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Kristel was trying hard to move on after ending a four-year relationship. Her grandmother had recently passed and the family's childhood home had been sold. She was having a hard time finding a place to live with her young daughter, Taylor.
Kristel's younger sister, Kerrie, was looking for a way to get out of a bad relationship as quickly as possible. Kristel's longtime friend, Dawn, was also in the middle of a breakup.
Kerrie came up with the idea that the three women could move in together and begin rebuilding their lives. Eventually, they found a sprawling home for rent in an area of Vermont.
The house had an enormous stone wall in one hallway that looked out of place, but the three women were feeling optimistic and just wanted to get going on starting their lives over. They took the house.
On the first night, the sound of a child giggling woke Kristel only a couple of hours after she had turned in. Kristel thought Taylor was just excited about the new house and followed the sound of footsteps to the staircase. She called out for her daughter to go back to bed but was shocked when Taylor grabbed the hem of her nightshirt, revealing she was right there.
After Kristel sent her daughter back to bed, she heard another creak downstairs and saw a shadow crossing the floor. She went downstairs and ended up in the hall by the stone wall. She was suddenly chilled to the bone and could hear footsteps behind her. In an instant, she felt someone's breath right behind her ear. Insisting it was her imagination, she went back to bed.
The three women were soon overtaken by a lethargy that none of them could explain. They unpacked the items they needed immediately but everything else remained boxed up. The light and warmth that they had loved when they first saw the house went away. The energies shifted.
No matter what they did, the house would not warm up.
A repairman checked the furnace and filled the tank with enough propane to get them through at least a couple of months. However, the next morning, it was colder than the day before ... and it was only September.
The repairman came back and discovered that the propane tank he had just filled the day before was empty. He refilled the tank, charged them another $500, and the women were stuck with the mystery of why that house did not want to stay warm.
That night, Kristel was awakened by the sound of tapping on her bedroom window, an incident all the more unsettling considering that her bedroom window was at least 20 feet off the ground. Whatever that tapping was, the source had to be inside her room. As she watched in stunned silence, a crack slowly worked its way across the bedroom window. When she woke up the next morning, that crack was gone.
Kerrie was awakened from a sound sleep by what sounded like a choir singing "Amazing Grace" in the middle of her bedroom. Was it coming from outside the house? Kerrie checked and saw nothing. Could she just be hearing things?
The next morning, Kerrie noticed that Taylor had dark circles under her eyes and asked Kristel how they had been sleeping. Kristel wasn't ready to deal with this new development and suggested that Kerrie might have dreamt the whole thing. She didn't know what else to say.
One day, Kristel was doing the chores when she heard someone knocking on the door. She went to answer it and found nobody there. A more insistent pounding followed, and when Kristel answered again, there was still nobody in sight. She assumed someone in the neighborhood was playing a prank on the new neighbors but had no idea who they could have offended.
That afternoon, Kristel heard Taylor upstairs talking to someone. She dismissed it as her daughter making her toys talk, but when she looked in on her, she saw Taylor looking up as though she were talking to an adult, but nobody was there. When she asked who Taylor had been talking to, the girl insisted she hadn't been talking to anyone. When she asked Taylor to take her dishes downstairs, the child exploded in rage.
Taylor wasn't the only one in the house who was undergoing a drastic change in behavior, as Dawn was retreating inward ...
One night, Kristel and Dawn were sitting in the living room having a warm drink when they heard a tapping on the window. That tapping turned into a rattling, followed by an enormous cannon-like boom. While Kristel got Taylor, Dawn called the fire department. According to the fire chief, the gas had been building up in the furnace area ... and the furnace just blew up. They were lucky they weren't dead.
Kerrie finally started to ask herself if there was something paranormal going on, though Kristel vehemently denied such a possibility. For now ...
One evening, Kristel ran to the sound of her daughter's screams. She found Taylor staring at her wall, saying she saw "monster eyes." Kristel thought that she'd seen the drawing of ponies on the wall in an odd light and dismissed it as such. She asked Taylor if she wanted to sleep in her room that night, but Taylor would only sleep in Kerrie's room.
Kerrie tried to press Kristel on the issue but Kristel insisted that they just had to "get used to the house." She didn't want to give up and admit they had to leave.
The next morning, Kristel heard a strange scraping sound and followed it to the dining room, where she found each chair moving on its own. Dawn walked in behind Kristel, seeing the same thing. Kristel was stunned -- there was no denying it anymore.
Dawn moved out immediately, barely even giving time to say goodbye. It was just Kristel and Kerrie to pay the bills ... and they were staring down the barrel of a Vermont winter.
One November day, a bee appeared in the living room. Suddenly, there were more bees, until it was like a plague with the noise overwhelming. The trio ran from the room, pulling a door shut behind them as the bees began to attack them. The bees slammed into the glass in the door, trying to work their way through the cracks in the doorframe. Kerrie couldn't even see what was on the other side of the glass, there were so many bees.
The landlord called an exterminator, though they could never figure out why the bees had been there. There was no source, no explanation, nothing.
The house continued having a troubling effect on Taylor. When Kristel went to pick her up from school one day, the teacher showed her a drawing Taylor had done of her home. It looked like a dark, scary house of horrors. Kristel's stomach sank as she tried to sort through what her daughter must have been seeing.
When they got home, Kristel stayed in the car alone and cried. A neighbor knocked on the car window to check on her. Kristel told the neighbor that she thought the house was haunted. The neighbor wasn't surprised to hear it, telling her the house had a long history. Kristel decided to investigate ...
Kristel learned that the house stood on the site of an old church that had belonged to an unusual Baptist group with some apocalyptic beliefs. One of the local residents grew tired of the group and set fire to the area. The church burned down, but the stone wall in the house still contained pieces of it. Kristel figured the church's congregation must have disapproved of the house's new residents for some reason and wanted them out.
The trio packed and got ready to leave the next morning, but a storm was coming in. It was an ice storm to end all ice storms, even for Vermont. Not going anywhere for a while, the trio tucked themselves under all of the blankets as the sleet pounded on the windows and the wind gave a relentless howl.
The house appeared to take the storm as a chance to torment the women further. Doors slammed. Pianos played on their own. Taylor was terrified. Kristel heard footsteps and saw a shadow against the upstairs wall. She went back into the living room, and just as quickly as the house's torment began, it ended.
Kristel was sleeping when she felt a strange weight on her leg. She woke up, seeing dark shapes in the room. She woke Kerrie and the two of them saw the congregation from that Baptist church, including a shape that looked like it was dressed in 19th century preacher's attire.
When the apparitions finally left and the storm passed, the three left the house and never returned.