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Episode Recap: The Tenants
Subject Names: Ed Becker, Marsha Becker, Dan Wood, Diane Wood, April Becker
Subject Location: Chicago, Illinois
Paranormal Experience: The spirits of a family won't let go of their house
Ed and Marsha Becker were blissfully happy. Their first child was on the way. When Ed went to pay the rent and was informed by his landlady that there were no babies and no pets allowed in the building. There was no other option. They had to move.
A month into the search, Ed found a small, two-apartment building in the city. He met with the realtor. No sooner had they walked into the house than an elderly woman named Myra who resided in the first floor flat screamed and swore at them, telling them they'll never own the house. Myra was the last remaining member of the family who had owned, built, and occupied the house from the beginning. Without much in the way of options, and with assurances from the realtor that Myra would be out of the house on the day of the closing, Ed agreed to purchase the house.
As they unpacked in their new house, Marsha brought her pride and joy, a beautiful glass candy dish, to the dining room table and placed it in the center. She turned around to get a lace runner to put underneath it. When Marsha turned back, the candy dish was sitting at the table's edge on the other side from her. A few days later, as they sat at the same table eating dinner, the overhead light began flickering in an odd rhythm. It eventually quit, but Marsha was unsettled.
A month or so after the move, Ed called home to see how things were going. The phone was busy. A few hours later, he tried again. Still a busy signal. He never got through all day. He was growing angry, trying to figure who Marsha could have been calling all day long. When he got home and asked, Marsha was bewildered. She walked over to the table. The phone had been off the hook all day.
Something insisted upon taking the phone off the hook. Dishes flew out of the cabinets, crashing to the floor in pieces. Marsha was sure they were being haunted. Ed, however, was skeptical.
Still, they moved forward with plans to rent out the first floor apartment to help pay the mortgage. The first people to answer the ad were Dan and Diane Wood. Marsha and Diane became fast friends. Not thinking the first floor apartment could possibly be haunted, Ed called the next day and told them to move in.
The odd things began slowly, with a simple swinging chandelier. Things began turning one afternoon when Marsha was visiting downstairs. Diane had put her baby into a walker. The baby's feet couldn't reach the floor. When the women weren't looking, the walker began moving. Marsha catches sight of the walker moving toward the basement stairs. Marsha ran and caught the walker in midair. Marsha had no way of knowing how to tell them that the house was haunted.
With Marsha's urging, Ed began investigating the basement. He found live bullets in a jar, which disturbed him. Finding a door only made it worse. When he went though the door, Ed found boxes upon boxes of clippings of women. On the other side of the room sat piles of girlie magazines. He'd found one of the previous occupant's private hideaway. Ed kept the secret from Marsha, because he didn't want to add to her fear.
Marsha was accosted in the bathtub one afternoon, and just lost it. Whatever it was had touched her. That was enough. Marsha asked Ed to find a priest to perform a blessing on the house, hoping it would put a stop to things. The priest used a brass Holy water dispenser, and began scattering the Holy water as he incanted. As he spoke, the brass dispenser shattered. Rattled, the priest finished the blessing in fear and bolted. Even Ed couldn't ignore what had happened.
Ed went to visit his neighbor, Walter. Walter had lived there for at least forty years, and if anyone would know, he would. Walter explained that Ben, whose hideaway Ed had found, was very much a dominant male. Ben had also died of a massive coronary in the bathtub.
One night, Ed and Marsha heard a man and woman violently fighting. They thought it was Dan and Diane, but Ed kept Marsha from intervening. It was their business. The fighting sounded night after night. Ed thought it was coming from the basement. Dan and Diane also heard it, but they thought it was Ed and Marsha. One night Ed finally stuck his head out the apartment door, and the sound stopped. There was nothing there.
Walter had told Ed about Ben's wife, Amelia. Their marriage was filled with arguments and fighting, including violence. In despair, Amelia had hung herself in the basement.
By this point, Diane no longer wanted to live there. She chose to leave with the baby and visit her mother. Alone, Dan was sleeping when he felt a woman laying on top of him, holding and embracing him. It wasn't a fantasy. Dan was convinced a spirit was looking for a companion.
The house was changing Marsha. She was losing her jovial personality, slipping into something of a depression.The same was happening to Diane. Ed thought the house was driving them insane. Diane finally decided she had to leave. She took the baby and moved out. Marsha was devastated.
During dinner one night, the door to the kitchen upstairs kept opening. Angry, Ed grabbed heavy string and tied the door shut.The door kept moving as though someone were trying to get in. Ed decided to harass the spirit, calling Ben an 'old pervert' and daring him. Myra's statement that they would never really own the house came back to haunt Ed.
Marsha was convinced someone had to be able to do something. Looking through the Yellow Pages, Ed found a professional psychic named Joe DeLuise, and Joe would bring along a professional exorcist to do an exorcism on the house. He told NBC, and NBC wanted to film it. Ed and Marsha decided to go ahead with it.
The day of the exorcism came. The reverend insisted they all hold crucifixes. Ed hoped they were protected. As the reverend began the incantation, Joe placed himself in a trance.
There was movement in his hands. NBC's sound man picked up sounds that none of them could hear. The reverend thrust his crucifix at Joe, and a gust of wind blew through the house. The sound of birds became overwhelming. Hundreds of birds circled the house, screaming at the same time. The reverend grew fierce in his incantation. Finally, just as suddenly as it had all began, it stopped. The birds were gone. The wind stopped. The reverend declared the house pure. Still, Dan was compelled to move out. He took off and never returned.
Ed's sister April had seen the exorcism, and badgered her brother until he allowed her to move in. Marsha was concerned over how much April seemed to think it was a game. One night, April had a couple of friends over and they were using a Ouija board. Something was still there. The planchette moved on its own, spelling out the name Henry. Ed flipped out. He ripped the Ouija board apart, and threatened to kick his sister out.
April confided to Marsha that her piano was playing itself, just a single note over and over. She thought she could make the chandelier move just by looking at it. April thought the basement door could open on its own. The amount of control and energy April was giving the spirit scared Marsha to death. That night, it all started all over again, this time escalating. Marsha told Ed what was happening to April. Ed investigated again, starting with Walter.
Walter told him that Henry was "deformed", and the family kept him in the house.