My family went through extreme poltergeist activity back in the 70’s when we were living at 1723 Downing Street in Greensboro, North Carolina. Our family was close and affectionate and was made up of my husband (Jim), myself (Joyce), our son (Jimmy)and daughter (Julie)and our beloved family dog (Licker).
The house in question was built in 1965 and we were the first family there but indeed, it was built over what had been a lake and there were underground springs and creeks all around us with moving water. I mention that as it is my understanding that this is commonly reported in many poltergeist cases. As for the history of the land? All I know is our neighborhood was once built on a cow pasture and there had been a family who owned our land known as the Davidson family. Behind our house was the woods where their old barn and a spring house was all that remained in the woods and was a place of play for the neighborhood kids. Who was on the land before the Davidson’s, I do not know.
When my husband and I first moved in my kids were like 5 and 1 years old. It was not long after moving in that I did have a few odd experiences like smelling perfume in the kitchen that was odd smelling that nobody wore – something very old fashioned about it. There were also feelings of having something rapidly coming up behind one and feeling not so much as evil but high weirdness of something very old and completely non-human. These feelings would come with a chill and the feeling of feeling one was being watched was a common experience.
Not far away behind our house was a graveyard but we dismissed the idea of ghosts as neither my husband or I thought the dead could haunt a location. We accepted the idea of evil spirits but not ghostly haunts so the experiences in the kitchen were kind of put aside.
Not much more happened for several years till my daughter and son grew up. Before the real explosion of poltergeist activity the woods behind our house and leading to the graveyard was a place my son and many of the kids enjoyed playing at. The woods was considered a bit mysterious though not huge, it had mysteries like a mound that looked like a grace and the old barn overgrown and the mysterious spring house which the kids pretended was a British Revolutionary War fort. Beyond the woods was the Westminister graveyard. The kids would go play there too. At the time, it was not seen odd as none of us thought in anyway that a graveyard could be a concern. It was curious that the thick creeks in the woods was known by the older kids as ‘haunted pools’ – why the name and when it came it about was unknown.
When my daughter was about 15 and my son was about 11 or 12, we had a the first big amounts of poltergeist activity in our home for several months. It started first with my daughter who had a
conversation one night before going to bed and talking to her Dad about the Devil and how stupid he was thinking he could overthrow God in heaven. That night at about 1 am she had objects fly off her walls and a huge gust of wind blowing through the room despite no open windows. She was badly scared scared and my husband had to calm her down but it was a lesson for all of that mocking the Devil was not a good idea. Unfortunately, she was not so scared to have a seance with her friends during her 16th birthday. After that she would find at times at night having
weird experiences like waking to find her hand being held by a small withered hand or hearing a loud bangs on the wall. She said the hand holding was like if an old woman had come by the bed and taken her hand . The birthday party seance was something she and her friends did on their own as a joke – it was not done seriously nor something that was routine or approved of in our home but a one time event that happened when the girls were alone and lit up a candle . Unfortunately for all of us, after this the weirdness was manifest. Strong gusts of wind would sometimes come from nowhere and blow through the house. Or a door would slam on its own in some other part of the house.
Though experiences could happen anytime of day, I would say 80% of the time the activity happened at night from between Midnight and 3am. If I were to venture a guess, the entry point or portal was located in a closet space shared by my son’s and sisters room as the doors of the closet would sometimes open on their own during manifestations in our home which made it seem like something was coming or going from there. The very wall which all the things flew off the wall of Julie’s room was located near her closet and the one that backed next to my son’s Jimmy’s closet. It got to the point that my son Jimmy would tie a belt around his closet door handles before going to bed at night because the doors often opened at night on their own before weird activity began – of course this didn’t stop the trouble but it made him feel better that the closet door remained closed at night.
The sound of heavy objects falling and breaking glass occurred in other rooms but when observed nothing was to be seen. However, the focus shifted from her very quickly to completely focus on my 12 year old son Jimmy. It is hard to describe all the events from slamming doors, sheets being yanked off beds, shaking beds, flickering lights and all of us being awakened at night by having a hand shake one awake or messing with ones feet or bed coverings. Oddly, my husband Jim rarely had an experience, but he was such a sound sleeper we joked that he would sleep through an atomic bomb explosion. Even stranger was one of the last experiences my son had was probably around April 1977. He, after being awakened by a shaking bed (which was a weekly occurrence) he sat up and flicked on the light and then felt something invisible, big and heavy bound into the bed next to him. It was so heavy and big the mattress recoil threw him out of the bed onto the floor. Then, nothing more. It was just as quickly gone. That incident was the one my son reported as most freaking him out was that experience. He described it like being on the bed and imagining if a huge obese invisible man were to jump into bed next to you and bump you right out of bed and then vanish – all happening in about 3 seconds.
We were not alone in all of this – the family dog was pretty freaked out when this would happen and he would bark and growl at unseen presences and did not seem to like the idea of being in my son’s room to sleep though it made Jimmy feel safer to tie up his closet door an have his dog Licker with him. Licker, come nightfall was often afraid and was eager to be outside the house than inside it.
Most of the poltergeist activities seemed to happen during my sons REM sleep when his bed would shake so we early on thought his unconscious was letting loose and he was doing it when he would report that his bed would shake by itself at night. If it hadn’t been that the rest of us had had such weird experiences I think we would have all laughed at him but as energetic as a kid he was it was not hard to believe his bed might shake. Of course, many, perhaps half of the activity was not the 1am to 3am variety but would happen in the middle of the day as well. As to the bed shaking, when the bed shaking occurred, my husband and I would usually hear it from our bedroom and I would get up (since Jim was usually deep asleep ) and I would go into his bedroom and see him asleep with the bed go back and forth.
At first, my husband and I took it to be completely demonic opened up by the silly teenage seance my daughter had engaged in but the psychological aspects could not be missed as well. My son was hyperactive and on Ritalin.The Ritalin helped him focus like a stimulate but it had a side effect of stunted growth to the degree he was behind normal physical growth and development by a full year. We thought perhaps the Ritalin might had been affecting his CNS but it appeared it was the bed moving him – not the other way around. There was clearly an outside force at work though I thought my son was certainly a possible source of energy because the kid was though very sweet and kind just a huge ball of energy. In short, there was probably something in that house from the time we moved in but our son was clearly the battery that caused things to go crazy when he became of age.
We had a Catholic priest come bless the home, this did work but it only knocked off the activity for about 10 days before it started up again. The priest was very enlightened and told us that though demons do sometimes wreck homes what we had was likely a poltergeist which is basically a demon 3rd class on assignment for a short trial period and could steal energy from anything from a fight in a home or pent up libido. He advised us all to relax more, laugh more and pray more and make the ‘the house light’. He told us poltergeist are affected by blessing but unless they are done weekly they will keep coming back so the best solutions lay with our family as he didn’t have time to come by each week to bless the home. He asked about things that might have invited evil in and my son ended up getting rid of a big collection of horror comics which went into the trash. My son loved his House of Secrets horror comics but was so freaked out that he was willing to throw them all out if it would stop the Poltergeist.
One funny bit of symbolism that I did not catch to many months later was the poltergeist at the first part of its manifestation did so while we were eating dinner. We were all around the table and
talking and laughing and my son had a tall glass of milk in front of him in a tall glass and it suddenly exploded. Nobody was hurt by the glass but the milk went straight up in a crazy manner all over the ceiling till it rained down on all of us. What was odd as we didn’t freak out or become terrified but we all laughed. It was as if we all understood Jimmy had done it but it was harmless . The symbolism of this pent up energy is kind of clear. It might be the case that the Ritalin that had stunted his growth and it might have built up huge levels of energy as my son told me years later he didn’t get his first wet dream till he was 14, which bothered him as all his friends had gotten them by 13 years old. He thinks to this day the Poltergeist might have used him as a battery. My husband had told him not to worry about it and nature had it’s own time for him which it came to his relief soon after his 14th birthday. Of course, by then the poltergeist activity had ended largely ended a full year or more before that so that one explanation is not complete.
I think the The key to killing the poltergeist was creating a happy relaxed home and letting it run it’s course. We were powerless to stop it but we knew it wanted to create fear so once we knew to avoid fear, anger and tension we could rob it of it’s power. After about 6 months it was pretty much over with.
It was the most amazing and terrifying 6 months of our lives and an eye – opening awakening to the world of the paranormal. After all the years of thinking of this I can only conclude we had every thing and multiple causes to create a perfect poltergeist environment. Though it was not fun to go through, it was very interesting and to a degree, deepened all of our faith as we did conclude we were not dealing with PK but with intelligent beings with a twisted sense of humor. This became clear when the poltergeist in our home seemed to take a great deal of dislike for a blessed crucifix we kept in the hall and a picture of Jesus. These were often turned upside down or found laying on the floor knocked off which suggest this being had a strong dislike for these items. This told me this was not an unintelligent force moving objects but a force with calculations and it did not like anything to do with Jesus which told me this was a force of pure evil.
I am open to various ideas to explain what happened here. Would love to hear from anyone who have had an experience with a poltergeist. I hope this gives a clear view that such things happen to average families and might be more common than anyone dreams. Fortunately, times have changed so sharing such a story does not carry such taboos – we live in a time now where it is easier to be open and share very personal stories.
Submitted to Weird Darkness and My Haunted Life Too by Joyce Koch
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