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Episode Recap: Man in the Attic
Subject Names: Jackie Hernandez, Jamie Hernandez, Tina Lawler, Al Hernandez, Jackie's friend Susan, Barry Conrad, Gary Boehm
Subject Location: California, between 1988 and 1990
Paranormal Experience: A malevolent entity living in the attic
Jackie Hernandez was rebuilding her life. She was just 23, but had a young son and a daughter on the way. Problems in her marriage caused her to strike out on her own, and she thought she'd found the perfect place to finish school and start that new life.
About a month after she moved in, the strange sounds started. First, it was pebbles falling through the walls.Then, every night, Jackie heard a high-pitched sound that hurt her ears. Following the sound, she comes to the attic. The trap door is open. Jackie never opened it.
One night, Jackie's friend Susan was over. Their chat was interrupted by a loud bang from the kitchen. When they investigated, they found a picture that had been hanging on the wall leaning against the backsplash of the sink.The nails it had been hanging from were on the table, standing impossibly straight on their heads.
Tina Lawler, a neighbor and friend of Jackie's, often babysat for Jamie. It was late, and Tina hadn't heard any noise for a while, so she went to check on Jamie. The boy's bedroom door opened for her. She went in and checked on him, closing the door behind her. When she turned to leave, the door once again was opened for Tina.
One day when Jackie and Tina were cooking, they both saw blobs of light near the kitchen ceiling. Jackie took pictures, but suddenly the camera stopped working. Tina took the camera, pointing it out the kitchen window. She jumped as she saw the face of an emaciated, skeletal old man. There was nobody outside.
Al, Jackie's ex-husband, didn't really believe her at first. He suggested calling out the spirit, asking it to show itself. Nothing happened. After Al left, Jackie went into the closet and found Al's name written hundreds and hundreds of times on the closet wall.
Susan continued to encourage Jackie to tell the landlord. When Susan and Jackie were out for a walk and bumped into the landlord and his wife, Susan couldn't stop herself. She mentioned the happenings. The landlord suggested calling in priests. The priests were skeptical, looking at some horror movies, a harmless skeleton in the aquarium, and believing that Jackie was bringing all of this on herself. They even believed that Jamie was crying because he was possessed by the Devil.
The next day, Jackie had a representative from Social Services show up unannounced. The priests had reported that Jackie was on hallucinogenics and was pregnant. Jackie resolved to never say anything else to anyone again.
When Jackie gave birth to Samantha, she didn't want to bring her to the house, but didn't have a choice. While she brought in groceries, Jackie was stunned by the magnetic letters on the fridge spelling: "Get the hell out". Nothing else had been touched. Jackie was afraid of going to sleep. She gathered Jamie onto a day bed with her, and Samantha slept in a bassinette beside them. One night, she was rousted by the sound of breathing. She follows the sound to her son's bedroom, where she sees a man sitting on her son's bed. He disappears, but every single shade in the house suddenly goes up. Jackie was terrified, but tried to hide it from the kids.
Susan continued to encourage Jackie to talk to someone, but Jackie wouldn't. Jackie saw blood in the sink while washing dishes, blood that also came out of the kitchen cabinets, pooled on the floor, and surrounded her. She grabbed the number for what she thought was a parapsychologist, but it was a paranormal team. Al was visiting. The team began to interview her, asking about her experiences. Mid-interview, the crew's light just goes out. After a few moments, the light comes back on. The team's still photographer attempts to enter the attic to take photos.
Al, who had been resting on Jamie's bed, is freaked as he suddenly hears someone whisper "Tell them to get the hell out of here" in his ear. Seconds later, Al heard someone yell from the attic.
The yelling is the still photographer, who insisted something took the camera right out of his hands. His initial skepticism disappeared at that moment. Barry followed the still photographer into the attic to find the camera. Barry's video camera battery fails after a few seconds. When they finally find the camera, the body is in one place, and the lens is in another. The team quickly came down, did one more short interview with Jackie, and left.
The last night Jackie spent in the house, the entity decided to play with her kids' toys. It threw a beach ball out into the living room. She closed her eyes for a second, and when she opened them, something was holding her down and she couldn't breathe. When it finally released her, she grabbed a baseball bat and decided it was time to fight back. She went into the attic for the first time, once again calling out the entity. It showed itself, and the surprise knocked her through the trapdoor and to the main floor. She grabbed the kids and ran out of the house. Grabbing the phone, Jackie called Barry and begged for help. The line was cut mid-conversation. Barry and his team return to the house to investigate.
The still photographer and Gary, the sound recordist, go up into the attic. They find nothing, until Barry and Jackie begin to have a very bad feeling about something up there. The still photographer is dragged away. Gary goes after him with the small camera as his only light. He finds the still photographer up against the roof support, his head at an odd angle and a noose around his neck.
Jackie and the kids left the house with the team that night. They moved away. Jackie no longer experiences paranormal phenomena.
Other tenants have rented the house, but none have stayed longer than a couple of months.