Subject Location: Near Hartford, Connecticut
Carmen Snedeker had the ideal life in upstate New York with her husband and four children. When her son Philip was 13, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. The closest facility capable of treating childhood cancers was in Hartford, Connecticut. They were making the 300-mile round-trip five times a week for Philip's treatment. The radiation treatment burned his skin from the inside. Carmen was afraid that the trips would kill her son as fast as the cancer. The family decided they had to move to Connecticut.
So many of the rental agencies Carmen spoke with wouldn't rent to families with more than two children. Finally, she found a townhouse that they could rent. Sight unseen, they took it. When they moved in, the house looked perfectly normal, but it wasn't. Above every doorway was a crucifix. Alan said it was once a funeral home. The basement still had some of the mortuary equipment used to prepare the bodies for burial. Carmen didn't want her son constantly being reminded of his own mortality. She didn't want them to live there, but Alan reminded her that they didn't have a choice. Alan returned to New York to work, leaving Carmen to get the house and all four kids settled.
Carmen blocked off the embalming room, hiding it as best she could, and put Philip's room in the basement. It was close to a bathroom for his recurring nausea, and she could easily hear if he needed help. The very first night in the house, Philip was awakened by someone saying his name. He went to Carmen, who had been on the phone with Alan. She reassured her son that with the way sound travels in an empty house, he had to have heard her talking to his father. Philip was already convinced that the house was evil, and wanted them to leave. One day, Carmen noticed that the crucifix in what had been the morgue had disappeared, yet the nail that had held it was undisturbed.
Philip, Brad, and A.J. explored the area under the basement counters. A.J. saw a stain on the floor. His hand was touching something dark and sticky. Brad said they were getting "freaked out and spooked". They ran upstairs, white as sheets, and told Carmen there was blood coming out of the walls. She thought it was just paint, and the boys had frightened themselves by going into a part of the house they had no business being in.
Philip told his mother that not only was he hearing voices, one night he began seeing things that weren't there. Carmen chalked it up to the radiation treatment affecting his head. Philip shared the room downstairs with Brad. One night, they both saw four figures standing in the corner near Brad's toy robot. The toy was going crazy. The four figures turned as one and looked at the boys. Brad was terrified. They sprinted up the stairs to Carmen, who headed down to investigate. The boys were right beside her, still scared to death. She went through the entire basement, even the unused parts, to see if there was anyone there. They found nothing. Carmen went back into the kitchen to call the police, and discovered the crucifix over the door was gone. Carmen called a family meeting, and told Philip he wasn't to tell his younger siblings ghost stories. She didn't want to hear it any more.
One day, Brad came home from school to find Philip moving his bed into the embalming room. Philip had said that he'd "made a deal". That frightened Carmen, as she was Catholic and wasn't happy that her son had made a deal with anything she didn't know about. Whatever Philip was seeing and hearing, the doctors assured them it wasn't the medication. He was becoming more withdrawn. He rarely smiled. Carmen wanted her baby back.
The second summer in the house, their cousins Kim and Tammy Alvis came to visit. A withdrawn Philip showed no enthusiasm at his cousins being there.
Philip had begun keeping a journal. Brad tried to bug him about it, but Philip just sat there and stared at his brother. It was a look that sent chills up Brad's spine. Tammy was helping Carmen clean the house, tidying Philip's room when she found the journal. She didn't want to invade Philip's privacy, but she was worried, and gave the journal to Carmen. The pages were very dark, full of notes about death, murder, and killing. Something struck Carmen. She began to wonder if the words were actually Philip's. Her oldest son was dyslexic. She'd spent years trying to get him to properly write the alphabet, and here were complex words perfectly written. When she asked her son, Philip replied that "the man" helped him write.
Philip's personality was changing. He was becoming more aggressive. Any argument between Philip and Brad quickly escalated to a fistfight. When Tammy tried to intervene, Philip walked into her room and tore it apart. When she tried to stop him, he threw her across the room as though she were nothing.
Tammy was trying to sleep one night, and something began pulling the covers off of her bed. She told Carmen about it, as well as the feeling that something was pulling at her bra strap. While Tammy was obviously frightened, Carmen refused to believe it was a ghost. She thought it was Philip.
Carmen called her son's doctor, explaining what was going on. The doctor replied that she was describing schizophrenia, and began the process of having Philip committed. That night at dinner, Carmen did her best to pretend everything was fine. She even made Philip's favorite dinner. But the men in white didn't even knock. They just walked into the house and carried Philip out.
Carmen had wanted to believe Philip, but every time she had investigated Philip's stories, she hadn't been able to prove any of it. She had to make sure the other children were safe. As they put the straightjacket on her son, Philip told her that now that he was gone, they were going to come after her. Carmen did not want to believe her son would be a schizophrenic for the rest of his life. She went and sat on the stairs to Philip's room, daring "the man" to come play with her. She sat there for hours, and nothing ever appeared.
As she was taking a shower, Carmen was enveloped in the shower curtain. It was tight around her face, slowly smothering her, and she couldn't push it away. Carmen called for Tammy, and Tammy was able to rip a hole in the curtain so her aunt could breathe. Philip's prediction was coming true.
Tammy awoke in the middle of the night with the feeling that whatever had been after Carmen was now coming for her. Something ripped the covers off of her. Tammy ran and got her aunt. Carmen grabbed her Bible and noticed on her way out of her bedroom that the last crucifix in the house, the one over her bedroom door, had disappeared. Carmen tucked Tammy into bed and began reading aloud from the Bible. Tammy immediately felt something approaching. A hand began rising under Tammy's clothes, groping her as it moved up. Carmen could see the bones in the hand and wrist under the cloth. Carmen grabbed Tammy and they ran to the dining room. Tammy could feel it coming for them again. It grabbed the rosary around Tammy's neck and scattered it to the floor.
An exorcism was performed on the house, and the Snedekers moved out. Racked with guilt over what she'd done to her son, Carmen got Philip out of the mental hospital. In a later interview, Philip understood that his mother was trying to be strong, but he had felt betrayed by what she'd done. He also understood how evil could creep in and reside in a person. After 24 years, Philip's cancer returned. He died in January of 2012.