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Life After Paranormals: Season 9, Episode 8

Christi Leidel talks about the horrifying events of "Sacred Ground."

By Bryan Enk

Christi Leidel talks about the horrifying events of "Sacred Ground."

How to Watch

Catch up on Paranormal Witness on Peacock or the SYFY app.

Throughout the ordeal, what kind of things did you think up as non-paranormal explanations? As it was all happening, did you try to reason out a logical explanation? What did you think it could be?
So many different thoughts and reasonings went through our heads. We would say, "We just moved into the house from the movie The Money Pit due to all the things breaking or becoming dangerous for human habitation." We thought maybe we were just so stressed and it was causing us to think we see or hear something; we thought maybe one of us is playing tricks on each other (we are a comical bunch, the Leidels). For me in particular, I wondered if it was my medication or perhaps I was having complications from my health issues. And then there was the typical reaction we all had: that we weren't going to say anything. Someone or everyone will think I'm losing my mind. We had been through such a horrible couple of years with prior issues that it stressed us all out, we wondered if maybe we are just being overly sensitive.

Prior to believing yourself, when Amber was describing all the things that she had been seeing, what did you originally think was happening?
We thought Amber was just reacting to past stresses or to being in a new environment. Her mom was sick and she was trying to find herself in a new school system. Some things she would tell us, we did believe her, but being adults and logical thinkers, we convinced ourselves that it was impossible. Little did we know that we were all going through this and were too afraid to come to terms with it. After all, this couldn't happen to us: we are normal family with great values.

When you thought you were seeing someone look through the blinds at you, did you ever entertain the idea that there was an intruder?
First thing that runs through your head is "Holy crap, who's is in my house?" Even though your heart is pounding and you're trying to rationalize what you think you just saw, my fight or flight kicks in and unfortunately I am the type to fight. My first thought was, "How the hell did they get past the dogs? Did Nelson come home?" And then, "Oh God give me strength." As you can see, it's a realm of emotions and illogical thoughts and actions.

What’s the status of the house now?
It has had a few different tenants in the last four years. Never does anyone seem to stay too much past a year.

Do you still talk about this experience with family members?
Believe it or not, we still have some extended family and friends that are skeptical. I can't blame them; we were like that before this also.

Can you describe the moment with the bathtub turning to muddy water and the terror of that?
Horrified, then sick to my stomach, then pissed, then all of those things at the same time. I don't believe anyone would react in a controlled emotional manner if it happened to them. From there, my thoughts turned to "Wait, why me?" and then a few choice words I won't repeat here.

After the point of seeing someone in your living room, and deciding it was time to move - how did that affect your relationship with your husband? <
Unfortunately (and fortunately), the Leidels have been challenged and proven in the past that we are stronger in numbers and that we are stronger together than we are apart. I was so sick and unable to take care of myself at that point; I only had my family. I really leaned on Nelson for moral and physical support; he is an extremely analytical person, and very protective of his family, so when he said, "That's it," you knew he meant business. How do you fight something that you can't touch or put a logical reason to?

Your son tells a story about being in the woods alone and feeling hunted, both outside and in the house. Did everyone experience the presence differently like this or were there common feelings?
All of us at one time or another had these feelings that would occur more than you could even imagine. It seemed to like to separate us in some way to try to scar or intimidate. Nelson had his in the room with his hunting equipment, Amber when it would know she was alone and vulnerable and me when everyone was gone to work and school. I was its torture toy and it really liked to mess with me.

When your husband finally got on board that there was something in the house, how did you feel about it?
I was so relieved! The man who is extremely analytical and levelheaded about everything finally crossed over to our side of "What the hell is going on and why?" I can say we had talked about all the activity prior, but it seemed he was never really fully on board until his own experience. Amber took a very "See I told you, it's about time" take on it, and I was just exhaling the tension of holding it all in and trying to keep it together for so long.

When you did all the research into the paranormal activity, what was the most interesting thing you came across that really hooked your attention?
Even then, I still had a slight thought that it wasn't really true. When I spoke to a paranormal team, I told them to please prove me wrong; this just can't be true. When talking to specialists and researching, I found a lot of similarities like a strange smell, a cold spot, catching something out to the corner of your eye, the targeting of young children or vulnerable individuals, right down to hearing a radio or television on (so slightly) yet being unable to find the source. The fact that a lot of these stories involved objects you know you put down in one place and finding them gone or moved to another, and the even scarier stuff - extremely violent dreams and harmful activity. One that really stood out is the effect on animals and their actions. Our animals knew before we did!

When you performed the ritual in the house with the amber stones and the sage, you mention it feeling lighter in there. Can you describe the change?
I still really feel that it gave me more a piece of mind, tricking us into thinking we had control, and that we'd corrected a problem that really wasn't stronger than us. It gave us a false sense of safety and security, maybe? We all felt that the house was brighter and less oppressive; it was easier to even breathe. Really it was just our minds trying to rationalize and grasp at the need to believe and achieve.

How did you feel around that Christmas when the spirits seemed to return?
Truly angry, frustrated, and questioning sanity and reality in whole. How the hell can this keep happening and why? The anger part felt more like, "Leave us alone, we have been through enough and we just want to be at peace." The frustration and attempt to come up with the next steps, we had thoughts of "I can't let this win or take control." And honestly having to question your sanity or reality felt like "We are so drained emotionally and why would God let this continue? Are we just doomed?"

Having lived on scared ground, how has it changed your perspective about the supernatural world?
I really believe not one of us will ever dismiss or not believe that these types of things occur. Never dismiss the paranormal as a fluke or crazy notion. Once you have been touched, you're so much more prone to it. We, in all truth, can't say that some of us are still not having some issues. We ask if it was only that group of spirits or what the hell – has it followed us? Bottom line is: once we left that place, it was like breaking to the surface of water for that first breath, total relief. The dark cloud and unexplained had passed and we are on the upswing.