New Jersey couple, Josue Chinchilla and Michele Callan are suing their landlord of their three-bedroom ranch house in Toms River, New Jersey claiming it’s haunted. As soon as the family had settled into the three-bedroom ranch at the corner of Terrace and Lowell avenues on March 1, they began to suspect they were not its only tenants.
The family would come home and find their clothes and towels ejected from the closets and strewn over the floors. Doors would creak open and slam closed in unoccupied areas of the house. Lights switched on and off without human intervention. At night, footsteps could be heard from the kitchen after everyone was tucked in and unintelligible whispering seemed to fade in and out of thin air, according to the couple.
Backing up their claim is Marianne Brigando, co-founder of NJ Paranormal Investigators of Old Bridge, who tells the Asbury Park Press that their investigation shows that the house is the site of an active or intelligent haunting, one level above a residual haunting. The investigator goes onto saying that a personal haunting could suggest the work of a demon — which is the worst kind of haunting but there is no indication that a demon is present and the family is certain that nothing followed them to the motel, where they are currently living.
Callan’s convinced there is a demon in the Terrace Avenue home along with consulting pastor, Terence Sullivan of the Element Church in North Brunswick who has counseled the family through the ordeal and even blessed the house, but concluded that the house has been subjected to “demonic possession”. The most disturbing and consistent paranormal activity they experience is claiming the sound that comes through the vents to the basement, a muffled din of something lumbering seven feet below their feet.
Nick Carlson, an investigator with the Shore Paranormal Research Society of Toms River, said the results of their investigation into the house on Terrace Avenue are inconclusive. While there is evidence of paranormal activity in the home, based on the data his team collected, the facts suggest a residual haunting from the past associated with a significant release of psychic energy, but not an intelligence.
The image above is a screencap of The Shore Paranormal Research Society’s investigation of the haunted home in Toms River. See the footage here.
In response to the claims, orthodonist Dr. Richard Lopez, who owns the house, has filed a countersuit charging that the couple is using the specter of paranormal activity as a cover for personal financial troubles. In short, he claims they can’t afford the place and want their money back.
The 1,524-square-foot house was built in the late 50s and has had three different owners, according to the municipal tax records. It’s been noted that the last tenant, before Chinchilla and Callan, lived in the house for about one year before moving out. The house sits across the street from Monsignor Donovan High School and St. Joseph’s Grade School in Toms River, which is part of the parish grounds of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church. The property is on one of the busiest jughandles in Toms River, merging eastbound traffic on Route 37 with northbound traffic on Hooper Avenue.
In the late 70s, George and Kathy Lutz stirred up similar skepticism over their motives when they claimed that supernatural forces drove them from their new home in Amityville, N.Y., after 28 days. A book about their experiences entitled, The Amityville Horror was later turned into a 1979 movie starring James Brolin and Margot Kidder.