I watched last week's episode of Paranormal Experience, about a haunted house in Brooklyn. It was an interesting case but I had some major doubts about it.
The family said it took some time for activity to begin. For several months, everything was fine and then the wife and daughters began to hear an eerie voice calling their name and laughing maniacally. The wife began to have dreams of being crushed to the mattress. The daughter had a quilt pulled off the bed. There were odd thumps around the house and a sense of a malevolent presence, centering on a small dirt room off the basement.
Okay, so far, sounds like a typical haunting. Watching shows like this is enough to put me off the idea of buying an old home. Aside from the wiring and plumbing concerns, ghost trouble is more than I want to deal with. But that's really a side note. One of the symptoms of the haunting stood out for me: the feeling of being trapped and crushed on the bed. This is a common haunting symptom dating back almost to the beginning of recorded history. However, it can also be sleep paralysis, the system which keeps us from sleepwalking. Just like some people have lighter than normal paralysis and end up walking around asleep, some people have heavier than usual paralysis and can remain paralyzed even as they're waking up.
The marriage broke up because of the activity and the wife and daughters claim things settled down afterwards.
Here's where I had my first "excuse me?" moment. Isn't a divorce a perfect excuse for moving out of a haunted house? If the house has creeped you out so much that it's destroyed your marriage, then wouldn't you move out?
The activity started up again when the wife started dating (also suspicious timing in my opinion) and along with the other stuff, they began to see apparitions of a small woman in a white dress and a opaque black mass.
Eventually the haunting was settled by a visit from a medium. I have my doubts about this case, the facts don't quite seem to fit with the reactions.