I was just about to pack up and go home for the night when my office phone rang. Though the sun had already gone down, I knew I couldn't just ignore it. Duty called.
"My name is Mary Coleman," a woman spoke slowly, seeming unsure of what to say. "I'm calling about my home, in Hurricane, West Virginia. I know your company is based in Ohio, but I'm desperate."
"Good evening Mrs. Coleman. I'm Adah Price, the owner of Price Paranormal Investigations. I've heard a bit of your story already, it seems you're going viral," I recalled seeing her story on the news several times in the last few weeks. I hadn't meant for my last remark to come off as harsh, though I'm sure it did. I was just far too used to cases like hers turning out to be fakes invented for attention.
"Uhm, well, you see..." she was struggling to speak, nervousness seemed to get the best of her. "It's serious. My daughter, she's struggling through this right now. I just thought if I went to the media somebody would be able to tell me what the hell is going on in my home."
I sighed and mentally prepared myself for prolonging the almost finished work day. "Okay Mrs. Coleman, I'll see what I can do. Can you tell me everything you remember about the occurrences?" I already had my pen and paper out and ready to take notes. Though I had heard her story on the news several times, I needed her to tell me.
"Okay," her voice became quieter than before and she stumbled with her words. "It began with my daughter, Lacey. Nightmares mostly. They were sudden, out of the blue. She would wake up screaming her lungs out, though she has refused to speak about the dreams. Then..." she paused for a few seconds before continuing. "She started getting marks, scratches mostly..." her voice cracked with emotion. "Well, I saw it happen again several days later. Out of nowhere, th- they just appeared, one by one. And from there, it progressed into door slamming, lights going out. I've seen with my own eyes things that shouldn't even be possible!" her voice was raised now as she got herself worked up.
"I'm sorry to hear that you and your daughter are going through this Mrs. Coleman. But I must ask, you did say 'one by one', correct? How many were there?"
"Three, both times. Does that mean anything to you?" her voice sounded desperate.
I stopped to tap the tip of the pen against my mouth, a nervous tic that often accompanied my thought process. "Sets of three, that's definitely something to start with. May I ask, why did you keep this part of the story out of the news?"
She sighed. "To protect my daughter. This is hard enough for her, I didn't want her to be known for this. Of course, it's too late. Her closest friend no longer visits her. I much regret that decision..." her tone sounded genuine. "I involved the police, psychologists, even my family. Not one person has been able to tell me what is going on."
Perhaps I was mistaken to assume that this wouldn't amount into a case. In fact, this sounded legit. Could this be the one? "Mrs. Coleman, How soon can you visit our office?" I asked, eager to get to work.
"Tomorrow morning, if you're free."
"Alright, I'll be in as early as six, so feel free to stop by anytime after. We can talk more about this in person. I sincerely hope we can help you and your daughter out."