activity that took place in the basement continued on and off for several years. It never spread to any other part of the house and nothing was ever damaged, it was always just moved. Eventually, the owners moved out to buy a bigger house and I lost touch with them. The only thing I can say is that there was a spirit in that basement that liked things a certain way. It was an interesting case and one I still wonder about 25 years later.
If They Won't Help Themselves
I was called into a case where it was reported that people heard footsteps in the attic and that shadows were often seen ascending the stairs to the attic. There were some reports of objects being found in unusual places and a door opened and closed from time to time when no one was near it. They residents also noted that it sounded like things were moving around in one particular room in the house. However, they told me that the mother of this family, whose room that was, was off limits to us. The daughter, who was 21, was apologetic about this but she said that her mother made it clear that no one was to enter that room. That obviously gave me misgivings but I went ahead and did the investigation anyway.
I sat in the attic all night but nothing happened. I did not see the shadows nor did I hear footsteps. I did get a few photographs showing orbs in the attic but that was it. I talked to the daughter and told her that nothing unusual occurred but that this is normal. I also told her to keep in touch and that I would gladly come back, if she wanted. I learned that the activity continued and even began to intensify. I agreed to come back but I told her that I would need to get into the restricted room. She told me that she would talk to her mother and get back to me. When she did, she told me that her mother remained adamant that no one was to go in there. I pressed her about it and she told me that her mother often performed rituals in that room and that was why it was to remain off limits. Now I had the answer to the haunting.
The daughter told me that she did not know what type of rituals were being performed but she thought it was Santeria or something similar. I told her that whatever those rituals were, they were likely causing the disturbances in the house. We discussed the matter and I told her that I would like to at least speak to the mother. Again, she said she would get back to me. When she did, I was told that she would not talk about what she was doing. It was safe, she said and it was no concern of ours. I explained to her that it was pointless for me to work the case without cooperation. The woman understood but she tried to convince me to come back anyway. She was genuinely worried about her three-year-old daughter. So was I but I pointed out that I could not help her if her mother would not cooperate. The daughter asked me if I could "clear out" the spirit that was operating in the house. In all likelihood, the answer was no because the spirit was invited in and as long as the older woman welcomed it, the probability was that it would not leave. Even if it did leave the older woman was simply going to invite it back in with her rituals. In that case, I was forced to decline. If someone who is living in a house is doing something that causes a spirit to come in, they have to be willing to stop the precipitating activity and they have to want whatever is there to leave. If they won't help themselves, there is nothing that can be done for them.
Over the next few months, I will continue to add cases. There are quite a few more of the "medley" variety in my files that I will share. Of course, I will also post longer cases as well. I hope you enjoyed these few.
© 2003 T. Cooney