Hello Friendos! Jody here. This episode is a little bit different. Instead of a standard haunting case, most of the action occurs in a woman’s nightmares…
Our story begins with single mother Jodi Foster (Not that Jodie Foster, by the way they both spell their name wrong…it’s Jody! If you know a Jody of any spelling you’ll find we’re quite particular about how our name is spelled). Jodi has a daughter named Hannah. Due to financial problems Jodi and Hannah decide to move into an apartment in the Walnut Gardens complex. The apartment is number 14 and is on the second floor. Jodi is paranoid because of the rickety balcony and worries that her daughter may fall from it and hurt herself.
Jodi begins having vivid dreams about a young lady and a couple who are dressed in seventies style clothing. In her waking life Jodi begins misplacing her keys and thinks that Hannah is playing a joke on her. She yells at Hannah that it is not funny and then she finds her keys placed in the middle of her bed. One day Hannah’s shoes go missing and Jodi becomes upset with her again, but the shoes are found in the middle of Jodi’s bed again. As the dreams and strange goings-on continue Jodi gets word, as the landlord promised, that a ground floor apartment has become available and they quickly move to apartment 23. (Why a second floor apartment is 14 and ground floor is 23 is beyond my understanding.)
Jodi hopes the move will stop the activity and her dreams but she is…WRONG! The dreams become more intense. Now in her dreams she sees the young woman at a gas station and a couple drive up in a car and offer her a ride. As the couple drive her home, Jodi recognizes they are driving to Walnut Gardens, more specifically, she sees that the woman enters apartment 14 followed by the couple. Each night that she has the dreams Jodi wakes up at precisely 3:37 AM.
Jodi calls friend Misty, who is deaf, to come and baby-sit Hannah for her. Misty waits for Jodi to return and when she does she begins to frantically sign to look in the bedroom. All of Hannah’s toys are piled on the middle of the bed with Hannah’s favorite doll Talking Ernie on the top of the heap. For some reason a brave Misty agrees to spend the night and upon waking the trio find Talking Ernie with a make-shift noose around his neck and Ernie is saying “I feel great“ over and over. This really freaks Jodi out so she calls the police. The officer has the best line of the episode, “Do you think it could’ve been Elmo?”
After a while, with the dreams and the 3:37 AM wake up calls still going on, Jodi is offered an apartment in an entirely different complex. Her dreams cease, she meets a man, and everything seems hunky dory. One morning she sees Hannah drawing a gruesome picture. In the picture there is a girl hanging, and another man and woman with blood on them standing in the background. Jodi asks Hannah who these people are and Hannah points to the hanging woman and says, she’s my friend. Hannah is now having dreams about her. Jodi decides to tell her boyfriend everything and miracle upon miracles…he believes her! Good on ya mate!
Jodi’s boyfriend believes that her dreams are a sign, that she is meant to discover what happened to this young woman who lived in her apartment. She agrees and the couple head to the local library in Chico, California to look for news clippings about the disappearance of the young woman. Eventually they find a headline that reads, “Local girl missing from Walnut Gardens.” The clipping is from 28 years ago. A photo accompanies the story, it is the same girl that both Jodi and Hannah have seen in their dreams. Marie Spannhake.
In Jodi’s final dreams she sees Marie taken to a house and chained in the basement. Then she sees the couple carrying Marie’s dead body to their car and driving to the woods. She hears Marie whispering the numbers 35 and 76. Jodi and her boyfriend believe these numbers are coordinates to where she was buried in a shallow grave. Jodi reluctantly calls the police and the detective she speaks to asks her why she called on that particular day. She tells him that she just had a strong urge to do so. The investigators are actually working on the case that same day.
The detective fills Jodi in on their case. In the early eighties a husband and wife were arrested for keeping a sex slave in a wooden box under their bed for seven years. Her name is Colleen Stan. She was held captive by Janice and Cameron Hooker. After seven long years Colleen was able to escape after Janice, who felt sorry for her, allowed her out of the box while Cameron was away. In Janice Hooker’s police interviews she states that a year before they kidnapped Colleen, they had abducted a woman from the Walnut Gardens apartment complex. Unfortunately for Marie, she did not survive. Janice tells police that they buried her in a shallow grave in the woods. The police checked there, with the coordinates that Jodi provided, and have yet to find Marie Spannhake’s remains. Her case remains open.
Cameron Hooker was convicted of Colleen Stan’s abduction, but no charges for Marie were ever filed. Janice Hooker took a plea deal, testified against her husband and was released with no charges pending. To this day Jodi swears she has seen her in the neighborhood.
Pretty chilling true crime story isn’t it? I hope some day Jodi’s dreams and Marie’s story will finally come to a conclusion. Marie Spannhake only wants justice and one day I am positive she will get it.
Stay tuned next week friendos, when the new episode of PARANORMAL WITNESS tells the true story that the film A HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT was based on! You can catch the show Wednesday night on the Syfy channel.