[All photos courtesy of Syfy unless they are GIFs]
Season 5, episode 2: “They Are Mine”
Written by Sharon Tate
Directed by Elliot Goldner
Read our prior recaps here.
The episode opens in Savannah, GA, in the fall of 2015. It follows three senior college students — Kristin and Lindsay (animation majors) and Stacie (a film major). (They almost definitely go to the Savannah College of Art and Design so shout out to the SCAD grads out there.)
There are a few cute scenes establishing that they are all close friends who are super happy and bubbly and the most millennial of millennials. They also face time each other to an extent that suggests that they are unaware that face to face communication is an option. And also probably have unlimited data plans. Because those overage fees are downright scary, let me tell you.
The girls are looking for off campus housing on a serious deadline. The place they find is in a pretty bad area. There are some drug issues and the area has a reputation. The place, however, has three bedrooms, two baths, and is pretty big. You can forgive a LOT of things for vaulted ceilings and the right bathroom. In their first night in the new place, they notice the neighbors are pretty noisy and they hear gunshots. Neat! Not long after, they get a knock on their door and open it without looking because they have a death wish.
A woman, who identifies herself as “mama”, says she saw the lights in their building and asks if they are supposed to be there. She tells them that there have been squatters coming in and out of the building and tells them to lock their doors at night (presumably so that random strangers can’t question them about the validity of their property rights after dark).
The girls settle in and focus on the mountains of schoolwork they have to get through to graduate. During one marathon study session, the girls (who are, yet again, face timing) rock paper scissor off to see who has to go downstairs to get coffee. Stacie loses. When she comes out of the kitchen with the coffee pot, she sees the dining room chairs balanced on top of the dining room table. They abruptly crash to the floor, and Kristin and Lindsay race down the stairs to see what the commotion is about. All three of the girls deny responsibility.
Later, Stacie appears to be working on a senior film involving an army of dolls that appear to have escaped from the bowels of hell itself. Lindsay is working on an animation of hellfire because why not? During this intense work session on their terrifying art, the power cuts out. Their deadlines are in a few days, and all of them lose about two hours worth of work. Lameskis.
Stacie lights a bunch of candles in her room because she doesn’t like the dark (but does like her terrifying doll army). She goes the find the others because she doesn’t want to be alone, but does it in the slowest, creepiest way possible. She follows a figure into the bathroom, thinking it is Lindsay, where it abruptly vanishes.
They go outside to check if they have blown a fuse or something but can’t fix it because they are college seniors majoring in art and know nothing about electrical wiring. They decide to deal with it in the morning and retreat back into the house. Stacie goes upstairs to grab her fully charged laptop only to find that every single one of the candles in her room is blown out and every doll has been turned around to face the wall.
Terrified someone is in the house, she calls Kristin and Lindsay. They find the dolls “unnerving” (but apparently didn’t think that before????). They begin to worry that while they were outside, someone broke into the house. They do a search of the house (again, in the slowest, creepiest way possible), but find nothing before the power comes back on. Whew.
They explain that pressure from their school work is immense, which is probably why Kristin is working on an animation of bloody typing fingers. Seriously, I am more scared of their art than anything else in the episode so far. I’m not at all clear on why they couldn’t be animating a magical unicorn tea party or a puppy parade rather than contributing to the overall creepiness of the house.
While they are hanging out in the house one night, Stacie starts hearing a pounding sound upstairs. It is Lindsay jumping rope, and she stops when Stacie yells at her. When the thumping starts again, Stacie again tells her to stop, but Lindsay is reading on her bed.
That night, as Lindsay is settling into bed, she can’t get to sleep. When she finally does fall into a deep sleep, she abruptly wakes up in the middle of the night and sees this unknown woman in the hallway staring at her. She blinks, and then she is gone. She writes it off to the stress of school.
Spring break comes, and, excited to go home and gtfo of their creep-tastic house, Lindsay and Stacie peace out to North Carolina. They both abandon Kristin, who can’t take the time to go home because her family lives all the way in New York.
Kristin feels a bit unnerved and doesn’t want to be in the house alone. Later that day, sitting in her room and reading a book, she starts hearing banging coming from Lindsay’s bathroom. As she approaches, it stops. Kristin starts spending more and more time in her room because she (correctly) determines that the rest of the house is terrifying.
At one point, Lindsay texts asking Kristin to go into her room and find a notebook for her. Kristin opens the door only to see a woman hanging from the ceiling.
She throws on the light and finds Lindsay’s graduation gown hanging in the middle of the room. She texts Lindsay, thinking she is messing with her. Lindsay tells Kristin that her gown should be hanging in her closet.
Kristin wishes she was home and feels very trapped. The next day, she calls her father Scott to tell him about the strange things happening in the house. Her father, Scott, worries, and asks if all the doors and windows are locked. Scott tells Kristin he is coming down to Atlanta on a business trip and that he will come by to visit for a few days after. Kristin now only leaves her room for bathroom breaks during the daytime and doesn’t leave her room at all at night.
At one point during the day, Kristin starts hearing this weird singing, humming voice. At first she thinks it is coming from a neighbor’s house, but gradually realizes that it sounds like it is coming from Stacie’s room. In a panic, she face times Lindsay and holds it against the wall so that she can hear it. Lindsay tells her to call her dad (even though her brother Kyle lives five minutes away, but w/e forget logic, I guess). She holds the phone up so that he can hear the singing, which he does. He tells her to call her brother (duh).
Kyle, Kristin’s brother immediately comes over and says he wants to confront whatever is happening. He assumes it is some crazy lady that he will have to get rid of. When he goes to open the door, the doorknob is ice cold. As soon as the doorknob clicks, the singing stops. There is nothing and no one in the room. Kyle believes that “this is weird”.
Kristin goes to stay at Kyle’s place, needing to do more work.
Once again, Kristin and Lindsay are face timing (as they do). While they are face timing, Lindsay leaves to go an get something, and Kristin continues working on her computer. A female figure begins stalking closer behind her.
When Lindsay gets back, she sees that both Kristin’s door and her door are open. While still on the phone with Lindsay, Kristin walks down the hallways and sees that Lindsay’s room has been destroyed. Her dad arrives and goes through every room, making sure there is no one in the house.
That night, he sleeps on the floor in Kristin’s bedroom. This is potentially the least fun sleepover ever. Nothing happens that night, but when he takes a shower the next morning, written in the steam on the mirror are the words “they are mine”.
Lindsay and Stacie return as fast as they can, not wanting to leave Kristin alone now. Stacie, Kristin, and Lindsay start packing as they count down to graduation. Seeing someone going through a box, Kristin, assuming it is Stacie, begins talking to it, only to find out it is a snarling blonde demon woman. Whoops whoops whoops.
After this sighting, they run into Mama, who asks them, “Are things okay in there?” That would be a no. Mama’s daughter tells them that she thinks it is the house that a junkie girl had passed away in, either by committing suicide or overdosing. They regret learning this fun history fact. At that point, the girls start to research ways to protect themselves. They learn that if they pour a salt circle, evil spirits cannot cross it.
They pull all of their mattresses into the same room and sleep in a giant salt circle, which seems to work. There are no sounds or noises.
After a week, they feel safe enough, so they move their beds back into their rooms. THE FOOLS. Kristin wakes at 1 AM to find the woman hanging at the end of the bed. The looks down and her sheets appear to be covered in bloody syringes. The woman begins stabbing her way up the bed with needles and then crawling under the sheets, grabbing at her.
Kristin screams, and Stacie and Lindsay rush to help, but find they can’t get the door open. When they finally do, they discover that she is covered in blood. Her mirror has shattered, and there are shards everywhere. “Ghost junkie death needle stabbing” seems to be a hard line for them on rental violations and they decide to leave that night.
It is revealed that the owner has since decided to sell the property.
Although they have now graduated, the girls still face time a terrifying amount.
The special effects in this second episode of the season were definitely a step up from the first. There were way more legitimately terrifying moments, and the staging was creative. The scene where the ghost is stalking up behind her was particularly cringe-inducing. The handling of portraying the dynamics between the group of friends was terrible in the best of ways. Much of the acting read as though the director had googled “things millenials do” and had shaped the episode accordingly. The whole face timing thing was emphasized to a weird, absurd level. Did the director not understand texting? Or gchat? I have a lot of follow up questions.
It was really fun to have interviews with the younger victims of the haunting, though. A lot of Paranormal Witness episodes can get a bit formulaic — a typical family experiences a haunting, one parent believes it, the other doesn’t. An episode focused on college students was a nice change of pace. I look forward to seeing what else they shake up in the upcoming episodes this season.
Paranormal Witness runs on Syfy on Wednesdays at 10/9 Central, and is available to view on Syfy’s website.
Be sure to check out our other coverage on Syfy programming here.