Attending at Esther's bedside, he watched in astonishment as her pillow moved beneath her head, untouched by any hands. He heard the loud bangs from beneath the bed, but could find no cause for them. He saw her bedclothes thrown across the room by unseen hands. Then the doctor heard a scratching noise, like a metal tool scraping into plaster. Dr. Carritte looked to the wall above Esther's bed and saw letters nearly a foot high etching themselves into the wall. When it was done, it had spelled out: ESTHER COX YOU ARE MINE TO KILL. A jagged clump of plaster then tore off the wall, flew across the room and landed and the doctor's feet. After two hours, the house fell quiet.
Dr. Carritte - out of courage, compassion or curiosity - returned the next day and bore witness to more unexplained manifestations. Potatoes hurled themselves across rooms... the deafening noises now seemed to be coming from the roof of the house, yet when the doctor investigated, there was no apparent cause. Of these events, years later he would write to a colleague: "Honestly skeptical persons were on all occasions soon convinced that there was no fraud or deception in the case. Were I to publish the case in the medical journals, as you suggest, I doubt if it would be believed by physicians generally. I am certain I could not have believed such apparent miracles had I not witnessed them."
The doctor could, of course, do nothing to help Esther or settle the disturbances at the Teed home. The haunting continued and, in fact, became more destructive and threatening:
- unexplained fires erupted around the house
- knives and forks were thrown by some entity, sticking violently into woodwork
- lit matches materialized out of thin air and dropped onto beds
- furniture moved about by itself, flipping over or slamming into walls
- loud slaps were heard, followed by the appearance of red finger marks on Esther's face
- sewing pins appeared from nowhere and were jabbed into Esther's face
- a pocketknife was ripped from the hand of a neighborhood boy and stabbed into Esther's back
Poor, tormented Esther tried several times to escape the devilish entity, but it followed wherever she went. One Sunday, Esther attended a Baptist church service and sat in one of the rear pews. Once the service had begun, knockings and rappings echoed throughout the church, seeming to come from the front of the church. The noises grew louder and louder, drowning out the minister's sermon. Knowing she was the cause, Esther left the building and the noises stopped.
She even tried to spare her family from the malevolent haunting. At first she moved to a neighbor's house, but the poltergeist followed and she was forced to return home. The Teed's landlord, fearing the destructive nature of the phenomena, wanted to evict the family. Again taking responsibility for the events, Esther moved herself out instead, finding work at a nearby farm. When the farm's barn burned to the ground, however, the farmer had Esther arrested for arson, for which she was convicted to a four-month sentence.
Fortunately, Esther served only one month in jail and was released. The short sentence may have at first seemed like a low-point to the much-troubled Esther, but it did have its upside. After she was freed from jail, the poltergeist activity seemed to just fade away. There were minor instances for a short time, and then the haunting stopped completely.
Esther later married, twice, and died in 1912 at the age of 53. Walter Hubbell published his book, The Great Amherst Mystery, after her death, and it included an affidavit signed by 16 witnesses of the horrific events at Amherst.