11 Oct 2009
West Side family finds itself haunted by curiosity seekers as well as ghosts
Unwanted attention follows Animal Planet filming of show on dogs and spirits
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Plain Dealer Reporter
Deborah and Thomas Weaver are cringing at the onslaught of jokes to come.
Ghosts? They think they have ghosts in their house?
The Cleveland couple spent three days last week letting a film crew from the cable television channel Animal Planet film them, their dogs and their home for a story about how their dogs were affected by ghosts they say appeared in their home three years ago.
The Weavers, both in their 50s, say their dogs and a niece living with them, who they say is psychic, started noticing ghosts in 2007. Since then, they say, they and other relatives and friends have heard noises, have watched doors open and have seen ghosts appear in the home, near West 150th Street and I-480.
"It's really not a joke," said Thomas Weaver. "It's something that really does happen."
For three years, though, they wouldn't tell people, for fear of being ridiculed. Relatives staying with them knew, as did close friends who visited. But other than Deborah's sister, who lives next door, no neighbors were ever told.
Those neighbors found out after Animal Planet, tipped off to the Weavers through a psychic, showed up last week and their story appeared on local television news.
"We never told anybody," said Deborah. "Now this has turned into a media circus. We have people milling around and asking, Can we come in and see your ghosts?' "
"People will think that we're nuts," added Thomas.
The noises and apparitions started about the time their niece moved into the house. Then the dogs started staring and making noises at empty corners or swatting in the air or along the floor as if something were there.
They say they took Georgia, a beagle and basset hound mix, and Trouble, a chow and Labrador mix, to their veterinarian to see if an illness was causing the behavior.
"You look for rational explanations," said Thomas. "You don't look for paranormal explanations."
Then they started seeing people, they say, and hearing them talk -- well, on video anyway -- in EVPs or "Electric Voice Phenomena." Though the house was only built in the 1950s, they say they have had visits from Franklin, Donald, Caitlin, Ed, Dave, Jeff and Temperance. None have shared their life stories with their hosts, though.
When Animal Planet called, they said, they were hesitant to appear on television. The footage will be part of a show called The Haunted, likely to air in late November.
They agreed, expecting their names would be mentioned along with living in Cleveland, but not their street or address, which have now appeared on local television. Animal Planet told local media of the shoot, which the Weavers didn't expect.
They say they wanted people to see that supernatural events happen to normal people. Now, they say, they regret agreeing to the attention and wouldn't do it again.
"Never," said Deborah. "Not in a million years."
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