In 1998, Jane Fishman, a reporter for the Savannah Morning News, began a series of articles about a possibly haunted antique bed in the home of Al Cobb of Savannah, Georgia. Cobb bought the vintage late-1800s bed at an auction as a Christmas present for his 14-year-old son, Jason – a purchase he later regretted.
“Three nights later,” Fishman reported, “Jason told his parents he felt as if someone had planted elbows on his pillow and was watching him and breathing cold air down the back of his neck. He felt sick. The next night he noticed the photo of his deceased grandparents on his wicker nightstand flipped down. So he righted it. The next day, the photo was facing down again. Later that morning, after leaving his room for breakfast, he returned and found in the middle of his bed two Beanie Babies – the zebra and the tiger – next to a conch shell, a dinosaur made of shells and a plaster toucan bird. That got his parents’ – and his twin brother, Lee’s – attention. Trying to make sense of the irrational, Al called out, ‘Do we have a Casper here? Tell me your name and how old you are.’ Then he left some lined composition paper and crayons and, with his family, walked out of the room. In 15 minutes they returned and found written vertically in large block childlike letters, ‘Danny, 7.’”
With his family out of the house, Al Cobb decided to continue trying to communicate with the spirit of Danny. With the same kind of notes, Danny indicated that his mother had died in that bed in 1899, and that he wanted to stay with the bed. He also made it clear that he didn’t want anyone else sleeping in it. “The same day they found a note reading, ‘No one sleep in bed,’ Jason, who had moved out of the room, decided to stretch out and pretend to take a nap. That, says Al, was a mistake. ‘I doubled back in the room to pick up my clothes,’ remembers Jason, ‘when this terra cotta head that had been hanging on the wall came flying through the room, just missing me before it smashed on the closet door.’”
“No one really knows,” Fishman writes in her second installment, “who – or what – is leaving the copious notes, moving the furniture, opening the kitchen drawers, setting the dining room table, flipping over the chairs, lighting the candles, arranging the posters to spell out a person’s name, Jill, then hanging the finished product on a bedroom wall. Jason also spoke of other spirits: ‘Uncle Sam,’ who had come to reclaim his daughter he said was buried under the house; ‘Gracie,’ a young girl whose sculpture sits in Bonaventure Cemetery; and ‘Jill,’ a young woman who left a number of handwritten messages, among them one inviting the Cobbs to a party in their living room.”
Parapsychologist Andrew Nichols, head of the Florida Society for Parapsychological Research, investigated the case. “What happened at the Cobbs,” he told Fishman, “– more specifically to Jason – would have happened without ‘Danny,’ or the bed. It was the electromagnetic energy of the wall – that Jason started sleeping next to when they moved the bed there – that charged a psychic ability that the boy already had.”