The Berini Hauntings
The poltergeist experiences later named The Berini Hauntings by paranormal researchers, started shortly after Joe Berini moved his wife and two of her children from a former marriage into his ancestral New England home in the late 1970s. Unbeknownst to the family then, the home had its own history of mystery, which would unfold, benignly at first, then into horrifying experiences that would drive them from their home in search of help.
Their first otherworldly visitor was a little girl whose voice penetrated this dimension one evening in May 1979, and declared to Rose, “Mama, mama, this is Serena.” Neither Joe nor Rose knew of any girl in the family’s past by the name of Serena—at least then. What they did come to know soon enough was that when Serena visited them, something significant was about to happen to the family, usually of dire consequences. After Serena’s first visit, their daughter Daisy went to the doctors to have her tonsils taken out, except during the operation there were complications, which resulted in her heart-stopping, and she nearly perished. The timing of Serena’s visit and Daisy’s near-death experience did not go unnoticed by the Berinis.
Serena’s visit to the family also coincided with the stroke of Joe’s grandmother and a night in November before the elderly woman passed away. Her connection to the family seemed strong as Joe remembers waking up to Serena’s voice to find his wife choking next to him in her sleep. After shaking her awake, she shares with him that her ex-husband was choking her in her dream.
Children seemed to be the theme early on in the Berini hauntings and though there was a lull from late 1979 to March 1981, another child made an appearance to Rose. A little boy, dressed fully in white, was roaming her upstairs hall. Like Serena, these were not frightening experiences and she described them to researchers as, “A very peaceful experience.” Unlike Serena whose mission seems to have been to warn the family of danger, this young boy seemed to be searching for an object. The boy, witnessed by Joe, was seen entering each bedroom then settled on the floor of the hallway in search of something, sight unseen. Curious, Joe later pulled up the floorboards and found a medallion of the Virgin Mary.
Through family inquiry, the Berini family learned that Joe’s father, Carlos, had two younger siblings that had died in the house. There was Serena, who had passed away at the tender age of five, and a young boy by the name of Giorgio, who was gone at eight.
What I find interesting here is that there wasn’t a family investigation into these tragedies. One child is tragic, but two is suspicious. The fact that both chose to haunt the ancestral home is very unusual. Had these children been killed? And if so, by whom? Ịt was unlikely the older brother could have done it because he was relatively young himself. The father? Joe heard the little boy say to him on one occasion, “My oldest brother is the only one who can help me.” What did he mean? Help him from what? That very sentence was the beginning of the terror. It was shortly thereafter this statement that objects started to move in an unpredictable fashion with phones flying, doors slamming open and shut and objects being yanked from Rose’s hands.
This turn of events led the Berinis in search of spiritual help. They asked two priests to come and bless the house, which they did with prayers and holy oil. There was a quiet spell after the rituals but it wasn’t for long.
The entity that descended upon them shortly after seemed straight from hell, though it once proclaimed itself “A minister of God.” It was a male, hunch-backed figure with oversized feet wearing a black cape. It brought with his fury and intimidation including flying objects, bookcases being moved, and eventually physical attacks. The children were hit on several occasions but Rose took the brunt of the figure’s venom. On one occasion Rose was struck by an opened freezer door but this was mild compared to what was to come.
One evening Rose was yanked from bed at night, suspended in the air, then dropped to the floor. Another night Joe was called back from work to find their bed leaping several feet in the air and Rose cowering in the corner with a crucifix.
The final straw was a carving knife jammed into the kitchen table. The Berinis left the house and again sought spiritual help. The second exorcism seemed to work as the hauntings vanished. It was at this point the family welcomed the Psychical Research Foundation to investigate their claims.
Personal Comment: Through my research of the paranormal, and as I mentioned earlier, it is unusual for a child to haunt a dwelling, let alone two. What causes hauntings is often an attachment to the physical, sudden departure from this life or unfinished business. Something pulled these children back to the physical dimension and also opened the door to the negative entity. From the sounds of it, the grandfather (the children’s father) had already passed. Was he the cloaked figure?
Like most hauntings, I guess this haunting will remain a mystery.