Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Patrick Keller, of, invites you to join an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts & hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics & mediums, and life after death. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!
Want occasional updates? Sign up for the Newsletter! 

Nov 30, 2023


Have you heard about the upcoming film, The Haunting in Wicker Park, starring Erin Moriarty (The Boys) and Jamie Campbell Bower (Stranger Things)? It was inspired by the experiences of the Becker family who invited NBC News cameras to film an exorcism in their Chicago home in 1971. Hear what we’ve learned about this new film, and take another listen to Patrick's 2014 interview with Edwin F. Becker, who sadly passed away about a year ago. Visit for more info. 

Other Listening Options
Direct Download Link


In this episode:

Intro :00

Today we reach back into the Big Seance archives to re-visit the two-part interview with Edwin F. Becker in 2014, about the frightening, real-life experiences that he and his family suffered through in the early 1970s in their home in Chicago. Those experiences led to NBC’s Carole Simpson filming the first televised exorcism in their home in 1971. Edwin's book, True Haunting, originated as just a journal to document it all. The accounts of the activity are just amazing, and as Patrick said in his review for the book over 10 years ago, it reads like amazing fiction… except it’s not. In 2012, the Paranormal Witness series featured the Becker family in an episode titled, The Tenants, and Patrick highly recommends that you check that out, if you can. The 2-part interview for the Big Seance that we’re revisiting today, was one of the first interviews Patrick had that he felt was really big, he was super proud of it, and Edwin later reached out to him to tell him that to that date it was perhaps the best interview he'd ever been a part of. :50

Sadly, Edwin died about a year ago in November of 2022. But to Patrick’s surprise, today he discovered that there was a major motion picture in post-production, called The Haunting in Wicker Park, directed by Gary Fleder, and starring Jamie Campbell Bower, who played Henry Creel and Vecna in the fourth season of the Netflix series, Stranger Things. iMDb says it was supposed to be released in 2023, but 2024 is just around the corner and there are no trailers yet. There are, however, some behind-the-scenes production photos. Edwin was aware and knew about the upcoming film, because he excitedly announced it in one of his last social media posts. If you know any details about the release of the film, please let us know at 2:22

Audio of the historic 1971 NBC footage of the exorcism of the Becker home with journalist Carole Simpson. Thanks to Edwin, the footage exists on YouTube. The aged audio is kind of atrocious, but it’s worth a listen. 5:05


The following interview was originally released in two parts in November of 2014: 

Edwin F. Becker’s bio. 11:06

Background on Edwin’s book, True Haunting. 12:41

Edwin takes us back to 1970 and a story that begins with the purchase of an old two-story building, a home made up of two apartments, each on its own floor. 14:08

“Eddie, I’m never coming down here.” Edwin brought his wife, Marsha, in to see the new home and the basement. He hoped that she would see that they could fix it up and make it into a home. She was not a fan of the basement. 21:03

Nasty fighting among the family of the deceased former owner, and a deal to keep Myra, a scary old remaining tenant for 120 days. 24:00

“We started having anomalies immediately. I believe spirits are intelligent. I don’t know if they can look into your soul and see everything you’ve ever done, like a demon can, but I know that they can sense what you’re going to do and read your mind. I learned that while we lived there, because they could anticipate my actions whenever I tried to record them on a tape recorder.” 26:49

It all started with Marsha and the phone. 27:14

Edwin finally understands that there is a problem in the home, and he calls in a priest for a house blessing. It didn’t go well and he bolted! 30:05

“What do you do about it?” 35:34

The mysterious sheds in the basement. 37:42

New downstairs tenants. 39:35

Runaway dogs. And Edwin borrows a tape recorder. 44:18

“But over time, what happens is you wind up walking on egg shells, number one, because you don’t know what’s going to actually happen next. And you don’t know what to attribute to paranormal and what not to attribute to paranormal.” 46:53

“…it started toying with me. That was the first time it actually turned on the gas on the stove.” 50:15

“I started thinking about burning the place down.” 51:25

“And ghosts lie.” Paranormal investigation, Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), and Ouija boards. 52:18

“No. I don’t go ghost hunting, because you’re going to walk into a room if you know there’s an energy there, and you really don’t know if it’s a teddy bear or a raptor. And it can come home with you. There can be attachments.” 54:07

Bullets and Yellow Pages. The Beckers turned to Joseph 
DeLouise, a famous Chicago psychic. 54:30

Turning to exorcism. 59:39

A phone call from Carole Simpson and NBC led to the first televised exorcism. 1:03:50

“But if you look in that YouTube piece at about the minute and a half mark, there will be a dark doorway. There is no door on that. It was a vinyl folding door. You’re going to see a ghost start to come out and go back in briefly. You’re going to think that a woman’s skirt or a woman’s robe or something is coming through the door. You’re going to see the tip of it, solid as a rock, and then you’re going to see it back off.” 1:07:05

“That exorcism went on for three and a half hours, and it was very, very creepy.” 1:08:25

“And then there’s a clear child’s voice that says, ‘mama.’” 1:08:25

“If you look at the end of the exorcism, you can tell that they were not successful. You can look on their faces and they look like they just lost a basketball game by 52 points. And they left.” 1:10:25

“The only thing we could do was get out of there.” 1:10:43

A brief discussion of the Amityville story and that film. 1:14:55

 A haunted piano. 1:17:34

Edwin’s advice for anyone going through a haunting, plus current ghostly activity. 1:21:54

Edwin on orbs, photography, and Hollywood’s representation of hauntings. 1:26:50

A Near Death Experience (NDE) 1:31:35

Outro 1:41:19

A special THANK YOU to Patreon supporters at the Super Paranerd and Parlor Guest level! 1:42:38



The Big Seance Podcast can be found right here, on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsPandoraSpotifyTuneIn RadioAmazon MusicAudibleiHeart Radio, and YouTube. Please subscribe and share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the seance!