This is the story of the folks who were on the first ever televised exorcism! Read on friendos!
Edwin and Marsha Becker have a problem. They are expecting their first child…that’s not the problem though, their landlady tells them no pets and no kids! Being in a bind Ed goes in search of a new place. A realtor shows him a house, and the current resident, Myra is pissed. She screams and swears at the men and says “You will NEVER own this house!” The realtor assures him that the pleasant lady will not be there once the lease is signed.
As soon as they move in, Marsha begins having experiences. Flashing lights, objects moving and the phone continuously being found off the hook. She puts dishes away and hears the cupboard door open and when she looks all the plates fly out and crash on the floor. Ed and Marsha decide to rent out the first floor apartment. They quickly find a couple who is a lot like them. Dan and Diane White are around their ages and also have a new baby. Marsha and Diane hit it off almost immediately. The ladies are in Marsha’s kitchen one day when something terrifying happens. Di’s baby is in a walker, even though her feet don’t even reach the floor and he’s not old enough to walk yet any how. As they are talking Marsha notices something moving in the corner of her eye. The baby is gliding across the floor and by the time they run to grab her, she is at the edge of the stairs.
Marsha tells Ed and guess what folks? He doesn’t believe her! She says that there is something bad in the basement so he humors her and decides to check it out. He sees pretty normal basement things until he goes through a door. There are thousands of shoe boxes lined from floor to ceiling on one side and tons of magazines with the name Ben Verdere written on the covers on the other. He opens a box and there are cut out pictures of women in various states of undress. He decides not to tell Martha about this so she won’t have something else to freak out about.
Marsha takes a bath one day and she feels like someone is watching her. When she turns to look, no one’s there of course. Then she feels a hand grab her shoulder and she loses it. Again she tells Ed and again he doesn’t buy it. On the bright side he decides to get a priest to bless the house. As the priest begins his prayers and using his brass dispenser full of holy water things get weird. The dispenser starts shaking and then it shatters! The priest runs out of the house without saying a word.
The priest incident makes Ed finally come around. He goes to his neighbor Walter to get the scoop on the former owners. The house that was built in the early 1900’s has always been owned by the Verdere family. Walter says that in the fifty years that he lived next to them the strange family never smiled or spoke to him. The head of the household was Ben who died of a heart attack in the tub. Ben’s wife Amelia, the only unrelated person to ever live in the house, was his abused wife. She hung herself in the basement.
Several nights in a row Ed and Marsha hear violent arguments and screaming. They think it is Dan and Diane fighting downstairs and decide to keep their noses out of it. Funny thing is, Dan and Diane think the same thing about them. As time goes by Marsha and Diane become very depressed and it takes a toll on both marriages. Diane finally gets fed up and takes her baby and leaves Dan. Marsha is devastated.
After an incident with a constant slamming door Ed provokes the spirit. Dumb ass! He ties the doorknob with twine so it can’t open and he even screams “Try to open it now pervert!” Nice. The next step is, in the days before internet, the yellow pages! There is actually a section entitled “Psychic Research”. After telling the researchers their story they inform Ed and Marsha that they would like to bring a genuine exorcist and a psychic to the house…and NBC wants to film it!
The film crew, exorcist and psychic pile into the house. The reverend hands everyone a crucifix and begins to pray. The psychic slips into a trance and begins trembling and mumbling. The sound guy keeps asking if anyone can hear what he’s hearing. As the exorcism kicks into high gear nothing really profound happens, except of course for the thousands of birds outside that begin screeching in unison. As they reach a deafening pitch they inexplicably fly off. Then the reverend says the house is clean. Yeah right.
Dan finally decides to move and after watching the exorcism on TV Ed’s sister April wants to move in! She begins experiencing things…and she loves it! Thinks it’s hellarious in fact! One day she and her gal pals decide to play with a Ouija board. Could this girl get any dumber? Marsha is watching through the open door as April asks if there is anyone there. The board spells out Henry. Who the hell is this you say? Neighborino Walter tells them that Henry was the youngest, and strangest son of the Verdere house. Supposedly the family thought he was so evil that they kept him in the house at all times.
April tells Marsha that she is now hearing voices and that her piano is playing by itself. She thinks she has a connection with Henry’s spirit and she is enjoying every minute of it. The fun finally stops for her when she tells Marsha that she is hearing someone tell her to kill herself and that she is being touched in very inappropriate places. A few days later, April is gone. No note, no hanging body in the basement, just vanished.
Tooling around in the basement Ed finds a hidden door in the wall. After he finally gets it open he discovers a mattress, some utensils, plates and old clothes. He thinks this is where the family kept Henry. Ed finally (finally!) decides to move his own family out, even though they can’t afford to move. About damn time I say! Three weeks after the move the police find April, who is living as a homeless person. Ed and Marsha say she was never the same and they have not been in any contact with her for a long time. Sometime later Ed finally sells the hellish property…for ten dollars.
Well that’s the end of the season for one of my favorite shows. Never fear! It will be back next year, hopefully sooner rather than later! Thanks for reading friendos! What did you think?
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