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Demons are bad enough. But demons associated with Ouija boards? That's double the evil ... and double the haunting!
We spoke with Garry Hodges about the terrifying events depicted in Paranomal Witness Season 5, Episode 5: "Zozo."
First of all, thank you for your service! Do you feel like any of the skills acquired in military service helped you here?
I'm not sure if my military training was helpful, considering this was paranormal. If anything, situational awareness and investigating situations further helped clarify what we were dealing with.
Before all this started happening, had you ever had a supernatural or paranormal experience?
I did. When I was a bit younger and we lived in Missouri (grade school through middle school), we dealt with a few paranormal issues. Nothing nearly as malevolent as what we dealt with on Edinburgh though.
When you first started seeing the lights come on and the doors open, what did you think was happening at first?
At first I wanted to investigate the situation, see if there was a light issue, power surge, maybe a bad bulb? When the door would open on its own, I would use force to close it, see if it was a draft, or even if it was the leveling of the door causing the opening/closing of the door. Unfortunately, after trying to debunk it being paranormal, we were left with nothing but paranormal.
The attack in the shower with the claw marks, can you give some detail on what happened? What was your first thought?
I went upstairs to take a shower as Heather, Westly, Kevin and Sabrina were all downstairs. Once I got into the shower I began to hear stomping coming from the attic. I was like, "What the hell is that?" Then the stomping began getting louder and started knocking drywall dust from the ceiling on the floor. Heather immediately came upstairs and asked, "Are you making that noise?" I responded with "No" and it began doing it again while she was in the bathroom with me. As I was getting ready to get out of the shower, I began feeling sharp pains and heat coming from my back. Heather asked me what was wrong, and I told her my back feels like it's on fire. Heather saw that I had scratch marks from my shoulder all the way down to my lower back.
As for the banging, I want to clarify something. Living in Lawton, we have field artillery at Fort Sill. I asked one of the chiefs the following day to clarify, and he informed me there wasn't any training taking place.
'Zozo' is the creepiest name I've heard in any of these episodes. What was the experience like with the Ouija board?
I want to make sure people understand these boards are not a joke. The only reason we decided to use the board was to figure out what was going on in the house, not to try to bring stuff in. You can feel the temperature change in the room when we started using the homemade board. We heard footsteps around us, creaks in the floor and growls coming from the dark corner of the garage. We had all the lights off and used a candle in the garage. I was freaked out by how quickly the planchette was moving on the board and how it kept trying to count down to zero.
The confrontation where you actually saw a demon - can you describe that experience?
Man, that was scary. As Westly, Kevin and I stood in the doorway, you could see this damn thing just moving around in my bathroom. All three of us were terrified once we made eye contact with it. Kevin freaked out first, thus getting its attention. That's why it chased us down the stairs. That experience was scary as hell. I mean, this thing was unlike anything I've seen in movies.
Can you talk about how you felt when you left the property?
I felt relieved once we left the property. I felt like weight was lifted off my shoulders. We moved into a place with an inground pool, and we were excited to be buying a home.
Have you ever had a moment where you sought to look for non-paranormal explanations to what happened? What were they?
I tried to debunk these paranormal situations while living at the residence. We did research to see if there were any deaths on the property, if the property happened to be on burial ground, if the neighbors were experiencing anything similar, etc. I can tell you this, several couples -- nine, I believe -- have lived at that address. Out of the nine, Heather and I are the only couple that did not separate/get a divorce. All nine broke their leases early.
Has anyone ever expressed skepticism in the story? What do you tell them?
Of course. You will always come across people who will fear the unknown. My close friends and family members know me as a guy who lacks fear. The only things I could tell the skeptics is "Move into that house for a month or two. Once you start to lose your mind from sleep deprivation, stay another month. Then call me!"
Did you ever experience any kind of paranormal activity after all of this happened?
I did experience paranormal activity after moving out of that location. It took a few months, but we had stuff follow us. I’m not saying 'the Z-word' followed us, but something did from Edinburgh.
What do you and your brothers say when you talk about the incident now?
We don't really talk about that place. Westly and I talk a bit, and this isn't a hot topic of discussion for us. It's like a really traumatic experience. We've only been talking about it lately due to Paranormal Witness, to be honest. Too many bad memories.
What kind of advice would you give someone in a similar situation?
This is a tough question to answer. There are too many directions one can go when potentially dealing with a spirit, poltergeist, demonic entity, shadow figure, etc. I would research the signs you are getting. Not always, but sometimes you can tell if the spirit/entity is malevolent or nice. I would ask for help from a church, seal your home, bless your home or sage your home often. Please, don't wait until it destroys your life before you try to get help.
How is everything now?
We have moved back to our home roots in Missouri. We are soaking in the new job, kids starting school, and trying to make sure we didn't bring anything out this way with us!