A Haunting - Echoes From the Grave   View more episodes

Aired at 03:00 PM on Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 (2/11/2010)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:05>> I decided I would open some windows.
00:00:10At first, I thought they were painted shut.
00:00:13I couldn't get them open.
00:00:37I wondered why the people had nailed the windows shut with big nails.
00:00:49>> Narrator: It soon becomes clear.
00:00:52Something is not right with this house.
00:00:56>> Hey, hey, hey, whoa, guys.
00:00:57Walking legs in the house.
00:00:59You know better.
00:01:04>> Faucets would turn off and on.
00:01:08I didn't understand how that could happen.
00:01:12We figured it st be because it's an old house.
00:01:18>> Narrator: Summer turns to fall.
00:01:21The days grow shorter.
00:01:23The nights, longer.
00:01:27Allen and his younger brother share a bedroom.
00:01:38>> I would lay there at night, and I would hear heavy footsteps like heavy boots.
00:01:45[ Footsteps approaching ] I could hear them come up the steps.
00:02:03I knew it wasn't my parents, and I was terrified.
00:02:25>> Hi.
00:02:26>> Well, hello.
00:02:29Hi. nancy stallings.
00:02:31>> Welcome to the neighborhood.
00:02:33>> Thank you so much.
00:02:34>> How do you like it?
00:02:35>> We're moving in slowly, getting there.
00:02:38>> Glad to have you here.
00:02:40You know the old lady who used to live here?
00:02:42>> She says, "ah, that crazy old lady that lived in that house thought that someone was getting in, moving her stuff and taking her stuff, and she had her son " I said to ron, "i wonder why she thought someone was taking her " >> Narrator: The shocking answer will come all too soon.
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00:05:33>> Narrator: In the fall of 1965, ron and nancy stallings are settling into their new home in baltimore.
00:05:41But their eldest son allen knows that something is strange about the house.
00:05:55As weeks pass without incident, nancy's concerns drift away.
00:06:03[ Knock on door ] friends and relatives come to visit, happy for ron and nancy's apparent good fortune.
00:06:11>> Hey, ron, how you doing?
00:06:12Good to see you.
00:06:14>> My cousin bill, who was a lawyer, came to see our new house.
00:06:19>> Wow, this is beautiful.
00:06:21>> You want to take a tour?
00:06:22>> And he wanted to see upstairs.
00:06:28So he got halfway up the ..
00:06:35And he got a really strange look on his face.
00:06:44>> Excuse me.
00:06:46>> What's wrong?
00:06:47>> And he said, "i don't have " >> I forgot about this.
00:06:51>> I said, "why you got to be " he said, "i just got to get to " >> Narrator: Bill later explains that he was overwhelmed by a sudden feeling of dread.
00:07:03It will be months before he comes back.
00:07:06[ Train whistle blows ] ..
00:07:34...Nancy has the distinct feeling that someone is watching her.
00:07:40>> Ron.
00:07:42Ron, I think I hear something.
00:08:03Look at that.
00:08:04Do you see her there?
00:08:06Do you see her?
00:08:11My god.
00:08:15Oh, my god.
00:08:22Did you see that?
00:08:31[ Church bells ringing ] >> Narrator: Hoping to make sense of the inexplicable events in his house, ron turns to his uncle.
00:08:45>> My uncle was a priest, and i knew he knew a lot about that subject.
00:08:51>> How can I help you?
00:08:53>> I told him the story, and i thought, "he don't believe me.
00:08:58What am I going to do now?
00:09:00" >> things that move in the house.
00:09:03>> Narrator: Ron can hardly believe the story himself.
00:09:06>> I didn't believe you lived after when you died.
00:09:09I believed when you died, that was the end.
00:09:13>> Whatever we need.
00:09:14>> I said, "can you come over to " " " he said about two weeks.
00:09:22I said, "i can't wait two " so he said, "all right, I' " ..and allen.
00:09:48Name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit.
00:09:52>> We actually had mass in the house like a regular catholic service.
00:09:59And I was glad that we were doing something about it.
00:10:04>> Narrator: The priest blesses the entire house room by room.
00:10:22>> I was hoping that it would take care of the problem.
00:10:39>> And that night, everything was real quiet.
00:10:44And I thought, "well, gee, maybe it did work.
00:10:48" ..it started with a vengeance.
00:10:56[ Crashing ] we heard a ruckus out on the porch.
00:11:03It was loud.
00:11:10The tricycle was just riding ..and back -- by itself.
00:11:21[ Banging ] >> [ screaming ] oh, my god!
00:11:31>> Shh, Shh, Shh, Shh.
00:11:35>> Just -- just sit down.
00:11:37>> Narrator: Ron suddenly realizes that the priest had never blessed e porch.
00:11:41>> Shh, Shh, Shh.
00:11:43I'm going to get a crucifix.
00:11:45I'm going to take care of the porch.
00:11:48>> I didn't know what was happening.
00:11:51>> I grabbed the crucifix, thinking that was the answer.
00:12:11And it stopped.
00:12:18>> Narrator: Terrified, the family immediately leaves the house.
00:12:24[ Engine turns over ] with nowhere else to go, ron takes his family to his father's cabin about an hour outside of baltimore.
00:12:50The cabin has only one room -- too small to accommodate such a large family.
00:12:57It's also a considerable distance from the children's school and ron's workplace.
00:13:05He knows it is impractical to stay there for very long.
00:13:13>> I thought I could get enough nerve to come back again and hope it stopped.
00:13:23>> Narrator: Ron feels like he has no choice.
00:13:26They will have to go back.
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00:17:48>> Narrator: The stallings are prisoners in their new home.
00:17:54Financially, they are trapped.
00:17:56They have six children and one on the way.
00:18:02>> We wanted to move, but we had all of our money tied up in that house.
00:18:09And with children, you can't just move.
00:18:26>> Well, things would go almost in cycles where, for a week or two, things would happen like every day.
00:18:34And then it might not happen for a couple of months.
00:18:40>> Narrator: For several months, the disturbances died down and nancy hopes for the best.
00:18:471967, She gives birth to a son, her first child with ron.
00:18:59Nancy hopes that she can sleep more peacefully in the hospital than she has at home.
00:19:23>> The atmosphere in the room changed.
00:19:31>> Who's there?
00:19:33>> I kept feeling like someone was in the room.
00:19:45>> Who's there?
00:20:03>> [ Whispering ] >> nancy, what are you doing out of bed?
00:20:17>> I was a little cold.
00:20:20>> I'll get you a blanket.
00:20:22>> Narrator: Nancy now realizes that whatever has been haunting her house can follow her anywhere.
00:20:35>> The next day, when I was getting home from the hospital, I was a nervous wreck.
00:20:45[ Baby whining ] I was waiting for any minute that something horrible would happen.
00:20:54>> Hey, kids!
00:20:56How are you?
00:21:00>> Meet your new sister.
00:21:02>> Let's go inside and maybe you can hold her.
00:21:32>> Oh!
00:21:36>> Allen!
00:21:37Allen, sweetie!
00:21:39Oh, my god, are you okay?
00:21:40>> Are you all right?
00:21:41>> I felt like somebody grabbed me from behind and literally, like, heaved me down the steps.
00:21:50>> Stand up.
00:21:52>> Fortunately, he only had a few scrapes and bruises.
00:22:03>> The nighttime just made it worse.
00:22:08There was really no place to go.
00:22:23I dreaded if I woke up in the middle of the night and had to use the bathroom or anything like that.
00:22:34[ Floor creaks ] [ footsteps ] first reaction -- somebody's breaking into the house.
00:22:43The hair on your arms would stand up.
00:23:27[ Footsteps approaching ] [ door handle jiggles ] [ footsteps continue ] I kind of wanted to look.
00:23:49I really was afraid of what i might see.
00:23:53And I finally got up enough courage just to take, like, the slightest peek.
00:24:03[ Footsteps receding ] but then I heard the footstepsts go back out.
00:24:10[ Footsteps continue ] and I was scared to death.
00:24:23>> Narrator: Allen can no longer remain silent.
00:24:27He tells his parents about the footsteps.
00:24:31>> I just don't know what we can do about this.
00:24:34>> I felt so hopeless.
00:24:35How do you fight something that's not alive and you can't really grab it, but it can push you?
00:24:43>> Oh!
00:24:45>> Allen!
00:24:47>> I didn't say it was your fault.
00:24:50I'm not blaming you.
00:24:51I just don't know what to do.
00:24:52[ Baby crying ] >> are you happy now?
00:24:54>> We were frustrated.
00:24:57We didn't know what to do or where to turn.
00:25:01>> Narrator: Ron and nancy decide to put their house on the market.
00:25:05>> They know a reporter.
00:25:07>> Narrator: Still, they are desperate to find a short-term solution.
00:25:10>> We can talk to them and at least find somebody that can help us.
00:25:14>> I made the mistake of telling a fellow iork with about these strange things that were happening.
00:25:20And he said, "maybe I can get " so I said, "all right.
00:25:26If he wants to see it, if that's the only way I can get help, then I'll do it that way.
00:25:33But I don't want a story in " >> if you could just tell me a little bit more about this.
00:25:39>> Sure enough, the man came.
00:25:41>> Please remember, we don't want our names to be in the paper.
00:25:45>> I will not put an address.
00:25:46>> Narrator: The reporter seemed sympathetic.
00:25:49>> Things move.
00:25:51>> Toys.
00:25:52>> Toys, specifically toys?
00:25:53>> Narrator: He promises to find them an expert, someone with experience dealing with the paranormal.
00:25:59>> That's everything I need.
00:26:01>> Narrator: But ron and nancy have placed their hopes in the hands of the wrong man.
00:26:41Tá (0Aa >> Narrator: The local reporter publishes a story about the strange events at ron and nancy stallings' house.
00:30:50They are shocked and angry.
00:30:52So are their neighbors, who worry about falling property values and prospective buyers who suddenly stop calling.
00:31:02>> The neighbors were pretty bad.
00:31:06They ridiculed us, and we ended up with a lot of harassment.
00:31:09>> Nobody believed in ghosts supposedly, but nobody wanted to buy it, either.
00:31:15So we were stuck there.
00:31:23[ Pounding ] >> [ coughing ] >> [ laughing ] >> back, back, bacack!
00:32:32[ Breathing heavily ] >> another nightmare?
00:32:39>> Yes.
00:32:40>> I had this dream several nights in a row.
00:32:44>> It's okay.
00:32:47>> It wasn't an ordinary dream.
00:32:50It was like an experience.
00:32:55>> Hi.
00:32:56>> About the third time I had the dream, I began to smell gas in the house.
00:33:02>> Maybe we have a gas leak somewhere.
00:33:05>> I don't smell it.
00:33:07>> I told ron, "something smells " >> are you sure?
00:33:12>> Yeah, it's pretty strong.
00:33:14>> He looked and he said, " >> Narrator: To be safe, nancy calls the gas company.
00:33:26>> They said they would be out right away and to open all of the windows.
00:33:33>> [ Whispering ] >> did you find the problem?
00:34:43>> I found the problem.
00:34:44>> He checked the pipes, and there was one connection that was really loose.
00:34:51>> Blow at any second.
00:34:52>> The pipe?
00:34:53>> No, the whole house.
00:34:55>> The gas leak was so bad that the house was a bomb.
00:35:08>> Narrator: Unwilling to remain a victim, nancy reads up on the study of ghosts and paranormal phenomena.
00:35:15One book in particular catches her eye.
00:35:18It is written by hans holzer, an expert from austria.
00:35:23>> In the book, he talked about getting rid of ghosts, and he had an address where he could be contacted.
00:35:34>> Narrator: Nancy sends him a letter.
00:35:44>> I'm hans holzer.
00:35:46>> Narrator: Finally, hans holzer arrives, accompanied by a transmedium.
00:35:51>> You cannot investigate hauntings and ghosts by just going around with geiger counters and other technical equipment and wait for things to happen.
00:36:02You must use a transmedium, a human transmedium.
00:36:06Nothing happens without it.
00:36:08Everything else is useless.
00:36:14>> Narrator: The transmedium has the ability to permit spirits to communicate through her.
00:36:22Holzer has worked with her for several years.
00:36:28>> I was curious to see if they were going to be able to do anything because the blessing didn't work.
00:36:36>> Narrator: Holzer feels certain that he and the medium can contact the spirits haunting the stallings' house.
00:36:43>> Well, perhaps we should begin.
00:36:46>> Narrator: But not knowing their true nature, he has no idea if it's possible to force them out.
00:40:30>> Narrator: For nearly a year, spirits have haunted the stallings family.
00:40:36With the help of a transmedium, hans holzer will attempt to ..then try to force them out of the house.
00:40:50The medium senses an unnatural presence.
00:40:56>> She was saying there were several different entities there in the house.
00:41:01And the spirits would actually talk through this woman.
00:41:12>> It's what we would call disassociation of personality.
00:41:18A deep transmedium has the ability to move out of their body and let somebody else get in temporarily.
00:41:27>> Narrator: When she emerges from her trance, she has a name -- louis fontaneil.
00:41:34It means nothing to ron and nancy.
00:41:37>> She asked him what he was doing there.
00:41:40And he said that he was waiting for supplies to come in on the constellationin the baltimore harbor, and they were there to protect the city.
00:41:51>> This is civil war territory just at the border where the north and the south met.
00:41:57And there was anger, a lot of anger in that area.
00:42:02>> Holzer suspects their ghost to be a soldier from the civil war.
00:42:06>> Keeps watch at night, wandering.
00:42:08Somehow he's trapped between life and death.
00:42:12>> Narrator: It seems impossible to ron and nancy as the house r WAS ONLY BUILT IN THE 1920s.
00:42:17>> We were told it didn't have anything to do with the house itself.
00:42:20You could have a brand-new house.
00:42:22It was basically tied to the property, not the house.
00:42:36>> They live in the land.
00:42:40And if there's now another house, they don't see that.
00:42:44They see what they remember.
00:42:52>> Narrator: Suddenly, the medium detects another presence.
00:43:03She slips into a trance and begins to make contact with a woman.
00:43:10>> [ Laughing ] >> Narrator: The woman is angry.
00:43:20The medium senses a name -- kittinger.
00:43:24>> She asked this lady, "why are " she said, "these are my servants, and they don't listen " she thought that she still owned the house.
00:43:37>> The only problem we have with ghosts is they don't know exactly what they are.
00:43:42They die and don't know they're dead and they don't know what happened to them and they're confused.
00:43:50>> Narrator: Holzer and the medium decide they must contact the spirits and convince them to cross over to the afterlife.
00:44:09>> You do not belong here anymore.
00:44:12You have passed from one life into another.
00:44:18I can help you.
00:44:23>> You know, I just didn't know.
00:44:25I didn't know what to think.
00:44:35>> Narrator: Days later, the house remains quiet.
00:44:40Nancy's cousin bill becomes intrigued by everything he's hearing about the haunting.
00:44:45>> Here you go.
00:44:47>> Thank you.
00:44:48>> Narrator: He admits he'd always felt uncomfortable in the house.
00:44:58>> He wanted to see if any of these names actually turned up or if it was all just something that was made up.
00:45:07>> Well, I'll go down to the hall of records.
00:45:10>> Narrator: Bill decides to research the names and details given by the medium.
00:45:14He goes to the hall of records in annapolis.
00:45:18>> And the more he tried to prove these things to be untrue, the more they jive with what this lady was saying.
00:45:27>> Narrator: He finds a listing for a lieutenant fontaneil, an officer in the union army.
00:45:33He was killed in a skirmish at an inn that once stood on the stallings' property.
00:45:40In records dating back even further to 1787, he uncovers another name -- eileen kittinger.
00:45:49He wonders if this is the old woman from nancy's nightmares.
00:45:56Bill discovers that another home stood on the same piece of property where the stallings' house is now, built in the 1700s.
00:46:12Sifting through tax records, deeds, and ancient maps, bill notices a disturbing trend, a shocking revelation that even the medium failed to detect.
00:46:27And for the stallings family, it could mean the difference between life and death.
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00:49:04>> Narrator: Bill returns from the hall of records with a shocking discovery.
00:49:10Records show that every family who ever lived on that land had at least one person die before they moved.
00:49:18>> Each owner?
00:49:19>> Each one, yeah.
00:49:22>> I was really afraid that one of us, a member of our family, that something would happen to them, you know, before we got out.
00:49:37>> Narrator: After months of trying to sell the house, ron and nancy finally find a buyer.
00:49:43They even express interest in ghosts.
00:49:46>> What's with the crucifix?
00:49:48>> Narrator: The rumors of a haunted house seem to them a selling point.
00:49:56>> That's great.
00:50:01>> I was just so relieved that we were finally getting out of that house, that I couldn't wait.
00:50:08I was just praying that nothing happened between then and the time we actually moved out.
00:50:15>> I couldn't have been happier than I was that day.
00:50:21It was a wonderful feeling to be able to know I was finally free.
00:50:28>> Narrator: The stallings cannot depart fast enough.
00:50:32They leave even before the movers come to pack up their furniture.
00:50:41>> There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there is some type of life after death and some type of spirit, some kind of presence there.
00:50:58>> Oh!
00:51:09>> Got that?
00:51:12>> Narrator: Just before the family departs, nancy recalls an item she left in the bedroom.
00:51:18>> What?
00:51:19Where are you going?
00:51:21>> Just take a second.
00:51:23I'll be right back.
00:51:32[ Door opens ] [ doors, windows banging ] >> come on.
00:52:34>> When we left that house, i can't even describe how good i felt.
00:52:43>> Let's go.
00:52:45>> We had made it through that terrible experience.
00:52:50And now we would be able to live a normal life.
00:52:58>> Narrator: For the stallings family, the nightmare is finally over.
00:53:04But what terrible fate lies ahead for the new owners?
00:53:10 holzer, can predict with any certainty whether the haunting will ever stop.
00:53:33>> Narrator: In this world, there is real evil -- in the darkest shadows and in the most ordinary places.
00:53:43These are the true stories of the innocent and the unimaginable.
00:53:50In florida, the dunnam family moves into a home that seems ideal.
00:53:56But they soon find themselves under attack.
00:54:02An unseen enemy tries to drive them out, forcing them to fight a war against the world of the dead.
00:54:16Between the world we see and the things we fear, there are doors.
00:54:24When they are opened, nightmares become reality.
00:54:38In central florida, halfway between orlando and daytona beach lies the town of deltona.
00:54:46Legend claims explorers came here searching for a fountain of everlasting life, but some found only hardship and death.
00:54:58The swamps have long since disposed of their bodies.
00:55:04Yet many say their ghosts still haunt the living.
00:55:16The dunnam family arrives in deltona in june 2001, looking for a larger home to fit their growing family.
00:55:25>> Is this the right place?
00:55:27>> Narrator: Edd earns a living renovating houses after retiring army ranger.
00:55:35>> A gentleman that I did some work for, he had a bunch of property.
00:55:40He knew that we were looking for a different place.
00:55:43He's like, "here's a set of keys, bring your wife out here, and let her take a look at it, " >> that's really something?
00:55:50What do you think?
00:55:51>> Narrator: Beth has taken time off from her work to raise their daughter, emily.
00:55:59>> I was really excited when we pulled up and saw this nice house in a nice neighborhood.
00:56:04This was a house with its own yard, and it was gonna be enough for everybody to, you know, have their own space.
00:56:12>> Matt.
00:56:13>> Narrator: 12-Year-old matt is edd's son from a previous marriage.
00:56:17He stays with edd and beth on weekends.
00:56:20>> It was awesome.
00:56:22It was just picture-perfect.
00:56:24I .
00:56:36>> When's he gonna move his stuff?
00:56:38>> He said he didn't want it anymore.
00:56:40Said we could use what we wanted and put the rest in the garage.
00:56:44>> That's weird.
00:56:45>> Narrator: Edd and beth find it puzzling that the owner hasn't move his belongings.
00:56:51>> Check out the bedrooms.
00:56:53See if there's one you like.
00:56:57>> Okay, edd, there's a half-eaten food plate.
00:57:01That's gross.
00:57:03>> That much?
00:57:06>> Leftover food on the counter, old milk in the refrigerator.
00:57:11He got up and left, and it just didn't make any sense.
00:57:19>> What do you think?
00:57:21Huh? should we take it?
00:57:22>> It is a good deal, especially if we can rent to own.
00:57:25We're not gonna get anything else for this price, so, yeah.
00:57:29>> What about you, champ?
00:57:31>> It's awesome.
00:57:32I'll come here all the time.
00:57:34>> We were so excited about getting this house.
00:57:39" we jumped right on it.
00:57:41We just went for it.
00:57:52>> Narrator: Within days, the dunnams have settled comfortably into their new house.
00:57:57>> It was really cool.
00:58:00Everybody was happy.
00:58:04>> Everything was very quiet, and we were all comfortable and relaxed.