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WENDELL — Lori Stokes claims her large, yellow two-story home houses untold spirits and ghosts, many of which are violent and attack her and her 6-year-old grandson.
She said a medium once came to the home — on Applewhite Road straddling the Wake-Johnston county line — and determined the spirits were demonic in origin.
The spirits have thrown objects at her, stolen keys, flung her grandson off his bike, clawed the skin off visitors, growled at her while she tried to pray and even opened a spiritual portal in her dining room, Stokes claims. Negative energy has exacerbated sickness and filled Stokes and her family with dread for years. She’d regularly hear footsteps upstairs — sometimes those of a heavy man, other times a young barefoot child.
“It was when the nighttime came that it would get so upsetting and so unnerving that you would be in horrible fear,” Stokes said. “We were continuously seeing shadows go through the house. I had been touched. My bed was constantly being kicked at night.”
Stokes said during the worst period of activity, she had trouble getting more than three hours of sleep. She once woke up to see an apparition of a man staring out her window, she said. Another time, a spirit flung the covers off her feet, grabbed her foot and shook it. In a separate incident, she said, she felt three sharp fingernails try to scratch her as she lay in bed.
In April, her home was visited by the hosts and film crew behind “Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests,” a Travel Channel series that premiered earlier this year. An episode featuring Stoke’s house, titled “Demon Problems,” will air tonight at 9 p.m.
The ghost hunters said they were able to confirm paranormal activity during a six-day stay at the home by using video, audio and other types of recordings. The crew also said they personally witnessed a shadow creature appear in the house.
“When we were with Lori, we saw a shadow materialize in her dining room,” said Dalen Spratt, one of the ghost hunters in the show, during an interview. “We provided validation to Lori and her family, to tell them no, you ain’t trippin’.”
The show hosts — which also include Spratt’s fraternity brothers Juwan Mass and Marcus Harvey — said they were drawn to Stokes’ case because in part because Stokes’ grandson lived in the home. They said being from Atlanta, they wanted to help a Southern family find peace in their home.
“That kind of tugged on our heartstrings,” Harvey said.
Stokes said since the ghost hunters visited her house and brought in a medium to dispel evil spirits, the house has felt more peaceful — although she still notices paranormal activity.
Stokes said she bought the seven acres her home sits on in 2012 from a family who had owned the property since the Civil War. She was the first to build a home on the land, and lives there with her sister and mom, in addition to her grandson.
After a few months experiencing unexplainable phenomenon, she said she had to check if perhaps a worker died while building the house or if a family cemetery might be on the property. But Stokes said she was unable to determine why spirits might be visiting her house.
Because she was caring for her sick sister, Valerie, who died in the home last year, she said she was unable to move. She drew crosses over every door, window and mirror with olive oil from Israel in an attempt to keep evil spirits at bay, and she joked that her floor was covered in more salt “than the Morton Salt factory.”
One of the most terrifying episodes, Stokes said, is when a ghost followed the family to the beach and began talking to her grandson, Matthew. Matthew confirmed he saw the ghost on the ceiling. Stokes remembered Matthew telling her the ghost was saying vulgar insults.
She’s hopeful that only benevolent spirits remain in the home.
“I’ve learned how to deal with it now,” Stokes said. “I don’t feel afraid like I did in the past. I feel like it’s something that you’ve come to understand. ... When it happens, I tell myself, ‘OK, you’re not crazy. I haven’t imagined this.’”