The Case of the Black Shadow, the untold story By Sarah Maitland
In October 2010, local paranormal team Central Virginia Paranormal Investigations (CVAPI), performed a
paranormal investigation in Chester, Virginia for the Maitland family. This case was later featured as “The
Black Shadow” on Animal Planet’s Demon Exorcist.
As stated several months ago, the family was indeed unhappy with how the show aired on television. A
year later, Sarah Maitland has published their entire story.
From Jackie Tomlin, “A year later, this family is doing very well, and Sarah and I do remain in contact with
Sarah’s story is available for purchase here.
Below you will find the interview from Jackie to Sarah on her story:
What prompted you to write your story?
“I felt that there was so much of the story that went untold on the show.” “We want other people going
through our experience to know they are not alone.” “And hopefully my story will prompt other clergy,
Demonologist, or whatever to step up and help these people because it really is a state of desperation
these people are going through.” “Our case didn't fit the "text book" haunting.” “We had more things going
on that I felt needed to be documented medical attacks and people being hospitalized after an attack were
something I had never heard about.”
How did it feel to relive this nightmare when you were writing it?
“ I never realized that you really do relive the experiences until I started writing.” “There were so many
nights I would lay awake scared to death again.” “Haiven actually had a nosebleed at the exact time I was
writing about her nosebleed episodes.” “That was a little unnerving.”
Did you believe that haunts like this existed before this happened to your family?
“I do.” “But I also believe that so many people are scared to talk about their experiences in fear of the
critics or being told they are crazy.” “I'm not sure about the medical aspect of our experience because I
really haven't heard of any medical issues being related to the paranormal until we had it happen to us.”
For families that are having these problems, do you think moving is the answer? Why or why not?
“During the experiences, moving is the only answer for most people going through it.” “There was no
possible way you could have made me believe a year ago that I would still be in this house today.” “I think
if a family can be lucky enough to find the kind of help we found through you with Dwayne, then time is the
answer and you will get your life back.” “But for those who aren't lucky enough to find anyone to help
without spending a fortune flying someone to their home, then I would think moving would be the answer.”
“However, how are they to know "it" is not attached to a family member and won't follow them to a new
Have you remained in contact with Dwayne Claud?
“I have talked to him once or twice since he left.” “He was very nice and told us not to hesitate to call him if
we are ever in need again.”
Though the problems had started some time before, your investigation was in October of 2010. Marking
the one-year anniversary, describe your family’s transitions in the last 12 months.
“This time last year, we were all desperate for help.” “Our son had been hospitalized and we were stuck
not knowing where to turn.” “Our home was in total chaos and we lived in fear 24/7.” “The investigation
was bitter sweet.” “On one hand I was so glad that I was being validated, but on the other hand, I wasn't
expecting the growls or the word "death" coming out of our son's room after he had already been
attacked.” “It kind of put us on high alert after that.” “However, after Dwayne left I actually felt the
difference within our home.” “I am usually a person who has to see to believe and I have to say even
though I saw the difference in the feel of the home, I still stayed a little skeptical.” “But with time we all
began healing and took one day at a time.” “Little things still happen here and there but nothing bad in
nature so we don't pay it much attention.”
Would you say this entire experience has bought your family closer together?
“Absolutely!” “It has shown us just how tough our children really are.” “Living through that kind of
experience tears down a family quickly, but we really held it together and stayed united because we felt
like we were all alone against the world at the time, so to speak.”
On several occasions you have been accused of seeking “Fame and recognition”, what do you have to
say to this?
“Well at first it hurt.” “I wasn't looking for fame or recognition other than to help get my story out for others
who may be going through the same thing.” “Unless you go through it, you never fully understand the
loneliness that is associated with the experience.” “When I started researching our experience on the
computer, there was nothing that I could read that came close to what we were experiencing.” “Our
experiences didn't fit the documented cases.” “And therefore, some of the critics were not open to
believing our story because of that.” “If I can open one person's eyes to seeing there is no text book check
list to a haunting, I feel it's well worth anything the critics have to say.” “In closing to that question, the
ones who have said that are also the same ones who have jumped onto my story and used it to try and get
themselves recognized.” “So that aspect is pretty funny.”
Through your entire experience, is there anything you would have done differently?
“I really can't say there is.” “We did what we had to do to get through the days and nights.” “I wish I
would've gotten more proof or video but at the time, your really not thinking about any of that.”
If a family were experiencing a negative haunt, what would you personally recommend?
“Stick together, become united with your family!” “Don't listen to outside influences that tell you how to
live.” “If you have a living hell going on inside your home, and you want your children's mattresses bought
into your bedroom for their safety until things can be resolved, then do it.” “Stay diligent watching family
members attitude changes, especially the little ones.” “I learned this the hard way when I found my 6 yr old
holding a knife to my 8 yr old.” “Find a paranormal team that will not only come in and investigate but will
also stick by you until the problem is resolved.” “Reach out to Mediums and paranormal teams that are
genuinely wanting to help you and your family without paying a dime.” “There are people who really do that
kind of work because they care and not because of profit.”
© 2011-2019 Jackie Tomlin. Examiner.com. October 2011