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Deborah Cihon talks about the terrifying events of "Poppy's Revenge."
First, are you still a DJ? How did you get that job?
It was pretty simple. I graduated high school and was interviewed and hired at the radio station three days afterward. I had absolutely no on-air radio experience whatsoever, but it was the time of my life! Every now and then, I will play a wedding or a party, but I am not a DJ anymore, no. I do, however, have an online talk paranormal radio show called Paranormal Diaries.
When the turn happened with Poppy and you realized the presence in the house had returned in a haunting capacity, what was your first thought?
I admit that for a moment, I was happy. I never wanted him to leave me. I was so brokenhearted by his death, so it was conflicting. I changed pretty quickly from happy to disbelief, thinking, "Oh God." From there, I really felt an extreme sadness, while at the same time a want for Poppy to be back with me. It was very confusing.
Why do you think Poppy returned in this way?
I believe that Poppy was going to take me with him in death. We were so attached in life and I ultimately took his life. So, he couldn't rest without me.
Your sister mentions having had the same dream in the cornfield. Can you talk about the moment where you realized this?
When I told my sister the dream I'd had about the cornfield and being chased, I had never told anyone. When she stopped me in the middle and started saying the dream back to me – it was crazy. It was my dream, yet she had had it too? I about fell to my knees; my first words were, "Oh my God, Leora, how could you know my dream?" We stood there in absolute awe and didn't know what to do or say.
Has the rest of your family had any kind of visitations? How did other members of your family react to what was happening?
Myself and my girls see spirits. My husband Dave does, too. My son-in-law can feel the presence of spirits, but doesn't actually see them. My girls and Dave have actually heard my grandfather's coughing. Other than that, I've never really told anyone in the family other than my sisters and my father. I didn't want to be judged, but when it got so bad, I had to go to my priest at the time, Father Burns, for help.
Since the house burned down, has it since been rebuilt?
Only sort of. Since the house burned down, I had it torn down and for a while we put a trailer in. Later, we replaced that with a ranch home where the house sat. The property is very alive with paranormal activity here. In fact, I plan to get blessed before the episode airs, just to be safe.
Does your daughter still remember this incident and do you ever talk about it as a family?
I asked my daughter Rochelle about this, and she texted me: "It definitely made me keep an open mind on the spirit world. And believe that there really is an afterlife." My daughter Danielle said to me, "Mom, I was little but I remember your Poppy's cough and hearing him in our room." So, we definitely still talk about it sometimes. We're pretty careful, though, because I don't want to bring the haunting back. And as I say that, it's hard. Because sometimes I miss my Poppy and think I still want him back.
Have you experienced any kind of paranormal activity since this?
I experience the paranormal all the time. I see and speak with spirits all the time but not my mother. Poppy comes to me while I sleep, but I can't speak to him. I'm frozen. I try to speak, but nothing happens. I do cry and I can feel the tears when it happens. At times, I even wake up screaming.
Do you feel like Poppy is at peace now?
I would like to think Poppy is at peace now. I'd like to think he got over things and went to Heaven when I cast him out and told him to leave me alone.
How would you describe your life now - what do you feel you learned from the experience?
I learned that to love someone so deeply and then to have to decide if they live or die is something that nobody should have to bear. Honestly, though, not a day goes by that I don't think of Poppy. I've written two books on my experiences with the paranormal. I have my talk radio show about the paranormal. So, you could say I think about it and wonder about it, but I go on.