Nothing To Fear But The Living – Munchhausen By Proxy

On December 16, 2010 I was contacted about activity that was purported to be occurring at the home of a family in Whitman, Massachusetts. The woman who called me (a friend of the family) mentioned that the activity in the home had increased in recent days and was mainly focused around The mom who and her two daughters. Although the father and other occupants in the home have also had various experiences.

The caller mentioned that she is a medium with psychic ability and has been in contact with the entities that she says inhabit the family’s home. According to her she has identified three entities named Benjamin Jackson (or Smith), Tyler (no last name) and Beverly (no last name). One or more of these beings are alleged to be “attacking” the mom through the evocation of serious effects on her health.  The caller has also mentioned that the attacks and activity continue in spite of her multiple attempts at clearing the home. At the time of the reporting phone call she mentioned the spirits would simply “push her aside” following any attempt to keep them in order or remove them.

She has contacted us out of concern for the families well being and safety.  In response to the initial report we phoned the family to follow up and arrange for a preliminary meeting/interview as well as schedule a subsequent investigation of the home and activity.

According to the family, the activity truly started to manifest following the additional “awareness” brought by the family friends psychic communication with the spirits alleged to occupy the home. The eldest daughter is believed to have been channeling the spirits through various automatic writing sessions. As of Dec 16th 2010 she has channeled the spirits three times.  (See sample of writing below). In addition to the psychic communication, the family also claims to have experienced the gamut of paranormal activity ranging from moving objects, footsteps and voices to shadow figures and full bodied apparitions.

All of the  family along with their visitors claim to feel a very heavy presence in the home and many claims of headaches and chest pains.

Prior to the full investigation of the family’s claims, we conducted preliminary research in the hopes of qualifying some of the factual data presented during the initial interview.  We researched the names “Benjamin”, “Smith”, “Tyler” and “Beverly”and other details given by the family in the hopes validating some of their claims. We were not successful.

The following images represent visual input from the family’s children.

1 This image shows a drawing made by the youngest daughter.  It shows a general representation of how she sees these entities.
2    This image shows a drawing made by the eldest daughter.  It shows her interpretation of Beverly. Note the apron on the figure suggesting that she was a cleaning woman or servant of some kind.
3 This image is a sample of an automatic writing session conducted by The eldest daughter.  (See notes below)
 4 This image is a restatement of the automatic writing session in  eldest daughter’s own hand for comparison. (See notes below)

 The automatic writing sample provided by  eldest daughter contains various statements and information segments acquired by her during her session.  Our first step in this analysis was to verify the integrity of the writing. To do this we had her write a sample of the same statement in her own hand, while not in a meditative state.

Graphology analysis was done to compare slant, size and pressure in both the upper, middle and lower zones of the sample. We have found definite similarities between the two samples and have concluded there is very little difference between the two writings.  To further analyze this sample we have checked the structure and patterns between other automatic writing samples presented over the years and found several concerning discrepancies with this sample:

1.)    Misspelled names:  In a traditional automatic writing session, the spirit is said to channel their energy through the subject’s body and write the dialogue themselves.  The person doing the channeling becomes only a tool for the encompassing entity. In many historical recorded sessions the channeling individuals have been known to write in foreign languages typically the style and handwriting of the spirit they are channeling. While the channeling entity may misspell various words in the channeling session, it is unlikely they would misspell their own name, in the sample provided here, the name Benjamin is misspelled as “Benjamine”.

2.)    Modern Terms: This sample contains many modern terms such as “Awesome” and “On-line” (referring to internet usage). Since channeling spirits are typically known to communicate in the “language of their era” this presentation does not fit the traditional criteria.

3.)    Writing Fluidity:  In traditional writing samples the pen or pencil movement is fluid and swift and typically done with the hand least used by the medium. This sample shows slow, choppy pen movements and “normal hand” penmanship.

These issues present problems with the validity of the sample and therefore cannot be considered with any other evidence of paranormal activity that may be found in this case.

Our Investigation: 

The team arrived at the home at approximately 7:00PM on January 15, 2011. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the father.  The team proceeded to load in our equipment, introduced each investigator to the clients and began our camera setup.

One notable and concerning aspect of this investigation was discovered during the preliminary walkthrough conducted on December 29, 2010 and involves highly excessive levels of electric and electro-magnetic fields. These fields are strong and present throughout various areas of the home reaching levels in excess of 325mg in multiple locations.

Many of these affected “high energy” locations are in common areas of the home or places where the family members and guests might spend extended periods of time (i.e. near beds, chairs, etc.)  Upon further investigation our team discovered that these high energy fields are caused by a large assortment of devices within the home including but not limited to the following:  Fans, Heaters, Air Purifiers, Alarm Clocks, Lamps and Decorative String Lighting.

Although these devices are used for functional and decorative purposes we feel the side effects of their high EMF output can (in some cases) be dangerous and damaging to the occupant’s physical and mental health.

The World Health Organization warns that electro-magnetic fields in excess of 20 milligauss can have adverse health effects with prolonged exposure. The levels measured in this home are twelve times higher than the world health organization’s recommended limit.  This coupled with the families constant occupancy of the home for extended periods of time raises concerns about their overall health.  Even members of our team became sick during the investigation.  Sick to the point of vomiting.

None of the 13 team members personally experienced or recorded anything beyond the excessive and heavy man-made energy levels within the home, but based on our four independent preliminary interviews with members of the family we have found that due to the family’s firm belief and interest in the activity and causes presented by the family friend and parents, there is some evidence of possible coequal testimonial influence as well as Munchhausen by proxy.

Several of our investigators have noticed key changes to the younger daughters testimony in the light of evidence or testimony presented by other family members. For example on one occasion when asked if she had heard Benjamin speak, she firmly replied “no”, however after hearing her older sister  talk about hearing Benjamin’s voice, her testimony changed and she began telling of her experiences hearing his voice. This form of testimony change occurred several times within the interview process. She and her older sister were also inclined to change their claims in accordance with their mothers testimony.

We have also found that this family has been encouraged to identify their experiences with sources of a paranormal nature all with little or no research to support the assumption.  The eldest daughter has been told by the family friend she is a crystal child and possesses the ability to channel the spirits which allegedly reside in the home. However, there is no empirical evidence to support the claims of this child’s abilities and the child herself was unaware of these abilities before being told she had them.

However, she is still encouraged to develop her abilities, and assured by her mother that her results are valid. Again, this assurance is from unsubstantiated sources. We do feel as though outside influences and sympathetic behaviors are influencing the families overall viewpoint and experiences with regards to the environment in their home.

The sad ending to this story is that during this investigation and our individual, private interviews with the family member we had discovered several signs of child abuse which manifested in several recorded claims made by the children in the home.  The oldest daughter had made a list of the hurtful things her mother had done and said to her and her sister on a repeated basis. She had even written it down. The specific details of this aspect of the case must remain private but following our research we felt it necessary to report these issues to the Department of Social Services to ensure the children’s safety.

Call it Munchhausen by proxy, call it misinterpretation of natural influences or call it demonic possession.  At the end of the day it was still the case of a family so desperately in need of help and one we couldn’t ignore.  Maybe we cleansed the home of one kind of demon after all.

 

195 thoughts on “Nothing To Fear But The Living – Munchhausen By Proxy

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