A couple who live in a haunted house are featured on a ghost hunting reality show where nothing is as it seems.
My wife and I knew there was something in the house. Felt it is more like it. It was an odd sensation that we would on feel in the living room when we were relaxed and comfortable. We would be watching TV on the couch and then suddenly a cold chill would finger-walk its way up our spine. Then there would be the oppressive force of knowing someone was behind us, except every time we’d turn around nothing was there. But that wasn’t enough for “A Haunting in America” to play with, so when our episode comes on in reruns, you’ll see that fake me (aka the actor who plays me and who has a set of guns that I could only dream about) turns around to find a little blonde girl in a white dress with soulless eyes, and shark teeth staring back at him. And that’s not even the most ridiculous scene either.
Every story, no matter what, has a beginning, a middle, and an end, but I guess the same goes for hauntings too. Well, at least TV hauntings. When we were newlyweds and before little Rebecca came into our lives, my wife and I moved into a two bedroom, one and a half bath, ranch style house in one of the many neighborhoods in the city. The move-in was a nightmare because it happened in the middle of a week-long rainstorm, and the movers delivered half of our furniture to the wrong house across town. When the show reenacted this part they decided to show a glowing scene of utter bliss instead. My fake wife (aka an actress with a chest size that still makes my real wife mad) tries to pick up a heavy box, but fake me, and my six pack abs straining underneath a crisp plaid button down, scoops the box up in one fluid motion much to my fake wife’s chagrin, and we walk into our house, smiling brightly, and so far everything is all pristine and peaceful in our brand new house.
Which is another barefaced lie. Yeah we were ecstatic to get a new place, but “new” was just a general term. The place was nearly in shambles before we were able to move in. Dark peeling paint, mysterious stains, and enough broken beer bottles and used syringes strewn about to make any sane couple shudder, but we were poor and desperate, which is the main reason we had to stay through two years of discomfort before submitting our story to the producers of the show. The show artfully kept that fact out though to make us look like dramatic weirdos who didn’t want to leave our beloved home.
I don’t even want to get thoroughly into the logistics on how off these people were. What was supposed to be an investigation into temperature changes, funny feelings, possible manifestations, and the occasional Knick Knack flying off our shelves became Paranormal Activity 13 with them. The house was turned into a veritable TV studio lined wall to wall with cameras that caught “real” activity in between the reenactments, but when we met the guy who the producers said would “make the footage better” and watched some of the “real” spirit investigators rehearse their lines in our kitchen, we knew that the measly pay they were going to give us was no real consolation for the circus our “haunted” house became.
Bill the landlord was pretty pissed too, calling at all hours and screaming and carrying on whenever we saw him. We kind of deserved it though. We didn’t ask him so much as tell him what was going to happen for the week, and he didn’t take too kindly to the barrage of nonsense going on in every room. The producers didn’t even bother to listen to him either, and even when he got so mad that he shut off all the electricity in the house, they weren’t fazed. They actually told us to keep the lights off for a while, so that they could put the night vision cameras to good use.
Meanwhile in the reenactments, Bill isn’t mentioned and for some reason they have my wife and I constantly at odds with each other over the “oppressive force” in our household, and they even cleverly cut our interview footage into making it look like we were corroborating that story. Even though I explained to them that things only got tense because we couldn’t pay some of the bills on the month they were trying to portray. And this “oppressive force” slowly became some angry entity throwing things around our fake house and breaking some priceless family heirlooms that never even existed.
They ramped it up even further by showing “real” images of our “real” home with some orbs and mist, claiming they were my “real” pictures (which they weren’t), and then they cut to a scene of fake me actually seeing orbs and mist in the hallway to our bedroom, which I read never happens. That’s the point of those orbs and shit, you can’t actually see it with your eyes.
But nothing, and I repeat nothing was worse than the Priest. Bill was beside himself when he saw that tall man in a white cassock and huge rosary come barreling into our home only to be powdered down by the makeup lady. That was only so he could say some Latin sounding prayer in front of our closet on camera. We didn’t understand why because the activity was only in the living room, but when we saw the “real” footage they made of our closet door swinging open on its own, we understood.
Unfortunately my wife was making dinner at the same time and accidentally cut her finger pretty deeply with a knife because of the Priest screaming Latin in our bedroom scared her. The producers, the Priest, and the investigators nearly lost their collective shit and claimed that my wife was being attacked by a “malevolent demon” and needed an exorcism right away. Of course we said no. Actually we said “hell no,” and kicked all of them out of the house once and for all.
Sadly, they got the footage they needed of the bloody counter and the knife in the sink before they left, and they just reenacted the highly dramatic exorcism with my fake wife snarling and spitting at the Priest (aka the same exact man that came to our house) while fake me cried in the corner over the change in his buxom wife. The whole thing came to a head with things flying all around the room, lights flickering, and an unknown wind blowing apart the Priest’s pristine hair. It was all just over dramatic chaos until my fake wife took a large breath and collapsed in the chair fake me had to tie her demonic hands to. The wind died down and the Priest said: “It’s all over now. You’re free.” And the sun shines on the beautiful clean home once more, and a little epilogue tells one actual fact of our story, we did move out a few months later, but only because my wife got a promotion, forcing us to go to a different state, and my mother was willing to foot some of the bill for whatever we couldn’t afford.
I’m not actually angry about what happened. We got out of the area before anyone really knew who we were and since the show only comes on one of those high number cable channels that not many people have or watch we haven’t gotten that much backlash. A few people called us liars on the internet, but that was expected since we literally didn’t believe the story ourselves.
What does make me feel the worst is that some poor schmuck is going to move into that house which started to get a reputation, and get totally let down when they meet Bill. Yeah, he acted out a lot more when the camera crew was there, but the dead, slum lord who was shot in his own living room about a dozen years ago was a pretty chill ghost all things considered. Except when he came in a room and sent that damn chill up my spine. I know he couldn’t help it, but it always creeped me out a little.
Photo courtesy of Aldan Roof