1990: A Year In Review

by Dale Kaczmarek

There have been quite a few extraordinary cases associated with haunted houses in the past year, more so than in any other year in recent history. These troubled houses have been spread all across the U.S. and have made it into many major newspapers as well.

We are all well aware of the famous Amityville, Long Island case of the Lutzes many years ago and their continuing problems and another very famous case in previous years was concerning the demonic entities troubling the Smurls in West Pittston, Pennsylvania and the book later detailing the events "The Haunted".

The famous poltergeist case in Columbus, Ohio which plagued Tina Resch, 14, and her family for many months and finally stopped quite suddenly after Tina broke her leg in an accident. The horrific case in Horicon, Wisconsin which involved the Tallmann family soon after acquiring an old set of bunk beds and most recently the strange case in Orland Hills, Illinois which I personally investigated and will be featured in an upcoming book published by Warner Books later this year.

The above cases are well documented and are quite strange in that they were well publicized and featured everything from ordinary poltergeist activity to earthbound spirits to demonic or negative spirits.

1990 was a grand year for this type of activity as well as you will soon see. It began around March with the disclosure of a haunted house in Nyack, New York which acquired huge publicity.

It seemed that a Manhattan man, Jeffrey Stambovsky, thought he was buying a huge rambling riverfront Victorian house in scenic Nyack for $650,000. He put up $32,500 and later had to go to court and sue to get in back.

Apparently the house was inhabited by at least three ghosts thought to date back to the Revolutionary War. Helen Ackley in a May 1977 Reader's Digest article called "Our Haunted House on the Hudson" was quoted as saying, "Our ghosts have continued to delight us" and she described the ghosts as, "gracious, thoughtful - only occasionally frightening - and thoroughly entertaining."

Phenomena included the appearance of a red-cloaked woman often seen demurely descending the staircase, a Revolutionary-era sailor seen with a powdered wig and an elderly gentleman sitting in the living room suspended four feet above the floor. He also claimed that spirits almost knocked her daughter out of bed and shook her four-poster bed in the mornings just before the alarm clock went off.

In early April a house near Atlanta, Georgia was the scene of inexplicable happenings. A young couple, Patrick and Denise Brennan, were terrorized by a fiery phantom that apparently leapt out of their fireplace while they were watching a horror movie and frightened them nearly to death for almost fifteen minutes.

It seemed that everything this entity touched became red hot including their toaster, coffee maker, dishwasher, blender and refrigerator. Every light in the house went off during this ordeal and while this was going on they said the entity frequently returned over and over again to the blazing fireplace as if it were getting strength from the burning logs.

The phantom appeared to be an elderly man with rotten teeth and no eyes. Neighbors later told the couple a previous owner had died in a small fire apparently caused by a faulty kitchen appliance.

The experience was reported to the county sheriff, who, the couple believe, did not believe them.

Then in late April a series of mysterious events began to be reported in an otherwise quiet suburban house in Indianapolis, Indiana.

"Dishes were smashed, several windows were broken, a lamp exploded in the living room and eggs in the refrigerator shattered," said patrolman Stan Anderson, a 13-year veteran of the force. "I saw a vase fly across the room and two other objects whizzed right by my head."

Police were called in after resident, Virginia John, returned home to find the house in shambles and thought they were the victim of a burglary. Anderson and Sgt. William Clark arrived and entered into what they called "a nightmare". They were so concerned for the safety of the occupants that they summoned a police department priest to perform an exorcism of the property.

"While the exorcism was in progress, I heard a deafening shriek from the house's foundation and saw what appeared to be fiery beings fly from the windows," recalled a neighbor.

The priest then stood on the front lawn and threw holy water at the front door and all the time the ground was shaking. As soon as the demons were cast out, the howling stopped and everything returned to it's peaceful nature.

Police speculated that a 14-year-old member of the family, who had been experimenting with Satanism, may have unknowingly caused the terrifying possession. He often collected blood from neighborhood kids for money, sacrificed animals and listened to heavy-metal music.

All is quiet for now.

In July of the year a Virginia couple began to report bizarre occurrences in their two-story brick house in Alexandria. Tom and Annette Thorsen have claimed that their house bleeds real blood and that they have pictures to prove it.

"Blood drips out of light switches and wall sockets and oozes through the paneling in our den. Sometimes it comes out of the kitchen and bathroom faucets and shower heads, too. It's totally unreal," says Annette.

They moved into the 75-year-old home in Alexandria last November (1989) but didn't really notice anything until late May. At first they thought the red liquid which started coming from light switches was simply rusty water from old pipes in the building that were leaking into the wall. They called a plumber who couldn't find anything wrong and so they cleaned up the mess and didn't think anymore about it.

A couple of days later, Annette was taking a shower when about mid-way through, the water began to turn a rusty and then a dark red! She collected a sample and took it to their family doctor who analyzed it a human blood, Type O! Apparently after that, all Hell broke loose as blood started dripping and oozing all over the house.

Several researchers visited the house but walked away completely baffled. No record of violence in the house, or previous owner complaints and no evidence that the house might have been built over an old cemetery.

Apparently they can't afford to move out of the bleeding house so they'll just have to learn to cope with it until someone is able to explain and put a stop to it.

Dale Kaczmarek, Ghost Research Society, PO Box 205, Oak Lawn, IL., 60454-0205, (708)425-5163.

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