“More than just a ghost story, Demon Street, USA is a tale of personal growth and discovery. Like the authors, the reader is unlikely to come through the experience unaltered.”
-John Keegan, owner, criticalmyth.com and assistant executive director, Spirit Lab
A summoning gone awry leads to problems for Penelope, who is driven from her home by phantom parties, a dancing stove, and a wave of demonic force that tosses her around like a ragdoll.
Looking for help, she turns to her friend, Robbie, who brings her to David Rountree, a Lakota shaman.
Robbie and David embark on a whirlwind journey of learning, racing against time, visiting sites of spiritual power, and gaining artifacts and allies in their quest to exorcise the evil before it can seriously injure someone—or worse.
David and Robbie’s mission to banish the demon culminates in an astonishing psychic battle on Halloween night.
Demon Street, USA is a forewarning to those who would explore the paranormal. Evil exists—but it can be battled and won!
Here we share an excerpt from Chapter 1: The Beginning.
Robbie ~ May 1985
After spending the morning setting up lifts and trusses, and hanging and focusing lights, we had lots of time to burn. We were in White Springs, headwaters of the great and colorful Suwannee. Unfortunately, this year the state was suffering from an extended drought. The sun reflected blindingly off of the exposed white rocks that should have been the creek bed, making them resemble the twisted remains of some long-dead dragon. We sat in the shade watching the heat waves rippling up over the land as the tiny stream undulated onward in its journey to the sea. Penelope (Penny), wife of one of the crew (Norman), turned to me with a serious look on her face and said, “Can I tell you something?”
I should elaborate. For no particular reason, people, oftentimes complete strangers, will confide their deepest darkest secrets to me. That’s not all; they will tell me things that they would never tell anyone else. Some of these things most people wouldn’t believe. This was going to be one of those cases.
She proceeded to spin an incredible tale. “It’s like this: Sometimes when I drift off to sleep, I become aware of a big eye. It’s a huge, black single eye that grows larger and larger until I fall in and it completely envelops me. Then I’m pulled out of my body. I am suddenly in the presence of an old man with a beard who takes me over to the other two houses on the property where I live. The old man shows me the five ghosts that are on the property. There are three male spirits and two female spirits. One female is a young woman; the other one is much older. The older woman stays secluded in the bedroom closet in the main house.”
Noticing that I was not looking at her horrified, or blowing her off as some loon, and was actually taking her seriously, she quickly continued, “There are constant noises in my house—noises that have started to get louder and louder. At first, I thought the squirrels or some other animal had gotten into the attic and were running daily marathons up there. But now I’m not so sure. The skittering has changed to banging with definite footsteps, human footsteps. It’s really unnerving when I know I’m the only one home. To top it off, recently my son has befriended a new imaginary playmate. I look over at him and he’s having these very real, animated conversations. He’s looking intently at something that I can’t see. It’s obviously very real to him. Lately, things like cups, books, and jewelry have begun moving by themselves. I know where I put these things down. When I turn around they’re somewhere else. Doors are opening and closing by themselves.”
“What does Norm think about it all?”
“He doesn’t see or hear anything. He thinks I’m losing my mind. He says it’s all a bunch of bullshit. I have talked about moving but he won’t hear of it.”
Pennny was scared, that much was certain. From what I had read about these things, what I had been exposed to, I could tell the house where she lived was definitely not a happy place. Her description of the big eye was very disconcerting. It really made me uneasy; it sounded demonic.
“Hey, I’m no expert,” I interjected, “but if I were you, I would just move out. That eye thing just doesn’t sound good, ya know? Think about it. If somehow Norman doesn’t see the light and you think you need help give me a call. I might know someone who can help. But really...move!”
Earlier that month, my friend Dave and I were out in front of his apartment. It was dusk. Things just felt really weird. We were talking with his neighbor Carol. As we talked, Dave got more and more agitated. The creeping darkness didn’t feel right, and I began to feel very uncomfortable. There was a subsonic buzz that just kept getting louder and louder. Some of the cicadas had managed to get into my skull. They were singing away. But you could feel it on the outside, too. Carol didn’t seem to notice it at all.
Dave finally excused himself for a minute and went in to his place. Moments later he came out with an ornate bag full of colored corn. Indian corn, I think they call it. He said he was having a feud with someone in his neighborhood. He poured some of the kernels out. He did some hand passes over the corn while mumbling to himself. He then threw it to the northeast with a great amount of force and flair. I heard the weirdest howl, then these strange crackling noises. The buzzing immediately stopped, and the uncomfortable feeling dissipated.
Dave told me that he was a medicine man. He had just thrown sacred corn at his adversary. He raised his eyebrow when I told him what I had heard. He gave me the bag of the corn in case I should need it. I figured Dave would be able to help out. I made a mental note to tell him about Penny the next time I saw him.
Back at the concert, darkness had fallen; I had to get to work. Penny and I talked throughout the festival but her house didn’t enter the conversation again. I finished the gig, and then continued on to a busy summer. I promptly forgot everything she told me. But I would be reminded soon enough.
Labor Day Weekend
I went over to hang out with my friend and mentor Samantha. In Florida, during the summer, if you live in an older house you keep it dark inside because it stays much cooler that way. Samantha was sitting in a pool of lamplight. The effect was somewhat dramatic. My eyes were first drawn there, but then I realized there was someone sitting back in the corner of the room in the shadows. When the woman leaned forward, I was startled by her disheveled appearance; I wasn’t sure who it was. It dawned on me it was Penny!
There was something very, very wrong with her. She looked twice her age; the black circles under her eyes were entrenched deeply like unholy scars. Her hair looked as though the Addams Family’s Grand Mama was her stylist. There was an uneasiness about her; she kept giving little furtive glances to the corners of the room expecting to see something. She seemed to be getting glimpses of things Samantha and I could not perceive.
Her husband had left for a video shoot halfway around the world in the Soviet Union. He was to be gone for at least five weeks. Trying to get any communication in or out from behind the iron curtain was nearly impossible. Norm was effectively out of the picture for some time to come. This left Penny at home, with her child and something abhorrent, alone. Whatever was manifesting there clearly understood her vulnerability. The spirits were capitalizing on it. The activity had ramped up. Her son’s imaginary friend became scary and wicked in nature. She started to worry about his safety.
She said, “It was the last straw when I looked over and Michael was arguing with his imaginary friend. He was floating 6 inches off of the floor. I finally sent him to stay with my parents in Tallahassee. But now I’m all alone in the house.”
She paused for a moment and then continued, “Robbie, it’s every night. That damned eye. I close my eyes and there it is pulling me out of my body, always pulling me. Showing me things I don’t want to see. Making me do things I don’t want to do. It always takes me to the other apartment on the property, and to that old man. When I am awake, the noise and racket is constant. The scratching, the banging—it seems to never stop. When I’m in the kitchen, I can see a weird, twisted party happening on the balcony, complete with maniacal laughter and haughty carrying on, but I can’t make out anything clear. I can hear a bunch of people constantly moving around. I can see their shadows through the shades but I sure as hell am not going out there. I’ve moved into the downstairs room. When I need something from the kitchen or anywhere else upstairs, I run up as quickly as possible, grab what I need, and run back down the stairs to hide in the bedroom. I’m afraid to go to sleep and I’m afraid to stay awake.”
It had finally gotten to be too much for her. The night before, she decided to sleep at the landlord’s house. After the landlord and his girlfriend had gone to bed, Penny just lay there on the floor of living room, afraid to fall asleep. She heard a strange noise coming from the kitchen. It was a loud banging that made her catch her breath. When she got up the nerve, she turned her head to look in. What she saw, much to her horror, was the stove dancing. It was there doing a little Irish jig, hopping back and forth, all around. This was just the beginning. The true terror set in as she watched the hardwood floor on the far side of the living room bulge upward. A large wave the width of the room formed in the floor, and rolled straight for her. It threw her up in the air and continued on. When it hit the wall, it bounced back, lifting her, then letting her crash to the floor again as it returned to the other side of the room. She screamed, grabbed her purse, and ran out with what little she had with her.
She hadn’t been back since. Samantha and I both worked hard to convince her to check into a hotel. We told her, no matter what, not to go back to that house.
I tried to console her: “I have a friend who might be willing to help you. I don’t know what his schedule is but I’m sure he would at least like to check it out.”
“No one will be there this weekend. My landlord is out of town for the holiday. There are three buildings on the property. The main house is a bungalow. The other two buildings are cracker houses [a raised cottage–style home prevalent in the South] with a living area upstairs and a garage with a separate shop room downstairs. In my building, the one facing the school, the workshop has been turned into a small bedroom. That’s the room where I’m staying. The center of the activity is the empty apartment above the landlord’s workshop, in the house behind the main house. That’s where the old man always takes me first, when he pulls me out of my body. Please, go by and take a look. I wish you could check out that other apartment. It’s empty but you’ll have to wait for my landlord, Clevis, to get back.” She paused for a moment, remembering.
She added that a couple of years before a 4-year-old in the neighborhood disappeared. They searched everywhere for her, but she vanished without a trace. Clevis just happened to go up into the apartment around dusk. When he went up there he found a very scared and confused little girl. She really couldn’t explain how she had gotten in there. But she kept going on about the old man with the beard that had been there, waiting for her. So while the girl was returned unharmed (at least physically) to her parents, the event totally freaked Clevis out. Ever since then he’d kept the apartment locked up tight as a drum.
“When do you think he’ll return?”
“Unfortunately he won’t be back until Tuesday around noon, at the earliest. You know, though, if the house wants you to go in, it’ll let you.”
Sure it will....
David Rountree, AES, has been researching the paranormal since 1976. He is the executive director of SPIRIT LAB, a scientific research organization based in Hackettstown, NJ, where he lives. He has become a fixture in the paranormal world as the authority on the technology of ghost hunting with his book Paranormal Technology. As a balance to his scientific side, David is also a shaman who practices wolf medicine.
Robbie Lunt, CEE, CTS, is an arcanologist currently residing in Washoe Valley, Nevada. He has been performing energy-work in both Tai Chi and Reiki for more than 20 years. Robbie is also a proud member of The Way of Nature fellowship. When he’s not doing research or haunting a theatre, you will find him kayaking or skiing in the Sierra Nevadas.
Visit the book's site on the web at http://demonstreetusa.com/