In Episode 278 Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore a bungalow house on Lindley Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where in 1974 haunting activity was so profound the police, fire department, city engineers, and clergy got involved. Police witnessed a levitating refrigerator, chairs breaking with no one touching them, chairs piling up on each other, and a panicked family. And that’s when Ed and Lorraine Warren joined the case. In this episode we’ll hear from Ed Warren himself about this haunting from a 1997 audio interview conducted by Jeff.
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RAY: Okay, make a left up here.
JEFF: Got it.
RAY: And this is Lindley Street, right in the heart of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
JEFF: We’ll pull over up here. The house is right over there on the right.
[CAR STOPS DOORS CLOSE]
RAY: That one?
JEFF: Yeah, that’s the place.
RAY: It’s a really small house. It’s a one-story bungalow. There’s a small, fenced-in yard. It looks a lot like the house next to it. You’re sure this is the place?
JEFF: This is it. Back in 1974, this house made the news because it was so profoundly haunted. Arguably this is the haunting case that launched the paranormal careers of two icons: Ed and Lorraine Warren.
JEFF: I’m Jeff Belanger and welcome to Episode 278 of the New England Legends podcast.
RAY: And I’m Ray Auger. Thanks for riding along with us on our mission to chronicle every legend in New England one story at a time. We’re always on the lookout for tales of ghosts, monsters, aliens, odd history, roadside oddities, and all the other strange things that make New England like no other place. And we can’t do it without you! So please hit that subscribe button wherever you get your podcasts, and get involved. We love hearing from you.
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RAY: So Jeff, this little house in Bridgeport launched the careers of Ed and Lorraine Warren?
JEFF: It did.
RAY: Ed and Lorraine Warren of the Conjuring movies franchise fame.
JEFF: That’s them.
RAY: Those are some fun movies starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. There’s the Conjuring, The Conjuring Two, Annabelle the doll. It’s been a wildly successful franchise.
JEFF: It has. I actually grew up knowing Ed and Lorraine Warren.
RAY: That’s right! You’ve mentioned that before.
JEFF: I grew up in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and the Warrens lived in the town next door, which is Monroe. Back then they were more like regional celebrities. They were doing this work long before the Internet and before there were dozens of ghost hunting reality shows. I knew them since I was about 13 years old. I remember seeing them give their talks in local libraries and things like that. The Lindley Street haunting is a story they often told. In fact… we’ll get to hear from Ed Warren himself about this case in a bit.
RAY: 1974 was a while ago now. Ed and Lorraine Warren have both passed on at this point. Ed died in 2006, and Lorraine passed in 2019.
JEFF: That’s true, but it’s a case those who know still talk about. To find out what happened, let’s head back to 1974 and investigate the Lindley Street home.
RAY: It’s November 24th, 1974. Gerald Ford is President of the United States, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive in the number one song, and Thanksgiving is this Thursday. The holidays are coming up, and things are mostly peaceful in Bridgeport right now outside this Lindley Street Bungalow home. But inside… it’s a different story.
JEFF: Living inside this Bungalow is the Goodin Family. There’s Gerald Goodin, he’s 56-years-old and a factory worker. His wife, Laura, who is about the same age, and then there’s their 11-year-old adopted daughter, Marcia.
RAY: The house was built in 1923, and the Goodins have lived here since about 1960. Different families have come and gone here over the years. There was the Pendergast family, they moved to Maryland, There was the Fennells, and a few other people called this place home.
JEFF: One neighbor I spoke to said she’s lived here for over 40 years and she’s never heard of any other family having any sort of haunting issues inside this house or any of the neighboring houses. But something is definitely going on at the Goodin’s home right now.
RAY: Though this house has been mostly quiet for the last 15 years, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been tragedies. For the Goodins, disaster struck in 1966, when their seven year old son died. Soon after that loss, they adopted Marcia, from Canada.
JEFF: For the first five years after their son’s death, the house was quiet. But then strange sounds started happening throughout the home.
RAY: What kinds of strange sounds?
JEFF: According to Gerald Goodin, it all started about three years ago. This was just about the time a large addition was being built on St. Vincent’s Hospital.
RAY: St. Vincent’s is about a block away from here.
JEFF: Right. It’s not far. So Gerald said they would sometimes hear tapping on the walls.
[KNOCK – PAUSE – KNOCK]
JEFF: And sometimes it would escalate to pounding.
JEFF: He said there was a pattern to it, but then it would stop. It could happen at any time of the day or night. Gerald even recorded the sounds on a tape recorder. The family thought this was some kind of prank being pulled by a neighbor. In fact, the neighbor they suspected, moved away and the noises stopped…
RAY: So that explains it?
JEFF: That’s what they thought. The noises stopped for about six weeks, but then started up again. The Goodins contacted the police department, the fire department, and City of Bridgeport engineers. The house was inspected by everyone. The foundation is solid. No one could find a reason for the strange sounds. It’s worth noting, that the Goodins didn’t believe anything paranormal were causing these knocks. Not yet…
RAY: But then that all changed this morning. Let’s go inside…
[DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES]
RAY: Let’s join the Goodins in the Kitchen. Hey… check out the kitchen table.
JEFF: Okay… that was weird. One of the chairs just fell over on its back with no one touching it!
RAY: There goes another one!
JEFF: And the third! Okay, that’s not the house settling or some prankster knocking on the outside wall.
RAY: No it’s not. Gerald, watch out!
[TV CRASHES TO THE FLOOR]
RAY: The small television in the kitchen just crashed to the floor! Oh man, it hit Mr. Goodin’s foot. I think his toe is broken.
JEFF: Okay, that television weighed close to 150 pounds. This isn’t something the cat knocked over.
RAY: No way. Okay… look at that!
JEFF: Wait a minute. Were you near the refrigerator?
JEFF: This 450-pound fridge is now angled out from the wall. This is getting really strange.
JEFF: What was that?!
RAY: It sounded like it was coming from the bedroom.
JEFF: The television set fell off of the shelf in Marcia’s room. And there’s a bureau lying on the bedroom floor.
RAY: Come see this in the living room! There three easy chairs have been thrown in a pile on top of each other.
JEFF: Mr. Goodin is panicked. Something is happening inside this house, and he no longer feels his family is safe inside. So the family heads out to the front yard.
RAY: One of Gerald’s neighbors and friends is a police officer named Holsworth. They run over and ask him for help.
RAY: When Holsworth enters the home, he finds a broken table and chairs, and broken plates. To Holsworth, the kitchen looks like it was ransacked. Then a strange noise catches Holsworth’s attention just behind him.
[LIGHT THUMPING SOUND]
RAY: The Goodin’s refrigerator is rocking back and forth and just bumped into Officer Holsworth!
[CLICK – TELEVISION STATIC NOISE]
JEFF: Look at that! The television in the living room just turned on. The whole TV is moving!
RAY: And those three recliners are shaking. This is freaking me out!
JEFF: Officer Holsworth can’t figure out what’s causing these strange things to happen. He calls the police department for backup.
[POLICE SIREN FADES IN]
RAY: When the second officer arrives, he and Holsworth both witness the lamp near the television shaking on its own. More police arrive.
JEFF: The backup thinks they’re going to a house that had been burglarized. No one mentioned anything about a haunted house. Officer Tomek is one of the backup officers. After walking into the Goodin’s home, he watches the shelves vibrating…
JEFF: Like some high-pitched vibration is shaking them.
[FIRE SIRENS FADE IN]
JEFF: And now the fire department just pulled in to examine the house for any kind of problems they can see. No one knows what they’re dealing with here. When Deputy Fire Chief Frederick Zwelein walks into the Goodin’s kitchen…
[CHAIR FALLS OVER]
JEFF: He sees a chair leap two feet into the air and fall over backward.
RAY: Police officer George Wilson, Jr. experiences the most nerve-wracking event inside the house. Officer Wilson watches the Goodin’s refrigerator lift a few feet of the floor and move toward him. Thankfully, the fridge settles down in the middle of the floor and doesn’t hurt anybody.
JEFF: Look at that on the wall, Ray!
RAY: Oh man… there’s a brass crucifix nailed to the wall. It’s shaking.
JEFF: it just fell to the floor!
RAY: With the firefighters, there’s Rev. Edward Doyle of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. He’s also the firehouse chaplain. Father Doyle says a blessing on the house in front of the firefighters, police, and the Goodins.
[PRIEST] In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost…
JEFF: I’m sure the blessing didn’t hurt anything, but I’m not sure it helped either. Other police officers witness the 21-inch television turn itself around and face the wall. The recliner chairs are reclining on their own, and the curtains are moving.
RAY: As this story makes its way into the police blotter and then bigger news articles in the coming days, crowds start to form outside this little house on Lindley Street.
RAY: Everyone wants a look inside this haunted home.
JEFF: And now Ed and Lorraine Warren get involved. A case like this so close to home, the psychic investigators can’t resist. Ed claims a neighbor called them for help. Which makes sense, when the police department, fire department, city engineers, and clergy, don’t have answers. It’s time to look down a different path.
RAY: Ed Warren interviews some of the police officers who are not backing down from their stories. The Warrens witness their own unexplained events. In one room in the Goodin’s house there was a hard-plastic crucifix hanging on the wall. An unseen force shatters the crucifix with an explosive force. Given the cross was the target, now Ed Warren suspects demonic forces at work.
JEFF: The big question is this: What changed? The Goodin family have lived in this house for 15 years without anything like this happening. What changed on November 24th?
RAY: Ed Warren has a theory. And this is when we learn that back in October young Marcia was attacked by a school bully who kicked her in the back. The injury to Marcia’s back was so severe that she had to stay home from school for five weeks to heal. It was near the end of that recouperation that the paranormal events in the house reached a crescendo on November 24th.
JEFF: Ed Warren’s theory is that these paranormal events are centered on Marcia, and maybe her injury opened up some kind of portal or doorway to the other side. And now that the demonic forces are inside, they need to fight back.
RAY: Police have barricaded Lindley Street to try and control the crowds. A police car is parked outside around the clock. And bigger news outlets keep covering this story. Afterall, the police officers have gone on record to report some of these incredible occurrences.
JEFF: And just when life on Lindley Street almost grinds to a halt… the Goodin family announce that they now believe it was their daughter, Marcia, who perpetrated a hoax out of boredom from being home for five weeks.
RAY: A hoax?! Moving 450-pound refrigerators and 150-pound television sets?!
JEFF: That’s what they claim. And soon the crowds disperse, and life starts to get back to normal for the people on Lindley Street… well, everyone except for the Goodin family. And that brings us back to today.
RAY: So the official story is it was a hoax?
JEFF: Here’s the thing. Ed Warren will tell you… in just a minute, actually… that the police chief told the family to claim it was a hoax to stop the crowds and the nightmare that came with that much attention.
RAY: So the haunting was real?
JEFF: According to the police, the Goodins, and Ed Warren, it was. So way back in October of 1997, I sat down with Ed Warren to interview him for a newspaper feature story I was writing. I recorded the whole interview on a tape recorder. I went through the old recording and pulled out the following section of the interview. It’s about 4 minutes and 40 seconds of Ed discussing this case. The audio quality isn’t the best, we cleaned it up a little, but I wanted you to hear it from Ed the same way I did back in 1997.
ED WARREN 4:38 INTERVIEW CLIP
RAY: So the hoax explanation alleviates the crowds and media attention, but didn’t end the haunting.
JEFF: Not according to Ed Warren. Some of the paranormal events continued to a lesser extent for several years. I also want to mention that most of the details for this story were pulled from the March 2nd, 1975 Bridgeport Post newspaper. Reporter Herbert F. Geller wrote a huge feature story quoting the police officers, the family, and the Warrens. This article was published a few months after the big events of November 24th, 1974. The conclusion back then was that disbelievers will call it a hoax, and believers will claim it was real… and some of the most profound poltergeist activity ever documented.
RAY: Either way, it’s a story we’re still talking about. And that brings us to After the Legend where we take a deeper dive into this week’s story and sometimes veer off course.
JEFF: Sometimes! After the Legend is brought to you by our Patreon Patrons! If you’d like to give a holiday gift to your buddies Jeff and Ray, please consider joining our Patreon Patrons. These folks are the backbone of everything we do. They help us with our production costs, hosting costs, marketing, and everything else it takes to bring you a new story each week. It’s just $3 bucks per month, and for that they get early access to new episodes, plus bonus episodes and content that no one else gets to hear. To sign up head over to patreon.com/NewEnglandLegends.
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We’d like to thank our sponsor, Nuwati Herbals, thank you to our patreon patrons, thank you to Ed Warren whenever you may be haunting these days, and our theme music is by John Judd.
Until next time remember… the bizarre is closer than you think.