Anyway, the book (which is a factual account, in case that wasn't clear) was published in 2011, with Edwin/Ed writing it using diary entries from 1970-71, when he, his wife, and a couple of tenants lived in a very strange building in Chicago. There are various warning signs - more in hindsight, according to him - that all is not what it seems with the house from the moment the real estate guy shows Ed around. Yet, for almost a year, Ed (who was 24 then and newly married) , at least, rationalises everything, being the logical bloke that he inherently is.
Given that this situation took place before 'The Exorcist' book was published and before the film came out, and 'The Amityville Horror' hadn't occurred yet either, ghosts weren't at the forefront of the American public consciousness at that time as they are nowadays.
- So, the stopper in the bath comes out by itself and wraps itself around the faucet/tap a good 10 times? Get a different, more modern stopper for it that won't detach itself like that.
- The dog growls and barks, as though ready to attack an invisible foe on multiple occasions? He must be struggling to settle into the new house.
- Marsha, the wife, sees her hand-held mixer detach itself from the wall in the kitchen every day and then land several feet away at her feet month after month? No idea, but the mixer might need to be secured better.
- Walking by an unknown old lady sitting on the front porch steps a few times, before she seems to disappear when turning back to look at her? She must have walked indoors. The list goes on and on.
The best thing about the book is that Ed tells the story in a very simple, measured, honest manner throughout and, in a way, that's what makes the story all the more chilling. Even though this is a true story, it does have echoes of 'Paranormal Activity' because of the way all the happenings begin in such a subtle, minor way, before escalating later (though no-one is dragged out of bed by their leg, lol). There were two other witnesses to the goings-on because Ed, who had bought the building/large house, had leased the first floor apartment to another young couple, who had many of their own stories to tell. Eventually, Ed and Marsha called in various paranormal 'experts', including a demonologist and a psychic, whose 'exorcism' of the house was filmed by NBC Chicago (not much happens in this vid, tbh):
BTW, the Beckers (Ed and Marsha) never sought out the attentions of NBC - it was an associate of one of the 'exorcists' who did - but they went along with it because they were at their wits' end by then, not being able to move elsewhere (long story, but they were tied into long-term property ownership at first), and wanting a solution. Apparently, no-one was ever successful in bringing peace to the place because the house is still standing today and still on the market periodically, as new owners quickly leave again.
Ed says in the book that, rather controversially (amongst certain ghost hunters and mediums, that is), it's impossible to get rid of ghosts/spirits. As it turned out, there were reportedly five different ghosts in that one building - all deceased members of the family who owned the place previously. In the end, out of some fruitful brainstorming with the real estate agent and sheer desperation, the Beckers manage to sell the building for a mere $10 - FYI, Ed includes a copy of the transaction document in the book.
Can't recommend the book enough. I read there'll be a second book to follow this, which will feature more of the events from Ed's wife's P.O.V. and from the former tenant Dave, too. Looking forward to that.
Ed has a website with some more info and some photos, in case anyone is interested in knowing more: http://www.edwinbecker.com/