INTERVIEW — TAPE #9, SIDE #2
Q: Mark Gordon Russell (interviewer)M: Maxine Mc Wethy
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: IN EDITING THESE INTERVIEWS I NOTICED THAT MANY OF THE “YEAH”S AND “YOU KNOW”S ORIGINALLY ATTRIBUTED TO MYSELF ARE MORE LIKELY COMMENTS FROM MICHAEL AND I HAVE NOT INCLUDED THESE IN THE TRANSCRIPT. AT THIS POINT IN THE TRANSCRIBING I HAD NOT YET REALIZED HOW ORDINARY SOME SPIRIT MESSAGES SOUND. I GRADUALLY BECAME MORE ACCUSTOMED TO THIS FREQUENTLY RECURRING VOICE THAT OFTEN REMARKS “YEAH” AND “YOU KNOW.”)
M: One night we went way out there to that cellar out there.
Q: The cellar.
M: And he said, “GET OUT OF HERE. THE DEVIL WORSHIPERS ARE COMING.” Man, I turned that car around so fast. I said, “How many of them?” He said, “ELEVEN.” So we got out of there.
Q: Is that where they go? The cellar area?
M: I guess so. We didn’t see anybody up there. It could have been out in the woods.
Q: Maybe there was another reason why he didn’t want you to go over there.
M: He’s afraid of them himself.
Q: Do you really think that there are Devil worshipers in this area?
M: I’ve heard this. You’d be surprised.
Q: Really? It’s such a religious community. I haven’t seen anyone who I would even think in a million years could be capable of that. And to what purpose?
M: I don’t know. I don’t even know what they do.
Q: It’s hard believing that. It’s bad enough you have a mental institution. You have all these Gothic places. You don’t need a burned-down orphanage too. You don’t know if there really was one or not.
M: I don’t really know.
Q: But he said that there was.
M: He said he thought there was.
Q: Tomorrow, I’m going to try to do some research about this geographical area.
M: That black guy who’s an eighty-something-year-old-man told Twyla he thought there was an orphanage here before but later when I asked him in Coalgate — (“SEE”)
Q: What was his name again?
M: Jack Williams.
Q: So he’s somebody you knew before?
M: My kids went to school with his kids.
Q: Have you ever spoken to him since then?
M: Yeah. I asked him about it and he said he didn’t know if there was or not.
Q: Then why did he say that to Twyla before?
M: I don’t have any idea.
Q: I’ll tell you why.
M: Unless he forgot.
Q: No. Let me tell you why. Because this is — based on other cases. He didn’t tell you that. That was Michael taking his countenance and telling you that.
Q: This has happened other times. Does that make sense to you now?
M: Well, yeah.
Q: I don’t know if that is the case or not because I haven’t done enough research. In the case that inspired the movie “Poltergeist” there was a strange black Negro man who came up and spoke to the family and then he disappeared. They did not know who he was.
Q: In this case you know who he was. In other cases like the Bell Witch case, the entity took the appearance of people in the neighborhood so people thought that they were talking to their neighbor and then later on ran into the neighbor further on down the street and realized that who they had seen before had been the spirit assuming the form of their neighbor.
M: Oh my goodness.
Q: So it gives you something else to think about, doesn’t it?
Q: If you really think about it — in terms of the powers it has shown you, it would have that power.
M: Um-huh. Ooh, we’ll never get this figured out.
Q: Of course not. But it’s good that I know that.
M: Yeah. Oh yeah.
Q: I already know that. So in terms of the denouement you can still make it dramatic even though there’s no satisfactory explanation for what has happened. Life doesn’t have a satisfactory explanation. Some people would think, “Oh, there’s no solution —”
Q: “— where’s the resolution?” Well, there’s enough horror here. (“NO”) But that’s something to think about. Maybe I’m creating false parallels. For example, as you know, I was wondering if what was wrong with Bill had anything to do with the spirit. After meeting him I don’t think so. I haven’t totally ruled it out. Before this, did you think Mr. Williams said that about the burned-down orphanage but then forgot?
M: He told Twyla and she’s the one who told me. She was living in an apartment in Coalgate and Jack was there all the time doing things for the girls and everything. Once we gave her a couch and Jack came down here and hauled it there for her. And that’s when he told her that. About three weeks ago I saw him at the store and asked him about it —
Q: Because he could even have been on the premises at the time when ‘he’ told Twyla this yet that still might not have been him. It’s just one possible scenario. I’m just telling you that there have been other cases where this has happened. I want to be very careful that these parallels don’t prejudice me so if you find out that he can remember saying that to Twyla, let me know.
M: He told me he didn’t know about the orphanage when I asked him.
Q: Then why did he say that before, then? Did Twyla just get confused? Maybe somebody else had mentioned it to her.
M: No. She said he told her that on their way over here.
Q: So right now, based on what I’ve heard, I think it was Michael taking the appearance of Mr. Williams. Michael could even have been imitating Mr. Williams’s voice in Twyla’s mind. Again, when I listen to the tapes I’ve recorded, I’ll have to listen carefully to find out if I can hear his voice and it’s probably hard to hear when you’re not accustomed to it. Isn’t that strange that he didn’t destroy my tape with the recording of the meow sound? And, believe me, I’m not going to tape over anything. Unless he trashes my room tonight. (laughs)
M: I wouldn’t bet on that. I wouldn’t —
Q: Bet against it either.
M: — doubt it.
Q: I think I’m pretty polite. I don’t think there would be any reason why he would do that. But it was strange seeing that insect trying to get in last night. I’ve never seen an insect do that before. I mean the door was closed. Why would a beetle be doing that?
M: Are they thick doors?
Q: This is a hotel door.
M: Oh my gosh.
Q: It really surprised me.
M: It couldn’t make that big of noise by itself?
Q: It was a rapping sound.
M: I mean the bug?
Q: It was like — this is what —
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I MIMIC THE RAPPING SOUNDS BY STRIKING MY KNUCKLES AGAINST THE TABLE.)
Q: With a little rattle too. At the same time. So I heard this and I thought, “Oh, well that’s the air conditioner. It must be going into a cycle or something.” It kept on and on. I said, “Well, maybe I better —” I thought, “Uh-oh.”
Q: I said, “Scratching is one of the definite key signs of poltergeists.” So I went and then looked out the window and there was this huge beetle. I should have taken a photo of it. Now I realize that.
Q: But I was sort of half-asleep. I said, “Oh God, what’s that crazy bug doing — trying to get in through a closed door?” So it continued and I was thinking about it: “Oh my God. There have been other cases where they have taken the form of animals and insects.” That’s a standard occurrence in these cases. When I went to the window and looked out again, it wasn’t there this time.
Q: The night before Michael made my brother’s bed move so this could have been what he did the second night. I wonder if he’ll do something tonight. (“I DON’T REALLY KNOW”)
M: Ohhh. (laughs)
Q: It all might just be a coincidence. But that’s what this whole thing is — every aspect of it could be a coincidence. From your post office box having the number thirteen to imagining voices — even though we know that they’re not imagined, don’t we? Most people would still think that it was mass hysteria or that Twyla was somehow throwing her voice.
M: I think that’s what people used to accuse her of. I was standing over there at the sink one day when I got hit in the head with an egg and boy that hurt. Twyla was over there by that cabinet and she was just dying laughing — about to roll over laughing about it. At about that time she got hit by an egg right in the temple and I laughed at her so she couldn’t be doing it.
Q: But she could be — we don’t know. When pennies and things come flying — she’s not the one who’s throwing them.
M: She couldn’t have hit herself with that egg either.
Q: It could be her unconscious mind somehow doing it but how do you prove these things? Did anyone ever want to test her — hook her up to machines and check her brain waves and things like that?
M: They didn’t say anything about it.
Q: Eventually they will. They’ll want to. I don’t know if they should.
M: I kind of wish they would.
Q: You’ve heard so much about her subconscious mind being what’s causing all this to happen. I think the place already had some spiritual force here but needed someone like her to enable it to manifest itself.
Q: She must be very psychic or something. Do you think she’s psychic?
M: She was talking about something once and — I can’t remember what it was — but I guess I’m psychic too. I’ll be thinking about somebody and they’ll show up.
Q: Everyone does that to a certain extent. When we were in the car, the dashboard light was going on and off. How could she be doing that?
M: I don’t know.
Q: Why would she want to and how would she know the mechanics of doing that?
M: She wouldn’t be thinking about stuff like that, though.
Q: Plus the automatic door locks were going on and off.
M: That happened to us in the cemetery too. We hear them just flop up and down.
Q: I mean she — how — oh, boy.
M: I know it. It’ll drive you crazy trying to figure it out.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THIS PORTION OF THE TAPE WAS RECORDED NEAR THE SHEDS BEHIND THE HOUSE.)
Q: There’s nothing in the sheds now or is one of them a toolshed?
M: Brenda and her girlfriend were tearing that old chicken pen down because it’s fallen down.
Q: What’s in this shed here?
M: It’s just full of junk. (laughs)
Q: That sort of boggles my mind considering what may be happening on the premises. Aliens can use junk for a lot of different purposes. What about these two small rooms over here? What are they used for?
M: That’s a cellar.
M: You mean that right straight across from you?
Q: The one that’s in the hill?
M: That’s a well house and a cellar out there.
Q: And what’s in there?
Q: So this door was where you saw the little faces in the one picture?
Q: Is that door open now?
Q: Shall I take a picture of inside there?
M: There’s a bunch of junk in there. I have everybody’s junk up here. That’s why I can’t get things done.
Q: Every element of superstition is involved in this in some way. Other than werewolves. Have you ever heard any howls?
M: We got coyotes.
Q: I’m thankful that there isn’t any report about a werewolf. I wouldn’t know what to do with a werewolf. Shhhhhh.
M: I would move if there were werewolves. Oh, they’d probably follow us too. (laughs)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: WE RETURN INSIDE AND I SHOW HER THE TAPE RECORDER THAT I HAVE BROUGHT FOR THE FAMILY.)
Q: You can use the tape recorder whenever you remember something that happened. If he says anything, you can repeat the words. How often does Twyla come around these days?
M: About once every weekend — once every two weekends probably.
Q: This will help us in the long run. I’ll give you some tapes too.
M: The next time Twyla comes down, I’ll have that hid and he won’t even know it’s hid, probably. I’m going to tape him. (laughs)
Q: Well, he probably will know but —
Q: — you can use it for what you say. If other family members remember something, they should also use it. Eventually, what I’ll do is probably send you some more questions and they’ll be pretty specific. I’ll just leave this down here — or where should —
M: I’ll just put it up a little bit higher in case the kids come over.
Q: These are easier to use than the microcassettes because you know when the side has finished recording. You can hear it snap off. The microphone is built in. I think there’s an adapter too for electricity. I usually have a tape recorder as a back-up in case a tape recorder doesn’t work. You don’t need the directions but here they are. So I wonder if Michael will be visiting me tonight.
M: I hope so. (laughs)
Q: Well, as long as he’s nice and polite.
M: Oh, I’ll tell you something else that happened. People came out here one time from way up — Wagner, Oklahoma or something. They heard about it and they spent the night at a motel. They told us that the husband folded his clothes and put them on the dresser and the next morning the clothes were soaking wet. He had to ring them out. They were just here for the one night.
Q: Every small incident in itself doesn’t prove anything. You can usually find some way to dismiss each claim but there’s so much that goes on. It will be interesting to see what LMNO does with the material. Did they get any rocks being thrown against the wall on film?
M: They had rocks thrown at them when they went to the cemetery.
Q: But were they filming at the time? (“BLOOD”) Because that’s pretty convincing when you see the objects flying. Do you think they have any of that on tape?
M: Well, they’ve done a lot of reenactment out here with rocks and stuff.
Q: Oh shhhhhh.
Q: But that ruins the credibility.
Q: If they even once do a reenactment people won’t believe any of it. No matter what else is there, people won’t believe it. It’s easy to fake rocks coming out of nowhere and hitting the wall.
M: They had all their equipment they —
Q: I just realized that even if they do get that happening on film people aren’t going to believe it. They would need to get something major on film.
M: Well, they could have caught something (“THEY COULD HAVE”) real.
Q: Sometimes they let you see it in advance if they think it’s something that could create a big response. I don’t think it’s going to — I don’t think they filmed anything major. Even the title “Put It To The Test” unfortunately has some rather negative ramifications.
M: That’s what I thought too.
Q: But that’s okay. You’ve got to start somewhere. The first break isn’t so bad. It’s just that if Twyla were to start going on all the other shows such as “Encounters” and “The Other Side” it wouldn’t be too good. It’s important to leave some shows left over for later. The sad — and the funny thing too — is that those shows don’t pay any money anyway, so the producers make a lot of money on the show and the people who appear on it don’t get anything. And then the opposite is true of some of the more sensational outlets like the Enquirer, which pays you a lot of money but destroys your credibility forever.
M: They lie about everything so —
Q: So far so good, but TV viewers don’t know whether or not the people they see on any of those shows are honest or not. They have to experience it.
M: They can’t see anything unless Michael goes with her and does something. And he’s not going to do anything around people he doesn’t like.
Q: The people who have experienced him may come forward eventually just to help support your case. It’s hard to believe in it if you haven’t experienced it. I wouldn’t believe it — well, I mean I would believe it but before I did my research I wouldn’t have believed it unless I experienced it. I hope I shut the car door tight. I’m sure I did. Nobody has to lock anything in this area.
Q: After I get the photos duplicated I’ll send them back to you. I don’t know how long it will take for my history book to go to publication because it takes a long time to publish something. Eventually, they might want to see the originals back again so they won’t lose a generation. At least, if anything happens to the originals, I’ll have a duplicate set. You might call me a week from tomorrow to check in with me. I’ll let you know if anything unusual happens with my photos, which I don’t think will happen. I’ll also check with ABC again to see if they have an air date for “Put It To The Test” yet.
M: They should.
Q: Well, they said late summer.
M: When is the end of the summer? After this month?
Q: I don’t how much in advance ABC schedules because they pay such close attention to the other networks. They should let you know as well. Or they’ll send you a letter.
M: He’s supposed to call.
Q: Hopefully, my attorney won’t take too long in getting the contract to you. I don’t know how long the photo labs take. So where does Fae live?
M: About six miles north of here.
Q: And then Kim lives right near here.
M: She lives up the street.
Q: That’s good. They’re all pretty close by. When I was driving with Bill, he was talking a little bit about his illness and saying that he wasn’t sure if he would get better. I said, “Oh yes, I think you’ll get better because I know other people who had strokes and they’re totally paralyzed. The fact that you’re getting your movement back is very encouraging.”
M: He’s been walking quite a bit here lately.
Q: I told him not to be too afraid. What do you think his prognosis is?
M: I don’t think he wants to live.
Q: Why not?
M: He keeps threatening to shoot himself.
Q: What is he so upset about? Because of the pain?
M: Yeah. I don’t know what it is.
Q: Well, what is the pain from, though?
M: I don’t have any idea.
Q: This is definitely still a possibility.
Q: But what could possibly be the reason, though?
M: They’ve checked him for everything.
Q: I’m worried now. I don’t know what to believe because he’s such a nice man. But if you compare this with the Bell case, even though he’s not Twyla’s real father was there anything that he ever did to her that —
Q: — the spirit wouldn’t like or anything? Because the spirit acts a lot like Twyla in terms of liking the mother. The father gets more of the hostility from the teenage girl than the mother so it sort of takes after her in some ways but she cannot control it. She said that she sometimes worries that maybe she is in some way involved. If Twyla is somehow involved she could feel guilty about it but I don’t think that’s the case at all.
M: Well, I don’t either. Helen Langdon never did send you the newspaper articles?
Q: I don’t think she’s going to. I don’t think she wants to deal with this in any way, shape or form. She sounded so exasperated just at the thought of all this. I think she is truly mortified.
Q: I will probably call her again just to thank her for helping me to get in touch with you and let her know that I did follow through and all that. Maybe I’ll interview her too.
[2021 UPDATE: THE FAMILY DIDN'T MAKE USE OF THE TAPE RECORDER YET INFORMED ME ABOUT VARIOUS INCIDENTS PERIODICALLY VIA TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS.]