A man materializes streams of water out of thin air and defies gravity in front of nine witnesses.

Don Decker, the rain boy

Witnesses say Don made it rain in the house

CASE DETAILS

February 24, 1983. The funeral of James Kishaugh. Kishaugh’s grandson, 21-year-old Don Decker of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was granted a furlough from the county jail to attend the funeral. Don was serving a 4- to 12-month sentence for receiving stolen property. But no one at the funeral knew he had a dark secret. Don’s grandfather, the man he pretended to mourn, had physically abused him from the time he was just 7-years-old:

“No other part of the family knew anything about what happened, and it was like good fighting evil. The evil was gone and I was hoping, you know, that everything would change.”

The cross burned Don’s hands

Well, things did change, but not in a way Don Decker could ever have imagined. After the funeral, he decided to spend the night with his friends, Bob and Jeannie Keiffer. And that’s when the unexplained began to happen.  It was at the Keiffer’s home that all the uneasy feelings stirred up at the funeral came back to haunt Don. 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 Keiffers notified the landlord, Ron Van Why. When Ron arrived, he was just as puzzled by the problem as the Keiffers:

“We’d decided maybe it was the plumbing, but there were no pipes in the front end of the house to leak. There was basically nothing there that the water could have come from.”
After watching it for a while, I discovered that it wasn’t only coming from the ceiling down. It could come from the wall over or from the floor up. There was no basic direction that it was coming from. It could come from anywhere.”

They said that it rained inside a restaurant

Ron telephoned his wife, Romayne, and the police. Patrolman Richard Wolbert arrived at the scene:

“At this point he was telling me, ‘I just want you to walk into the house.’ I said ‘I’m not walking into the house unless you explain to me what I’m walking into.’  He says, ‘Trust me, trust me, just walk into the house.’ I walked in the door and he came right in behind me. And I couldn’t get two steps inside the door and I was absolutely pelted.”

Officer Wolbert said that not only was it raining inside, but that the water drops defied physics:

“We were standing just inside the front door and met this droplet of water traveling horizontally. It passed between us and just traveled out into the next room.”

John Baujan was another officer at the house that night:

“I literally had a chill going up my spine, made the hair stand up on your neck. That’s how I felt. This was a situation where things were happening that I never, ever dreamed could possibly happen. And there was no way of explaining what was going on.”

A priest performed an exorcism

At this point, the officers left to report the incident to the police chief. The Keiffers and Don walked across the street for something to eat.  Ron Van Why and his wife remained at the house:

“They left, and everything else left, too. The rain stopped. The house was normal. We were kind of thinking that maybe it was coming from them, and we weren’t sure, at that time which one.”

Pam Scrofano, who owned the restaurant across from the Keiffers’ house, had visited them earlier that day and had seen the rain firsthand. Pam was convinced Don Decker, sitting in her restaurant with the Keiffers, was possessed by an evil spirit:

“You looked at Donny and he was like in a trance. He would look at you, but not knowing you were there. I said to Jeannie, ‘He’s got to be possessed.’  We’re sitting there. Couple of seconds later, there’s water all over the pizzeria, too. I’ve never seen anything like that happen. I went in the cash register, I had a crucifix there, I took it out, put it on him. And the minute I put it on him and it touched his skin, he got burned. There’s no way that anybody could have played a joke like that. This was real. Donny was doing it himself. He was doing it without realizing he was doing it.

Even Don Decker began to believe that he was somehow responsible. The rain in the restaurant was the last straw:

“That made me more sure that I had something to do with it because it was following me. And it didn’t start raining in the house until I got there. They were living there and nothing ever happened. And that’s when I started realizing that it was me.”

Back at the Keiffers’ house, Romayne, the landlord’s wife, confronted Don, accusing him of somehow causing all the trouble. Don Decker recalled:

“The pots and pans over the stove started rattling. That’s when I got levitated off the floor. I was just like floating. Then it was like a push. It wasn’t like somebody taking their hand and pushing me. It was like feeling it all over your body at once. I’m a big guy, you know, I’ve always been assertive, and that made me felt like a newborn. You know, I’m scared right now just talking about it, really.”

A few hours after the strange incident in the kitchen, Officers Baujan and Wolbert arrived with their chief. Officer Baujan describes what happened:

“When the chief got to the house, he was pelted with water just as Rich and I were. I got the impression that he was put on the spot, maybe a little bit embarrassed, like we expected something out of him that he could answer. There was no way to explain what happened. I think he was put in a position where he might have felt a little uncomfortable.”

The police chief announced that the problem was a plumbing issue and ordered his officers to leave the Keiffer house. Officer Baujan said they were told not to file a report and not to even talk about the incident:

“Well, he just flat out denied it; it didn’t happen. And he tried to convince me that nothing happened. And he wasn’t going to do that. I saw it. And that’s all there is to it.”

The next day, three officers ignored the orders of the police chief. They went to the Keiffer home to continue their investigation. One of the officers was Bill Davies:

“We’re standing there and I gave Mr. Decker this gold cross to hold. Next thing he says, ‘It’s burning my hands.’ And there’s no explanation for it. When you picked it up, when you grabbed it, it’s not hot-hot, but it’s hot and I held onto it.”

Don also once again levitated off the floor. Lt. John Rundle said he witnessed it:

“All of a sudden, he lifted up off the ground and he flew across the room with the force as though a bus had hit him. There were three claw marks on the side of his neck, which drew blood. I have no answer for it whatsoever. And, I just draw a blank, even today.”

Officer Bill Davies was also at a loss:

“I’ve been a cop 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this, never. There’s always an explanation when something happens.  If you gotta investigate, you come up with something. This is why it happened. For this case, there is no explanation.”

Finally, on the third night, Ron Van Why asked a preacher to come to the house and try an exorcism. Every Protestant minister and Catholic priest in Stroudsburg had turned Ron down.  Ron Van Why:

“As she started to pray, Donny went into a convulsion. He started to shake. He pulled himself up into like a ball and the longer she prayed, he started to relax, then.”

Romayne Van Why said she felt a change in the house:

“His whole body seemed to quiet completely down, and as you’re standing there watching this, you could feel the house itself seemed to take on a total different feeling.”

Ron Van Why:

“And by the time she got done praying, the water was gone.  And that was the last that we saw any water at the house at all.”

The mysterious rain was gone and Don Decker appeared to return to his old self.  But the change was only temporary. After his furlough, Don returned to jail. Within a few days, the mysterious rain returned, this time, in the jail:

“They put me in a maximum security cell. I was in there with another inmate. And I was thinking I should make it rain in here. And all of a sudden, water started coming out of the concrete floor, and at that point, I thought, ‘I can do stuff.’”

According to Don, he now realized he could control the rain, at will. A skeptical guard challenged him to make it rain in Warden Dave Keenhold’s office. Warden Keenhold recalled:

“I was sitting at the desk, writing a report. I was all by myself in the administration area. Nobody else was around. It was approximately 8:00 in the evening. At the time, I didn’t feel anything, but my shirt was drooping down.”

An officer entered and told Warden Keenhold to look at his shirt:

“And right about the center of my sternum, about four inches long, two inches wide, I was just saturated with water. I was startled. I was scared. The officer was frightened at that particular time, and I just didn’t have an explanation why it happened.”

The Warden called in the Rev. William Blackburn:

“All of a sudden, I received this frantic call from a sergeant in the jail. And he said, ‘Can you come over? We need you. We need your help.’ So he brought this very meek and mild-mannered young man into the room. And he was asking for my help.”

Don told the Reverend that he could make it rain and that crosses placed on his body burned. According to the Reverend Blackburn, he told Don to admit that he was just making things up, then:

“All of a sudden his demeanor changed and this smell came into the room. Nurses and doctors, medical people, say when you walk into a room where someone is dying with a cancer or something, usually there’s a smell. You can tell when you walk in the room. I smelled a smell like that multiplied five times at least. Evil, foreboding. He raised his hand and rubbed his fingers together. And all of a sudden, it started to rain. It was like the devil’s rain. It was a mist. I was in the presence of evil. I opened up the Bible and started to read to him. But the pages never got wet. So help me, it was a frightening thing.
I think I was praying more for me than him. I prayed, and it was only a brief period, and the rain stopped.”

Rev. Blackburn said he noticed a sudden change in Don as well:

“He subsided and you could feel a peace. He said thank you. He got tears in his eyes. We hugged and prayed together. He was possessed. There was no doubt in my mind. There’s no way a human could do what he did in that room. There’s no way that he did anything, but what he did was spiritual, and it wasn’t of God. Guaranteed, it was not of God.”

Don Decker said that he feels like the bizarre occurrences won’t happen again:

“Well it’s over. It hasn’t happened again. Basically, I’m just hoping that it never will, and I just, you know, go day by day. And as for my grandfather, I think what had happened was his doing. Because he abused me when I was young, he got a chance to abuse me again.”

Chip Decker, no relation to Don, and Peter Jordan are the main paranormal researchers on this case. Chip was impressed with the eye-witness accounts:

“I think what makes this case very unique is that all of the witnesses are so credible. We’re dealing with very good, well-seasoned police officers that were obviously rather frightened and shaken by this, but also had the powers of observation.”

Peter Jordan:

“The Donald Decker case is by far the singularly most fascinating and important case I have ever personally been involved in. That does not mean I believe that it necessarily is proof positive to me of demonic infestation. But it is the case, in my own personal experience up to this point, that comes the closest to that hypothesis.”

In all, nine eyewitnesses, plus Don himself, were willing to go on record saying they saw, heard, and felt phenomena apparently not of this world. And they continue to believe Don was possessed by the devil. They have found no other explanation for the bizarre events.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season five with Robert Stack and in season four with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

 

20 Comments

  1. Pamala

    I watch Destination America and I definitely don’t believe every show, but there are some that I do! When I see one with many witnesses, such as this event, I believe it! Not many officers would go on record stating this as fact! They would certainly be open to much ridicule! Having this many people come forth and confirm this event makes it that much more real to me! I’ve seen things in life that can’t be explained by science, so I know that God and Satan do exist! I pray that Don seeks God in all that he does!

    Reply

  2. michael

    i want to know if anyone else knew he was in military ,(503rd) will not give company ,or location ,so others do research ,as proof ,I tell truth. He ,got discharged. Due to something at the time ,back home ,I never knew what , commander could not say anything to us. he was basically under house arrest ,at our company building ,I was one of the NCOs that had him under watch, There are things Don told me ,I brushed off , but I treated him with respect ,as a soldier should be .I had no reason to do anything but. he was polite and respected my rank. It was not until years later ,when I seen this mystery on t.v. my eyes opened. one thing is ,he told me he can make it rain ,while on a military field training (,in different state,) no our duty station .and before any of this house arrest stuff came up. that state ,got a record rain fall ,from day we landed to the day we left ,one full week. .I witnessed other things .with my own eyes. there was ,from what I seen in his story ,a lot more.

    Reply

  3. Author Helena V Garilano

    This has happened to me in my apartment. Water would come from the ceiling when the it did not have cracks. Flies appeared, lights flicker, things have disappeared in front of me. It is demonic all hauntings are. Don needs Deliverance the casting out of demons. My website DeliveranceMinister.com will show you how step by step. There is another website demonbuster.com. I am also an author on Amazon. My book is Hauntings Why They Happen and How to Help Yourself Author Helena V Garilano on Amazon for Kindle . you can download a free kindle app and don’t need a kindle. Hope this helps.

    Reply

  4. Patrick

    Officer Wolbert gave an update a few years ago and still cant explain it. The clips on youtube. He seems like a no bs guy making this case so credible. Cameras werent everywhere in the 80s so a news crew would’ve had to record him so nobody even thought to call and sound stupid even if it did cross their minds. If all 9 of them are hoaxing well done. Seems unlikely.

    Reply

  5. unknown

    powers are real me myself i hav\e wind powers

    Reply

  6. RISSSS

    I say prove it. I agree with Joy, ghosts are not real. That story was ridiculous.

    Reply

  7. Anonymous

    Joy, yes ghosts are real alright. You’ll change your mind if you get into a house which has one, the way we did.
    But this case of Donald Decker has done more than anything i’ve ever seen to make me believe in the power of Jesus.

    Reply

    • Elaine

      ……and yet there are still people that deny Jesus exists.

      Reply

      • Yo

        It’s psychics…. Non inexplicable !!!!

        Reply

      • Chloe Aaron

        Of course we deny his existence. You crazy religious people STILL, after hundreds of years, cannot prove he exists. Not a single tiny shred of evidence. Just excuses, lies, and made up BS. It’s all a lie and a joke.
        The crazy Christians greatest defense mechanism is to say to us Atheists: “you can’t prove he doesn’t exist!” but honestly, that’s just the dumbest excuse I have ever heard because you cannot prove that something doesn’t exist. It’s impossible. Can you prove to me that you just didn’t eat an apple 5 minutes ago? Go on, prove it! See? That’s impossible to do because it never happened.
        Bottom line here is that this Bible is a work of fiction. Can you Christians prove that it’s not? That shouldn’t be impossible. But then again, neither should the proof of your God be impossible. In fact, it should be quite simple if he is as powerful and as magical as you people say. Or you can just admit you’re wrong. Because you are. 100%.

        Reply

  8. jerry

    i think my parents room is haunted, i always here two ghosts fighting in there. for like 3 minutes.

    Reply

  9. Jorge Ayala

    The spirit world is very real, I’ve seen evil

    Reply

  10. ricebud

    U must be young and dum…The reason it didn’t get videoed is because it happened back when video cameras were rare and no one but tv had them…Ghosts are real…Devil is real..God Jesus is real…Deal with it

    Reply

    • Fee

      This was the 80’s people DID have video cameras. If you say all these things are real, evidence to prove it?

      Reply

      • Natey

        Home video cameras were very rare in 1983 in the time this took place. They did exist but only wealthy people or those especially interested in them would own them. Even when prices went down by the early 90s, most people still did not own a home video camera. Some did but I doubt more than 50% of American homes ever had one.

        Reply

  11. Angie

    Because he was a teenager at the time, is it possible this phenomenon could have been a poltergeist? Basically his own negative thoughts or feelings during that time literally manifest in his surroundings. This can happen to teenagers or people with abilities.

    Reply

  12. Marti

    God bless Rev. Wm. Blackburn. He saved Don Decker from a life of hell. It’s shameful that so many other religious pastors refused to help. And God Bless the female reverend who made the first attempt. The show did not state her name. I hope Don Decker has reformed and lives his life with Jesus as his Savior.

    Reply

  13. Megan

    Question is why did the not get this on footage?

    Reply