(Originally published on July 23, 1985) Nobody walked through walls or hovered above ground. Nobody groaned or moaned or dragged chains in the attic. Nobody used a Ouija board, nobody said 'Ohmmmm.'
None of the familiar supernatural trappings was visible at John Gigliotti's 135-year-old Folsom home, where a seance was held Friday night.
Nevertheless, Sacramento psychic Robin Cunningham said afterward that she saw five spirits, including the bloody image of a teenage girl who she said had committed suicide.
Gigliotti invited Cunningham into his house to try to find answers to a disturbing incident that occurred three years ago when he and his family took a short vacation.
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When they left the house, Gigliotti said, the lights and television were off. When they came back three days later, the lights were on, the television was blaring, and their two poodles had been fed. The door was locked - nobody else had a key, Gigliotti said - but someone, or something, had been inside.
Gigliotti had only one explanation: ghosts.
"I'm not a nut, I'm a Roman Catholic," he said. "I believe in God." But ever since that vacation, the 43-year- old real estate man has been sure that his house is haunted.
A psychic at a fair recently told Gigliotti that she felt the energy of four 'friendly spirits' coming from the house and said he should contact Cunningham, a psychic counselor with a master's degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, to learn more.
Gigliotti was curious enough to go ahead. He called Cunningham and agreed to pay her $40 an hour to hold a seance in his home.
So Friday, just after sundown, Cunningham and Gigliotti walked into the house, followed by family, friends and journalists, to see what there was to see.
As the group gathered in the kitchen, Cunningham put her hand on her chin and closed her eyes to look into the past.
For a half hour, she traced the house's history, matter-of-factly listing people she said lived there over the decades.
Suddenly, Cunningham grew quiet, appearing concerned as she looked into the 1950s. 'There is somebody here who is still disturbed,' she said. "Middle to . . . one oflthose aprons."
Cunningham said she saw a girl who had a "very disturbing sexual experience, incest with somebody who was like an uncle." After seven years of sexual abuse, she said, the girl slashed her wrists with a sharp blade.
. . . it feels like a suicide, and there's a lot of blood," Cunningham said.
Cunningham then said she saw four other spirits in and around the house.
A woman in her 40s or 50s likes the house and is staying there because she is concerned about its future, Cunningham said, and two Indians watch the house from the edge of the property.
Cunningham said the spirit of the abusive uncle-figure lives in "his own private hell" behind the house.
After Cunningham identified the other spirits, Gigliotti agreed to let her free the suicide victim from the house.
Cunningham sat cross-legged on the bathroom floor, removed her shoes, and began 'channeling' her energy into the spirit.
"She thinks she can't move at all she's so weak. She can't breathe,' Cunningham . . . 'She's gone.'ry clear, very light. She's fading
Two witnesses to the seance said they had felt strangely lightheaded and dizzy in the bathroom just before Cunningham arrived Friday night.
Saturday, Gigliotti tried to verify Cunningham's historical account. He learned from a 1950s resident of the house that a neighbor girl had killed herself in a car wreck sometime in the decade but that there apparently were no suicides in the house.
Now he's not sure what to think, although he believes the house is still haunted. But, he said laughingly, "I wouldn't rule my life by psychics."