Linda lost her beloved father when she was 21. A young mother with a baby on the way and a boyfriend who was a long-haul truck driver, Linda decided to use the inheritance her father had left her to start a home for her family. She found an old apartment building in a familiar neighborhood that she was in love with. The familiarity was comforting, and Linda especially loved the old fireplace. She looked forward to having a little more money so she could work on getting the boards off and restoring it.
When she started working on the room that would be Mandy's bedroom, Linda found an unusual pendant hanging in an otherwise empty closet. Concerned that someone might come back for it, Linda put it back where she'd found it and didn't give it another thought.
As she got settled in, Linda noticed something else: no matter how much she scrubbed the windows, whenever she opened the curtains in the morning, there just wasn't as much light in the room as she thought there should be. Was there some kind of shield over the apartment keeping the light out ... or was there some other reason the place ended up being so gloomy? That was just the beginning of the strange things going on in that apartment.
Linda's cousin, Jeanie, came over to visit. While she and Linda sat in the kitchen talking, Mandy was in another room. Linda watched her daughter acting as though she were having a conversation with someone that neither woman could see. Linda thought that it was just Mandy's imagination, though Jeanie informed her cousin that none of her five children had ever behaved the way Mandy was behaving.
After Jeanie had left that evening, Linda realized that her bedroom door was shut. As Mandy's bed was in Linda's bedroom at that point, this worried Linda -- she always left that door a little bit open after putting Mandy to bed whenever there were guests. Linda tried to open the door, but it wouldn't budge. When Linda finally pushed the door open, she discovered that her own bed had been moved up against the bedroom door. There was no sign of an intruder, and Mandy couldn't seem to understand why her mother was yelling her name. What on earth had happened?
As the baby's due date got closer, Linda worked more on unpacking Mandy's room and getting her accustomed to sleeping there. On Mandy's first night sleeping in her own room, Linda made sure to leave the doors to both of their rooms open so she could hear her if she called. In the wee hours of the morning, Linda heard a blood-curdling scream from her daughter. She ran to Mandy's room and saw her daughter on top of a bed that was bucking like a bronco at a rodeo.
Linda grabbed Mandy and got her to the living room, where she began hearing more strange sounds coming from the fireplace. The wood looked as though something was trying to push out through it. Linda rushed to the fireplace and could see a shadow that looked as though it were trying to push through ... a shadow far too big to be a bird. Linda grabbed Mandy and they retreated to Linda's bedroom.
Linda asked her sister Audrey to come over for a visit. Audrey soon noticed a slow breathing sound right by her ear. She jumped up and tried to bat the sound away with her hand. During Audrey's battle with the sound, something grabbed Linda's arm and began to drag her away. It was a tug of war with Linda as the rope until whatever had grabbed Linda finally let go. Alarmingly, that was also the moment that Linda began to go into labor. Audrey rushed her sister to the hospital, where little Aaron was born.
For a while after Aaron was born, it was peaceful. When the activity started again, Linda called Jeanie. Jeanie rushed over, and as soon as she was in the door, Linda told her the place was haunted. Jeanie took a look at the fireplace and thought that maybe multiple birds had gotten into the chimney. She began to take the screws out of the boards over the fireplace, but the more she worked, the more she felt like she shouldn't remove the boards. She quickly began putting the screws back into the boards, the sense of dread getting worse.
Jeanie heard a voice telling her to get the children out of there. Even though Jeanie begged Linda to leave, even suggesting that they come to stay at her own house, Linda wouldn't go. However, she did allow Jeanie to take Aaron and Mandy for the night.
Alone in the apartment, Linda tried to sleep, but she knew something wasn't right. Suddenly, her pillow was over her head. Whatever the entity was, it was trying to suffocate her. When it finally released her, Linda was so frightened that she began to wonder if it was all a bad dream ... or maybe she really was losing her mind.
In need of company, Linda invited her friend Becky over for dinner. Linda told Becky about the happenings in the apartment, but before she could get all of the stories out, they heard dishes breaking in the kitchen. It was as though a raging mad invisible person were throwing dishes in a tantrum. Then Linda noticed that her bedroom door was shaking. Aaron was in his crib in her room!
Once again, the bedroom door wouldn't budge. Linda and Becky put all of their weight against it until it flung open. There was no furniture on the other side this time, but what Linda saw was just as alarming: Aaron was resting in his crib with a circle of blood on the sheet around him. Linda checked every inch of the infant, but there were no cuts on the baby ... and no indication of where the blood had come from. Becky arranged for a priest to come and perform an exorcism.
Audrey was with Linda for the exorcism, and no sooner did the priest begin than the sounds started up again. Whatever was on the other side of the boarded-up fireplace broke through and begin circling the room like an invisible tempest. Finally, it ran up the chimney. As soon as all signs of it vanished, Linda noticed a lightness in the air. There was even more sun coming in through the windows. It was over.
Or was it? When the broken boards were fixed and everything felt almost normal, Linda got a call from the priest telling her she had to get the children out of there. Linda felt a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach as the sound of something fighting to get through the boards started again.
Linda rushed to the bedroom to get the children, but Mandy was acting strangely. She asked about someone she could see, but Linda saw nothing. When Mandy turned around, there was a look to her daughter that Linda had never seen before: her eyes had turned coal black and her grin was grotesquely unnatural. Mandy was possessed! Linda grabbed her daughter and held on until finally the thing released Mandy. At that moment, Linda was done with the apartment.
As Jeanie was helping Linda get the last few things out of the apartment a couple of weeks later, she found the pendant in Mandy's closet. Linda told her that she figured it just belonged there. Jeanie recognized a dark pentacle on the pendant and knew it was not good. That was when the memory jogged for Linda and she recalled why the building had been so familiar: when she was a child, there had been an old woman who lived in that very apartment. She remembered people commenting that the woman was a mean old witch who didn't like children. Linda left the pendant -- and the apartment -- behind.