Subject Names: Elaine Mercado, Christine Mercado, Karen Mercado, Matthew Mercado
Subject Location: Brooklyn, New York
Paranormal Experience: A classic case of spirits who won’t move on
Elaine Mercado and her family had finally found a house that would fit their budget and allow them the room to breathe. Excited, they moved out of their tiny apartment. Her brother had a bad feeling about the house, but that didn’t stop her. The last thing Elaine wanted was to think there was anything untoward about the house.
By the laundry room in the basement, there were these odd doors. They were approximately five feet off of the ground, and only led to an unfinished portion of the basement. Elaine always felt uneasy around those doors, like something was standing right at her back watching.
Karen—Elaine’s eldest daughter—one day dared her sister Christine to go into what they called “the dirt room.” Christine was spooked, but stepped onto a cupboard and climbed through into the pitch black. Christine thought the room smelled of earth, and a little decay. Their actions aggravated Elaine, who closed the doors and told them not to go in there again.
Elaine was in the kitchen cooking when she heard footsteps going upstairs. She knew she was alone in the house. When she went to check it out, she found nothing. Going back to the kitchen, the footsteps quickly ran downstairs into the basement. Again, Elaine found nothing.
One night, Elaine thought she heard Christine calling her. When she answered, Christine said she though her mother was calling to her. The voice shouted Christine’s name again, followed by a maniacal, mocking laughter.
That was when Elaine said the house began becoming uncomfortable.
One night, Elaine felt a weight push her entire body into her bed. She could feel the springs in the bed compress under the added pressure. She couldn’t move or even scream for help. It stopped just as quickly as it had started. Elaine had these “suffocating dream” often more than once a night. Sometimes, they lasted all night. Some days, Elaine would have to go to her job as an emergency room nurse having not slept at all the night before.
Elaine chalked it up to some emotional issue that was wrong with her, but she couldn’t figure out what it was.
One morning, Elaine heard Karen screaming for her from her room in the basement. Elaine ran downstairs, opened the door, and watched as the quilt was being pulled from Karen’s bed by nothing and laid out in a perfect square on the floor. Karen was sitting on the bed, frightened. Karen brought her linens upstairs and slept on the couch.
Something inhabited the basement.
One morning, a loud banging awoke Elaine and the girls. It was as though someone were stomping from the back of the house to the front. Something was in the attic. There were no other people in the house. She called her disbelieving husband back home. He found nothing. Even when he heard the banging, he simply went back to work. The marriage dissolved into divorce. When he was gone, the negativity in the house seemed to stop.
Karen moved into the attic. Christine was helping, and found an old door into a storage area. At the back of the tiny cupboard, they found a box that had been taped shut. They opened the box and brought it to their mother. Wrapped in newspaper from 1952 was a tiny wedding dress. Why would someone wrap a wedding dress in newspaper? Elaine threw it out, convinced it was a negative that she didn’t want in the house.
About a year later, when Elaine and the girls were enjoying a night in, it all started again. The voice called Christine. It was as though the house became more alive. She called the man she was dating and asked him to come over. Apprehensive, she told Matthew why she had really called him over. He asked if she were serious, and she said yes, expecting him to walk out. He didn’t. He stuck around in the living room while Elaine and the girls slept upstairs. Matthew drifted off while watching TV. He had a vivid dream of trying to open the door of a room he was in. He couldn’t open it. Something was holding him down. He couldn’t move. As he finally opened the dream door, he saw a skeletal man lying on a dirt floor. Matthew jerked awake.
Christine heard a noise on another night, and walked out to the stairs, where she thought she saw her mother sitting there. Calling out, what Christine saw didn’t respond. She ran to Elaine, telling her of the apparition.
That Halloween, they threw a party. A friend of Elaine’s from work named Lisa came, and Elaine saw her friend looking “ill” toward the stairs. When Elaine went into the kitchen, she saw Lisa staring down the basement stairs. Lisa asked about the “little lady” and said Elaine’s house was haunted. Lisa had seen the lady who fit the tiny wedding dress.
That night, Christine saw a cloudy figure hovering over her sister’s sleeping body as they were in the same bed. She tried to ignore it, forcing herself to turn over and go back to sleep. Elaine had another suffocating episode. This time, Elaine could sense that it was a female energy. It was a very angry woman pushing in on her. Elaine wandered the house trying to find a place to sleep, but couldn’t. Was she losing her mind?
One day, while taking out the trash, Elaine asked a neighbor who’d lived there a while if he’d ever heard of anything happening in the house. He said that he’d babysat for the children of the couple who’d sold Elaine the house. The son had married, but they were young, so they moved into the attic where Karen then lived. The house was so large that they would bang on the heaters if they needed help upstairs. One night, the young wife, a “tiny little thing”, slipped in the house and hit her head. She’d died in the house. Her wedding dress had been a beautiful white creation.
Elaine finally had a grasp of what was going on in the house. In February of 1995, Elaine called a medium. The medium went right to the doors of the dirt room in the basement. The medium continuously told the spirits that they were dead and they must go to the light.
The next morning, Elaine woke up sensing something was different. It was as though someone had opened a window and allowed light and air to pass through. The heaviness that had been on the house was gone. It hasn’t returned.
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