August 1, 2014

Haunting of West Point

The U.S. Army summoned the Warrens in, to investigate the paranormal phenomena that was occurring. This is precisely what happened at West Point. It was October 1972. The executive officer at the United States Military Academy telephoned the Warrens a day before they were scheduled to present a general lecture to the cadets there. Though the officer’s comments were deliberately vague, he nonetheless told the Warrens that a curious security problem had arisen, and he wanted to know if they’d be willing to help in a professional capacity before they lectured the next day at the Point. Without probing, the Warrens agreed to lend assistance. “Good ” the relieved officer said, “I’ll send a car for you tomorrow at three p.m.”

A little past four p.m., they entered the gates of the United States Military Academy. The sergeant pulled the car up to the entrance of the headquarters offices, swung open the rear door, and escorted the Warrens to the executive officer of West Point. Major Donald Bolling, an orderly, good-natured man, offered Ed and Lorraine a seat in his office. He then briefed them on an already prepared schedule: dinner with the officers of the faculty at six, followed by a general lecture to all classes at eight. “One more thing.” for the next few minutes Major Bolling went on to explain how an unaccountable breach of security was occurring in the home of West Point’s Superintendent the commanding general. Naturally, the military police had already been over the problem, but to no avail, he conceded. Matters had only gotten worse. Therefore, it had been decided to get outside opinion on a problem that appeared to have no natural explanation. “So if there’s no objection, the Superintendent would like to speak with you before dinner.” “We’ll be glad to help,” Ed replied. “Do you know the nature of the problem?” “Between us” the major almost broke into a grin, “there’s a ghost in the general’s quarters.”

Switching off the lights, the Executive Officer took his cap, escorted the Warrens out the office door and introduced them to an Army photographer who sat waiting in the hallway. Strict limits had been placed on the collection of information that day, all documentary records would be the property of the U.S. government. Outside, the call of cadences broke the silence as cadets marched through the gray stillness of the afternoon. The group took a leisurely stroll to the Superintendent’s quarters, known officially as the Sylvanus Thayer Mansion, an impressive brick structure built in the Federal style. A general staff aide answered the front door to the mansion and showed the group inside. Within moments, the commanding general and his wife entered the foyer and Executive Officer introduced them to the Warrens.

The general impressed Lorraine as being a kind, compassionate man of great wisdom and intelligence. The general’s wife directed everyone into a sitting room that was beautifully furnished with period antiques by previous generals over the course of two centuries. “Nothing macabre has happened here,” the general said, sitting in what appeared to be his favorite chair. “Nevertheless, a number of incidents have gone on in this house that, so far, no one has been able to explain to my satisfaction. Some background: in the basement there is a private study; that room is kept locked and secure. But no matter how many times the bunk in there is made up, it’s always found ripped apart later. Upstairs, ghosts have been seen flitting about the house. These I haven’t seen, but they’ve been reported for years, and apparently they go with the billet. Now, I wouldn’t mention any of this except that we have an unusual, persistent problem: personal belongings and other important articles are regularly found missing. Not stolen,” he emphasized, “but missing temporarily.” The general stopped for a moment to put on his glasses. “I grant you, none of this is terribly important unless put into perspective.

One of the responsibilities of the commanding officer here is social protocol. In this house, we receive our fair share of government leaders and Army brass. Recently, on special occasions, some potentially serious events have occurred. Wallets have been stolen, pockets have been picked, money and personal mementos have been taken from eminent dignitaries and their wives. Later, all the stolen items are found upstairs, neatly laid out on the dresser in our master bedroom.” The Warrens sat mum, taking in the unique nature of the problem. “This foolishness cannot continue,” the general said forcefully. “Yet we know that no person has committed these actions. So my question to you Mr. and Mrs. Warren is the following: if this is a ghost and I stress, if it is then you tell me: can a ghost manipulate physical objects?” “Yes,” Ed answered, “it can.” Providing the objects are of no significant weight, such as the ones you describe.” “All you right then,” The general said,” “does this sound like a ghost to you?” “Based on what you say, yes,” Ed answered. “In fact, it is quite probable that a human spirit is at work here because the items did not disappear completely.” Taken back by the reply, the general looked at Ed for a moment. ” Would you be able to tell if there is a ghost in this house that steals wallets?” Lorraine saw this as her opportunity to reply: “Sir, I am a clairvoyant. The best thing would be for us to walk the house. This would allow me to determine if in fact a spirit is causing the disturbance. It’s the best test.” The general and his wife agreed, and the group rose to their feet.

Ed and Major Bolling headed for the basement with the key to the downstairs study. As usual, the bunk was torn apart, as though someone had been sleeping in it. Yet nothing else was disturbed. They closed up the room and headed back upstairs. In the first floor kitchen, Major Bolling showed Ed a cutting board with a wet spot on it. “It almost dries,” he told him, “but every afternoon, it gets wet again!” Elsewhere accompanied by the general and his wife, Lorraine stood with her eyes closed in the center of the downstairs rooms, beginning with the sitting room, trying to perceive any invisible presence. Nothing was apparent on the first floor, although Lorraine found herself somewhat transfixed in one of the mansion’s back bedrooms. “This room,” she said, “this room right here is where John Kennedy stayed whenever he visited the Point. The vibrations in here are truly beautiful.” A bit amazed, the general’s wife told Lorraine that she was right: “This was the President’s bedroom: he couldn’t climb the stairs because of his back.”

After leaving the first floor of the mansion, the general’s wife led the way up the banistered staircase to the second floor. In each room, Lorraine picked up impressions of the powerful individuals who had spent time in the house, but hardly any sense of a mischievous spirit. In one upstairs bedroom, Lorraine again paused for long moments. “An elderly woman spent a long time in this room,” she mused. “The woman would often stand by that open verandah and look out to a field.” Lorraine walked to the window. In the distance, she saw the cadets standing in formation on the parade ground; then she turned back into the room. “This was a very wise woman who shared a burden with a man in her life. She counseled him but the man was not her husband.” The man was Douglas Mac Arthur, said the general. The old woman is his mother. This was Mrs. Mac Arthur’s bedroom when her son was superintendent here.” The upstairs group then walked back down to the sitting room, where everyone met once again.

Lorraine admitted she did not feel the presence of anyone responsible for causing the phenomena, but on the other hand, it is possible that a spirit has deliberately avoided us. “Is there any way of finding that out?” asked the major. “Yes, answered Lorraine, “this could be determined in the trance state.” The major had a look of concern on his face. “Does this mean we have to hold a séance?” “No,” she laughed, “I’d just sit down sometime this evening, once the hubbub and vibrations of the day died down. It was decided to hold a gathering in the mansion after the evening lecture. If the problem could be solved once and for all, it was at least worth a try. At a cordial dinner held at six o’clock that evening, the Warrens were introduced to officers of the West Point faculty who, with their wives, were extremely curious about the whole subject of the supernatural.

At eight, Ed and Lorraine presented a general lecture on spirits to the Army audience. Their talk as usual had slides of ghosts, apparitions, and other unusual phenomena, which brought the customary response of “Ooo’s” and “Wow’s.” Although the lecture was received with enthusiasm, none of the cadets thought for a moment that such things could go on at the Point. During the question session at the end of the lecture, a young lady in her thirties stood up and told the Warrens that she felt it was a good time to say something she’d been carrying around all her life. She wanted everyone to know that what the Warrens were talking about was true. These unusual thing do go on. Her father was the flight leader on that squadron of fighters lost over the Bermuda Triangle in 1945 and he never returned home. He and the other men were really lost at sea. And though people might like to think it’s some sort of hoax, it isn’t. When she sat down, the entire audience erupted into cheers and applause. With this the lecture ended and Ed saluted the cadets and bid everyone good night.

The Warrens made their way back to the Thayer Mansion with the executive officer, plus a private group of officers and their wives whom they had met at dinner. Lorraine explained to the major that she felt Mrs. MacArthur’s bedroom was the most favorable place to attempt communication. The major in turn told Lorraine that the general and his wife had to depart for New York by helicopter at ten. Though elsewhere on campus, they would stop by the mansion before leaving. “Fair enough,” she replied. Upon being met at the front door by staff aide, the group made its way upstairs to the MacArthur bedroom, where the officers and their wives found seats on the floor. Lorraine added, “Where people spend a third of their life sleeping, is an excellent source of vibrations.”

All lights were turned off but one, and Lorraine closed her eyes. “I see a black man approaching,” she soon said, speaking out loud like a newscaster. “He’s wearing a dark uniform with no braid or decoration. This man is with us now.” Eyes darted around the room, but no such figure was visible. “This man is overtaken with a sense of fear, guilt, and lack of acceptance. He feels very sorry for something.” Lorraine stopped, her body tense, her arms straight out beside her. “He’s speaking to me now. He tells me that he has been accused of murder. His cell is in the basement. But the Army has exonerated him of that murder. He is very, very sorry and he cannot hold his sorrow any longer. This is why he has been taking wallets he wants the Army to know his sorrow.” “Everyone in the room sat silent, waiting to hear more.” “What is your name, young man?” Lorraine asked. “Tell me your name. He tells me his name is Greer. He spells it G-R-E-E-R. What is the date?. It is the early eighteenth no, it is the early eighteen hundreds. He doesn’t know the date anymore. He says he just wants his sorrow to be understood. He wants to know who I am.” Lorraine, deep in trance, began to bend forward. Ed told her to lean back. “Mr. Greer,” she said, “I have been sent by the Army to find out your problem. No, Mr. Greer, you are not held in dishonor,” she said in an apparent reply. “Your exoneration was for a purpose. It is on the records that the death you caused was not a murder. Your exoneration stands. Listen to me, Mr. Greer. Your sorrow is understood by the Army. But it is only proper that your sorrow be over. There is nothing we can do for you. You are holding yourself back; you must exonerate yourself. Enough time has passed. It is now the twentieth century. This is the nineteen seventies. You do not understand the present day. Each time you take belongings from an important person, you put the Army in a very dangerous position. He tells me he has no more need to do this. He feels confused. He wants to come back to life.”

Lorraine’s arms slackened, then she began to drift away from the trance. “Lorraine,” Ed said forcefully, “stay with him. Try to send him on.” Lorraine sat silent for long moments, and then again spoke. “To live again, Mr. Greer, you must go to the light. It is time for you to surrender yourself and begin again. Everyone must do this. Focus on the light and step toward it. Go to your friends and family. Go home to the light, Mr. Greer. Focus on the light and drawn toward it,” Lorraine suddenly snapped awake, her eyes wide open. “He’s gone. I lost him,” she declared.

The lights were switched back on as the officers and their wives rose to their feet, speaking in anxious hushed tones. Lorraine, standing in the center of the group, gave a complete description of the man and said at the end, “Greer had simply vanished.” Shortly thereafter, the entourage made its way downstairs and left, while the Warrens and the major waited in the sitting room.

A few minutes later the general and his wife arrived. Lorraine briefly reviewed the communication she’d had, noting in conclusion: “I didn’t get the impression the Greer really wanted to be here. In a way, I think he was just waiting to be dismissed. After this, I seriously doubt that any more pockets will be picked. But if it does happen again, please let me know. There are things I can do at a distance.” ” That’s very nice of you,” said the general. “however, there’s one small item. No black man has ever served at the Point until this century. But I promise you, the major will have this matter checked out completely in the next few weeks.” As they spoke in the foyer, a helicopter could be heard descending outside. It was time to go. After an exchange of gratitude and farewell on the front steps, the general and his wife crossed the lawn and boarded a large service helicopter bound for New York. The Warrens slipped into the back seat of the waiting limousine, wondering if Greer had indeed ended his travail of over a century.

A few weeks later, while lecturing at Boston University, Ed and Lorraine were called from the stage to take a telephone call from West Point, could you please do something about the ghost of a civil war cavalryman who refuses to leave one of the dormitory rooms.  We need the space.”

Jack and Janet Smurl Family

The Briefing:

smurls family sm Jack and Janet Smurl FamilyThe home of Jack and Janet Smurl in West Pittston, Pennsylvania, was the scene of a horrific and terrifying haunting from 1985 to 1987. The case received wide attention in the media. Although the house went through three exorcisms and investigations by demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, the demon refused to leave. The hauntings were chronicled in a book and portrayed in a movie both named “The Haunted”.

The Story:

The house involved is a duplex, built in 1896 on a quiet street in a middle class neighborhood. After hurricane Agnes flooded much of north-eastern Pennsylvania in 1972, the Smurl family was forced to leave their home in Wilkes-Barre. Jacks parents, John and Mary Smurl, bought the house in West Pittston in 1973 for $18,000. They lived in the right half and Jack, Janet and their first two daughters, Dawn and Heather, moved into the left half. The Smurls spent much time and money redecorating and remodeling, doing much of the work themselves.

The Smurls say they are a close, loving family. Both Jack and Janet grew up in the area, meeting in 1967 and marrying in 1968. Jack served in the Navy, becoming a neuropsychiatric technician. Both Smurls were raised in Catholic homes and had strong religious beliefs. They enjoyed living with Jacks’ parents and had no trouble sharing the duplex with them. The first 18 months on Chase St. were happy ones…

warren jack smurl sm Jack and Janet Smurl FamilyBut strange things began to occur after that. In January 1974, a strange stain appeared on a new carpet, Jack’s television set burst into flames, water pipes leaked even after repeated re-soldering. The new sink and bathtub in the remodeled bathroom were found severely scratched, as if a wild animal had clawed at them. Freshly painted woodwork in the bathroom also showed similar scratches. In 1975, their oldest daughter Dawn repeatedly saw people “floating” around her bedroom.

By 1977, the Smurls realized their house was in some way… spooked. The toilets flushed without anyone using them, footsteps would be continuously heard on the stairs, drawers would open and close on their own accord, radios would blare although they were unplugged and empty rocking chairs would mysteriously rock and creak as if someone were actually sitting in them. As time went on, they began to smell sour and vile smells throughout the house and on several occasions, Jack felt the touch of an unseen hand caress him. By now there were 2 more Smurls, twins Shannon and Carin, and the family was growing frustrated and fatigued by the increasing phenomena.

In 1985, what had started as annoying disturbances became frightening experiences. The house now often became ice cold. John and Mary heard loud, abusive, and obscene language coming from Jack and Janet’s side of the house although Jack and Janet were not even arguing. In February 1985 Janet heard her name being called while in the basement doing laundry, after searching for the unseen caller, she realized she had been alone the entire time.

smurl front house sm Jack and Janet Smurl FamilyTwo days later, icy cold again was felt in the house but this time a black, human shaped form with no facial features appeared to Janet in the kitchen. It de-materialized through the wall and appeared to Mary on the opposite side of the house. From that point on, the haunting activity increased in both frequency and magnitude. A large ceiling fan crashed down inches from Shannon, nearly killing her, on the night her now 13 year old sister Heather was to be confirmed into the Catholic religion. As activity increased Jack and Janet had, on occasion, levitated. Janet was violently pulled off her bed after making love to her husband while he lay paralyzed, gagging from a foul odor. The family’s German shepherd, Simon, was repeatedly picked up and thrown. Terrible rapping and scratching noises were continuously heard in the walls. One night while sleeping, Shannon was tossed out of bed and down the stairs. Even neighbors were not spared; several heard screams and strange noises coming from the house when the Smurls were not even home. Most of the neighbors were sympathetic as the Smurls vowed to fight.

In January 1986, Janet heard about Ed and Lorraine Warren, psychical researchers and demonologists from Monroe, Connecticut. Although skeptical but having no where else to turn, she called the Warrens. The Warrens arrived shortly thereafter, accompanied by Rosemary Frueh,a registered nurse and psychic. They began the investigation by quizzing the Smurls carefully about their religious beliefs, the happiness of their family life, whether they had ever practiced satanism, occultism, used a ouija board or in any way invited the supernatural into their home. Then the Warrens and Frueh walked through the house, identifying the bedroom closet as the crossover point between the two sides of the duplex. The team said they detected the presence of 4 evil spirits. 3 were minor but the fourth was a demon.

Without any evidence of family dysfunction, occult invitation or tragedy, the Warrens could only surmise that the demon must have been dormant, probably for decades, and had arisen to draw on the emotional energy generated by the girls’ entrance to puberty.

The Warrens tried twice to provoke the demon to expose itself by playing tapes of religious music and confronting it with prayer. The demon reacted by violently shaking a mirror and dresser drawers and yet another instance by spelling out “You filthy bastard, get out of this house.” Only Holy Water and prayer seemed to stop the manifestations.

warren jack smurl home sm Jack and Janet Smurl FamilyThe situation began to turn more serious as Jack was raped by a scaly succubus posing as an old woman with a young body. Her eyes were red and her gums were green. Ed Warren was choked and then began to suffer from terrible flu-like symptoms. An incubus sexually assaulted Janet and pig noises (a sign of serious demonic infestation) could be heard in the walls.

The Smurls said they tried several times to obtain support and action from the church. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton said it would consult with experts but official involvement would be unlikely. At one point in time, Janet thought she was getting help from a priest named Father O’Leary but discovered no such priest existed. The Warrens brought in Father (now Bishop) McKenna, a traditionalist priest who refused to abide by the changes in ritual mandated by the Second Vatican Council. He said mass in Latin and had performed more than 50 exorcisms for the Warrens. He conducted the ancient rite which did nothing but infuriate the demon.

The haunting continued. Daughter Carin fell seriously ill from a strange fever and nearly died and Dawn was almost raped by the evil presence. Janet and Mary had slash marks and bites on their arms… everyone was depressed. Ed Warren explained they were in the second demonic stage, oppression, which follows infestation and is followed by possession and death.

Bishop McKenna performed a second exorcism in late spring but to no avail. The demon even accompanied the family on camping trips in the Poconos and harassed Jack at work. The family now knew they could not move to another house because the demon would just follow them. After repeated refusals by the church to help, the Smurls decided to appear on television. Remaining anonymous behind a screen, they were interviewed by Richard Bey on a local Philadelphia show called “People are Talking.” The demon retaliated. It levitated Janet and then hurled her against the wall. It later appeared to Jack as a monstrous creature resembling a pig on two legs. A human hand came up through the mattress and grabbed Janet by the back of the neck. And again Jack was raped.

In August 1986, the Smurls felt the risk of ridicule did not outweigh the need to tell their story to a wider audience and granted an interview to the Wilkes-Barre Sunday Independent newspaper. Almost immediately, their home became a tourist attraction for the press, curious on-lookers and skeptics who wished to investigate. Some skeptics, who included some of the Smurl’s neighbors, said they believed the family was concocting the story to profit from book and movie contracts.

smurl house side sm Jack and Janet Smurl FamilyThe Smurls contacted an medium, Mary Alice Rinkman, who examined the house and corroborated the Warrens’ findings of 4 spirits. She identified one as an old woman named Abigail and another as a dark, mustachioed man named Patrick who had murdered his wife and her lover and had then been hung by a mob. She could not identify the third but the fourth was a powerful demon.

Press coverage finally pushed the Scranton diocese into action and they offered to take over the investigation. The Warrens had also planned a mass exorcism with several priests . prayer groups came to the house to give comfort. Bishop McKenna came a third time to exorcise the house and this time the ritual seemed to work, there were no disturbances for about 3 months.

Shortly before Christmas 1986, Jack again saw the black form, beckoning him to the third stage of possession. He clutched his rosary and prayed, hoping this was simply an isolated incident. It was not, the banging again started, as well as the putrid smells and violent acts of aggression.

Frustrated, tired, and hopeless, the Smurls moved to another town, shortly before the release of a book concerning their ordeal, “The Haunted”, went to press. The church performed a fourth exorcism in 1988, which finally seemed to have given them peace. A movie version of “The Haunted” was released in 1991.

Bill Ramsey the Werewolf

john zaffis lorraine warren bill ramsey ed warren small Bill Ramsey the WerewolfFrom left to right:  John Zaffis, Lorraine Warren, Bill Ramsey and Ed Warren

Ed and Lorraine Warren are considered the foremost experts on supernatural phenomena. They have helped families and individuals worldwide, battling ghosts, demons, and other manifestations of the paranormal. This is a case of the man Bill Ramsey, “A true story of demonic possession” and is detailed in a book called “WEREWOLF”. Ed and Lorraine became aware of Ramsey’s plight from a segment on a television show called “Incredible Sunday” and managed to track him down in London with the help of police.

The investigation begins:

BILL RAMSEY AS A YOUNG BOY” Like many imaginative nine year olds, Bill often liked to play alone. Companions had a way of inhibiting him; with them, he had to play “real” games. But when he was alone, his mind was free to roam, and he could be anybody from The man in the Iron Mask to Flash Gordon. There was even music in his head, the way there was in the rousing movies at the Saturday matinee. And there were always pretty damsels he was rescuing, damsels who rewarded him with a tender kiss and a rose, symbolic of their esteem for him. Bill often played alone in his back yard and although it wasn’t large, it was grassy and the sun filled it in the afternoon. Sometimes his mother would have wash hanging on the lines the whole length of the yard and the air would be pleasantly filled with the fresh aroma of clean sheets. Bill often played out there for long hours.

On one particular day, a sunny Saturday as he recalls, he had come home from the movies and looked forward to two hours of light before night came. He helped his mother with a few chores and then ran outside, eager to play fighter pilot. The matinee that afternoon had run two films about royal Air Force adventures in World War II, and in his mind Bill was now ensconced in a fighter plane, diving to take out a German bomber destined to set London aflame. Bill was rested from a good night’s sleep, had a full stomach from movie theater popcorn and felt restless, with an abundance of energy. He played for an hour before he turned and felt a coldness come over him like an invisible ocean wave. To this day, Bill recalls the sensation exactly: “Have you ever walked into a meat locker right after you’ve been outside on a hot day? That’s what this was like. I was playing and my body temperature was normal and then, well, I’d say it felt as if my body temperature dropped a good twenty degrees. Sweat froze on me and my whole body started shaking. It was as if I’d opened this door and stepped inside to another dimension or something. And there was this odor. Very foul. A few years earlier, a sewer on our street had backed up. I’d never smelled anything as bad as the gasses that escaped. And that’s what this smell was like that day, I was afraid I was going to vomit.”

Bill stood in the back yard for a long time trying to make sense of what had happened to him. He felt that he had changed in some subtle, yet profound way. Something terrible had just happened to him, but he had no idea what. Eventually, the chill left his body and the smell drifted away. He was again a seemingly normal boy. His body temperature warm again, he started playing once more, but somehow it wasn’t the same. Now when he closed his eyes and imagined himself a fighter pilot, with the music swelling in the background and a variety of sound effects playing in his ears, it seemed silly. Something a child would do and, curiously, Bill no longer felt like a child.

The Light faded. Up and down the block, you could hear mothers calling their children in to their homes. In most houses, that is. But at one home not all the children were inside as yet. At one home, one lone nine-year-old still stood in the back yard, shadowy in the growing gloom of night. Something was different, he was now frightened. He had long ago ceased his playing. He stood staring up at the first of the night’s stars, feeling the coldness starting to shudder through him again. He walked slowly over to the fence to look down the narrow alley. If he followed the alley far enough, it would lead him to the sea. He thought now of stealing aboard a boat, the way young Jim Hawkins had in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and sailing somewhere far away where people wouldn’t know the truth about him.

ABOUT THE STRANGE COLDNESS NOW INSIDE HIM“, About the curious, growing rage that seemed to overtake him like a blinding seizure. Images of himself as a wolf began flashing through his mind. Through the fog of his thoughts and fears, he heard his mother’s voice calling him in. Ordinarily, this would have been a comforting thought, a reassurance that the word was a safe, knowable place filled with parents who loved and cared about him and wanted to protect him. But tonight he heard his mother’s voice differently. Somehow it irritated him. Didn’t she know the truth about him? Didn’t she know that he was quite capable of taking care of himself? He turned, the rage starting to course through him now, and in so doing caught the toe of his shoe against the fence post. He tripped and fell to the ground. By the time he’d regained his feet, his anger was blinding him, and he heard the low, chilling rumble of a frenzied beast and knew that, somehow, it was himself he was hearing. He turned to the fence post, which had been dug and planted deep into the ground, and tore it from its moorings so violently that dirt and grass were flung all the way up on the back porch.

Seeing this, his horrified mother called to his father and they both came running out of the house. But Bill was too “far gone” in his rage to stop. Three men would have had a hard time getting the fence post from the ground. Yet Bill had done it simply and brutally and now he stood swinging the post over his head as if it were nothing more than a baseball bat. The wire fencing attached to the post was still nailed to the wood. When his parents drew close and shouted for him to put the post down, Bill hurled it to the ground. But then he fell to his knees and began ripping into the wire fencing with his hands. He pulled the fencing to his teeth and began tearing it apart with them. His father, terrified by now, tried to pull his son to his feet, but was having a difficult time. The boy’s strength was incredible, and frightening. His mother began sobbing. Finally, hearing the grief he was causing her, Bill relented and forced himself to get back into control. He threw the fence back to the ground. His hands and mouth were bloody from where the wire had torn it. In the darkness, all he could hear was his mother’s sobbing and his father’s confused cursing. All Bill could feel was the peculiar coldness, “a coldness ” at his very center, a coldness that marked him as different from other human beings. He turned to them then, thinking he was about to say something reassuring, but he was once again seized with the rage. He saw another image of himself as a wolf. Another growl started up from his belly and filled his chest and burst out of his mouth. His mother and father ran back to the house. On the back porch, his mother tripped. His father bent to pick her up and when he did so, he looked back at his son and thought he saw a the form of a wolf, then his parents rushed inside and bolted the door, leaving Bill in the twilit back yard.

Eventually, the roaring quieted, and Bill began to feel the rage leave his body. Some of the coldness left also… finally. But he made his way across the back yard up to the porch, he realized that something terrible had happened here today, something that could never be undone. He raised his small hand and started knocking on the door. His mother and father looked at each other, unsure if they should let him in.

What a strange feeling, to be afraid of your own little boy. But neither could withstand the sight of their little boy locked out of his own home, so they opened the door. He came running into their arms, the way a much younger child might. All three of them cried there in the doorway. Later, as his mother served them dinner, she found herself noticing that Bill had, in some way, physically changed. It was a subtle change, one she couldn’t really identify. But he HAD changed, changed in a way only a mother would be aware. They said nothing more of the incident in the yard. Both his parents wanted to believe that it had just been some freakish incident and should be utterly forgotten. And so it was. For a few years anyway.

BILL RAMSEY THE MAN went on with his life. He married, began raising a family and worked as a carpenter. The freakish incidents started again…on the night of Monday, December 5, 1983, a young policeman donned his uniform for only the sixth time in his short career. Before leaving for work that night, he kissed his wife as usual, spent a few minutes with his baby girl in her room, and then came into the apartment’s kitchen for another cup of coffee. Before his shift ended near dawn, he’d add many more cups to his system. His young wife had always been sensitive to his moods, and tonight she sensed something wrong. As she leaned in the doorway, watching him stand at the window and look outside, she recalled the night before the police exams. He’d been so tense he kept swallowing his words and complained of a headache, something that rarely troubled him.

When she’d first met him, she always thought of him as calm in virtually all circumstances. But the longer she was around him, the better she could read the small signs that tipped off his real feelings. Tonight, he kept clearing his throat. He did this every “half minute” or so, and sometimes he did it so violently his entire upper body bucked. Something was wrong. She came up from behind him and gently slid her arm around his waist. She looked out the window, too. She had to smile for as often as they stood here staring out, there wasn’t much of a view, just a narrow alley lost in darkness and the silhouette of crumbling Victorian houses against the moonlit sky. Genteel poverty, she supposed, was the proper description. As soon as her husband got his first promotion, they planned to move to a better neighborhood.

But for now… “Coffee all right?” she asked softly. “You feeling all right, dear?” He quickly replied “Sure Why?” “You keep clearing your throat.” He smiled and gave her a hug. “My wife the psychiatrist.” “Well, I read in one of my magazines that little nervous habits are a sign of stress and anxiety.” Trying to lighten the mood, he responded “So now I’m all stressed-up and anxious, am I?” She looked up at him, the smile fading from her soft, pretty mouth. “You seem to be, love. What is it?” She surprised him by taking his question seriously. “I’m not sure. Just this-feeling. I don’t know how else to describe it.” “What kind of feeling?” He didn’t hesitate. “Fear.” He turned and looked back at her. “I’ll be fine. I’m sure of it.” “I’m sure of it, too,” she said, though that wasn’t the way she felt at all. As soon as he’d gathered his coat, kissed her, and set off down the steep stairs leading to the street, she began saying a decade of the rosary especially for her husband.

Later that same evening, Bill Ramsey was on his way back to the taxi cab company when he felt a hard pain in the middle of his chest. Maalox usually stopped such pain, but Bill sensed that Maalox would be no help this time. Bill pulled his car over to the curb, clutching his chest and trying to get his breathing back to its normal pace. But the pain got worse, and so did the irregularity of his breathing, which now came in great heaves. Cold sweat covered most of his upper body. Terrified that he was going to die, he put the car in gear and headed toward nearby, Southend Hospital. He went straight to the Emergency Room entrance and found a parking spot. When he got out of the car, another stabbing pain raced up his chest and right arm, and he fell back against the car door. He had a palpable sense that he was dying that his entire system was shutting down.

The Emergency Room entrance looked hopelessly far away now, as if he were seeing it through the wrong end of a telescope. He took one step forward, two. And he started walking again. He wanted to call out, but he didn’t want to waste the last of his strength on it. He needed whatever strength he had for reaching the Emergency Room. By the time he reached the entrance, he was starting to feel the freezing sensation starting up his legs and spreading into his torso. He thought again of his earlier “wolf” episodes. He prayed to God such a thing wasn’t happening now. The reception area of the Emergency Room was empty. Two nurses in crisp white uniforms sat behind a long desk, going over patient charts. From speakers recessed into the ceiling, soft pleasant music played. The air had a medicinal smell that was somehow reassuring.

As soon as Bill open the door, the two nurses glanced up and saw him. One of the nurses, looking somewhat alarmed, scurried from behind the desk and hurried over to Bill. The other nurse, up on her feet now, too, ran to get a gurney. The nurses carefully helped Bill on to the gurney and then pushed him down a long corridor to a series of empty rooms where emergency patients were treated. This time of night, there was a curiously relaxed feeling about the empty hospital. Bill didn’t have much of a stomach for blood, or for watching other people in pain. “How are you feeling now?” “Better, I guess,” he said. And then he felt the rumbling sensation in his belly. It started almost like gas pain, moving up through his stomach and into his chest and then into his throat. All the time the sensation moved, it gathered power, so that when it reached his mouth it was expressed in a roar that bounced off the walls and seemed to echo for a good two minutes. Both nurses jumped back from the gurney. Both looked at Bill in terror. He felt another growl work up from his belly and out his mouth. He felt his hands begin to curl powerfully into paw-like claws. ” I don’t know what’s going on here, Bill, but it’s not anything a man in your condition should be doing.” He swiped at her with one of his powerful hands. She jumped back just in time. But this woman was a testament to the entire nursing profession and Bill allowed himself to be pressed back on the gurney. But just as his head was touching the pillow, he let out a horrifying roar again and snapped upward once more. This time before he knew what he was doing, he grabbed the nurse’s arm and dug his teeth into the tender flesh just below the elbow. She screamed. The other nurse came at Bill and slapped at him so he’d let go of her but at first he didn’t let go of her at all. He kept hold of her bleeding arm. The iron-like, tart taste of blood, human blood, filled his mouth. He held on to her arm as if he never planned to let go of it. The other nurse ran out into the hall, yelling for help.

At the same time, the young policeman had dropped by the hospital for cup of coffee in the emergency room. The hospital was one of his regular rounds. He always checked to see if there were any way he could help them. The policeman was now two-and-a-half hours into his shift and feeling pretty silly about the “premonition” he’d had. He was just finishing off his coffee when he heard the scream somewhere back in the examining rooms. The intern he’d been talking to set down his coffee and immediately started running in that direction. The policeman followed closely. Even from where he was, the policeman could hear furniture being tossed around. The screams of two nurses could also now be heard. And he heard an animal growling. He now overtook the intern and led the way into the room. What he saw, he couldn’t believe.

There, crouched in the far corner, was a wild-looking man holding the two nurses at bay. The growls were coming not from some animal, but from the man. The policeman pushed into the room, stepping over a chair that had been hurled and smashed against the wall. The closer he got to the man, the more the man growled. The policeman tried to act unperturbed by this, but the sight and sound of the man rattled him. He couldn’t help himself. With the way the man crouched, his face slick with sweat and contorted into an animal-like expression, all the policeman could think of was a wolf. The young policeman attempted to approach the crazed man in the corner. “I’d like to talk with you, sir.” The man, frenzied, glanced wildly around the room. Hatred showed in his eyes when he saw the nurses. He clearly felt they’d betrayed him in some way. The policeman could sense the intern coming up behind him. The intern was a brave lad. Together, they were going to try and capture the wild man. The gurney had restraining straps on it. If they could just get him up there. Suddenly, the man picked up another chair and flung it across the room. The nurses screamed again. The policeman and the intern kept inching forward. “We don’t want to hurt you,” the policeman said. “We want to help you, that’s all.” And then the man jumped at him, grabbing the policeman’s arm and trying, unmistakably to bite him. The growl was even more chilling this time. The intern used this moment to get behind the man. He got the man’s right arm in a hammerlock and shoved him forward to the policeman. Grabbing the man by the shoulder, the policeman shoved him down onto the gurney. Quickly, the two men lashed him to the cart with restraining straps.

They both considered themselves lucky. The man had been so strong they’d barely been able to handle him. And even now, strapped down, it seemed he would eventually be able to snap the straps. He moved so violently inside the straps that the gurney was literally lifted from the floor. Finally, the doctor in charge was summoned. He took one look at the man thrashing crazily about on the gurney and ordered an injection of Thorazine. Twenty minutes later, over coffee with the intern, the young policeman started trembling. His earlier feeling had proven accurate. He had been part of something tonight that was profoundly disturbing. He couldn’t get the man’s face from his mind. Its lean, feral lines, the mad burning eyes-they belonged to a wolf. “What the hell’s wrong with that man, anyway?” the policeman asked the intern. But all the medical man could do was shrug, “I wish I knew. I’d be a genius if I did.” “You ever heard of anything like this?” “Not really.” Then he grinned. “And I can’t say I want to see it ever again, either.” The policeman tried to find the humor in the remark but somehow he couldn’t. “What’s going to happen to him?” “To the wolfman?” the intern said. “Yes.” “Booby hatch, wouldn’t you think?” The policeman sighed. “I suppose.”

He began thinking back to the various trips to mental hospitals where he’d been handing over prisoners. Bill became conscious inside of the ambulance, he was strapped down. The interior of the ambulance would light up every once in a while with the headlights of passing cars. Then, silence again, just the thrumming of tires against the road. Across from him, leaning back against the opposite wall, the intern smoked a cigarette and watched him. “Little fellow to do all that, don’t you think?” “Do all what?” Bill was terrified. How had he gotten into an ambulance and more importantly, what had he done tonight, he had no recollection. He feared the worst. Had he killed somebody? “Don’t worry, little man, the doctors will tell you all about it.” “What doctors?” “Why at Runwell, of course.” “The mental hospital?” The ambulance sped on through the night. A chill rain had begun to fall and the windshield wipers made a heavy noise in the silence. Bill had never felt more alone in his life.

Bishop Robert McKenna through his many years in the priesthood has comforted thousands of people with his gentle voice. He has performed more than fifty exorcisms, twenty of which had been successful. The exorcism, is one of the most ancient rituals of the Roman Catholic Church, and it was about to begin. During the course of an exorcism, special instruments: holy water, a crucifix, and a relic of a saint are applied to the body – touched to the head or breast, for example. There is no chanting or singing, the priest prays in a loud, strong voice and in Latin. In the church sat Ed and Lorraine Warren, Bill and Nina Ramsey, John Zaffis, and four off-duty policemen who had been hired by the bishop. He knew he could not defend himself if Bill, in the throes of his exorcism, attacked him. Also present were David Alford and John Cleve, the writer and photographer from The People, the newspaper that had paid the Ramsey’s fare and accommodations.

Bill became very troubled the moment they stepped into the church. The demonic spirit within him was trying desperately to keep Bill under its control. Bill sat alone now in a chair facing the altar. Bishop McKenna approached him, said a few more words in Latin, and then demanded aloud that the demon identify itself and then leave Bill’s body forever. Bill stared at the bishop, sensing the ceremony was already going to fail. There was something comic in the whole thing, “Mumbo jumbo” Bill thought to himself. Nina was feeling pretty much the same, she wasn’t sure what she expected but it wasn’t this. Everything seemed so commonplace, like out of a horror movie. Bishop McKenna says, “I could feel and see what Bill could not. The demonic spirit in him was beginning to fight me through Bill.” He felt right from the start that this exorcism would be successful.

Thirty minutes into the exorcism, Bishop McKenna stepped forward and touched the stole he was wearing to Bill’s forehead. He then took Bill’s head firmly in his hands and ordered the werewolf to be banished forever. Bill started thrashing around in his chair, he didn’t know it yet, but he was fighting the demon for the control of his body and soul. Bill continued to shake and writhe uncontrollably, he was having an attack, the worst he’d ever known. He felt his lips pull back from his teeth felt his hands become claws, and the unmistakable urge to attack the bishop. And he did so. His hands reached up and attempted to rip open the Bishop’s face. Two of the burly policemen jumped up to grab Bill, but the Bishop bravely ordered them back to their seats. The bishop then bought a crucifix out from somewhere inside his religious garments, and pushed the cross into Bill’s face. Bill, or more properly, the werewolf inside him, went berserk. He came up from his chair snarling and growling and grasping at the Bishop. This time the Bishop had no choice but to retreat beyond the altar gate. Bill, spittle flying from his mouth, eyes wild, began to rush through the gate for the Bishop. But the priest stood absolutely still now, holding his cross up once again and beginning to speak in Latin. And then something happened. Bill felt suddenly weak; he staggered back to his chair and threw himself in it. He could feel the coldness in his body begin to warm; and he felt his desire to attack the Bishop begin to fade. Now the priest was back, standing over Bill and continuing his admonitions in Latin.

As he sat there, Bill marveled that he felt purified; “the poison that had been in my body drained from me completely. I was left without any strength at all, and when I turned to look at Nina, that small movement caused me to black out. I gripped the chair as tightly as I could and let the demon continue to be pushed away by Bishop McKenna’s Latin words.” Bill could feel the spirit of the werewolf within himself, and its desire to destroy the religious man. But the werewolf’s power was slipping quickly away. A faint roar sounded in Bill’s chest, and then faded. He brought up his hand, but they were no longer clawlike. They were merely hands. Bill tried to push himself up from the chair for one last lunge at the Bishop, but he found that his eyes were starting to close, he was losing consciousness and, as he lost consciousness, he felt a great peace within himself, and almost overpowering love for his wife and children.

The Amityville Horror

amityville1 The Amityville HorrorEd and Lorraine Warren’s most famous case by far is their investigation of the home which was the subject of The Amityville Horror.  The Warrens were 2 of 9 people who investigated the home.  Even now, 24 years later, the Amityville investigation is their most requested lecture topic.  We’ve included some photos here on the website, but to see the most shocking, revealing, and interesting photographs, you’ll need to attend one of the Warrens’ many lectures.

Over the years, rumors have abounded which claim to prove the Amityville case a fraud.  How these rumors started and how they became so ubiquitous is unclear.  What is clear is that the Warrens saw the house for themselves, and experienced some of the phenomena which occurred.  They have photographs and reports which show remarkable proof of the existence of very remarkable phenomena in that house.

It’s believed that the hoax rumor began with a man who called himself Dr. Steven Kaplan, although he held no doctorate degree from any university.  This fact was exposed on several occasions, yet that never stopped Mr. Kaplan from making these claims.  He was the self-proclaimed president of the Parapsychology Society of Long Island and some other related societies, presumably founded by himself.  As far as the Warrens can tell, he hated them because Mr. Lutz, the owner of the Amityville Horror home called Mr. Kaplan prior to calling the Warrens, and asked him to investigate the situation.  Mr. Kaplan came to the home to “investigate” with 6 witches and the Channel 7 news team, and Mr. Lutz threw Mr. Kaplan off the property – and then called the Warrens.  This started a 20 year vendetta of Mr. Kaplan against the Warrens.

The basic claims of Mr. Kaplan insisting Amityville to be a hoax were discussed with Ed Warren and Mr. Kaplan on a Long Island radio show.  Kaplan insisted that Amityville was a hoax because Jay Anson’s book, The Amityville Horror, has some inconsistencies in it, and it was not 100% accurate.  The Warrens felt that Mr. Anson’s book was not 100% accurate as well, but only because Mr. Anson was unfamiliar with the terms of art of the field of demonology, not because of any purposeful error on his or Mr. Lutz’s part.  Apparently Mr. Kaplan simply could not let go of the idea that he had ruined his chance to become involved in what may be the world’s most famous paranormal investigation, and therefore started the rumor that it was all a hoax.

Mr. Kaplan wrote a book concerning the Amityville story, called The Amityville Conspiracy, and one week before the book was published he died from a heart attack.  The book contains far more contradictions and mis-stated facts than The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson.  Kaplan was never even inside of the Amityville house (except to attend a party–not as part of an investigation), despite his claims to the contrary.

Kaplan nevertheless swore that he had photographs and investigative materials.  Ed Warren offered him $5000 to show him the hoax evidence, yet Kaplan declined.  When Ed Warren asked how Kaplan had conducted his investigation, Kaplan couldn’t even specify what equipment he’d used.  Somehow, he managed to lie his way out of every possible detail.

Ultimately, a Babylon, NY radio station made Mr. Kaplan apologize to the Warrens because they’d uncovered that Kaplan had fabricated the hoax rumor.  Kaplan said on the radio program, “I will never go against the Warrens again.” Given his health, he was never able to try, although his apology was short- lived.

The Warrens found that Mr. Lutz’s descriptions of the paranormal activity in the home were very accurate for a case of demonic possession, although the Lutz’s had never studied demonology – they would not have know how to fabricate the story that they told.

But why is the hoax story so popular?  Part of the reason was that the chief of police’s son was a newspaper reporter, and the police hoped to get vandals out of the area – since the story had broken, the traffic in the area had been nonstop. An erroneous story was printed in Newsday about how the Amityville case was a hoax, and that helped to perpetuate the hoax myth.

But who would have profited from fabricating such a story?  The Lutzes received little or no money from the books and movies.  Jay Anson, the author of The Amityville Horror surely profited from his book, but it seems that no one else did.  Another rumor persists that the Lutz’s lawyer, Attorney Webber, fabricated the story with them over several bottles of wine.  Truth be told, the Lutzes didn’t drink and had only a bottle of blessed wine in the house given to them by Father Pecoraro.  Rumor has it that Webber wanted to write his own book, but Jay Anson simply beat him to it.

Jay Anson, author of The Amityville Horror had a heart attack while he was writing the last chapter of the book.  He recovered from this heart attack but had a second, fatal heart attack while writing his second book “666″ on the anti-Christ.  These are only two of the many “coincidences” that plague the Amityville story.

What follows is a short version of the Warrens’ own story about their Amityville investigation.  This was compiled from their oral history taken during a NESPR meeting in October, 1997.  We’ve included it here to help dispel the rumors that Amityville was a hoax. The New England Society for Psychic Research strongly believes that only through dissemination of accurate information concerning paranormal activity can the public be informed that such activity really exists – and that evil is among us.  It is not until the public understands that this is so that we can begin to combat such forces in our midst.  As long as fraud stories persist, and as long as people who experience real such trauma are ridiculed, Satan and evil forces can continue to do their work here on earth.  It is only through information and understanding that good can prevail.

History of the property: The property was used as a sort of insane asylum for Native Americans who were sick and dying. There had been an enclosure on the property, where the patients were housed.  Inhuman spirits revel in such suffering and are able to infest the graves of those who were buried in unconsecrated ground.

Background: The problems at the Amityville house seemed to stem from the Ronald DeFeo murders on November 13, 1974.  Mr. DeFeo hated his father and had plotted to kill him–he’d even worked out a scheme by which he could do so.  Mr. DeFeo was on drugs, and his father knew about it.  Later he said that there was a shadow ghost alongside of him during the killings which compelled him to shoot his two brothers and his sister at 3:15 am on November 13, 1974.  Although the houses in this quiet Amityville neighborhood were only 40 feet apart, no neighbors awoke during the shootings.  All of the victims were found on their stomachs.  The Warrens believe that the victims were in a state of phantomania, which in effect paralyzed them, making them unable to cry out for help.

How the Warrens became involved: Ed and Lorraine Warren met with a priest, Father Pecararo, and the Lutzes when they were first called in to investigate.  The Lutzes were living at Mrs. Lutz’s mother’s house in Deer Park, NY because they were too afraid to go back to the house to live.  They were all but afraid to even speak of the phenomena, so deep was their fear.  They’d even left all of their furniture and possessions behind, not daring to return to move out–it simply wasn’t worth the risk.

The first time the Warrens went to the house it was with an anchorman from the Channel 5 news, a professor from Duke University, and the president of the American Society for Psychic Research.  That first day was horrifying.  Lorraine received nonstop clairvisual and clairaudial messages about the phenomena which had occurred.

Anxious to see for himself whether or not the phenomena was real, Ed, who normally experiences little clairvoyant feelings at all, went into the cellar.  The cellar is typically where evil spirits spend their days, and Ed therefore felt that would be the best place for him to start.  Despite his usual immunity from witnessing phenomena, Ed saw shadows along with thousands of pinpoints of light. These shadows attempted to push him to the ground.  Ed used religious resistance and commanded the evil spirits to leave.  He immediately got the sensation of something attempting to lift him off of the ground, and he knew then that this was truly a house of evil.  Although he knew that this was serious case, he had no idea how severe it really was.  He has never been so seriously affected in any case before, or after, the Amityville Horror case.

amityville5 The Amityville HorrorLorraine’s Experiences: Lorraine was frightened even before she’d entered the house.  She’d contacted some priest friends in advance and asked them to accompany her in spirit into the house.  She took relics with her of Padre Pio which she’d received in a letter from a total stranger earlier in the week.

As she went to the stairs to go to the 2nd floor landing, she felt as if there was a huge force of rushing water against her, and the atmosphere around here was solidifying.  On the second floor, Lorraine went into the sewing room.  Marvin Scott, the Channel 5 anchorman, told Lorraine, “I hope that this is as close to hell as I ever get,” as they went into Missy’s room.  Lorraine immediately clairvoyantly knew that Missy’s room had the same furniture as it had when the DeFeo girls were murdered.  Mr. Lutz had let his children sleep in the DeFeo children’s death beds.

In the master bedroom, one wall was all mirrors.  Lorraine sat on the bed where the DeFeo parents had been shot.  Only the mattress on the bed had been changed.  The feeling in the rooms was that of absolute horror, and going from room to room did not dissipate the feeling at all.  One just seemed more horrible than the next.

amityville3 The Amityville HorrorOn the third floor, Lorraine clairvoyantly encountered Ronald DeFeo.  This encounter was so awful, and he was so sinister, that she felt there was absolutely nothing she could do to help–or eject–his spirit from the house.

Once she was downstairs again, she was asked to do something she had never wanted to do after entering the house–she was asked to communicate with the spirits in the house and ask what had really happened.  All of the investigators were in the room.  The investigator from Duke University actually passed out cold from fear!  Two of the other investigators complained of heart palpitations and had to rest on the floor.  The house seemed to have the most dire effect on men.  Mary Pascarella, the Director of a prominent psychic research group in New Haven, actually became so ill that she had to be taken outside and from that moment forward she never entered the house again.

Ed and Lorraine Warren left a 1:00am.  Both were so affected that they vowed they’d never go back into that house again.  But they did… .and the Amityville Horror story was born.

This article contains some of the only photos ever taken inside this house. There are more in the photo gallery.

Amityville Photo Gallery

The house on ocean avenue amityville ny The Amityville Horror

The House on Ocean Avenue Amityville, NY

amityville lorraine warren dr brian riley marvin scott The Amityville Horror

Lorraine Warren, Dr. Brian Riley and Marvin Scott. Lorraine has communication with the entities, observed by Dr. Riley, a British parapsychologist and Mr. Scott, a NYC TV newsman.

amityville horror lion statue The Amityville Horror

This lion “came to life” and walked around during the phenomena

amityville horror home Lutz Defeo furniture The Amityville Horror

Mr. Lutz’s and Mr. Defeo’s study -much of the furniture belonged to Mr. DeFeo

amityville lorraine warren is so badly affected she nearly collapses The Amityville Horror

Lorraine Warren is so badly affected she nearly collapses – holding a relic in her hand.

amityville horror house swimming pool sick and dying indians were housed The Amityville Horror

This area (now a swimming pool) was where sick and dying Indians were housed.