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Don Decker, the rain boy

Don Decker, the rain boy

Don Decker, the rain boy

A man materializes streams of water out of thin air and defies gravity in front of nine witnesses.

February 24, 1983. The funeral of James Kishaugh. Kishaugh鈥檚 grandson, 21-year-old Don Decker of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was granted a furlough from the county jail to attend the funeral. Don was serving a 4- to 12-month sentence for receiving stolen property. But no one at the funeral knew he had a dark secret. Don鈥檚 grandfather, the man he pretended to mourn, had physically abused him from the time he was just 7-years-old:

鈥淣o other part of the family knew anything about what happened, and it was like good fighting evil. The evil was gone and I was hoping, you know, that everything would change.鈥

Well, things did change, but not in a way Don Decker could ever have imagined. After the funeral, he decided to spend the night with his friends, Bob and Jeannie Keiffer. And that鈥檚 when the unexplained began to happen.聽 It was at the Keiffer’s home that all the uneasy feelings stirred up at the funeral came back to haunt Don. Suddenly he felt a deep chill. At almost the same time, water began to drip from the living room walls as Don says he fell into a strange, trance-like state. 聽The Keiffers notified the landlord, Ron Van Why. When Ron arrived, he was just as puzzled by the problem as the Keiffers:

鈥淲e’d decided maybe it was the plumbing, but there were no pipes in the front end of the house to leak. There was basically nothing there that the water could have come from.鈥
After watching it for a while, I discovered that it wasn’t only coming from the ceiling down. It could come from the wall over or from the floor up. There was no basic direction that it was coming from. It could come from anywhere.鈥

Ron telephoned his wife, Romayne, and the police. Patrolman Richard Wolbert arrived at the scene:

鈥淎t this point he was telling me, 鈥業 just want you to walk into the house.鈥 I said 鈥業’m not walking into the house unless you explain to me what I’m walking into.鈥櫬 He says, 鈥楾rust me, trust me, just walk into the house.鈥 I walked in the door and he came right in behind me. And I couldn鈥檛 get two steps inside the door and I was absolutely pelted.

Officer Wolbert said that not only was it raining inside, but that the water drops defied physics:

鈥淲e were standing just inside the front door and met this droplet of water traveling horizontally. It passed between us and just traveled out into the next room.鈥

John Baujan was another officer at the house that night:

鈥淚 literally had a chill going up my spine, made the hair stand up on your neck. That’s how I felt. This was a situation where things were happening that I never, ever dreamed could possibly happen. And there was no way of explaining what was going on.鈥

They said that it rained inside a restaurant

They said that it rained inside a restaurant

At this point, the officers left to report the incident to the police chief. The Keiffers and Don walked across the street for something to eat.聽 Ron Van Why and his wife remained at the house:

鈥淭hey left, and everything else left, too. The rain stopped. The house was normal. We were kind of thinking that maybe it was coming from them, and we weren’t sure, at that time which one.鈥

Pam Scrofano, who owned the restaurant across from the Keiffers’ house, had visited them earlier that day and had seen the rain firsthand. Pam was convinced Don Decker, sitting in her restaurant with the Keiffers, was possessed by an evil spirit:

鈥淵ou looked at Donny and he was like in a trance. He would look at you, but not knowing you were there. I said to Jeannie, 鈥楬e’s got to be possessed.鈥櫬 We’re sitting there. Couple of seconds later, there’s water all over the pizzeria, too. I’ve never seen anything like that happen. I went in the cash register, I had a crucifix there, I took it out, put it on him. And the minute I put it on him and it touched his skin, he got burned. There’s no way that anybody could have played a joke like that. This was real. Donny was doing it himself. He was doing it without realizing he was doing it.

Even Don Decker began to believe that he was somehow responsible. The rain in the restaurant was the last straw:

鈥淭hat made me more sure that I had something to do with it because it was following me. And it didn’t start raining in the house until I got there. They were living there and nothing ever happened. And that’s when I started realizing that it was me.鈥

Back at the Keiffers’ house, Romayne, the landlord鈥檚 wife, confronted Don, accusing him of somehow causing all the trouble. Don Decker recalled:

鈥淭he pots and pans over the stove started rattling. That’s when I got levitated off the floor. I was just like floating. Then it was like a push. It wasn’t like somebody taking their hand and pushing me. It was like feeling it all over your body at once. I’m a big guy, you know, I’ve always been assertive, and that made me felt like a newborn. You know, I’m scared right now just talking about it, really.鈥

A few hours after the strange incident in the kitchen, Officers Baujan and Wolbert arrived with their chief. Officer Baujan describes what happened:

鈥淲hen the chief got to the house, he was pelted with water just as Rich and I were. I got the impression that he was put on the spot, maybe a little bit embarrassed, like we expected something out of him that he could answer. There was no way to explain what happened. I think he was put in a position where he might have felt a little uncomfortable.鈥

The police chief announced that the problem was a plumbing issue and ordered his officers to leave the Keiffer house. Officer Baujan said they were told not to file a report and not to even talk about the incident:

鈥淲ell, he just flat out denied it; it didn’t happen. And he tried to convince me that nothing happened. And he wasn’t going to do that. I saw it. And that’s all there is to it.鈥

The next day, three officers ignored the orders of the police chief. They went to the Keiffer home to continue their investigation. One of the officers was Bill Davies:

鈥淲e鈥檙e standing there and I gave Mr. Decker this gold cross to hold. Next thing he says, 鈥業t’s burning my hands.鈥 And there’s no explanation for it. When you picked it up, when you grabbed it, it鈥檚 not hot-hot, but it’s hot and I held onto it.鈥

Don also once again levitated off the floor. Lt. John Rundle said he witnessed it:

鈥淎ll of a sudden, he lifted up off the ground and he flew across the room with the force as though a bus had hit him. There were three claw marks on the side of his neck, which drew blood. I have no answer for it whatsoever. And, I just draw a blank, even today.鈥

Officer Bill Davies was also at a loss:

鈥淚’ve been a cop 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this, never. There’s always an explanation when something happens.聽 If you gotta investigate, you come up with something. This is why it happened. For this case, there is no explanation.鈥

Finally, on the third night, Ron Van Why asked a preacher to come to the house and try an exorcism. Every Protestant minister and Catholic priest in Stroudsburg had turned Ron down.聽 Ron Van Why:

鈥淎s she started to pray, Donny went into a convulsion. He started to shake. He pulled himself up into like a ball and the longer she prayed, he started to relax, then.鈥

A priest performed an exorcism

A priest performed an exorcism

Romayne Van Why said she felt a change in the house:

鈥淗is whole body seemed to quiet completely down, and as you’re standing there watching this, you could feel the house itself seemed to take on a total different feeling.鈥

Ron Van Why:

鈥淎nd by the time she got done praying, the water was gone.聽 And that was the last that we saw any water at the house at all.鈥

The mysterious rain was gone and Don Decker appeared to return to his old self.聽 But the change was only temporary. After his furlough, Don returned to jail. Within a few days, the mysterious rain returned, this time, in the jail:

鈥淭hey put me in a maximum security cell. I was in there with another inmate. And I was thinking I should make it rain in here. And all of a sudden, water started coming out of the concrete floor, and at that point, I thought, 鈥業 can do stuff.鈥欌

According to Don, he now realized he could control the rain, at will. A skeptical guard challenged him to make it rain in Warden Dave Keenhold鈥檚 office. Warden Keenhold recalled:

鈥淚 was sitting at the desk, writing a report. I was all by myself in the administration area. Nobody else was around. It was approximately 8:00 in the evening. At the time, I didn’t feel anything, but my shirt was drooping down.鈥

An officer entered and told Warden Keenhold to look at his shirt:

鈥淎nd right about the center of my sternum, about four inches long, two inches wide, I was just saturated with water. I was startled. I was scared. The officer was frightened at that particular time, and I just didn’t have an explanation why it happened.鈥

The Warden called in the Rev. William Blackburn:

鈥淎ll of a sudden, I received this frantic call from a sergeant in the jail. And he said, 鈥楥an you come over? We need you. We need your help.鈥 So he brought this very meek and mild-mannered young man into the room. And he was asking for my help.鈥

Don told the Reverend that he could make it rain and that crosses placed on his body burned. According to the Reverend Blackburn, he told Don to admit that he was just making things up, then:

鈥淎ll of a sudden his demeanor changed and this smell came into the room. Nurses and doctors, medical people, say when you walk into a room where someone is dying with a cancer or something, usually there’s a smell. You can tell when you walk in the room. I smelled a smell like that multiplied five times at least. Evil, foreboding. He raised his hand and rubbed his fingers together. And all of a sudden, it started to rain. It was like the devil’s rain. It was a mist. I was in the presence of evil. I opened up the Bible and started to read to him. But the pages never got wet. So help me, it was a frightening thing.
I think I was praying more for me than him. I prayed, and it was only a brief period, and the rain stopped.鈥

Rev. Blackburn said he noticed a sudden change in Don as well:

鈥淗e subsided and you could feel a peace. He said thank you. He got tears in his eyes. We hugged and prayed together. He was possessed. There was no doubt in my mind. There’s no way a human could do what he did in that room. There’s no way that he did anything, but what he did was spiritual, and it wasn’t of God. Guaranteed, it was not of God.鈥

Don Decker said that he feels like the bizarre occurrences won鈥檛 happen again:

鈥淲ell it’s over. It hasn’t happened again. Basically, I’m just hoping that it never will, and I just, you know, go day by day. And as for my grandfather, I think what had happened was his doing. Because he abused me when I was young, he got a chance to abuse me again.鈥

Chip Decker, no relation to Don, and Peter Jordan are the main paranormal researchers on this case. Chip was impressed with the eye-witness accounts:

鈥淚 think what makes this case very unique is that all of the witnesses are so credible. We’re dealing with very good, well-seasoned police officers that were obviously rather frightened and shaken by this, but also had the powers of observation.鈥

Peter Jordan:

鈥淭he Donald Decker case is by far the singularly most fascinating and important case I have ever personally been involved in. That does not mean I believe that it necessarily is proof positive to me of demonic infestation. But it is the case, in my own personal experience up to this point, that comes the closest to that hypothesis.鈥

In all, nine eyewitnesses, plus Don himself, were willing to go on record saying they saw, heard, and felt phenomena apparently not of this world. And they continue to believe Don was possessed by the devil. They have found no other explanation for the bizarre events.