The Michigan Hell House haunting: was it a poltergeist, witch, or demon?

Shock Docs - Michigan Hell House - Courtesy discovery
Shock Docs - Michigan Hell House - Courtesy discovery /

What was responsible for the flying knives, loud explosions, disembodied voices, spontaneous fires, and other disturbing activity that plagued the Pomeraning family when they lived in the house on Dice Road in Merrill, Michigan, in the 1970s? Was it a poltergeist? Witchcraft? A demon? Does the Shock Docs about the case reveal the cause of the Michigan Hell House haunting?

Yes! Or at least Steve Shippy and Cindy Kaza believe they have an answer that explains all the activty.

Which makes this the perfect place for a spoiler alert. This post definitely contains some!

The Michigan Hell House haunting

The Michigan Hell House haunting was one that no one had ever heard of before Steve Shippy brought it to light in his 2016 documentary, A Haunting on Dice Road: The Hell House. But as the synopsis for the Shock Docs puts it, “It was a living nightmare that rivals horror films like Amityville Horror and Poltergeist.”

Steve Shippy Michigan Hell House haunting
Paranormal Investigator and documentary filmmaker Steve Shippyconfronts entities disturbing Midwestern towns in the new series “Haunting in the Heartland”.. Image Courtesy Travel Channel /

The terror started in the summer of 1974 and lasted until the spring of 1975. Harold and Mabel Pomeraning, along with their two sons Duane and Terry, endured relentless, bizarre, and violent paranormal phenomena.

Michigan Hell House reveals over 30 hours of real-time audio recordings, in addition to hundreds of police reports. It also features interviews with eyewitnesses, including brothers Duane and Terry Pomeraning, who were just teenagers when the unexplained chaos broke out in their home all those years ago. But neighbors, police officers who investigated calls to the house, and a parapsychologist who investigated the house back in 1975 also provide accounts.

So what do Shippy and Kaza dig up?

Three things caused the Michigan Hell House haunting

From what Shippy and Kaza can tell, it wasn’t just one thing that was responsible for the haunting, but a conglomeration of them.

First off, they determine poltergeist activity was centered around the youngest brother, Duane.

But there was also a mysterious woman who moved into the house across the street from the Pomeranings back in 1974, about a month before everything started happening.

As Terry put it, “In the beginning, they were really nice people.”

Duane agreed, chiming in, “Seemed like it anyway.”

Then Terry concludes, “In the end, they were not.”

For how thorough the rest of the Michigan Hell House Shock Docs is about presenting evidence, the part about the mysterious neighbor across the street is lacking. They offer up eyewitness accounts from neighbors and even law enforcement about how the woman was seen dancing and “contorting” her body with her arms raised, as well as lighting fires in a trash can and dancing around it.

During an interview, a former police officer said his department was aware of a “commune of hippie-type people” living on the property behind her house.

It’s suggested they were all involved in some sort of satanic rituals, and that the neighbor woman was a witch who set her sights on Duane for some reason. After a bizarre incident that he hardly remembers where she invited him into his house, he returned home in a daze. He had no idea three hours had passed. His family immediately noticed his odd behavior upon his return, which grew life-threatening when he had a seizure and collapsed.

It turned out he had a grand mal seizure. He’d never had any kind of seizure before that. The family was convinced the “witch” across the street had something to do with it.

When Shippy and Kaza find a circular patch in the witch’s lawn and experience weird feelings from it, Shippy calls in Miss Aida. She’s an ordained witch who helps them determine the witchy neighbor must’ve opened a portal and summoned a demon that was outside her purview to control. That demon was responsible for the awful activity the Pomeraning family endured.

What happened to the poltergeist, witch, and demon?

Shippy, Kaza, and Miss Aida determine if they close the portal, they can ensure nothing like the Michigan Hell House haunting ever happens again. But how do you close a portal?

Miss Aida contacts a demonologist. He has her recite a psalm to keep away bad energies while Shippy and Kaza protect her with an iron cross. They also employ sea salt, holy water and a statue of St. Michael since, as Miss Aida put it, “He kicked Satan’s butt.”

After saying the psalm, they drive an iron knife into the center of the circle to drive the demon back to where it came from and keep it there.

Did it work? Let’s hope so.

Michigan Hell House premieres on Travel Channel on Sunday, February 19 at 9 pm ET. It also streams the same day on discovery+.

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Talk about a haunted trifecta, right? The Michigan Hell House haunting sounds nuts, doesn’t it? Which of those three things, a poltergeist, witch or demon, would you least like to find haunting your home? Let us know in the comments!