Q: Your family was disappointed with the reaction you received from the Church when you reached out for help. What happened? And has this affected your attitudes toward the Church and religion?
Well , the Catholic Church in my opinion could have helped us , but I suppose they did not want to be involved in something that might raise eyebrows or make them look potentially foolish in the public if it got out.
My mother , rest her soul, continued to keep her faith in the Catholic Church. I, however, came to a fork in the road with my faith. I have been a solitary Wiccan since 1983.
Q: You even tried using a Ouija board at one point. How did that experience color your views about the board?
After I foolishly toyed with the Ouija board against better judgment and many warnings, I [now] realize that it's not a toy; it's not for the faint of heart. It's not for the uneducated of its proper usage . I hear so many people approach now and ask me about using them on investigations. I advise against it. You might invite something into the client's home, then pack up your equipment and leave the clients with a big mess . I just say leave it alone.
Q: Your father was a skeptic about ghosts and hauntings. Was there an event that changed his mind?
Years later, about a week before my father passed away, my father did have an experience. It was one Saturday morning. I had been cleaning and he asked me if there had been an earthquake or a thunder storm during the night. I looked at him so odd. I said, "No dad. Not at all.... Why?"
He said, "Donna , something was shaking my bed. My bed moved!" I got the chills. One week later, my father passed away. I think he realized he was being visited, but did not want to come out and say it. That was the closest he ever got to admitting it to me.
Q: As you reflect on the events at the Lee Avenue house, what do you think was the ultimate cause? Were they ghosts in the traditional sense? Or something else?
I do not think there was anything traditional about the Lee Avenue haunting. What the ultimate cause was ? I can speculate and say the suicides, the depression that hung onto the walls. I could say the years of covered up lies. Maybe the spirits wanted the truth out there.
I would love to investigate that home as a adult. I have written the current owners and have actually visited them. I have left it up to them to decide for a paranormal investigation. They do have small children and they have made it known they are uncomfortable with having their children exposed to the paranormal. So far, they have not had any paranormal experiences.
Donna Parish-Bischoff is a co-founder of Indy Para Paranormal Investigators, located in New York's Hudson Valley.