In Madison, Indiana, Doretta Johnson and her family moved into a 4,100-square-foot dwelling in 1987. There was a large main house along with a motel wing on two acres of land. The asking price was $59,900. For the late 1980s, that was unbelievably cheap. Soon after moving in, they discovered the reason: the property was haunted by something paranormal--and terrifying.
At first, there were just a series
of strange events. Fresh paint bubbled and ran down walls. New
wallpaper would not stick. A fireplace stain returned shortly after it
had been sandblasted clean. These incidents could have been ordinarily explained readily enough.
Then much more bizarre and threatening things happened. Objects levitated. Shadowy apparitions abounded. Writing mysteriously appeared on walls. Horrifying noises clamored about. Spontaneous fires erupted. Family members were violently attacked, both physically and psychologically. It must have been unimaginably scary.
Along with Jim Henderson, Doretta Johnson published a book in 1995 describing her family's suffering from malicious unseen forces. Our book trailer below elaborates.
MPL Book Trailer #691
The People in the Attic, by Doretta Johnson with Jim Henderson
Full-blown haunted house tales like this are unusual but not altogether rare. Since the mid-1960s, paranormal investigation has been popularized (and sensationalized) by nonfiction accounts, novels, movies, and television programs (especially since 1987, when the Johnson haunting started). People are becoming less reticent in sharing their ghostly encounters. What was once relegated to folklore has become somewhat respectable in certain parapsychological circles. Academics as well as ordinary folks seriously examine such cases. Spiritualists have been experts in the field for over 150 years.
Assuming the authors to be trustworthy--I have no reason to think otherwise--this haunted house tale is truly chilling. You may not believe that it happened--in which case, consider it a striking work of horror fiction--but for those more open-minded, there is at least something going on here that invites careful study. Of course, more than 30 years have passed since these events purportedly transpired, so perhaps it is too late for further investigation. Such cases are not uncommon, however, and opportunities for "ghost hunters" to examine the paranormal close-up will doubtlessly present themselves now and in the future. For myself, I would not have wanted to have experienced what Doretta Johnson's family lived through, whatever the cause. But, from the safety of my armchair, it makes a marvelously spooky read.