Subject Names: Mark Spencer, Rebecca Spencer, Bronte Spencer, Destiny Higgins, Reagan Dye, Bess Maxwell
Subject Location: Monticello, Arkansas
Paranormal Experience: A young woman makes sure her love story is told
The last thing Rebecca Spencer wanted to do was move to Arkansas. However, when her husband Mark got a job as the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Arkansas Monticello, she had to reconsider. She didn't like it, but when she saw an old Victorian mansion in the area, it was love at first sight. She said she would only move to that town if he bought her that house. She would only be happy if she had a home that was everything to her. They had no idea of what they were getting themselves into.
While Mark and Rebecca were in love with the house, Mark's daughter Bronte felt more like a frightened little kid. A young kid in a giant house? It was hard not to feel vulnerable.
Shortly after they moved in, it was time to do some re-arranging. When the power suddenly cut out on the vacuum, Rebecca was annoyed. When the record on the record player began spinning, turning faster and faster? Rebecca and Bronte began to get freaked. As Rebecca walked over to investigate, the record instantly stopped. Bronte's uneasiness with the house wasn't exactly diminishing.
Mark enjoyed getting the old metal detector out and going hunting with the kids on weekends. As he approached an old rosebush, the detector began to sing out. The boys began digging. They found an old penny from 1948, an equally old pill box, and a striking lipstick case. All while they were digging, Rebecca was trying to figure out why her music player had suddenly stopped working. Out of nowhere, Rebecca heard a woman's voice say her name. She couldn't shake the feeling someone was watching her. She thought she saw something, but the music suddenly re-started, shocked her back to reality.
After about a month, they decided to have a yard sale. Rebecca's friend Destiny had a few things she wanted to get rid of as well, so she brought them over. After thinking she'd seen Rebecca in an upstairs window, only to be greeted by her friend at the door moments later, Destiny wasn't ready for what came next. As she was unloading her boxes into the foyer, she saw Rebecca in a side room. Destiny asked her for some help, several times, but Rebecca seemed to ignore her. Destiny was getting upset with Rebecca, and when Rebecca came in from the back of the house, Destiny got angry. Rebecca had no idea who she'd been talking to. Rebecca had been in the back of the house the entire time.
Mark went to grab the kettle and was surprised to find a broken glass on the kitchen counter. He dismissed it as one of the kids breaking it, but the kids insisted they hadn't. A broken glass on the kitchen counter became a morning ritual.
Late one night, when Bronte was too frightened to sleep, she began hearing heavy footsteps from the attic. She went to her room and closed the door. There was no way she was setting foot in that attic. Ice cubes clinked against glass. She knew it couldn't have been her family. They were all asleep. Bronte felt there was company in the room, and was surprised to see her fan turn off on its own. Then it turned back on, and changed speeds. She could see the buttons being pushed, just as if someone were doing it. There was no one there, but something was certainly announcing its presence.
When Mark and Rebecca decided to take a family vacation, they asked one of Mark's students, Reagan Dye, to house-sit for them and watch the animals. One rainy day, Rebecca called and asked Reagan to check on the buckets in the attic. Reluctantly, Reagan agreed, and headed upstairs. She propped the attic door open with a chair. It was a hard rain outside, and some of the buckets were about to overflow. Reagan was nervous about the old, dark attic. While she was checking the buckets, the dog sprinted up the stairs and into the darkness. She didn't want to get too far into the attic to find the dog, but as she stepped forward, she heard the attic door slam shut, leaving Reagan in total darkness. When she finally found the dog, she grabbed it and ran for the stairs. When she reached the closed attic door, she was disturbed to find the chair moved down the hall. Reagan ran. She stopped cold when she saw a person going into Mark's study. Reagan slowly crept toward the study, until she saw a woman standing there. Frightened, Reagan ran for her car and got out of there.
Rebecca decided to do some research into the house, including its original owners. The Allens had been a prominent local family, with the patriarch having been president of a bank. The middle daughter, Ladell, had a lot of tragedy in her life. She was divorced in 1927. Her only child died of pneumonia in his twenties. Ladell had died in the house, but nobody seemed to know why. Rebecca ordered Ladell's death certificate, just to see what it said. Rebecca wanted to bring in paranormal investigators, but Mark was reluctant. He had an academic reputation to protect. Eventually, he gave in, and Bess Maxwell's team arrived.
Bess's team set up their gear, including their infrared cameras. At one point, Bess smelled a very odd odor of cigar smoke. They went through smelling the furniture, just to see if the aroma was coming from the upholstery. It wasn't, and the smell disappeared. Bess noted it, but went on prepping the house. When they were ready to turn off the lights, there was a horrible sound, and sparks flew everywhere outside. What had been a perfectly healthy tree limb had fallen onto the power lines. The limb hadn't been cut. It was as though it had been ripped off in a storm. Mark began to doubt his belief in a rational solution to the situation.
Rebecca's life remained upside down. She heard footsteps heavy enough to convince her there was a man in the attic. When Mark investigated, he found nothing. While Mark investigated, Rebecca smelled the strong aroma of cigar smoke. A dark figure appeared before her, wearing what looked to be a cowboy hat. It walked toward her, and then disappeared. A shadowy figure also appeared in the attic, pointing Mark toward a mis-matched floorboard. Under that floorboard, Mark found a packet of love letters to Ladell from a man named Prentiss Savage. Prentiss insisted he would leave his wife, and he loved Ladell. Until things began to change. He was not sure if he would ever be able to free himself of his marriage. When Ladell's death certificate arrived, Rebecca was stunned to read the word "suicide' and it was by mercury cyanide poisoning. Ladell had apparently poisoned herself at her mother's Christmas party in 1948.
Did Ladell find peace by making sure her story was shared? Only she knows.