Paranormal Witness (2011) s05e07 Episode Script

Nebraska Fiend

(HAUNTING MUSIC) (SOLEMN FLUTE SOLO) This actually happened.
This wasn't a dream, Mom.
She was scary.
She didn't believe me.
It sounded like a little girl's voice.
(CLATTERING) I've never been so scared.
(FLAMES WHOOSHING) Mom! (SHRIEKS) As a parent (GASPS) It's your job to protect those kids.
And I didn't.
(GASPING) Mom, Mom, my back! Oh! What's doing this? Who's doing this to you? Did you mean to scare the little girl? (STATIC CRACKLING) "Yes, she better run.
" It's been in my house With my kids.
It was just kind of a humongous shock to me, you know, being 12 or 13 years old, because brand-new house, brand-new space.
It was so much bigger than our old house.
Rhiannon is the best big sister that I could ever ask for.
She's a really nice person, loving.
It's your own room.
Rylee does have a speech impediment.
She's had it since she was a little girl.
- You like it, Rylee? - You bet.
And everybody asks her where she's from and where her accent is from.
- (MURMURS) - Oh, sure.
Oh I was just tired of having to share a room with my sister, and I was so happy to get my own room.
Randy and I had a son that passed away right after we were married.
We always did want to have a son, and the girls wanted to have a brother in the family.
So, because of that, we decided to look into the adoption process.
Big enough for your new brother? - He'll love it.
- When's he coming? I want him to see it now.
We got to get everything ready first.
We were gonna need more space, so we found the perfect house in a small little town, uh, Norman, Nebraska.
Population about 48 people, nice and small, quiet.
When we moved in, it was the perfect beginning to the next chapter of our lives.
Hey, is that ours too? Sure is.
Let's check it out.
On the edge of the property was this barn, and it was decrepit, and it had to be over 100 years old.
(INSECTS BUZZING) (DOG PANTING) (DOG WHINING) What is it? What's wrong? (DOG WHINING) (EERIE MUSIC) (DOOR CREAKS) (WINGS FLUTTERING) (FLIES BUZZING) We walked in, and the first thing that we noticed was the smell.
It was disgusting.
(FLIES BUZZING) The instant I walked in the door, it didn't feel right.
(FLIES BUZZING) It smelled like rotten wood or eggs.
It was really bad.
(WOOD CREAKING) (FLIES BUZZING) There was a whole bunch of weird taxidermy stuff in there.
It was weird and it was freaky It seemed like no matter where you went in the barn, the animal heads were watching you.
Always staring at us with those black eyes.
- Let's get out of here.
- No.
I want to check it out.
It was just kind of scary.
I left.
I wanted to leave, but I felt like I was a piece of metal being pulled by a magnet.
I needed to be there.
(CHILD GIGGLING) Rylee? It sounded like a little girl's voice giggling.
(CHILD GIGGLING) And no one was there, and I thought, "God, that was weird.
I swear I just I just heard someone.
" (METAL CLANKS) (EERIE MUSIC) I was, you know, poking around things.
I remember thinking, "What am I even doing in here?" I didn't know what I was looking for.
Mama (CLATTERING) I heard it again.
A little girl's voice saying Mama.
Mama "Mama.
" Mama.
Is Rylee with you? No, honey.
She's back in the house.
I thought, you know, "Maybe I'm just freaking out.
Maybe I'm tired.
I just need to sleep.
" And I just ignored it.
Would you look at this? It's beautiful.
There was this china hutch.
Once we had my grandmother's dinnerware in there, it just seemed to fit perfectly in the house.
(DOG BARKING AND WHINING) I was in the kitchen cooking dinner.
And my back is turned to everybody.
("ALL IN THE FAMILY" ON TV) Edith, dear, I'm home.
How was your day today, Archie? Girls and I were in the living room, watching a TV show.
(KNIFE CHOPPING) So while I'm cooking there Mama.
I heard this voice right in my ear.
(DOG WHINES) (GROWLING) What do you want? Hmm? What are you talking about? I think you're losing your hearing in your old age.
So we were just kind of teasing her.
"You're losing your hearing in your old age, going crazy" teasing her about stuff like that.
I just went back to cooking and let it go.
I let it drop.
(CREAKING) (CLOCK TICKING) Randy and I were laying in bed, trying to fall asleep for the night.
(FEET PATTERING, DOG WHINES) Then we hear this thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump of little feet going out on the tile.
(GIGGLING AND FOOTSTEPS) (GROANS) Somebody's still awake.
Go see? We heard this sounded like a kid running around outside of our bedroom door.
We heard some giggling, laughing.
(SIGHS) So I looked down the hallway, didn't see no kids or nothing.
(FLUTE MUSIC) I started hearing a noise.
I couldn't quite figure out what it was.
It sounded like it was a type of a lullaby being played on a flute or something like that.
I was asleep, and I started to hear something.
I was like, "Oh, God, it's my alarm.
I'm gonna be late for school.
" So I get up and I look at my clock, and it's the middle of the night.
(CLOCK TICKING) It sounded like flute music.
So I thought, "This is something.
This is weird.
" (DARK MUSIC) Can you hear that? What is that? (DOG BARKING) It was just really unnerving and unsettling to have this music there.
I can't find anything in the front room or the kitchen that is making this music noise that I'm hearing.
So we okay, maybe we're hearing things.
All of a sudden (LOUD KNOCKING, DOG BARKS) There were three knocks.
(DOG BARKING) (DOG GROWLING) They were very distinct.
(KNOCKING) It sounded like the banging was coming from the china hutch.
(DOG GROWLING) (EERIE MUSIC) (DOG BARKING) Must be the pipes or something.
(DOG BARKING) Come on, boy.
(SHARP DRAMATIC NOTES) (DOG WHINES) We didn't really know how to rationalize that sound.
We just kind of let it go and forgot about it.
After a while, the music had completely gone away.
I thought it was all over.
(DOOR UNLATCHES) (DOOR CREAKING) Then I heard something.
Mom, is that you? (SHARP DRAMATIC MUSIC) (INSECTS CHIRPING) As soon as I turned on the lights, the figure I'd seen was gone.
I was trying to tell myself, you know, "It's okay.
It's okay.
"It was probably just a shadow, you know? "Nothing scary.
Just a shadow.
You're tired, and you need to sleep.
" I left the lights on that night because it scared me so much I didn't want to sleep in the dark.
I didn't want to see another shadow.
(CHILDREN GIGGLING) Forecast: plenty of sunshine for today, with seasonal temperatures - Morning.
- Morning.
Our normal high of about 80 degrees by this afternoon.
Clear skies tonight with a low near 70.
Increasing cloudiness tomorrow, sticky and humid, with a high Morning, sweetheart.
Yeah, I know.
In the morning, when Rhiannon came out of her room, she didn't look like she was very well-rested.
What's up? I didn't tell anybody about what happened because I didn't want to burden Mom and Dad with the stress of thinking their daughter's insane with the adoption coming up.
I'm just tired.
(TV CONTINUES PLAYING INDISTINCTLY) (DOG WHINING) (BARKING) (EERIE MUSIC) (FLUTE MUSIC) I was asleep in bed when I was awoken by a strange noise.
(FLUTE MUSIC CONTINUES) Then I started listening, and it sounded like music.
The music was calm and soft, kind of like a lullaby.
(WIND BLOWING) (BANGING AND RATTLING) All of a sudden, the bed started shaking.
(WHIMPERING) (BANGING AND RATTLING) (GASPING) And all I could do was just sit there in terror.
(SCREAMING) Mom! Mom! Mom! (CRYING) It felt like fists were hitting my bed and punching me.
Mom! (CRYING) (DOOR UNLATCHES) (GASPING) Something's under the bed, shaking it.
Just frantic, screaming that something was under her bed, shaking her bed.
(SOBBING) There wasn't anything there.
The bed wasn't moving.
There's nothing there, honey.
It's okay.
It was solid.
It wasn't shifting around.
- (SOBS) - It must have been a bad dream.
It wasn't a dream! I was telling my mom that this actually happened.
"This wasn't a dream, Mom.
This actually happened.
" But she didn't believe me.
(CRYING) I did suspect that Rylee's imagination was running away with her, and I didn't understand how to help her feel safe.
(CRYING) I don't want to sleep in here tonight.
And she got really upset with me because I didn't believe her right away.
And it makes me feel bad now knowing I didn't believe her at first.
(WHISPERS) Go get some ice cream.
Rhiannon nominated me to go get the ice cream from the basement.
Really? It's scary down there.
I heard a strange noise.
I couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from.
There was a woman standing next to the freezer.
I just ran.
(MARKER SCRATCHING) Honey, is everything okay? When I went into Rylee's room and I looked in on her, she was drawing.
When I looked over her shoulder, I saw what she was drawing.
The face was angry.
It was so mad, and it had, like, black slashes for eyes, and it was horrible.
Why are you drawing that? Because I saw it in the basement.
What? I wanted to draw the woman so then other people could see what she looked like.
I went to go get some ice cream, and I saw her.
She was scary.
Come on downstairs, honey.
I found it very unnerving.
I had no idea what was going on.
I couldn't explain what had that ability to scare her so much.
(TV PLAYING INDISTINCTLY) Are you sure you're okay? Something had happened to her, and it really shook her up, and I realized things weren't just happening to me in the house.
But then I got all protective, like, "No, don't do this to my little sister.
"I'm the big sister.
Don't do it to her.
Do it to me instead.
" (FLUTE MUSIC) I was flipped onto my back.
It was as if my body had been taped down.
I was stuck.
(GASPING) I couldn't move.
And I couldn't yell for help.
(DRAMATIC MUSIC) The girl was on the ceiling, staring down at me.
I've never been so scared.
She was just looking at me, and she had the most angriest expression I have ever seen.
Suddenly, she was gone.
(HEART POUNDING) (EERIE NOISES) (GASPING) I realized that I'm not hearing things.
I'm not going insane.
I'm being haunted.
(SNIFFLES) And I finally decided that it stops here.
We need to tell someone.
And just seconds after deciding that (SHRIEKING IN PAIN) I felt a sharp pain in my back.
It felt like claws were being drug down my back.
Mom, my back! It was like, "What the hell's going on?" You know? Something was hurting her, and she was scared, and she said, "Something's on my back.
Something's on my back.
" When I lifted up her shirt, there wasn't anything there, but then (RHIANNON SCREAMS) Oh! Oh! These three scratches appeared, going down her back.
It's okay, honey.
It's okay.
I was so mad when I saw them, because I thought, "How dare something hurt my baby?" Mom, it's been happening here.
Bad things.
There was this girl in my room, all bloody, and there was this voice in the barn, and I keep hearing this freaky music.
That's when she started to tell me about everything that she'd been experiencing.
What's going on? Come here, honey.
Come on.
It was like punching a hole in my chest.
It's hard to believe, you know, this is happening to my daughter.
I was upset because I couldn't do nothing to stop it.
As a parent, it's your job to protect those kids.
And I didn't, because I couldn't.
That's when we knew we needed help.
(DRAMATIC MUSIC) Danielle? Kris.
We spoke on the phone.
Oh, thank you so much for coming.
When we arrived at the house, you could tell that there was a lot of tension in the house That they were nervous and had been very frightened for a while.
I felt certain that they would solve the problem and that they would be able to take care of everything in the house.
We try to rule everything else out first.
Sometimes it's just misunderstanding environmental stimuli.
You know, old houses make noises.
There can be air in pipes that make banging noises.
(DEVICE BEEPS) And that's something that we do a lot of: make sure that there isn't a real-world answer before we assign anything, you know, as being paranormal.
It's often believed that increasing electromagnetic field readings and accompanying changes in temperature also accompanies paranormal activity.
You see how it's just above zero there? That's normal.
The readings we were getting were very normal.
We couldn't find anything to explain what was going on.
Sometimes it's not the house.
(SOLEMN FLUTE MUSIC) - Tell me about the barn.
- We don't go in there much.
Looks pretty old.
There was something just a little eerie about that place.
Every hair on your arm stood up.
You could feel it before you even went inside it.
So we set up some stationary infrared cameras to try to capture anything that we might not be able to see with the naked eye that the camera could pick up.
(SNAPPING) We also set up our digital audio recorders.
Okay, I'm going to need total silence.
Who are you? Sometimes, if you ask questions out loud, you can capture answers on the recording devices.
What is your name? Are you trying to hurt Rhiannon? We listened, but we didn't hear anything.
Why do you go to Rhiannon's room? (DEVICE BEEPING) Paul? What's going on? That can't be right.
The EMF started to just go up and up and up.
It was 0.
5, and then 10.
(DEVICES BEEPING) Is there a power source coming to this building? No.
- No power lines outside? - Nothing.
There was no electricity going to the barn at all.
What's going on? But the readings kept spiking off the chart like there was still electricity on.
What? Went up to, actually, in the 30s.
And that's just totally unheard of.
I've never seen that before.
(DEVICE BEEPING) What's going on? (DEVICE BEEPING RAPIDLY) I just really just kept thinking, "Holy cow.
What is going on here?" (BEEPING) (DRAMATIC MUSIC) (GRUNTING AND GROANING) (COUGHING) You all right? (HOARSE BREATHING) (COUGHING, GAGGING) I felt sick to my stomach Are you okay? And dizzy.
That vertigo feeling.
I'm going to have to look at what we have and do some more research.
- Okay? - Yeah.
I thought Kris was gonna be able to fix whatever was broken in my home and make it stop.
(BIRD CAWING) So as we were breaking down our cameras, we decided to check a little bit of the video from the barn.
Oh, my God.
(SIZZLING) And we discovered that our whole DVR system was fried.
It made me worried for the family.
We did still have our digital audio recorders.
Okay, I'm going to need total silence.
So we start reviewing the audio evidence.
We were asking questions such as And then we got this male's voice that said "Stephen.
" We also caught the name Richard.
(MUFFLED) Richard.
I honestly thought that the name could well be a positive sign.
Why do you go to Rhiannon's room? Do you realize that it scares her? Did you mean to scare the little girl? Very clearly, you could hear it, as plain as day.
She better run.
" When I first heard the sentence, I was excited as a researcher, as an investigator, because you don't get a whole sentence often.
That's extremely rare, but it really scared me to death for her, because I thought it was very threatening.
At first, we thought we were maybe dealing with two separate people, a Stephen and a Richard Until we dug into the historical research and we realized that it was one person, one and the same: Stephen Richards.
Who's Stephen Richards? I've never heard of this man.
You need to sit down.
Stephen Richards was the first serial killer ever hung in Nebraska.
He was often called the Bloody Butcher of Kearney County, and that's the name that we got in your home.
I couldn't believe what Kris was telling us.
I couldn't believe what she was telling me about Stephen Richards.
I mean, this was something out of a nightmare or a movie.
Stephen Richards was a man who traveled aimlessly through the Midwest, going from job to job.
His longest position that he was able to hold was at the Iowa State Insane Asylum.
(ROPES CREAKING, MUFFLED YELLING) Part of his job there was to bury some of the most unfortunate inmates.
(SHOVEL SCRAPING, MEN SCREAMING) There he acquired a taste for violence and death.
In 1878, he traveled to Nebraska and met and befriended Mrs.
Harelson and her three children, Daisy, Mabel, and Jesse.
Harelson and her three children quickly fell under his spell.
They trusted him completely.
(LAUGHTER) But their trust was misplaced.
Richards was only interested in their land and their money.
(PAPERS RUSTLING) Oh, my goodness.
This is his actual confession? Ugh.
"I have killed, in all, nine persons.
"I am 23 years of age and am to be executed "on the 26th day of April, 1879.
I have been asked a good many times why" I killed the Harelson family and have kept people in ignorance until now.
He's been in my house (CRYING) With my kids.
(EERIE MUSIC) "I have been asked a good many times "why I killed the Harelson family, and I have kept people in ignorance until now.
" "I had placed an axe near the door of the house, and immediately, on returning, I took this" And approached the bed in which lay Daisy, asleep.
"At this, she moved a little and murmured something like" Mama.
" - Mama? - "Mama.
" (CLATTERING) The time had come.
Now or never.
And without waiting any longer, I "Approached the bed of the mother, and getting a good aim at her head" Then I turned to Daisy, who was still sleeping.
"She, too, stirred but little and made no noise.
" "Next I killed Mabel Struck her on the forehead "with the flat side of the axe One blow And killed her dead.
" Then I killed Jesse.
(BABY COOING) I struck him three blows.
(AXE CLANGING) "I then stood still a moment, "looking at the bed, and as Daisy moaned and murmured" Mom! "I struck her two or three more times" "And then she lay quite still.
" Oh, God.
It almost makes me sick that this thing is in my house.
(SIGHS) Stephen Richards, you have been found guilty of the murder of Mrs.
Harelson and her three children.
You will now be hung from the neck till you are dead.
He confessed to a multitude of crimes, never once showing any remorse.
I cannot say I regret what I've done.
I've never been happier in my life than at present.
On the morning of April 26th, he was hung for his dreadful crimes.
(ROPE STRAINING) I was absolutely livid that this complete monster was terrorizing my children.
(CRYING) What do we do now? How do I stop him? We need to do a cleansing ceremony.
Because of the severity of the activity there, we felt like we should do a cleansing of the land.
I'll get everything ready, and we can do it tomorrow.
(RATTLING) (CREAKING) All of the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.
I was like, "Oh, God, something is going to happen.
" (EERIE NOISES) It felt like these two humongous hands just went whoosh.
(GAGGING) But it was, like, right here.
I was fast asleep, and something woke me up.
I then noticed some flashing lights underneath the window.
It's like, "Oh, crap.
Get the kids up.
Get 'em ready.
" Danielle, call 911! We need to get them out of the house, 'cause we don't want to take any chances.
Get the kids! Get 'em ready! Come on! I woke up right away because I was so startled.
His tone of voice was so not Randy.
And I looked into the backyard (DRAMATIC MUSIC, EERIE WHISPERING) The entire barn was engulfed in flames.
(FLAMES ROARING) (GASPING) I was being choked.
I couldn't breathe.
We got to get out of here.
(FLAMES CRACKLING) (SOLEMN MUSIC) To this day, we still don't know exactly what caused the barn to burn down.
I think Stephen Richards was sending us a message not to be messing with him.
When we were finally able to adopt (SIGHS) I can't even put it into words.
It was just To me, it was magical.
It was like a hole had been filled in our family that we didn't even really know existed.
It was miraculous.
We were one big happy family at last.
Everything seemed to go back to normal, you know? Everyone was happy.
It was like, "Wow.
We're free.
There's nothing here to hurt us anymore.
" Get it.