It started with little things, strange incidents that were sometimes inconvenient, sometimes almost amusing. But then the heavy trouble began... and the terror.
In the early 1970s, two sisters, Lois Dean and Diantha Summer, moved their families into two old houses in the middle of Rawlins, Wyoming, a small city in the Rocky Mountains. Lois and her husband and their six children moved into the big house. Diantha and her two sons took the carriage house right behind the main house.
Very soon, strange things began to happen in the big house:
Lights kept turning on and off. At first the adults thought it was just the kids playing around. But they soon found that the lights seemed to be going on and off by themselves, even when no one else was around. Thinking it must be an electrical problem, Lois and her husband had the house rewired, but it kept happening.
When the children were playing games, they would leave the room for a minute and then come back to find game pieces missing.
An older daughter found the colors in her makeup kits often smeared together. At first she thought the younger children were doing it, so she banished them from her room. But it kept happening even after she padlocked the door.
The family dog wagged his tail as though at an invisible guest, and his eyes followed something across the room.
Sometimes, in the big house the bathroom cabinet would be found completely empty. Toothbrushes, combs and medicines would all be gone, to be found later in odd places. Again, Lois thought it was the children, but it even happened when they were all at school and she was alone in the house.
Then things began to get rough.
A boyfriend of one of the girls was playfully climbing through a window. Something unseen picked him up and threw him inside, against a wall. That was the end of that boyfriend. He never came back for another visit.
Not long afterward, one of the younger boys said he had seen something in the garage. Mike, Diantha's 14-year old, decided to take a look. He started out the back door of the big house and suddenly felt two hands grab him and throw him through the air, back into the kitchen, into the refrigerator. He had red marks on his chest as if something had scratched him.
Lois was infuriated. She began yelling, "I don't care who you are. I'm not putting up with you coming into my house and hurting kids!"
She was so angry that she was momentarily unafraid. She dashed out into the garage. There she saw a black shape.
"It was big and billowy," she says, "and it was dressed like a woman in something black and long."
It came toward her smoothly, as though it were on wheels...
"Something black and cold started coming out of it, like ribbons," she recalls. "It started wrapping me in those strands. I could feel their coldness. I couldn't move."
The she felt her sister, who saw the shape too, grab her from behind and jerk her away from the thing and back into the big house.
The sisters sat up all night, praying as hard as they could. The prayers may have had a good effect, for they never saw the thing again.
They took to calling that incident "the Main Event". Afterward, they felt the atmosphere to be a little less oppressive. However, everyone had a sense that the place was still not quite right, and before long, both families moved out.
In talking to the neighbors, only one event in the past seemed to hold a clue. Back in the early 1900s, a graveyard on the property was dug up and moved to another location. Rumor had it that two bodies were left behind. Were these two different restless spirits? We may never know.