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Rebecca Spencer's dream house quickly turned into "A Ghostly Affair" when a shape-shifting paranormal tried her family members on for size.
You said that seeing the house was "love at first sight." What about the house drew you to it?
The first thing is the architecture. Looking at the house from outside, that's what you see. It's just big and unique and unusual. I'd just never seen anything like it. If I could have designed a house myself, all the interesting architectural details that I would want in a house, this house already had all that. And it had age. And it was also sort of the feeling I got when I looked at the house. It was sort of one of those moments where you know you're in the right place. You know, where you're supposed to be.
You had mentioned that early on, you felt that the house had it's own presence. Did it make you nervous to be around the house?
No, the house has never felt uncomfortable or evil or bad or anything negative. It's almost like the house draws you in. But not in a bad way, in more of a welcoming, friendly way.
You believed Destiny when she told you she saw a figure of you around the house. What was going through your head when she told you that?
I guess at first, I thought maybe she was seeing things. My initial reaction to anything is that there has to be a logical explanation for it. Maybe she had seen a shadow – it could have been anything. Once she was very serious about it, and I took her seriously, I thought it was more interesting and a curiosity more than anything that the doppelganger or whatever it was would choose to look like me because at that point, it hadn't really taken on my form, that anyone had ever said.
What were the little things that you and Mark tried to rationalize away in the beginning?
Everything. And we still do try to rationalize everything. It's only when you can't come up with anything reasonable and sound that you have to accept that you're never going to know how that happened or why that happened. It's just that it happened and it is something that you can't explain.
What are some examples of the little things you couldn't explain?
Seeing our youngest son in parts of the house. You'd look away and look back or blink your eyes, and he'd disappear. And it would happen so fast that we'd go through the house looking for him and we'd find him in the toy room or preoccupied doing something on another floor of the house, and he would never know what we were talking about. He hadn't been there. It wasn't him. We tried to rationalize this in anyway that we possibly could, but when we realized he was telling the truth and this happened multiple times, we couldn't explain it.
It seems like whatever is in the house tried to take on the form of multiple people. Was it just you and your son, or were there others that they took the form of?
Just as far as I know, people have seen me and then my husband and I both have seen Jacob [my youngest son], and our older son Joshua has seen Jacob. But other than that, the things that I have seen don't look like people. They're sort of the form of a person, but you don't really see a face. They always seem to be missing hands or a face or something like that. So when you see that, you can tell it's something different. It's much easier to say that's paranormal. When you see the doppelgangers – when we would see Jacob, we thought it was him. It was a person in the room with us, but it wasn't.
After Reagan called you with her experience, were you nervous to return home and experience something like that?
Actually, I thought she was joking too. We've had a few people be caretakers of the house while we were gone, and you expect them to have some sort of experience, but sometimes the experiences that they have are so in-your-face and unusual - things that haven't even happened to us before - that it's hard to even believe them, even though we live in the house and experience things that are unbelievable to other people.
When she came in to take care of our house, she said she didn't believe in that stuff, and so I thought she was perfect to house-sit because she would rationalize anything that she saw. So when she was dead serious about this being something she couldn't explain and had to be paranormal, then it was almost a satisfying feeling to see someone else who's such a skeptic like myself and my husband to have to come to grips with the same things we had.
When you called in the paranormal team, what were your original expectations?
Mark and I talked, and we definitely hoped they'd come in and debunk the whole thing. We wanted them to come in and tell us the house was not haunted. So then all the townspeople and all the curiosity seekers would leave us alone because we'd be able to say publicly that we had the house investigated, and it wasn't haunted so the stories were just stories. This was our private home and people were just constantly bothering us – wanting to come in and ask us questions. So, that's what we hoped would happen – and that was the complete opposite of what actually did happen.
So there were stories throughout the town about the fact your house is haunted?
Oh yeah, the house has been reputed to be haunted since the 1950's.
Did you know that before you moved in, or was that something you discovered as you lived there?
Well, I wanted the house the moment I saw it. The first real estate agent I went to about this property – it wasn't for sale or anything, but I just wanted to know whoever owned it, was there ever a possibility they'd consider selling it. But the real estate agent just wouldn't talk to me about it.
Finally, this other agent that was in the room pops up and says, "Well, you don't want that house because it has history." And I said, "Well I love history, and that's obviously why I want it. It's beautiful but it's old and has character and history." And he goes, "No, you don't understand. It has history."
I didn't really get what he was saying until later when we actually moved in and everyone said, "Oh, that's the haunted house." And then I just thought people said that because you have some haunted house in every little town, and I thought it was just stories.
In the episode, you talked about apparition of a man that appeared to be Prentiss Savage?
Do you think that was actually him or a doppelganger taking his form?
I really don't have any theories about that. It was more of just a dark solid shadow, so it's hard to say. I don't have any theories as to who that was or anything specific about it. It wasn't like a doppelganger. The doppelgangers definitely look like people in the house. People that live here. Other apparitions I've seen always look like somebody else or something else, but I can't quite pinpoint what it is.
Were you ever able to have any direct contact with any of the apparitions or do they just show up and disappear quickly?
No, I've never talked to them or anything like that because it happens very quickly. The moment you look away, it's like magic and you don't see anything. But as long as you lock eyes on it and continue to look at it, it will stay there, and it's not until you look away that it just goes away.
Have you continued to have any activity around the house?
Little things happen all the time. The last major thing that happened was around Thanksgiving of last year when I was decorating for Christmas and stuff. I was bringing down boxes from the attic and stacking them up in the foyer to get ready to decorate. We had a little settee out there in the foyer, and I was emptying boxes and I turned around because I felt like someone was looking at me. I look at the little settee – my eyes were drawn immediately to it. The shadow man was sitting on it. Like a solid black figure. It was like he was watching me. You can't see a face or anything. It's just solid black, but the head portion was turned toward me. I thought to myself that maybe I had overworked myself. Again, I had rationalized that I was seeing things.
As I was going to the kitchen to get a glass of water, I saw this woman standing in front of the cabinet. She had the spice cabinet doors open and she was just rifling through the spices. But from behind, she kind of looked like me. She had long dark hair, about my height and body type. And I just turned around and walked away back into the foyer and went back upstairs and just decided that I was done.
Seeing two things like that is a lot of activity. I've never on any other day had seen two in the same day. Especially two completely different ones.
How has this experience changed your views on life and the afterlife?
It's definitely opened my mind to possibility. I was raised to believe that you live, you die - you go to heaven. You're bad - you go to Hell. And that's pretty much the end of it. And now, I would say that I think that there's a whole area that we just don't understand. No one has died and come back and told us everything there is to know about death, but I would say that having the experiences that I've had and all these different things I can't explain just opened my mind to all the possibilities I never knew existed.