Donald Decker is a Pennsylvania native who has been surrounded by a phenomenon that enabled him to cause rain to appear around him. It started after his grandfather's death when he was a teenager in February of 1983. He arrived at a friend's house, and while he was in the restroom, was attacked by what he later claimed was his grandfathers spirit. It apparently scratched his forearm. Afterwards, they were all in the living room, and rain started falling in the house. Don and his friends later went to a cafe, where the rain continued to fall without explanation. Don was on a weeks leave from jail to attend his grandfathers funeral while all this was happening. He had been sent to jail for reciveing stolen property and he had to go back to jail to finish his sentence. While he was back in jail, he was sent to a priest after causing it to rain in his jail cell. The priest performed several exorcisms and ceremonies on Don, and eventually, as mysteriously as the rain began, it stopped forever.
Dubbed the Rain Boy in 1983, Donnie Decker was visiting his friendís house when he abruptly went into a trance-like state. Immediately after, the ceiling began to drip water and a mist filled the room. His friends immediately called on the landlord who was alarmed by what he was seeing. Some time later, Donnie was at a restaurant with other companions when rain started pouring down their heads. The restaurant owner immediately forced him out. Years later, due to a petty crime, Donnie was put into jail where he caused chaos when rain started to pour down in his cell. After angry inmates complained, Donnie explained that he could make it rain when he wanted to, and proved his point by dumping rain on the jailor on duty. Eventually, he was released from jail and found a job as a cook at a local restaurant. His present whereabouts is unknown Ė as is the cause of the mysterious rain.
Donnie was keeping a secret. His grandfather had been sexually abusing him for years. But he never told anyone. After his grandfather died, he was now free of the abuse. But his family talked about his grandfather like he was some kind of saint. But Donnie knew the truth Ė he was an abuser.
The raining inside the house, his jail cell, and restaurant started just after his grandfather had died. Did the emotions from Donnie make the rain appear? It seems more like a poltergeist case to me. Itís almost a classic case. Itís possible that his grandfather had possessed him somehow. But from the evidence and witnesses, in my opinion, Donnie made this happen himself.
Donnie listened to everyone say wonderful things about his grandfather, and Iím sure he hated it. Classic poltergeist activity is normally from an adolescent in the family with some emotional or sexual problems. And their emotions cause the poltergeist activity. This is what happened in this case. Donnie would have definitely been emotionally troubled after what his grandfather had done to him. I would be.
There are several witnesses to Donnie being levitated in mid air and then flung against the wall. He was always present when it rained. And Donnie even told one prison guard that he could control it, and displayed the control to the guard making it rain on another guard sitting at his desk.Eventually, Donnie was exorcised and the rain went away. But the case is fascinating still to this day.
The year was 1983. In the laid back borough of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, twenty one year-old Don Decker had just been sent to serve his sentence of a full year in prison for receiving stolen property. He had been quietly serving his time when Don received news of his grandfatherís death in February of that year. Given a weekend furlough, Don went back home to attend his grandfatherís funeral. When Don approached the casket, a tsunami of emotions ran through his head. Unbeknownst to many, his grandfather had abused him as a child. Years of repressed anger washed over his blank stare as he stood in front of his grandfather. Don left the funeral home soon after. It wasnít until that night that Donís story takes a surprise turn into the unexplained. The night of the funeral would be the beginning of a peculiar poltergeist case, The Stoudsburg Rain Man.
Don Deckerís mother didnít want anything to do with her son. She barred him from stepping foot in her home, thus forcing Don to take refuge under the roof of some friends of the family. Bob and Jeannie Keiffer knew Don since he was a little boy and had no qualms about taking in a convicted man into their home. Don had always been a good kid, heíd just gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd.
That night at the Keifferís, an unsettling feeling chilled its way up Donís spine while sitting in the living room watching television. In Donís head a firestorm of emotions brewed in what seemed like a sudden panic attack. Within moments water began dripping from the roomís ceiling, creeping out Don and the Keiffers alike. Strangely, Bob knew that there were no water pipes that run up or down, side to side on that side of their home. He decided to call in his landlord so that he could take a look.
Ron H. Van Why arrived shortly after Bobís phone call. Ron knew the layout of his house and was dumbfounded when he too witnessed the water coming from the ceiling. Then the family noticed something else. Water seemed to be coming out from the walls and floor. Don remembers feeling an extreme coldness around him that night. Soon after he would fall into a trance like state, quietly staring straight into nothingness.
Ron decided to call the police. He figured they could assist them or solve the mystery of the phantom water.
Police Become Witness
When Patrolman John Baujan and Richard Wolbert arrived at the house, they walked into the living room to observe water dripping from the walls, ceiling, and floor. As they begin to inspect the room, the patrolmen see water drops begin to travel horizontally,
meaning from wall to wall. They froze in a state of sheer wonder and fear. Just then, to add to their chill, they both observe water droplets hover in mid-air and travel out of the room. Within minutes of being at the premise, the patrolmen were soaked through and through from head to toe.
Meanwhile Donís trance-like look hadnít abated. In fact, he looked to be in too bad of shape that officer Richard Wolbert suggested they leave the premise and go wait at the local pizzeria until they figured out what was happening inside the house. Ron decided to stay with the officers and his house to help them figure out the strange situation before them. As soon as Don and the Keiffers left the house, the mysterious rain stopped entirely. Walls, floors, and ceiling began drying up while the coldness inside the house vaporized.
Ron began to think that one of the three were responsible for the water.
ďYou 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, ĎHeís got to be possessed.í Weíre sitting there. Couple of seconds later, thereís water all over the pizzeria, too. Iíve 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. Thereís 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.Ē
Pam Scrofano owned the pizza shop and had witnessed the strange rain when she visited the Keiffers earlier that day. She was convinced that Donny had become possessed by something evil. At that moment, Don snapped out of his trance and could remember everything that had transpired since he was at the house watching television. Don knew that he somehow was to blame for the mysterious rainfall. Things only started as soon as he left the funeral home earlier that day.
ďThat made me more sure that I had something to do with it because it was following me. And it didnít start raining in the house until I got there. They were living there and nothing ever happened. And thatís when I started realizing that it was me.Ē
All three of them soon left the pizzeria and to no oneís surprise, the rain stopped inside the pizzeria as soon as Don left. They were certain Don was the culprit, they decided to go back home.
As soon as the arrived at the house, Don walked in and the waterworks began. This time, pots and pans in the kitchen began vibrating and rattling off the countertops whenever Don approached. Tired of what was going on, Ronís wife accused Donny of perpetrating a hoax. With fingers pointing at him, Don begins to feel cornered and pressured. Things take a dramatic turn for the worse when in front of many, Don appears to levitate inches from the ground and is thrown violently across the room.
Wet Police Chief
It had been well over 24 hours at this point when the patrolmen returned, this time with the chief of police in tow. As soon as the police chief walked into the house, he was bombarded with water drops, some traveling horizontally like before. Immediately his uniform became saturated with water from the mysterious mist cloud that now hovered inside the room. The police chief was unnerved by what he was seeing and decided to order his men out. He told them that this was a plumbing issue and to not file a standard police report. The three of them quickly left afterwards, leaving the rest to figure out the phenomenon.
Afterwards, things settled down the best they could. The very next day the officers had returned. Ignoring the straight orders of the police chief, they had also brought along some other partners of the precinct. Bill Davies was one of them:
ďWeíre standing there and I gave Mr. Decker this gold cross to hold. Next thing he says, ĎItís burning my hands.í And thereís no explanation for it. When you picked it up, when you grabbed it, itís not hot-hot, but itís hot and I held onto it.Ē
Soon after officer Bill Daviesí observation, Lt. John Rundle witnessed yet another levitation by Donny.
ďAll 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.Ē
ďIíve been a cop 40 years and Iíve never seen anything like this, never. Thereís always an explanation when something happens. If you gotta investigate, you come up with something. This is why it happened. For this case, there is no explanation.Ē Ė Officer Bill Davies
Ron remained adamant about helping Donny out. He had observed more and more strange phenomena inside his house and was fully convinced that Donny had no part in it, at least not willingly. Ron began calling Catholic priests around town, hoping to get an bible-and-rosaryexorcism for Donny. The Catholic Church does not do them on a whim, there exists strict and meticulous criteria a case must meet before granting the exorcism. Ron and the rest had no time, they contacted a local Evangelical preacher who agreed to do the exorcism.
As they prayed, Donny began to convulse violently. He writhed and gritted his teeth while laying on the floor. The preacher continued with the ritual. Hours later things seemed to have stopped. The rain vanished and the coldness left. Don began to instantly feel better, as if whatever had taken ahold of him had released him from its demonic grip.
The next few days, things appeared to fall back into normalcy.
Donís furlough came to an end and was admitted back into prison. While in his cell, Don thought about his ordeal during the last few days and wondered if he was able to manifest water on the whim. He concentrated lightly and to his surprise, water began seeping from all over his prison cell.
The guards quickly accused Don of throwing water from the sink and threatened disciplinary action. When Don told them that he had the ability to summon water, they scoffed at his face. One of the prison guards then dared Don to make it rain inside the prison prison-cell-cellphoneWardenís office. Don accepted the challenge and began to concentrate on the request.
Over at the Wardenís office, Lt. David Keenhold was the temporary Warden and had been filling out reports all day. He was unaware of the situation with Don and his unique ability. A few guards knocked on his door to check to see if Don really had the power to manifest water and much to their horror, they walked in to see a lieutenant with a completely drenched shirt. Lt. Keenhold hadnít noticed his soaking wet shirt until they men burst into this office. They all sat mystified and unnerved.
Lt. Keenhold then called for reverend William Blackburn, a local clergy whom he had befriended. Upon arrival Rev. Blackburn listed to what had happened to Don just a few days ago and confronted Don and accused him of making it all up. Donís demeanor instantly changed as he closed his eyes in concentration.
The room was instantly engulfed in a miasma of a strong, foul odor. Many management and administration personnel were witnesses to the events. With all the commotion happening, Don raised his hand and began rubbing his fingers together to produce a thick mist that quickly covered the room. Everyone and everything was completely drenched.
The reverend then proceeded with a ritual in which Don and him prayed for hours. Soon, things began to lift inside the cell, causing Don to breakdown in tears.
It was all over. When Rev. William Blackburn was finished, Don had a newfound sense of peace within him. It would be the last time he would be able to manifest rain.