Endured another departmental meeting today. Garrison made some nasty comments about what he thought would be appropriate prerequisites for my class. Not only did the chair have no objection to the comments, he laughed and later, he made a point of asking me the status of my research in the most condescending way possible. Small consolation that my classes are always full with a waitlist.
After the meeting, Gerard approached me. He seemed embarrassed to be talking to me and asked to speak privately. It seems he has been approached by a local woman about her daughter. He has had a few sessions with both but does not feel there is a psychological diagnosis to be made. The woman is a respected lawyer, not that they can’t suffer from psychological disorders, but he does feel the need to offer her some solution.
He told me she is claiming paranormal disturbances. He certainly doesn’t believe she is actually experiencing anything paranormal, nor does he feel I can do anything paranormal to help her. His thought is that, if she believes she is suffering from the paranormal, the best solution is to offer her a paranormal placebo. He was very clear on that point. sigh Regardless, I have a client!
This will be the first test of the new group. Although I had initially intended it to be a student organization with myself as faculty advisor, I have admitted a campus policeman and have had to include Willie, the groundskeeper. Willie comes as the body guard for the college’s equipment. I’m hoping we can ultimately afford some of the items for ourselves, but I doubt we can purchase a thermal any time in the foreseeable future.
With Willie’s very reluctant help, we packed the van. We have one thermal, a digital camera for each member, a digital recorder for each member, 10 motion detectors, 2 noncontact thermometers, a barometer, 2 compasses, 5 video cameras with tripods, one EMF, 1 trifield meter, walkie talkies for each member, flashlights for each member, and monitors to watch the video feeds in real time (thank you communications department!).
We arrived at the client’s house at 7:00 PM. Lisa Gray is in her mid-30’s, attractive, blond, fit. She looks like a capable woman but you could immediately see her concern. Concerned as she is, she doesn’t trust us. As a lawyer, I imagine she wasn’t quick to buy into anything paranormal and according to Gerard, I am her last resort.
Lisa showed us around the house first, I think for a lack of knowing what else to do with us. Her house is remarkably organized and neat, even the daughter’s room. The only room that looks lived in is the boy’s room. This looks to me like a woman who is cleaning and organizing obsessively to feel some sense of control in her environment, and it also looks like the little girl is not playing or acting normally or her room would not look so unused.
Speaking of the daughter, she never left her mother’s side. The poor thing looks like she hasn’t slept in days.
We sat in the living room for an interview. I asked if I could (audio) record the interview and Lisa readily agreed. She may be used to taping conversations as a lawyer. Prior to entering the house, Jacob, oour campus cop, and I had a conversation. He is certain she is delusional or making things up so I didn’t want his vibe affecting her ability to trust us and asked if he wouldn’t mind staying out of the initial interview. He had wanted to have a look around on his own anyway. Lisa consented to him looking around while we talked. Willie was still outside with the equipment so it was Jack, Amanda, and myself.
Jack is a non-traditional student who is mostly deaf. I met him through class and in office hours he told me a fascinating story. He is an ex-military man. He was a medic and who is suffering from survivor’s guilt. He is also dealing with new abilities that have appeared after his accident. He found pretty quickly that he could read people very well, to the point of seeing their auras. He later found that he could use psychometry too. I have a feeling that that is not the extent of what he can do but that he will blossom with more abilities as he progresses.
Lisa did most of the talking at first. She explained that everything started about two months ago. Marissa, the 8-year-old daughter, woke up screaming. She was talking about men coming to take her and kill her. Lisa assumed a nightmare, as any mother would, but Marissa has woken screaming every night sense. Sleeping pills (prescribed by a doctor) do not help. On the third night, Lisa slept in her daughter’s room which is when she saw a shadow person. The person had appeared to be watching them, then moved to the door. Lisa described it as a darkness blacker and thicker than the surrounding darkness and about 7 feet tall. She screamed and it disappeared, but she has felt it around them ever since. Marissa now stays in Lisa’s room, which explains the disuse of the girl’s room. Things have escalated to include dishes flying around, lights and appliances turning on and off, etc.
Lisa told us they have been in the house 9 years with no incidents before two months ago. Her husband died in a car accident about two years ago.
Interestingly, everything began happening when Mr. Manz was found dead. I remember reading about him. He was found partially mummified, which was unexplained, and later was found to be a Nazi. It was quite the scandal for our town. Mr. Manz lived near the Gray family; in fact, you can see his house from the children’s rooms. According to Lisa and the children, Mr. Manz was a nice old man who played with the children and handed out candy at Halloween, but the coincidence in the timing is just too much. Also, Lisa told us Marissa is seeing people skinned and burned, which sounds too much like the kind of experimentation and torture that was happening in the camps.
Lisa told us she first went to Marissa’s pediatrician, who diagnosed night terrors and prescribed the sleeping pills. She then went to a psychiatrist (Gerard) who was unable to offer a diagnosis that would encompass the mother and daughter. She also had a priest in for an exorcism and house blessing, to no effect. (I wonder if she shouldn’t call in a Rabbi instead. Need to follow up on that later.)
We then attempted to speak with Marissa. She clung to her mother and seemed so small. She told them she “sees them. They’re all around us.” She described them as skinny, wearing old clothes with stars on them. No doubt now about the Nazi connection here. She told us that most of these people she sees are frightened and don’t speak, but she has a friend “Aimee.” Aimee is afraid and has told Marissa of a black monster that has them and hurts them. She is pressuring Marissa for help. Aimee wanted to speak to us but apparently needed to possess Marissa to do so, which Marissa did not want to do. We will need to find another way to speak to her. I did offer the record to Aimee and asked her to speak into it.
We then interviewed Matthew Grey. Matthew is 7 and seems the least affected. He doesn’t see the same things his sister does, but he does hear them. He said that many are angry but Aimee talks to him too as does “the rabby.” He told us Aimee is just scared but that the “rabby” has vowed to protect him. (Rabbi?)
After the interviews, we took some time as a team to confer. Jack let us know he had read Lisa and Marissa. Lisa clearly believed what she was saying and only showed truthfulness and concern. Lisa was scared and had lost touch with reality in that she wasn’t sure who is real and who is a ghost anymore. She wasn’t even sure we were living people. We all came to the conclusion that there was a Nazi connection and Amanda really wanted to get into the Manz house. She was also wondering if the neighbors were experiencing anything. Both good thoughts.
Jacob reported little of note in the house except some glass figurines in Marissa’s room. He noted them as “age inappropriate.” Of all the things to notice… I did find it odd that they were under Marissa’s stuffed animals. Has she been hiding them? We should have followed up by asking Marissa about them but I was hesitant. If she is hiding them, calling her out on it when she is this fragile could cause a bad reaction. And yet we can’t get Lisa alone to ask her as Marissa is attached to her leg…
We did follow up to ask if they have noticed anything about the Manz house since the death. Lisa has only noticed lights on occasionally, which she felt were from Detective Martin searching the house. We also asked if Marissa or Lisa were taking any pills, but as the sleeping pills didn’t work, they aren’t taking anything. That last question was brought up by Willie. He might be useful after all.
I took a break to use the restroom and had an amazing encounter. I can’t believe I didn’t have any way to record it but who takes anything with them to use the bathroom? Perhaps I should get in the habit. There are two mirrors in the children’s bathroom that face each other. In the mirror, hovering behind me, I saw a light. It was a white, orb shaped light, and it flickered. I was shocked at first, but I finally thought to ask it to communicate. I established a simple blink once for yes and twice for no system and it responded yes that it understood! Even more amazing, it could also communicate feeling by changing color. If it was in agreement, it would glow green and disagreement was red. I established it wasn’t Aimee or Mr. Manz. It was Jewish and had died in a concentration camp. In the end, I told it I was going to do everything I could to help it, and it glowed blue, which I think signified happiness.
Meanwhile, Amanda worked to convince Lisa to leave the house. I was later to be very grateful that she managed to convince her. Once they left, we began setting up the cameras, recorders, and motion sensors inside and outside. We took baseline readings in each room. In the office, Jacob found a large book on the Holocaust. As Lisa has a large collection of history books, it wasn’t entirely out of place, but was interesting. He also noticed out the window a “late model blue Malibu, exempt license plate, driven by a female” which drove slowly along the street and stopped briefly at the Manz house before moving along. Amanda and I saw nothing remarkable, except when I caught Officer Jacob trying to make the glassware shake. The exaggerated walking was fun but watching him hop around was better. Once he noticed me, he confirmed that the glassware was stable and gruffly left the room.
Jack encountered a cedar chest in the storage room and was able to read it through psychometry. He saw that it was Lisa’s hope chest as a girl and got visions of a happy marriage. We may want to revisit the chest later if we feel the husband has any connection in the occurrences.
When we finally had everything set up, it was about 10:30 PM. We decided to regroup once more but couldn’t find Willie. I take back what I said before about him; that man is a liability! When we radioed him, we found out that he broke into the Manz house! The house is still a crime scene! Lisa told us that the detective is still coming to the house. I cannot be associated with any illegal behavior. My job is on the line enough. I have enough people who doubt my legitimacy without a half-crazy old groundskeeper dragging me into his breaking and entering tendencies. My only saving grace is that I objected to him coming along in the first place and I can provide video proof that I was in Lisa’s house at the time he broke in, if someone saw him. I mean, Jacob saw a car drive by the Manz house not hours before he decided to break in! Well, there is nothing I can do now but move forward. Surely Jacob, Amanda, and Jack can vouch for me that I was not involved.
When he got back, Willie did tell us that he thought he had found a secret room and was about to check it out when we radioed him. Probably scared the crap out of him, and serves him right. He also told us the house has a “real odd shape” and he seems to feel there could be more than one hiding place that accounts for the shape of the place. I would love to get into the house, but now that it’s been broken into, I’m not sure if they will let us investigate at all. I had hoped there might be a realtor involved who could get us in but if it becomes a crime scene all over again, that idea will be out the window for weeks to come.
After all that, Willie decided to stay in the van. Jack and Jacob stayed with him to monitor the video feed. Besides Jacob showing annoyance about the paperwork Willie is causing some poor schmuck, no one else seemed terribly upset that he broke into the house, which is exasperating. I hope I can trust this group to not do anything that will get me fired. Garrison is dying to find anything to get me out of the department.
In any case, Amanda and I decided to conduct an EVP session. Remarkably, we got an excellent EVP- not exactly class A but wonderful all the same. In Marissa’s room, we got something that initially seemed unintelligible. Jacob recognized it as Polish and we managed to decipher it as (unknown) policja (unknown) duch (unknown) moznosc (unknown) or police…spirits…power. The police part intrigues me most. Are they referring to Nazi police or modern day? I want to know about the lead detective on the Manz case. Somehow, when Lisa mentioned that she sees lights in the house still, two months later, and she thinks it is that “nice Detective Martin,” it struck me as odd. Would he really be returning to the house all this time later, alone? Maybe Jacob can get some information on the man for me. All he could tell me at this time is that he is a good cop, if a little bitter. That describes Jacob too, but I got the sense he thought Martin was jaded as well.
Beyond the Polish EVP, we got a true class A that said “you must find the body.” Our first thought was the Manz body. According to Jacob, after 90 days, the body would be released for burial or cremation. Could there be another body involved?
In Matthew’s room, we got our third EVP which told us something that sounded like, “Fear not the (unknown) and seek the salvation of the Lord.” Could this be the Rabbi?
Already, this was the most productive investigation I had ever been on. And then Amanda noticed a dark shadow which went from crossed the dining and living rooms and entered Marissa’s room. We quickly radioed the van to have them check cameras and got confirmation that it was visible and that something inside the shadow was glinting. We followed the shadow and noticed that there seemed to be more glass figurines than I remembered. Damned if that cop wasn’t right; there was something to those figurines. We asked Jacob if he could remember how many there were and he was able to radio back which one was different.
We called Jack in to touch the figurines and he got despair. He got the sense of someone desperate to be noticed but unable to get anyone to see you. It would seem that this ghost can do no more than move small objects and so is doing that in a bid for attention, all the while feeling that it is a pointless activity. But we have noticed you! Backtracking over the path the shadow took, we found more glass figurines in the china cabinet and dust rings that match the figures in Marissa’s room. Given that these are on the top shelf where she couldn’t reach them, and given the glint observed within the shadow, these are surely moved by the entity.
At midnight, Amanda and I decided to try to communicate with Aimee through Ouija board. A transcript is as follows:
|Is there anyone here with us?
|| Aimee Resnik
|Who is keeping you here?
|| Heimglimmer (the true name of Mr. Manz)
|Is there a way to defeat him?
|| Free us
|| Destroy him?
|Destroy the body?
|Did he kill you?
|In a camp?
|How old are you?
|Why did he kill you?
|| We are the power
|When were you killed?
|| 7 1943
|How did you escape from him?
|| Others came. They bound him
|| (no answer)
|| They want us. They want his power.
After that, we seemed to lose any connection. Jacob came striding in from the van and headed directly for the office. We followed to see what he was doing and found he was looking for the Holocaust book he spotted earlier. Jack took the book from him gently and calmly opened directly to a picture that was captioned, “Aimee Resnik -1943.” Jack told us Aimee directed him and asked for help.
As we stared at the face of this poor child, we heard a strange thumping from the kitchen. We looked in and saw a canister of sugar vibrating on the counter. Nothing else was moving, including paper thin wine glasses hanging above the bar. As we stood there staring, the canister shot off the counter and straight at Jacob. He dodged it and it shattered. We were still gaping at that when we heard the same thumping and saw the flour canister dancing too. Jacob pulled out his club like he was in a ballgame and made ready to swing at the thing. Jack, bless his heart, was taking pictures. I snatched up the video camera to train it on the action.
Jacob swung at the canister as it flew at him. He missed but managed to dodge it. Then all hell broke loose. The glasses above the bar popped, one by one. The cupboards flew open and the dishes started to jiggle. I knew we were about to be showered with those dishes so I looked for a safe place to set up the camera with the thought of leaving after it was ready to catch this incredible evidence. I didn’t have a chance because Jacob grabbed me and dragged me from the kitchen. I guess I should be grateful as we could hear the kitchen knives chunking into the wall behind us but that could be once in a lifetime footage and I didn’t manage to secure my camera so we missed a lot.
We ended up collapsed outside the house. We eventually thought to get up to go look at the feed in the van and it was obvious things were quieting down. I’m sure that whatever is torturing those poor people didn’t want them talking to us and if they couldn’t find a way to shut them up, found a way to get us to stop listening. Jacob decided he needed to go back in because he was convinced that the glass figurines somehow represented or contained the souls of children…it was hard to fully understand what he was thinking because he was clearly shaken and having a hard time processing. In some way, he felt he needed to protect the glass figurines and decided he had to go back in. Jack wouldn’t let him go alone. That man clearly can’t let anyone else face danger alone, probably from that survivor guilt. I’ll have to watch him as I think he will go along with dangerous plans of others to protect them. I worry that, for him, the answer to the old “if everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you” question would be yes.
When they got back from the rescue mission, they told us that Marissa’s room was freezing cold and that they thought they saw movement out the window near the Manz house. Thus started one of the many things that I am not proud of in this investigation.
The team was pushing to go in the Manz house. My reputation, such as it is, is important to me, and so is my job, but my curiosity was getting the best of me and I can rationalize with the best of them. If I’m being honest, I was dying to see what was behind that secret panel Willie mentioned. But beyond that, everything in this investigation was pointing at Manz. The house could hold the secret to freeing those tortured people, plus it could hold further paranormal evidence which I need to legitimize my field. Also, I’m not so sure this wasn’t our citizen’s duty as Willie noticed that one of the front windows was open. Someone was probably in there and up to no good.
After talking myself into it (everyone else had no problem with breaking and entering. They figured Willie had done that for them), we headed over to the Manz house. Willie showed us the backdoor where he had broken the police tape and picked the lock (side note- who IS this guy?!?) and I almost backed out since it felt so wrong. I asked Willie to stay out front to watch that window in case someone tried to slip out, all the while remembering my concerns that the detective on the Manz case could be involved somehow.
As Jack went to open the backdoor, he was overwhelmed with a sense of evil and dread. No doubt this place has dark secrets, but my immediate concern was whoever had come in through the window. We started a systematic search. The first remarkable thing we found was that the downstairs bathroom was ice cold and when we took pictures, we caught a face with glowing eyes in the mirror. As surprising as this was, I was still concerned about a possible living threat so we continued on. We searched each room and found no sign of anyone other than a bag of hamburger take out in the kitchen. The bag held only trash, including a receipt dated Tuesday (today is Friday). I would like to try to find out who left this bag here. Would a detective do something so careless in a crime scene?
After we felt safe that no one living was in the house, we called Willie in (who never saw anyone leave but he noted small footprints that entered the house at the point of the window) and started exploring more thoroughly. With little effort, we found a lot of interest:
- Behind the loose panel in the guest room closet, we found what looks like a Nazi meeting room. (amusing side note: Officer Jacob tried to arrest a large painting of Adolf Hitler.) The room had obviously been found and searched by the police, given the general emptiness and the fingerprint dust everywhere, but we saw the large painting of Hitler, a table and chairs, empty bookshelves and boxes, and a flag pole without its flag. Outside the secret room in the guest room itself, we also found a smaller picture of Hitler, a picture of Kimler, and young man in an SS uniform, and a painting of someone burning in hell. Did Manz shop at Nazis-R-Us? His décor seems over-the-top to say the least. The last items of note in the room were a framed photo of a brunette in an evening gown and a pen labeled Pinebox Forensics, apparently left by the ME.
- In the master bedroom, we located overalls and fisherman waders, which we thought was unusual until I saw photographs of Manz fishing. Jacob also found more sinister high (SS-style) boots as well as a gold tooth filling inside a jacket in the closet. Interesting that the police missed that. We also found a pink robe in the master closet. We are guessing that the robe belongs to the brunette as we spotted another photo in this room, this time of her and Mr. Manz on the steps of the capital, obviously going to a black tie affair. We snapped a picture of the picture and noted that it was labeled, “Jennifer Chapman-2011.” In this room we also found a painting of a blond boy looking up to a Nazi flag. Maybe the meeting room was a support group for Nazi’s with poor taste.
In the master bathroom, we found a woman’s hairbrush with brunette hair in it. More confirmation of her relationship with Manz. She obviously knew he was a Nazi, unless she was blind, so what is her story? Who is she?
- In the downstairs bathroom, we again noted the freezing temperature and the face in the mirror. Out of some perverse desire, I reached up and drew a star of David on the glass. I thought I would get frostbite before I could finish, and the mirror cracked as I did. Jack was experiencing almost overwhelming sensations of evil and dread but was certain they were coming through the floor from below.
Jack’s certainty about the evil coming up from below as well as the odd shape of the house made us all convinced there was another space lower. We could see no basement stairs, but the house was clearly distorted in shape somehow. The inside walls didn’t account for the outside shape. We began searching all the walls of the downstairs when we noticed that the TV was at an odd angle. It was an angle that would be awkward to watch and seemed out of place in an otherwise extremely orderly house.
As we looked behind the TV, we spotted another small concealed area and a woman!! Jacob immediately demanded that she explain her presence and threatened her with his club, but she was completely unfazed. She simply stepped out like she belonged in a tiny hiding place behind the TV of a dead man and told Jacob it would take more than that to scare the Mossad.
At this point, it was getting late, I had seen and heard ghosts, I had been attacked by dishes and knives, and I had broken into a crime scene which just happened to be the house of a secret Nazi. So I basically just accepted her presence and her announcement. I did mouth to Jack to see if he could read her and he quietly let me know she read as truthful. Maybe she had seen a lot too because she basically accepted our presence too. I did ask her if she had left the food bag. I should have known that wouldn’t be her style. I doubt she even eats at places like that. She did come in through the window and it surely was her car with the exempt plates, but she is not the hamburger culprit.
We looked in the space and found nothing, although tapping around the walls convinced us there must be more hidden space. At last, behind a china cabinet, we found it. It was a reinforced steel door with a deadbolt- for keeping something IN. When we looked inside, we could see nothing but a wall of darkness and could feel bone chilling cold. Jack went to get the thermal camera and we decided to descend. Jacob went first and I went last. Before going down, I wedged a boot scraper into the door. A few steps into the darkness, the boot scraper flew above our heads and dashed against a wall we couldn’t see while we heard the heavy door clang shut behind us.
With nothing to do but continue downstairs, we did just that. At the bottom, using our flashlights we were able to make out some details of our prison. I immediately became concerned. I first noted a Sigil of Baphomet (pentagram, two points up, inscribed in a circle) marked out on the floor in what appeared to be glowing white chalk. Although powerful in its own right, I think this symbol was also used in direct opposition to the six-pointed Star of David, given the nature of the people who almost certainly drew this symbol. Around the room, I noted paintings of Egyptian funerary Gods. I suddenly remembered two things- one was the mention in the news of Manz being partially mummified. Could he have been mummified in Egyptian tradition in this room? The other thing I remembered was the request to destroy the body. It suddenly made more sense.
I always picture the Egyptian afterlife like a looking glass. Reviewing countless tomb depictions, it seemed that Egyptians were most hoping, not for a fluffy golden heaven free of work, but for a continuation of the current life. To that end, they provided all the implements of life, to the extent that they could afford, to the dead person. The dead could then use something like shadow versions of those tomb goods in the afterlife world. As familiar objects and implements were important to life after death, so was the physical body. Without it, the soul or spirit or personality could be lost. And so I picture the Egyptian afterlife as a reflection of life, and especially a reflection of the tomb, being made up of the body, items, and images in the tomb.
So, by Egyptian standards, to destroy Manz’s body would be to throw his spirit or soul to the unknown and could free those who he has somehow trapped.
All of these thoughts took only a moment to have, which is good because it took only a moment more to notice the man in the middle of the room. He appeared to be sitting up, slumped over and sleeping or unconscious, except for the toe tag he wore. Jacob approached him to read it- Adowo. This was the escaped convict that was just in the news! He was gunned down by police. How does a body that should be in police custody appear in the secret basement of the Manz house? That would surely require someone inside, and again I am thinking we have a dirty cop on our hands.
Before I could have that as more than the merest thought, candles that ringed the pentagram (13), lit spontaneously. Then a loud, distorted voice rang through the room, seeming to come from everywhere. It said, “you have chosen your death.”
I couldn’t control the bubble of laughter that rose. The voice sounded for all the world like Gozer the Gozerian from Ghostbusters. My laughter died before it was born when, for the love of God, the dead man stood up.
I guess I was dealing with a lot of repressed emotion at that moment- terror, shock, horror, even anger. Because it was then that I did the second thing I’m not proud of. I grabbed a two by four, sprinted past the rest of the group on the stairs, and hit that poor man in the head. I heard a sickening sound, like a wet baseball. From there, it got worse.
If I was studying this as a psychological experiment, it would have been fascinating. The “ivory tower” academic’s response? To attack the man with a board. The ex-Army man’s response? To take photographs and to explore the table I had not noticed before the voice. The caretaker’s response? To taunt the man. (Really, what is wrong with Willie?) When Willie taunted him, he did turn toward Willie, which I assume was the tactic. I had a dim thought when that happened but I was still so full of adrenaline I did something even worse than to hit the man; I set him on fire. Yes, I picked up a candle and lit him on fire. It was only after I had done it that the dim thought clarified. His response to Willie- was it just to Willie being loud, or was he actually responding to the taunts? Willie was making fun of the dead man, using his name and mocking how he died. I hope to God he wasn’t responding to his name and manner of death, because that would mean some part of him was still there, and I had set him on fire.
Given the symbolism, I am sure he was a revenant of Osiris, basically a puppet, a shell of a person, so I have to believe that he was not responding to his name. I hope.
Despite being hit by a board, shot twice, and set on fire, the revenant kept on his feet.