|Stroudsburg Rain Man|
A photograph of Don Decker
|Theories|| · Poltergeist|
· Superhuman power
The Stroudsburg Rain Man, real name Don Decker, is a Pennsylvania native who has been surrounded by a phenomenon that causes rain to appear around him. It started after his grandfather's death when he was a teenager in February of 1983. Don’s grandfather, the man he pretended to mourn, had physically abused him from the time he was just 7-years-old.
Don was serving a minor sentence at a county jail for "receiving stolen property" and was released on a weekend furlough to attend his maternal grandfather's funeral. After the service, he spent the night with his friends, Bob and Jeannie Keiffer. It was at the Kieffer's home that all the uneasy feelings stirred up at the funeral came back to haunt Don. He said that while washing up for dinner he had a sudden onset of shortness of breath and intense fear, accompanied by a vision of a face of an old man in the bathroom window wearing a crown and laughing menacingly at him. He told this to Bob who didn't know what to make of it.
After dinner when they retreated into the living room, Don says he 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. The rain was also allegedly coming up from the floor. (unsolved.com)
The Kiefers, their landlord, and a few patrol cops who were at the house, accepted that the event was supernatural in origin, possibly orchestrated by the recently departed James Kishpaugh, Don's grandfather.
Several hours into the event Don's "possession" allegedly escalated into him being lifted up off the ground and thrown across the room, which, like the rain, defied the laws of gravity. After a few exorcisms, one at the Kieffer's home, the other at the prison Don went back to, the weird events stopped.
The supernatural elements of this event are not accepted by everyone. The then Chief of Police Gary Roberts who arrived at the Kieffer's home witnessing the situation first hand, said he did not see any gravity defying water or anything else out of the ordinary. The warden of Don's prison, where the events allegedly followed him, described it all as "hearsay". Kevin McCaney, who wrote about the alleged event in the Pocono Record, wrote that all he could find was embellished and contradictory reports. Sociologist and paranormal researcher Robert Bartholomew researched the event in 2012. "Why didn't anyone videotape or photograph these events, despite cameras and videotape being widely available?" he wrote. "It is beyond belief that if these events were as dramatic as they claimed, no one snapped pictures."
There are several explanations for this alleged event. Theories include:
- Demonic possession
- Mass hallucination stimulated by religious fervor.
- Donnie having minor psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) which coincidentally happened while the ice dams on the Kiefer's roof were melting.
- Elaborate hoax
- This legend could also be classified as Phenomena.
- It was said that any crucifix placed anywhere on Don's body would burn him severely.
- While he was back in prison, he was sent to a priest after causing it to rain in his cell. The priest performed several exorcisms and ceremonies on him, and eventually, as mysteriously as the rain began, it stopped forever.