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Episode Recap: Lady on the Stairs


Subject Names: Mark Hay, Mari-Lynn Hay, Jessie Hay, Lora Solberg, Peter Putman, Kat Tedsen, Bev Rydel
Subject Location: Holly, Michigan
Paranormal Experience: Over a century later, a woman's spirit haunts the former home of the uncle who had raped her

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Mark Hay was a widower. Robin, his wife of 25 years, had passed from complications of diabetes. Mark admitted that he'd quickly bounced back from the loss. Within a year of meeting Mari-Lynn, they were married. Mark had never had kids, so being a stepfather to Mari-Lynn's son Jessie was a new and welcome experience. Things could not have been better.
When the two moved in together, Mari-Lynn was impressed with Mark's house.  She had gone from nothing to marrying a man who could have given her and her son anything they wanted. Mark was an antiques dealer, and his home reflected that. Mari-Lynn had never seen so much beautiful furniture, and was nervous about Jessie touching anything. Mari-Lynn, however, began going through a house that felt so dark, opening drapes, pulling off coverings, and generally doing her best to get light into the house. One thing that disturbed her was Robin's collection of angels. Mark hadn't disposed of Robin's belongings, nor had he cleaned out the room where she'd spent her final days. That was Robin's room, and they weren't to go in.  

Weeks after she and Jessie had moved in, Mari-Lynn convinced Mark to sell some of the things that she didn't particularly care for, including Robin's angels. As she was cleaning up from the garage sale, Jessie was playing nearby and walked over to one of the trees close by.  When Mari-Lynn noticed him just standing there, she walked over to check on him. He looked up at her and said there was a lady in the tree. She couldn't see anything. Still, her son was disturbed by it so she told the mean lady to go away, and Jessie went right back to playing.

When she later asked him if the bad lady was gone, Jessie said she was standing in the road. Mari-Lynn was convinced that he was too young to make up such a story.
One morning, Mari-Lynn was in the kitchen washing dishes when she thought she heard crying. She stopped and listened, but there was silence. Then the crying started again. Her maternal instinct kicking in, Mari-Lynn was worried for Jessie, until she remembered that he wasn't there. She went through every room, unable to find a source for the sound. When she turned to Robin's room, she realized that the noise was coming from behind the perpetually closed door.  Against Mark's wishes, she entered the room to find the windows open, the blinds flapping, and a cool breeze rushing in. When Mark retuned later that day, he was greatly disturbed by the state of the room. Taking the situation at face value, he wondered why his wife had been rifling through Robin's things. If it hadn't been her or Jessie, who else could it be?

In another event, Mari-Lynn was awakened one night by the sound of children playing. Even Mark heard it. Mari-Lynn went out into the dark to investigate but found nothing.
After putting Jessie to bed, she and Mark were watching TV when Jessie began screaming. He said there was a lady in his closet. He was terrified and crying, but Mari-Lynn couldn't see what her son saw. Mark chalked it up to kids seeing things and Jessie wanting attention, and then told her to put him back to bed. Mari-Lynn lay down with Jessie untilk he fell asleep.
One Sunday morning while Mark was at the store, Mari-Lynn heard something large break upstairs. When she went into the kitchen to check on Jessie, and discovered the water on full blast but Jessie wasn't tall enough to reach the faucets. Next, the door to the garage began rattling in its frame as though someone were trying to bust in.  Yet when she opened it, there was only silence. Mari-Lynn investigated, only to have the banging start up at the overhead door.  The giant door rattled as though someone were beating on it. Lights began flashing all through the house. Mari-Lynn ran back to a terrified Jessie, grabbed the phone, and called Mark. He heard the panic in her voice as she begged him to come home. Mark began to wonder if she weren't having a nervous breakdown.

To help her cope, Mari-Lynn's sister, Lora, visited.  Lora was studying psychology in college. They went over all of the diagnostic criteria for various mental illnesses that involved hallucinations, concluding that it wasn't something just in Mari-Lynn's mind.  Lora took a look around, and began feeling a little bit different at the door to Robin's room, much more anxious. Her 'fight or flight' instinct kicked in, and she quickly went back downstairs. When Lora told her sister, Mari-Lynn immediately suspected Robin was haunting her. Mark refused to believe it.

To keep her mind busy, Mari-Lynn went to work in the store with Mark. She felt safer outside the house, and with Jessie in school, she knew he was out of harm's way. One day, she was working on a window with Peter, the new store assistant when she realized the disturbances had followed her to the store.  Pictures flew across the floor. Heavy footsteps came from an empty second floor at closing time. Whatever was haunting her wasn't going away—it was getting worse. Mari-Lynn had no place to escape. She begged Mark to move, but they didn't have the money, so they had to learn how to deal with the paranormal activity. 

Mark woke one morning to find three mysterious claw-like scratches on his hand and Mari-Lynn had a similar set of claw marks on her side.  Neither of them had been roused by the cuts. Things were getting serious.

That night, while they were watching TV, Mari-Lynn turned and saw a woman and a young boy, both in Victorian clothing, standing on the stairs. It wasn't Robin.One night, Jessie, Mark, and Mari-Lynn were gathered in the kitchen preparing their dinner plates.  Just as Jessie grabbed a piece of chicken, he began screaming in pain.  Mari-Lynn lifted his shirt to see what was wrong, and found an expanding red burn.  At that moment, Mark started to believe his wife.On another night, as Mark was getting a drink, he finally saw the woman walk through the door, down the stairs, and into the basement. He was finally convinced that his wife wasn't crazy.

Mari-Lynn called two local historians to research what might have happened. The researchers discovered that the antique shop had been a local hardware store, and something of a town center. Mari-Lynn and Mark's house had been a farm since the early 1870s. A young girl named Theresa Stison had lived there with her aunt, uncle, and a young orphan boy. When Theresa had become pregnant, her uncle had sent her to a sanatorium far away. She gave birth to a boy who died.  The only person who knew was the owner of the hardware store, who'd been an intermediary in the communication. Theresa became ill after the baby's birth, and told the people at the sanatorium that her uncle had been the father of the boy. Her uncle had been found guilty of incest, but the findings had been thrown out.

They had an exorcism performed on the house in 2009. The Hays have not had any other experiences.