The building our business resides in, had felt lighter after that night. A white light ceremony had been performed and many spirits which had seemed unable to leave were free to cross over. The following morning, the smell of flowers was unmistakable, and the building seemed brighter.
But two weeks later, darkness seemed to creep back into the building and touch those who frequented it the most. The first manifestation of this occurred early one morning. We were having an open house and being the weekend, we told our clients and potential clients that if they needed to bring their children with them, we would have activities for them. An employee had volunteered to set up a play area for the kids and had prepared a breakfast snack and games to keep the kids busy while their parents talked business. Our employee was serving the snack to six or seven children at a table when she distinctly heard a manly, almost provocative "Hello" from directly over her shoulder. She turned away from the table, startled, and looked behind her quickly. There was no one there. She turned back to the children, most of whom had stopped in mid-chew and were staring back at her, and asked each one of them if they had heard it, and if they had been the one who spoke. They all confirmed that they heard what she had heard, and none of them were the source.
There was also an odd feeling in our home. Neither my wife nor I could put our finger on it, but something was off. We were lying in bed discussing whether or not we should have the paranormal group back to the business, and to see if they would also check out our house. She had told me things were getting strange at the business again, and told me some of the employees felt uncomfortable and were hearing noises that seemingly had no source. We decided that since the paranormal group had told us to call them anytime, that we would give the group leader a call and discuss what was happening with her.
I talked with the woman for about a half an hour and she agreed to talk to the rest of the members about revisiting our property. She assured me that she felt they would all want to return. I agreed to wait to hear back from her the next day on when they could come, and hung up the phone a little relieved. Although my wife has believed me when I have divulged my past experiences with her, we both felt that the group could better identify the source of any problems present and help us to deal with them.
I turned off the light and we watched TV for about twenty minutes when suddenly an audible growl came from the open closet door, right next to the television. My wife and I both sat up in bed. I cautiously got out of bed and walked to the bedroom door to look down the stairs. As I suspected, our dog was nowhere nearby. I walked to the closet and turned on the light. Nothing unusual could be seen. We discussed what happened for quite awhile, both of us were a little shook. We turned off the TV and eventually went to sleep.
I woke up some time later, probably around 2:00 AM. The moon was fairly bright outside, our bedroom door was open and a light from one of our children's rooms partially illuminated the hallway. As I looked toward the large window of our room, in the moonlight I could make out the tree limbs of the large oak tree just behind the house. As I looked toward this window just to the right of the closet, a dark film moved in front of it and obscured my view to the outside. As I watched, it moved away and I could see the tree again. After a few moments, it happened again. I could make out the tree, and then I could not. This occurrence repeated itself probably six times. Suddenly my attention was drawn to the left of the closet where the TV sits on an old antique cabinet. Behind and above the TV, a small curio cabinet hangs on the wall. As I watched, the three objects seemed to morph into one shape, and that shape was of a large man. Again, the process repeated itself. Over and over the objects appeared normal, and then they seemed to blend together... Whatever was happening, I was completely mesmerized. After a few minutes, the darkness went back to the window, and as it did, I watched as it obscured the cabinet and window jam to the right of the closet before it settled on the glass. Any inkling that it was merely clouds obscuring the moonlight and causing shadows were immediately ruled out. After blocking the window three or four more times, the shadow moved towards the closet and disappeared. I lay awake for the next two hours until it was time for me to get up for work knowing that whatever I had seen was far from normal.
Around 6:00, I was just getting myself organized at work when the phone rang. Normally my wife calls around 6:45, but it appeared that she was up early today. As I picked up the phone, I realized immediately it was not my wife. Apologizing for calling me so early, the group leader told me she had spoke to one of the members of the group and felt they needed to get to our property as soon as possible. When I asked her what was going on, she said a member of the group who had not participated in the initial investigation, and was the group's reiki master, lives in our area and had driven by our business the night before. She had told the group leader, that as she drove by our property, she saw a very large, dark hooded figure slip into the brush behind the building. Although she was sure that what she saw was paranormal, her life experiences did not allow for her to get overly excited, until she pulled into her driveway a few miles away. As her headlights shone through her backyard, she saw the same figure standing before her. She kept the lights on for several minutes, not sure whether her eyes were distorting something in her backyard that was already there, or if she was seeing something else. Suddenly, the figure moved. It appeared to glide towards the car for several feet and then in the blink of an eye, retreated and disappeared. When she recounted this to the group leader, she said that it was definitely a large male figure and in its approach, it had left her feeling as if it wanted to make sure she saw him.
We decided that a few members of the group would be coming in two days during the daytime. Before hanging up the phone, she asked me if there was anything I had not told her. Somehow forgetting the previous night's events, I honestly told her that I could not think of anything. We said our goodbyes and hung up. Ten minutes later, my wife called from home. She said she had experienced something unusual. Now daylight, she said that she woke up and when she opened her eyes, she briefly thought she saw someone standing at the foot of our bed, in front of the television. She said she looked at it for several seconds but as her eyes focused, she realized no one was there. She closed her eyes and began to relax again, when she suddenly felt a presence next to her. As is often the case, she immediately thought it was our four year old daughter standing by the bed. She opened her eyes and a shadow moved across the television towards the closet and disappeared. She sat up, now immediately wide awake, but nothing else occurred.
I spoke to her about what I had seen during the night, and she was relieved to hear the group was returning for a second visit.
The day before the group was to arrive, our four year old autistic daughter was having a bad day. I had asked her to stop watching television for a while and she became angry. I asked her to come downstairs and she begrudgingly complied. She plopped down on the sofa, and I asked her what was wrong, as my wife entered the room. She told me she was mad at me. When I asked her why she was mad, she responded, "Because you aren't even scared of that ghost". Afterward, neither my wife nor I could ever remember using that word in front of her, nor had we ever heard her say it.
Without hesitation, I replied, "That's right, I'm not scared. Do you know where the ghost is right now?"
"He's standing right behind you" she said. A chill washed over me.
"Do you know what his name is?" I asked.
"His name is Tank" she replied, matter-of-factly.
This is when everything changed for me. We asked our daughter some more questions, but as is typical with children with her condition, she lost interest and moved on, and she provided us with no more information. Communication, specifically pronunciation, is one of the most difficult situations for an autistic child. Although our daughter was well into her preschool years, she still was using toddler-speech. I don't know where the button is located, but the security code had been cracked and I went from cautiously concerned to venom spitting enraged. I controlled myself for the sake of my children, but once they were a safe distance away, I declared to my wife in a very soft, controlled manner that none of them were ever going to have to be afraid again.
Not knowing how much of our daughter's declaration was valid; using the same measured voice, I spoke to the presence I knew was not far away. "'Tank', or whoever the hell you are, you f---ed up! You came in my house and you showed yourself to my child? You are going to wish you never crawled out of that hole in hell you came from, you filthy #%@XXX!" I spat, my body shaking with anger.
The group leader and three other female members, including her sister, arrived at our business the next day. Since our last conversation mentioned, I had spoke to the group leader about what my wife and I had experienced in our bedroom. The team walked around the building and sensed a very negative energy. Proceeding through the unfinished second floor, the group leader captured two, Class I EVP's. Running through the usual questions, the group leader had asked if there was anything he wanted to tell us. The EVP distinctly stated "Get out". A minute later, not knowing what she had captured moments before, the group leader stated that she knew he was there and they were not leaving until they knew what he wanted. The response EVP was "B-tches".
Having never been to our home, the group followed me in their car to our house. They no more walked into the house and they all walked immediately to the kitchen. "It's right here" the group leader said. "What is right here?" I asked. She began to motion towards the ceiling, and then bringing her hands downward, "This is how he gets in".
The group leader told my wife and I that the group needed to do some spiritual preparations and that we, my wife and I, were going to do the blessing of the house. The group leader produces a box of compressed sage bulbs. She asked my wife if we had a glass dish or a metal plate they could be burned on. My wife opened her mouth to speak, and from all outward appearances, was struck dumb. She could not physically move in the direction of the cupboard where she knew she could find what had been requested, she opened her mouth but she could not make any words come out. Later she said it was if her mind went blank. Internally she was angry. She said she knew what she was trying to say and knew what it was that was requested, but her body and her mind were locked in place. The group leader immediately recognized the spiritual warfare she was being subjected to and placed her hand on my wife's temples and repeatedly just told her to think, until her mind cleared. Once it had, my wife was dumbfounded... She could not believe what had happened, even though she herself had experienced it.
She went to the cupboard and retrieved the metal tray that had been requested. The group leader gave us our instructions on smudging the house. We lit the sage and went to the first corner of the kitchen, waving the smoke into it, blessing the space in God's name and banishing evil from our home. The group had joined hands and began saying protective prayers for us and themselves. We proceeded to the second corner of the kitchen, intent on blessing every corner of every room of the house, and recited our commitment. We turned from the corner and were about to walk past the group when the woman nearest us, and the smallest in stature, was shoved down and back, striking the small of her back on the refrigerator hard enough to rock it. None of the group members missed a single word of their prayers, including herself, as she gathered herself and the members holding her hands pulled her upright.
My wife and I continued the blessing throughout our home and no other incidents occurred. When we returned to the kitchen, the group finished their prayers and we stood talking about what had happened to my wife and the group member. The group leader said that she and the group's historian had been pouring over the deeds of our property and the local history of our area and that she thought she knew who this dark force was. She said she did not know enough about him to put the pieces together yet, but she was sure when she read his name that it was him.
We told the group about the conversation we had with our daughter the previous day. The team leader listened intently, nodding her head. When we asked her if any of this meant anything to her, she said that it proved that she was right. She went out to her vehicle and came back with a file folder. She opened up the folder and handed me a photocopy of a local newspaper article from 1864. The article told of a local man named Jacob McIntire, who had been arrested for performing some kind of a Native American ritual in the town cemetery. As part of the ritual, he had built a large fire, and several town men had confronted him, put out the fire and held him for the authorities. His mother was the original deeded owner of our property. In the article, he was referenced as Jacob "Hank" McIntire.
As I stared at the paper in front of me, the nickname struck me immediately. "Hello,...Tank."