This week on Paranormal Lockdown, investigators Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman visited the Hinsdale House in upstate New York, which had been the site of a house exorcism back in the 70s, courtesy of Ed and Lorraine Warren of The Amityville Horror and The Conjuring fame. This episode may not have featured some of the more compelling video evidence previously captured in Paranormal Lockdown‘s rookie season, but this was definitely the creepiest episode so far, with the property creating a setting that was part Amityville Horror in the house and part Blair Witch Project in the woods.
Hinsdale House sits near Indian burial grounds, but it was also the site where a man murdered his own brother, a young boy was killed in a buzz saw accident, and allegedly, a young woman had been hung from a tree in the woods nearby over hundred years ago, although no one knows which tree it was or if the story is true.
In each episode of Paranormal Lockdown, Groff and Weidman spend 72 hours locked down at an allegedly haunted location, trying to capture evidence of the paranormal.
Paranormal Lockdown Day 1
As soon as they entered Hinsdale House, Weidman felt a heavy presence in the room and said she couldn’t breathe. Groff soon reported a choking sensation, as well, while they were touring the house during the day with spiritualist and medium, Tim Shaw. Mr. Shaw warned the pair not to sleep in an upstairs bedroom he called “Mary’s room,” and he claimed it was pretty much the one place in all of his years of doing paranormal investigations he really didn’t want to enter, much less sleep in. Even as he was discussing the room with Weidman and Groff, he had to step out because he was feeling nauseated.
Weidman has known Shaw for a while and said that it wasn’t like him to express such strong negative feelings, but she felt they were dealing with something very serious at Hinsdale House after hearing tales of people being scratched and noting an abundance of flies in Mary’s room.
“There’s something powerful, something demonic, and I think it’s a lot more than we think it is right now.”
Groff and Weidman also met with religious demonologist Tony Spera who is Lorraine Warren’s son-in-law. Spera called Warren on the phone, and she said that she remembered when she investigated Hinsdale House, commenting that she couldn’t live there. When it came to Mary’s room, Warren said the room had “choked her,” echoing the same words as Groff.
The Paranormal Lockdown investigators started recording for EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) and got a clear “yes” when they asked if the presence in the house wanted them to leave. Then Weidman, Groff, and Spera also went out into the woods during the daylight to talk about what entities might be lurking in the woods around the property and to visit the site where the man killed his brother. Groff said he felt that the woods might be what drove the energy inside the house, and whatever is manifesting inside the house might originate in the forest around it.
“The forest is extremely haunted… I’m not gonna pitch a tent here, that’s for sure.”
For their first night in the Hinsdale House, Groff and Weidman split up, with Weidman setting up in the basement by herself, and Groff upstairs in Mary’s room. Almost immediately, Weidman heard heavy breathing that was audible on camera. There were some other strange noises through the night, plus additional EVP’s asking “Where’s Nick?” and saying “Get out.” Then Groff was scratched in a room that Weidman had called him into because she felt a tingly sensation, like holding your hand in front of a TV set.
Poor Groff was afraid to go to sleep in Mary’s room after that and finally pulled his cot just outside into the hallway so he could grab about three hours of sleep for the next day’s investigation.
Paranormal Lockdown Day 2
Katrina Weidman expressed concern for Groff’s determination to find out what was happening in Mary’s room, and she was afriad he was opening himself up to something really dark. Then the pair went out into the woods during the daylight to try to find a tree that could’ve been used for an alleged hanging of a young woman over a hundred years ago. When they found a tree that appeared to be old enough and sturdy enough to have been a hanging tree, they tried an EVP session, and when Weidman asked if this area was “forbidden,” they had an EVP that said, “Yes it is.” They wisely decided it was time to leave.
Groff and Weidman spent that night of Paranormal Lockdown out in the woods, where Groff swore he heard some kind of Gregorian-type chanting in the distance, although Weidman could not hear it, and it wasn’t audible on camera. A previous resident had reported hearing similar chanting in the woods.
However, they both heard the howling coyotes nearby that were coming closer, so the pair wisely high-tailed it back to the house. Even if you don’t believe in anything paranormal, that would be scary.
Paranormal Lockdown Day 3
Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman went back in the woods for their final day of Paranormal Lockdown in the daylight — good call — and noted that there was a section of woods that was dead with little vegetation, in stark contrast to the lush green surrounding it.
For their last night In Hinsdale House, Groff and Weidman decided to go all out with Nick staying in Mary’s room, with Katrina going back into the woods to try to direct or drive whatever spirits are there into the house toward Mary’s room. Groff became very agitated and restless for no apparent reason as he was lying on the bed alone in the house. Meanwhile, Weidman was out in the woods with a flashlight, which was very Blair Witch-like, encouraging whatever entities might be present to go into the house and make knocking noises.
Cut to Groff hearing three loud knocks and jumping up from the bed in a video segment where it appeared the blanket might have been dragged with Nick by his foot, but he claimed he felt like something was pulling him back as he jumped up. Did the blanket simply catch on Groff’s shoe, or was something paranormal going on? Groff clearly didn’t think it was his imagination.
“This house has come alive.”
Weidman was hearing footsteps out in the woods while Groff claimed to hear footsteps in the house, but his mental state was clearly becoming more agitated and confused as the evening went on, whether from sleep deprivation or something paranormal.
However, Groff captured an EVP that can’t be explained by sleep deprivation. When doing a playback on his tape recorder, he heard a voice say “There’s no heaven.” Weidman also noted that Groff seemed very different from his normal self when she returned to the house, particularly his eyes looked different to her. He did seem considerably more wide-eyed than normal, but was it just some sort of adrenaline rush or something caused by an entity?
While many episodes of Paranormal Lockdown have excelled at really bringing in the human element of the stories surrounding the places investigated, the Hinsdale House investigation was hands-down the scariest episode of this new series so far. What makes things even scarier is that some strange phenomena continued even after Groff and Weidman left Hinsdale House, with Groff being woken up in his home at 3 a.m. many nights due to nightmares. He said he kept having nightmares about a woman warning him about Hinsdale House.
Weidman also reported that the owner of the house was capturing EVP’s of voices asking for Nick many weeks after they had left. Groff did a spiritual cleansing with sage to get rid of the entity and protect his family, for now at least — only time will tell if it’s gone for good.
Paranormal Lockdown airs Friday nights on Destination America.
[Photo courtesy of Destination America]