A House to Clean
Would you like to hear a ghost story? To begin, I should make it very clear that ghosts do not exist. Feel free to have your own opinions about this, but a human soul cannot be bound to the world after death. Demons, however, roam the world and only seek to destroy. Having been raised in New England, the Warrens always came up in conversation, especially during Halloween. The Amityville Horror, the Haunting in Connecticut and The Conjuring, just to name a few, were all very real cases that Ed and Lorraine Warren worked on during their lifetime as demonologists. Recognized by the Catholic Church, Ed and Lorraine served as a source of aid for those dealing with demonic activity in their homes. I had the pleasure of meeting Lorraine at her home before she passed away this past spring on April 19, 2019. Their greatest mission was to share the gospel and extend their arms into the lives of those being physically and mentally targeted by demonic entities in their homes.
Almost one year ago, a close friend of mine and her then fiancé Bryce bought a home in Paradise Valley, an absolutely beautiful, mountainous bridge between Livingston and the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The property had been vacant a little over a decade until it went up for auction and this gave my friend and her fiancé the opportunity of a lifetime. The property consisted of a couple buildings, one of them being the local post office. The amount of time I spent communicating with her lessened as she packed up her apartment in Bozeman and officially moved into their new place. With renovations in progress, I heard less and less from her. Behind closed doors, I wasn’t aware that her vivacious and bubbly personality was also slowly beginning to dissipate. After a couple months of her being unresponsive, I began theorizing about what was going on.
A day before my birthday, May 28th, I was praying about the next spiritual endeavor I would be going on. My dad, a traveling pastor and missionary from Connecticut was visiting me, and that evening I got the first phone call I had in months from Anna. She prefaced everything that she was about to say with, “I know I sound crazy but…” and immediately I knew in my heart that how I had been feeling about her was coming full circle. “What’s happening, Anna?” I asked. “Trust me I know that this is completely insane, but I see things during the night at the house. The dog won’t stop barking at the corners of the room. I’ve watched his face as he does so and his eyes are always following something. During the night, I experience sleep paralysis, and I swear Andrew, I hear voices whispering into my ears. This has happened every single night since I’ve moved in. My fiancé doesn’t believe me in the slightest. I always wake up at the same time too, no matter what I do, at 3:00 a.m.”
“Let me come over and I can pray over the house with you.”
“Is there any way that you can stay the night? Bryce left for a business trip out of town this morning for the week and I have never stayed here alone at night.”
“Of course. I’m leaving now.”
I drove the thirty to forty or so minutes to her house that I had never been to, and immediately, I could feel the heaviness. The poor dog was cowering under the barstools. “He’s been doing that every single day. He’s absolutely terrified being here, just like I am.” From time to time, a foul smell would come through the house (sign of demonic presence), and it would get unusually cold. The building beside the main house used to be the main post office until it was turned into a hair salon amongst other things in its past. “Electricity doesn’t even run into this building, and I have seen the upstairs light come on all on its own.” This was definitely the darkest place I had ever walked into. “My finance’s really tough guy friends have come into this place Andrew and even they won’t stay in here long. Don’t even get me started on the basement.” One of my spiritual gifts is the gift of discernment, and I could barely breathe the air was so thick. “A lot of pain has happened here, hasn’t it?” I asked. Moving briefly into the land’s history, an entire generation of people had either been killed or killed themselves on this land. “The only remaining family member, who ultimately passed the property over was allegedly a great-grand-daughter or something,” Anna told me. It’s hard to explain without having seen it, but it was as though someone was watching us.
“When Bryce’s dad visited, and note that he doesn’t have any faith or anything just like Bryce, but he told me he saw a woman in colonial clothing walking on the property one day. He said he watched her go behind the post office and all of the sudden, he went to meet her on the other side and she had disappeared. It only takes about ten seconds to run around the building and she was gone. I’ve seen her, even my Bryce admits that he had seen her but says it could have just been some strange Livingston lady.” (laughing)
“Is that the only other thing you’ve seen?” Anna went into more detail about the pain she had endured on this property; how Bryce’s friends drove up from Idaho to take away his guns because he had been changing so drastically. “He’s hurt me in ways that I never thought he would, Andrew. He’s no longer the person I used to know, and I fully believe it’s because of whatever is clinging onto him, that came from this house.” She went into more detail and I gave her hug, prayed over her and told her that she would be more than welcome to sleep at my house. I was already getting a strong sense that she wouldn’t be safe whatsoever staying there alone. She knew she was going to see Bryce one more time; they had called off the engagement. Moving out was last on her list and as hard as it was, leaving Bryce in the house was excruciating to do. Despite the dog being in complete terror, she didn’t feel it would have been right to leave him there without the dog.
When night came, I called some of my best friends from my small group in Bozeman. We had them pray on the phone, and I decided it would be best to go into the building next door and pray over it. An hour before midnight, following a period where Anna shed a good number of tears through updating my friends about what had been happening, the temperature dropped about twenty degrees. We kept the door unlocked, so we could get back into the house and made our way into the next building. When I say that this place was scary, I mean it. To reiterate, it felt as if I were walking straight through the valley of death. I brought my camera and shot some pictures as we prayed over the space, casting whatever demon was occupying the land, out. “In the name of Jesus Christ, you have no authority to be here.” In this case, Anna, the homeowner had to play a very substantial role in this. By the grace of God, she was able to let her fear go and understand that she had no reason to be fearful because she had God on her side. Although we were in the building for no more than ten minutes, it felt like an eternity. Immediately as we exited, she and I both witnessed the door to the main building lock on its own. Now I had seen a lot in my time, but this was absolutely insane. For what it’s worth and in that moment though, it made sense. Something was extremely angry with us, and to this day I believe it left that space the minute we told it to go. The demon tried getting its way into the main house but I know in my heart that God locked it. As it was happening though, we began screaming. The dog was inside, barking and looking at us as if something were outside on the grass beside us. We ran around to the other door and went inside. I went to check on the lock and the second I grabbed the door knob, it was no longer locked. We tried forcing that door open, and the knob wouldn’t even turn.
Back at my house (we brought Anna’s dog with us), we looked at the pictures through my laptop. In one of the pictures, it was clear as day, you could see something standing behind one of the doorways. I was going rapid fire on the photos, allowing the flash to act like some sort of strobe. In the shots, if you scroll through like a movie, you can see the door open on its own. Sorry to let everyone down, but I deleted the pictures off of my computer. Once you experience something like that, it’s genuinely healthier to never have to look at it again or let it back into your mind so vividly.
The next morning, we returned to the property with a pastor from my church, who has a solid history of house cleansing, as well as my dad, who we had filled in on with everything. The moment my pastor stepped out of his truck, he asked us to pray. He put holy oil over the doors before he entered, and he told us we were very lucky to have met each other because of how much negativity was hovering over the land. Dead animals lined the property; literally, it’s a place of absolute decay. For the remainder of his time there, we prayed, and based on the work we had put in the night before, a lot of what had been there had settled down. It wasn’t gone, but it had been put in its place. “Because your ex is a non-believer, he will easily be able to invite everything back into this house in its fullest form as it had been last night, without even knowing it. Because he doesn’t believe in God or have any spiritual foundation, it’s unlikely that what we’re doing today will do much.”
“I’m just happy to be doing it because I feel like if I don’t do at least something, I would regret it for the rest of my life,” Anna responded.
Lighting sage won’t do you any good. Telling yourself it isn’t real won’t do you any good either. There’s always an ongoing battle of good and evil in this world; don’t wait around to find out. I would never wish this experience on anybody.