INTERVIEW — TAPE #3, SIDE #2
Q: Mark Gordon Russell (interviewer)
M: Maxine Mc Wethy (the mother)
T: Twyla Eller (daughter)
B: Brenda Bell (daughter)
K: Kim Carrell (daughter)
F: Marla Ward (nicknamed Fae; daughter)
C: Steven Carrell (Kim's husband, age 27)
R: Jerry Bell (Maxine's son's son)
Y: Megan Eller (Twyla's daughter)
E: Eric Carrell (one of Kim's sons)
L: Holli Bell (Maxine's son's daughter, age 11)
Q: The “Do Not Disturb” sign was put outside his door?
T: It freaked Paul out he said.
Q: I put my own sign out. (small laugh) (“GOOD” “HERE”) Sometimes people will take it. (“YOU’RE NOT IMPORTANT”)
T: It was so funny. We were sitting around and I said to Jonathan, “I just had a bad thought of a midget just running through here as quick as he could.” He said, “Oh gosh. Don’t say that. That scares me.” So we were sitting there and one of the Seven Dwarves toys hit him.
Q: That’s funny.
T: And then something was walking in here. We could see them. It was dark but we could see them out in the streetlight. Something walked in here and he said, (“NO”) “Oh, boy, Twyla, what’s it going to do when it gets here?”
M: And it scooted across the carpet, he said.
T: Did your mom want you to go outside? (“NO”)
Q: What was it, though? ([OVERLAPPING] MEOW / MEOW)
L: Yeah, I can go outside.
M: We don’t know. (“SHHHHHH”) I was in bed. It scared him to death. Bill came in here the next morning and he was laying there with one eye open. (laughs) He was kidding but —
M: And he slept with that lamp on all the time. That was the producer.
E: Okay, Mom, remember that time that boy came and the door kept —
M: That was before all the LMNO guys came out. Him, Cathy Williamson and this guy from Stillwater all came out here.
Q: How many people do you think altogether have come out? It must be —
K: Oh, thousands.
M: Thousands. (“THAT’S RIGHT”)
Q: And they always want evidence?
M Um-huh. They got it too.
T: They want it to happen as soon as they walk through the door, though.
Q: What evidence can there really be to satisfy somebody who’s a skeptic?
M: We’ve had a lot of skeptics out here.
Q: Right. Before.
M: Before they left — yeah. We had a woman from Ada that claims she’s psychic visit us one night and she brought her little bitsy blonde-headed girl.
T: She smelled like a brewery.
M: She said, “I don’t feel a thing in here.” And that little girl was standing in there in the kitchen. She said, “Mama, that big rat just ran over my feet.” There were no rats in there.
Q: That would be a good little scene in a film. Funny.
M: She wasn’t even a psychic if she couldn’t feel anything. There have been people out here that weren’t psychic that felt stuff. (“OH YEAH”)
Q: They’re psychic because —
T: I feel stuff.
Q: — they say that they’re psychic so they’re psychics. What are some of the things she said that were funny?
K: I don’t even remember.
M: She was dull.
T: She was a drunk.
M: No, that was that other one. This is the one with the little girl.
T: Tell him about Erline. (laughs)
M: That’s funny.
T: There’s a woman that comes out here who just loves Michael and she’s kind of an older lady. One time Michael stretched her purse straps around her ankles and when she went to take off walking she tripped. I mean she tripped for like fifty feet, just tripping and tripping. It was funny.
M: Brenda was talking to her. She was about to come out of the garden. (laughs)
T: It was hilarious.
Q: It seems like shoes are a favorite of theirs for some reason.
T: We had one guy come out here and Michael shoved the desk that had been in the kitchen way across the room. He was nineteen or twenty and it scared him so bad he started crying and hyperventilating. He crawled behind one of those chairs in there (“UM-HUH”) and was going, “Uh uh uh uh uh.” Just crying.
M: Somebody better take care of him. (“OHHH!”)
Q: That would be a funny little scene too.
T: That was hilarious. We were just sitting there laughing.
Q: These would make hilarious scenes. Even in a horror film you can have some comic moments.
T: Because it is — most of it’s funny.
M: There’s definitely lots of humor. (“YOU KNOW”) Me and Twyla were in here one night and he turned up the TV on us four times. She got up and turned it off every time. We were trying to sleep.
Q: When it converses with people how long will it (“CONVERSE”) converse?
M: Yeah, sometimes for hours. (“OH JEESE”)
T: Maybe he’ll do it with you, hopefully. (“NO” “I WOULD”) He’ll just start out. You’ll be talking to me or something and he’ll just start off with “YEAH?,” “I’M HERE” or “BUT I’M BACK.”
Q: Does he have a Southern dialect?
T: Yeah. He does.
M: Sometimes we’ll be in the kitchen talking, not even thinking about him and he’ll say “SO?” (“GHKO”)
Q: Isn’t that funny? ([ALLISON JACKSON] “MARK”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE VOICE OF MY FRIEND ALLISON WHO WORKS AT PARAMOUNT CAN BE HEARD ON THE TAPE HERE.)
Q: So there’s a trace of a dialect. That’s great. Unbelievable. I don’t think there’s an exact parallel with the earlier Bell Case or the other famous cases (“BUT SOME OF THE”) but I guess some of the things that enable it to happen are the same. Like the weather boarding on the house and certain other things. (“DOES IT EVER”) Have you ever asked (“IT”) what foods does it like?
M: He likes pork chops.
T: Sauerkraut. (“HE DID”)
M: I saw his hand that day too.
Q: You saw his hand?
M: He wanted sauerkraut so we went down and bought two cans. (“AM I TOO OLD”) We brought them home and stuck them in there on the cabinet. (“REALLY”) I saw this big old hand dip down in that sauerkraut. I thought it was her because she was standing over there and I accused her of it. She said, “That wasn’t me.”
T: Fine old hand.
M: I told her, “Let me smell your hand.” But she didn’t have it on her hand. So it had to be him.
Q: Have you ever heard any strange music? Sometimes that happens.
M: Well, he likes that Bobby Brown rap tape.
T: Rap crap. (laughs)
M: Yeah, rap crap. (laughs)
Q: That music has a very high energy level.
T: I don’t like rap at all.
M: In fact, we put that in my car with my tape player one time.
Q: That music is pretty scary, though.
Q: It is.
T: Don’t you hate rap music? (“NO”)
Q: Well, it’s very loud. (“I”) There are some very negative aspects to that rap music.
T: I’d rather listen to jazz or something — (“WE’VE TOLD HIM ABOUT”)
Q: As we’re talking, I’m trying in the back of my mind —
M: There’s so many things happening (“PUT TOGETHER”) here.
Q: — there are so many different elements. Like the orphanage that burned down, the owls, the Indian graveyards in the area, the bigfoots. (“YEAH”)
M: There was a whole bunch of people out here one night from Ada and we all went outside. Wasn’t that the night Michael said, “THEY’RE ALL COMING OVER HERE FROM THE CEMETERY”? So I said, “Let’s go over there. We went and walked down the road. At the end of the road, he hollered, “RUN. THEY’RE HERE.” Something like that. Everybody stampeded back to the house.
T: We didn’t tell him about Rachel, though.
M: Oh, Rachel’s another one.
T: She’s supposed to be a ghost.
Q: Oh, Ra(chel) — yeah.
M: Her husband stabbed her in the throat.
T: It’s Michael’s girlfriend. (“EH HEH”)
M: Some people from Ada visiting here one night heard her talking.
T: (whispering) She talks like this and she can’t talk. That’s bad.
M: And you hear it. You can understand —
T: Her house was out there until somebody burned it down. I need to take him to Michael’s cellar where he said he lived and played. (“SHE TALKS AT NIGHT”) The cellar’s still there.
Q: That would be helpful. I’m getting various ideas. One of the things you should do is investigate your family tree in any way you can. (“YEAH”) Just to see if it does connect with the other Bell family because if there is any connection anywhere — (“NO THEY’RE DIFFERENT”) my God, that would be like a dynasty of poltergeists.
T: The name’s spelled different though, isn’t it?
Q: No, that was the other one. That was the clipping I showed you.
T: Okay, that was Alice Belle. (“ONE OF WHOM’S SPEAKING”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS FROM A NOVEMBER 28, 1928 NEWSWEEK ARTICLE.)
Newspaper readers scoffed last week at tales of “miracles” performed by Alice Belle Kirby, 13-year-old daughter of a cotton and corn farmer in Jonesville, La. The stories told how 5,000 persons had gone to see Alice Belle perform such stunts as making tables dance, playing a piano without touching it, and staying suspended in the air.
A Newsweek correspondent visited Alice Belle and found her an ash-blonde, gray-eyed child with far more than usual poise for her age. She took him into a darkened room and promptly astonished him — although the spirits had previously failed another reporter, who had been told to return for a second try four months hence. As the correspondent reported by telegram: “Table she used with me ordinary one which had no draperies and apparently nothing attached. I firmly held her hands and despite pressure I exerted table came up pressed against my chest.”
Later the furniture repeated its dance and the reporter learned that under Alice Belle’s promptings ten other tables had destroyed themselves — seven smaller specimens and three large dining room tables. Mystified, the Newsweek reporter interviewed seasoned and normally skeptical fellow townsmen of Alice Belle.
H. W. Wright, for 21 years education superintendent of Catahoula County, declared he had seen Alice Belle make a table leave a room, walk down the hall, through a screen door, proceed ten paces into the yard, and then return. F. H. Shiel, Alice Belle’s school principal, testified to similarly astonishing performances. Charles E. Smith, assistant manager of a Jonesville motor company, described the child’s levitation powers: “I saw her rise slowly into the air about two feet with nothing in the world to hold her.”
Alice Belle begins each seance with the same incantation, her grandmother’s: “If there be any spirits present, show me a sign by tipping the table.” If the spirit is disobedient she calls it a dumb cluck.
This week the dumb clucks wouldn’t work. After Alice Belle and her mother flew to New York Monday, the child couldn’t move any furniture despite her constant pleading: “Come, table, rise.” Although they’d accepted transportation expenses to appear on a radio program, they weren’t sure whether they’d take up a challenge by Joseph Dunninger, head of the Universal Council for Psychic Research, who maintains a $10,000 standing offer to anyone producing phenomena he can’t mechanically duplicate.
Q: I do know some of the Bells went west from Nashville.
T: Are we west from Nashville? (“I HEAR IT — MEOW — OH” “DADDY DADDY THAT — YOU’RE — YOU’RE GRANDPA BELL’S PEOPLES”)
Q: I thought I heard meowing. (“YOU’RE GRANDPA BELL’S PEOPLES”)
T: You heard meowing?
T: That’s Michael.
M: That’s him.
T: There ain’t no cat around here.
Q: There’s another one. Unless it was the kids. I don’t know. I thought I heard meowing.
M: I hear it too. I just heard it.
T: Oh Megan. She’s out there in your shirt, Mama.
M: Holli put that on her.
T: She looks like a little ghost running around.
Q: (laughs) As if you didn’t have enough on your hands. (laughs) (“DON’T LOOK”)
T: I’ll be watching her, though. (“YEAH YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO GET”)
Q: It’s nice you don’t have to worry about her around here.
T: I’ll take you around Lake Church too. Have you been to Boiling Springs, the Indian cemeteries?
Q: When will we go? Do you want to leave in the evening when your husband gets back?
T: I’d rather go before dark. (laughs)
Q: That would be interesting. (“I MAY COME AND TALK”) So what else? You know what? When the producers came here, did they film up in the attic?
T: A little bit.
Q: See, there isn’t much room up there.
T: We told them about the attic. They weren’t even interested in the attic.
Q: I know that’s where the focus is. I mean it’s just that you know.
K: Yeah. You can feel it.
Q: You just know it is. That’s where it’s going on.
C: Have they showed you the attic?
T: Yeah. He won’t go up there.
Q: I can feel — yeah. (“WHEEEEE”) A penny was thrown right as she took a picture.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE LITTLE BOY, ERIC, HAS FASHIONED HIMSELF A CAPE AND SHOWS ME A TOY.)
E: Have you ever seen these before?
Q: Yeah, I have.
E: These are McDonald’s toys.
Q: Um-huh. You have a cape. Is that a superhero cape you have on?
T: That wrap goes around my sculptures so they won’t get broke. He wanted it because of the bubbles. Mama?
M: (in the other room) What?
T: Okay, I was making sure that was you sliding that across that table. (“OH OKAY”)
Q: When he says his mother killed him, does he say how his mother killed him?
T: She hit him in the head with a hammer.
Q: Oh my God.
T: Another time he said he was deformed. (“SLIGHTLY”) Later on she was driving down the road like in the ’30s, ’40s or ’50s — I can’t remember — and he showed himself to her and she ran off the bridge outside town here. We brought her home one night.
T: Yeah, she was with us one night.
Q: Who? Who? Oh —
T: The mother.
Q: — the spirit.
T: And we had an ax missing from here.
Q: My God!
T: We were all so scared. They found the ax across the bridge here.
Q: Now what year was this in terms of how it happened?
T: Michael says he died in 1951. He was eight years old when he died.
Q: I meant how long was it after the (“THE THE”) — the haunting began that this particular event happened?
T: About three years after. Last year.
Q: That’s like a major bit of business there. That would be very suspenseful in a film. Wouldn’t it? A scene like that? But you can never see anything? You just felt a presence? (“UM-HUH”) Is that what it was — with the mother?
T: Right. (“UM-HUH”)
Q: How did you know there were two of them? (“WHO”) Was he talking or —
Q: The spirit. Oh, I heard it again. Maybe it was kids. I don’t know.
T: I think he’s here. Sometimes he’s outside.
Q: Maybe. I — I — but see (“I”) — it’s hard. They’re all so different. (“BUT”) I just hear meowing. So Rachel’s house used to be there but nobody lived there and somebody burned it down. Did he show you where it was?
T: Yeah, I know where it’s at. About two miles — (“NO”)
Q: I’m still just trying to digest this sequence of events. Where were you going before you picked up the mother spirit? What led into this?
T: We were sitting here talking to him one night — me and a bunch of other people. (“NO”) And he said he could show us where the bridge was where his (“UM-HUH”) mother died. We went out there (“UM-HUH”) and Mama’s car — she has a car that has electric windows and stuff. The motor started smelling like it had caught on fire so we all went home and then the car was fine. Something happened to her car. When we got here he said, “MY MOTHER’S HERE WITH ME.” And he don’t like for you to mention his mother because it makes him mad. And he used not to like it when you called him green. He didn’t like the color green because Martians are supposed to be green. He always moved the table when we called him green.
Q: So it’s like you have two conflicting stories.
T: Three or four.
Q: The Bell Witch gave conflicting stories too. (“SO”) In the Fortean Times article the writer mentioned that scene in “The Exorcist” where the old priest says the demon is a liar. (“IT ALL”) Maybe its all symptomatic of the same thing but we just don’t know what it is.
Q: The minute you opened the attic door to go up (“SHHH”) the penny came. (“BABY”) That’s definitely (“GOOD” “YEAH”) — it’s like a warning to get out almost.
T: Yeah. Throwing pennies I don’t deny. (small laugh)
Q: No, of course it is. (“HE KNOWS IT”)
C: These chairs here have been broken.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: MEGAN CRIES OUT ON THE TAPE HERE AND CONTINUES PERIODICALLY FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS SIDE.)
Q: It definitely has (“MEGAN”) certain boundaries. (“HUH”) What happened after you picked up Michael’s mother?
T: She only stayed for a day or two and then she was gone.
Q: How did you know she was here? Did she talk?
T: Michael told us she was here. He wouldn’t come out very much.
Q: He might have been just making it up. (“NOW”) It reminds me of (“NO”) those horror movies like “Nightmare on Elm Street” or something. (laughs) God.
B: Have you seen it?
T: He never dies. Like “Friday the 13th.” He never dies.
Q: I worked on publicity materials for two of those “Friday the 13th” films.
( . . . )
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THERE IS ALSO A PARALLEL WITH THE “HALLOWEEN” FILM SERIES AND THE CHARACTER ‘MICHAEL MYERS.’)
Q: Did he ever talk to you about buried treasure? (“UM-UH”) They do that sometimes.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: ALTHOUGH INAUDIBLE ON THE MICROCASSETTE, TEENAGER JERRY BELL THEN MENTIONS THAT HE ONCE SAW BLOOD DRIPPING FROM THE CEILING.)
Q: Really? That’s something you see in lots of bad horror movies. And some good movies too like “Tess.” (“BUT”) That wasn’t a horror movie. I mean that’s something you hear all the time with these types of cases. (“BUT IT MIGHT”) What do you think it was?
T: I think he was just messing.
Q: Did it look like blood?
Q: Do you think he was just scaring you?
Q: Was it real blood, do you think? (“BLOOD”)
T: The kid’s never hurt me at this point in life.
Q: I don’t think it wants to hurt anyone. Or it would have by now.
Q: What did you think when you heard that recent story about somebody who killed his son because he thought him to be possessed by the Devil? (“BOY”)
T: He cut his head off or something going down a road?
Q: This must be someone who has schizophrenia.
T: I don’t know what it is. I couldn’t believe that. I didn’t (“WHO”) know if it was true or not. My sister told me about it.
Q: That’s the way it was reported on the news. (“GOD”) Who knows what the real story is. His other kid was in the car at the time and witnessed it. (“YOU’LL DIE”) Can you imagine?
T: Didn’t somebody see him doing it, though? Going down the highway or something?
Q: He was going down the highway. He tossed the head out of the window.
T: Do you believe in possession?
Q: Oh yeah. It’s very rare.
T: You don’t know if that was the case or he just wanted to kill his son. Nowadays you don’t ever know. (“RIGHT THERE’S A DIFFERENCE)
Q: Schizophrenia is very different from demonic possession. The thing that’s so confusing about it is that if they really are demonically possessed they could kill someone immediately. They wouldn’t have to build up to anything. The motivations are so bizarre and strange.
T: Uh-huh. I don’t believe anything until I see it.
Q: Why? Well, you’ve seen some things. (laughs)
T: Oh gosh. More than most people see in a lifetime.
Q: People would never believe pennies were thrown. They would think somebody would have had to have rigged it so they threw it when you gave them the sign.
E: Aren’t you ready to pop that button and stuff? Pop. Pop.
Q: (small laugh) This town used to be called Owls?
T: Yeah. Owl.
Q: There had to be a reason for that.
T: Owl Creek. The Indians knew something we didn’t.
Q: They do have migration patterns so maybe that’s why they used to call this town Owl.
T: I’m surprised you never heard of Styguineas, though. Everybody’s heard of that.
Q: What is it?
T: Styguinea. The part-owl and part-man — part Indian. (INDIAN VOICES CHANTING)
Q: Maybe I read about them and didn’t retain it. (“YEAH” “WHEHHHH”) Each tribe had different —
T: One time Heather saw one.
Q: — words for it probably but the owls are symbols. A lot of people see owls as very symbolic. In Ireland, spirits are said to return as owls.
T: Really? I’d like to go see some ghost houses that I’ve heard about.
Q: Uh-oh. You’re not (“MARK”) going to like this, Mama.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: MEGAN APPEARS WITHOUT HER CLOTHES FOR THE THIRD OR FOURTH TIME.)
Q: Are you going to like this? (laughs / to Megan —) What are you doing?
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: TWYLA IS LISTENING TO HER MOTHER IN THE OTHER ROOM.)
T: Nobody is, Mom!
Q: What? (“DO YOU THINK IT”)
T: I was just out of it for a second.
Q: (to Megan) Are you cooler like this? (to Twyla) What are you thinking about right now, I wonder?
T: A secret.
Q: Oh. (“IS IT”) What do you — (“IT’S DRIVE”) it’s driving you crazy. You just want it all to go away.
T: I hadn’t noticed Megan yet! I was just feeling concerned.
( . . . )
Q: She’s the host of “The Other Side”? What did you think of her?
M: Oh I loved her.
T: She was nice.
Q: Yeah. Did you ever watch her on TV?
M: I haven’t. (“YOU KNOW”)
Q: She’s sensational about all these things. (“YEAH”) I can only watch her for a few minutes at a time.
T: At the end of her interview with me — and I don’t know if it also happened to Mama — during her last question she grabbed my hand and she said, “Twyla, can you look in my eyes and tell me that you are telling the truth?” And I said, “Yeah.”
Q: She’s probably a nice lady.
M: She didn’t ask me that.
T: She did me. (“WELL YEAH”)
M: I don’t think. (“WELL USUALLY THEY”)
Q: They usually save (“THEIR HARD”) their most disturbing questions for last. (“HE PUT MY HAT ON”) Because they can always edit them. (“AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH GLAD THIS PART IS OVER”)
T: Who’s going to get mad at me next?
Q: Is there any way to equate the dead spirit aspects of Michael (“A”) and the alien things? How can those two go together? (“THOSE TWO”) Have you ever asked him?
T: Uh-uh. (“HAVE YOU”)
M: I think we have. (“SO”)
Q: He hasn’t said anything. (“MAYBE HE WON’T”) How can he both be an alien and his mother kill him? Unless he’s neither spirit or alien. (“I KNOW”)
M: He lies.
Q: Yeah. He lies.
M: He lies a lot. (“UH-HUH”)
Q: Some of the stories that you’ve been able to remember are quite good. You forget about them because they’re just so constant and it’s just a small part of your day-to-day life. It’s not an overwhelming part. What’s comical are some of the people you’ve met because of this. Like the producers and the psychic woman with the daughter.
T: And the ghosts!
Q: Do you remember any of the funny encounters with these people? (“I MEAN”)
M: Oh, we didn’t tell him about that big security guard out here that night who saw a ghost out here.
T: His name was Tiny. But he’s big. Because he’s big they call him Tiny.
Q: Oh that’s funny. There’s got to be a character in that. (“I KNOW IT”)
B: An image is what he called it.
M: He saw an image. (“RIGHT HERE”)
Q: Where did he see it?
M: Out here through his pick-up.
T: “I don’t want no damn ghost in my mirror.” (small laugh)
(“THROUGH HIS REAR” “PLUS”) He said it looked like an image. When he caught sight of it, it kind of scared him.
M: Well, Brenda did too out there sitting in my car one night.
B: I was sitting in her car listening to the radio one night and there were people in the house. And it was small. Behind the car. I saw it through the mirror and I thought somebody came outside.
Q: That’s like an alien-type sighting.
M: She came in and said, “Was anybody outside?” And we said, “No, we were all in here.”
B: There wasn’t nobody out here at that time of night. (“NO”)
Q: I’ve read certain theories about doorways to other dimensions and things like that. Do you think maybe in the attic there could be one of these doorways?
T: Let’s go up there and see. (laughs)
B: That’s possible, isn’t it? (“NO IT’S NOT”)
Q: You can’t really see anything.
T: I’ve been trying to get him to go into the attic and he won’t do it.
( . . . )
M: He was in his walker and the biggest little boy out there —
Q: What’s his name again?
M: His name’s Erik. But the one we call (“THEY CALL”) Bub is a little older than him.
Y: Help me.
M: We had him out here one time when he was little. (“GAY”) And — (“HELP ME”) he was sitting in there in his walker. Me and Twyla were in here and he was crying. We started going up to see him and all of a sudden he quit crying. We walked in there and there was a broken egg on his tray of that walker. He was eating it and Michael says, “THAT WAS PROTEIN.”
Q: That’s true.
M: And raw hamburger meat. Now the same thing happened to both them boys (“GOD”) when they were little.
K: (to Megan) You want it on or you want it off? I take it off of you and you get mad.
Y: Key. (“UM-HUH”)
T: My ears are burning.
M: I imagine.
B: She knows about — I guess about me, wasn’t it? She always does drag me into it. (“YEAH”) Tell her what she said.
T: When you just sit and bore her all day, maybe she might like me better. (“UHH”)
M: Now what I do is my business.
T: I did not direct that toward Eleanor. Eleanor just happened to be in here.
( . . . )
T: . . . business has been in a mess so she goes getting scared. How about that line, “It was all because of Kim, I suppose? Christmas bells came on. I’m getting out of here.” Remember he came — (“AHEM”) she came with Kim?
M: Oh, Andie.
B: Yeah. What she said was, “I’m getting the hell out of here.”
Q: Women live for this kind of thing, you know? (“UH-HUH”)
T: I knew something would happen.
M: It didn’t scare us.
B: It ought to give them a rush.
M: Why would it scare her? We had to live with it. (“OHH”)
T: She needs a man so bad.
Q: Isn’t she married?
T: She won’t even say anything about it too.
M: She came in there and said, “Well, at least somebody’s watching her.” I said, “Kim, don’t start this.” And then she said, “But, I don’t want to start it, Mother. You did it.”
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I PERIODICALLY TURN ON THE TAPE RECORDER WHEN I THINK WHAT WE DISCUSS COULD BE USEFUL INFORMATION FOR MY PROJECT. WE BEGIN DISCUSSING WHY ONE OF THE TV SHOWS DIDN’T COME OUT TO INVESTIGATE THE CASE AND THEN TALK ABOUT BILL SOME MORE. THERE IS HAMMERING IN THE BACKGROUND DURING THIS PORTION OF TAPE BECAUSE THE OUTER DOOR IS BEING REPAIRED.)
Q: They do that to prevent wasting a trip because there’s probably a lot of hoaxing.
M: They couldn’t believe so many people witnessed it but there’s a lot more than those seventy-five people they called.
T: I told him I’d like to get the press people over here that have seen phenomena and talked to him.
( . . . )
Q: In the olden days, people interpreted the inability to drink as a sign of witchcraft. They were unable to get anything down their throats. (“NO”)
M: Well, he drinks ice water continually. All the time.
Q: It doesn’t make any difference.
M: And he still (“UH-HUH”) stays dried-out. (“YEAH”)
T: He doesn’t get enough ice water.
Q: It just disappears. (“WELL THAT”)
M: They’re great. (“WHOOPS”)
Q: Even the stomach. It can go out there. If they can throw rocks through walls and things they can do anything.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: WE BEGIN WATCHING A VIDEOTAPED NEWS REPORT ABOUT THE FAMILY. FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS TAPE SIDE ‘Y’ DENOTES STACY THE ANCHORWOMAN, ‘P’ REPRESENTS WES THE TV REPORTER AND ‘A’ STANDS FOR PARAPSYCHOLOGIST BARRY TAFF.)
T: They’re kind of green, aren’t they?
Y: . . . a ghost house in Southeastern Oklahoma.
B: No. (“YEAH”)
Y: Wes, I know this story’s been going on for a long time. I covered it back in 1990. What’s progressed?
T: That’s a lie.
P: Well, Stacy, the rocks, the screws, the coins — they’re all still flying around. We had a Hollywood production crew in about two weeks ago and what they did, they came in, filmed a special for ABC. It will be airing a little later this summer and all the publicity has turned this little Oklahoma town upside down.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: A PRE-TAPED SEGMENT FOLLOWS.)
P: Centrahoma, Oklahoma — a nice, quiet little town with a population of about 160. Nice and quiet — unless you visit the Mc Wethy household.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: A “POLTERGEIST” FILM CLIP BEGINS.)
T: (small laugh) I think that’s kind of funny.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE CLIP FEATURES THE FAMOUS LINE FROM THE MOVIE — “THEY’RE HERE.”)
P: Just like the family on ‘Poltergeist,’ the Mc Wethys have had a household visitor for the last five years. His name — Michael Sutherland, an eight-year-old that happens to be a ghost but he’s not the haunting type.
T: There’s Carl and he’s got the shirt.
P: The Mc Wethys think of him as an innocent little kid.
F: (TAPED INTERVIEW) He’s really sweet. It’s — it’s like — because he’s doing it for attention because his mom didn’t love him when he — he — well, he told us that his mama (“YEAH”) didn’t love him. That’s why she killed him.
P: Now Michael can speak and every once in a while someone catches a glimpse of his shadow but once Maxine Mc Wethy got a hold of him.
T: (TAPED INTERVIEW) One night Mama — she grabbed a hold of his hand and she started hollering. And she said, “I got him, I got him. Help!” Uh-uh. (small laugh)
P: The Mc Wethy family says he likes to pinch, pull hair and throw rocks, but there’s only been one incident where someone was injured.
M: (TAPED INTERVIEW) Well, he clawed Twyla’s (“NO”) face a time. That was before he ever started talking and he got — it kind of shook her up a little bit and my neighbor —
M: (TAPED INTERVIEW) — came over here and took her to a Dr. Hilton that’s in Coalgate –
M: Yeah, go love your nanny.
M: (TAPED INTERVIEW) — and he said it wasn’t human.
P: But Twyla —
T: That’s Paul.
P: — hasn’t held the incident against him. She now considers —
P: — Michael as her own child.
T: (TAPED INTERVIEW) He’s into something I know ever. Michael get out of that, you know, or don’t be saying that, or be good, or you know. I mean, if something’s going on in the house that I know there’s nobody else doing I know who it is now.
P: The Mc Wethys aren’t the only ones to have seen or heard (“YES”) Michael. There have been scores (“BUT”) of doubters who now believe.
F: (TAPED INTERVIEW) I mean you see the stuff on TV but you don’t know everything, you know — only unless some of it happened to me. It can.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: AN OVERLAPPING “POLTERGEIST” SCENE FEATURES DAUGHTER SAYING “I CAN’T HEAR YOU MOMMY. WHERE ARE YOU?” THE TAPED SEGMENT ENDS AS STACY IN THE NEWSROOM AGAIN APPEARS ON THE TELEVISION SCREEN.)
Y: Wes, I don’t want you to give — give it away for tomorrow but you — you said you were going to talk to a parapsychologist?
P: That’s right. He comes in. He mainly — he took a look at this house. He gave his opinion and what he has basically said is he thinks there’s a poltergeist that —
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: PART TWO FOLLOWS, CONTINUING WHAT I TAPED ON THE SIDE OF THIS MICROCASSETTE. THIS SEGMENT CONTAINS MANY SPOOKY SOUND EFFECTS CONTRIBUTED BY THE NEWS CREW.)
Y: More with part two of this series “The Myth of Michael.” Last night we heard from this family about the alleged ghost and tonight we talk to the man who makes his living studying things like this.
P: That’s right, Stacy, we talked to a parapsychologist who has mainly done a lot of studies in California. He’s listed over 3,000 different studies. He brought his Hollywood crews with him this week and went to this house in Centrahoma and is really going back to California with some (“NO”) real interesting finds.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: ANOTHER “POLTERGEIST” CLIP FEATURES THIS DIALOGUE — “WOULD YOUR FAMILY HAVE WELCOMED A SERIOUS INVESTIGATION OF THESE DISTURBANCES BY SOMEONE WHO CAN MAKE FIRSTHAND OBSERVATIONS?”)
P: Would your family welcome someone into your home to make observations? Well, Barry Taff has made observations for more than thirty-three different hauntings and poltergeist cases.
A: (TAPED INTERVIEW) Perhaps, the best known of which was a movie called “The Entity” with Barbara Hershey in 1983 —
Q: He’s promoting his video.
A: (TAPED INTERVIEW) That movie was based on a case that I was the personal investigator on. That was our most famous case up to this point.
P: Taff joined a Hollywood production crew to investigate this house in Centrahoma. Over a quarter of a million dollars worth of equipment has been brought in to determine if there is a strange phenomenom (SIC) occurring at the Mc Wethys’ home.
T: Oh, I forgot to tell him something.
A: (TAPED INTERVIEW) At this point spectral analysis happens to see anything on those systems that indicate anything paranormal, then again we have to review all the data once we get back to Los Angeles and see if anything comes up beyond this house.
R: Got the sounds here, you know?
A: I — I’m sure the minute we pack up —
Q: (small laugh)
A: — all our equipment back in the van —
M: I believe that’s that well . . .
A: — and leave, we’ll get a call the next day saying, “Guess what? All of our phenomena is happening again.” That’s real common.
M: It picks up every little thing . . .
P: Is Taff finding? After spending a week here he says the Mc Wethys have a typical case of a poltergeist.
Q: Scary music. Do you like the scary music that they have playing? (“THAT’S IT”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: HERE IS ANOTHER “POLTERGEIST” MOVIES CLIP INSERT WITH THE FOLLOWING DIALOGUE — “POLTERGEISTS ARE USUALLY ASSOCIATED WITH AN INDIVIDUAL. HAUNTINGS SEEM TO BE CONNECTED WITH AN AREA.”)
A: Before I arrived, the crew that had arrived before me witnessed some phenomena — objects flying, there were rocks, stones, ashtrays, but that was three days — three days before I arrived, so, you know, we’re left with whatever we can get while we’re here. (“DAMN IT”)
P: Taff explains this phenomena (“DID”) centers around Twyla. He says she controls the poltergeist —
B: Watch it coming up.
P: — with her subconscious mind. Taff has taken readings —
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: MICROCASSETTE TAPE #3, SIDE #2 ENDS HERE.)