Daily Beast: “How do we draw that line of what’s real and what’s not?” asks one of the many paranormal experts and authors featured in Shock Docs: Demon in the White House. When it comes to this Discovery+ special, the answer is easy.
Premiering on Discovery+ on Nov. 26, Shock Docs: Demon in the White House strives to paint 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as the haunted home of a demonic presence. According to the talking heads participating in director Brook Linder’s “documentary,” this makes sense because no residence is as secretive as the White House, and secretive places are obviously hotbeds of paranormal activity.
Moreover, we should all be immensely spooked, because demons are intent on manipulating the living, and thus there might be no graver danger faced by America than an evil spirit getting its hooks into a president. It is, in fact, “a matter of national security.”
Our long ghostly nightmare supposedly began in 1853, when Franklin Pierce became the 14th President of the United States. Mere weeks after Pierce won the election, his son Benny died during a horrible train derailment.
The tragedy rocked the Pierce clan and especially Pierce’s wife Jane, a “melancholy” woman who’d been raised as a strict Calvinist by her preacher father. Jane responded to this loss by writing letters to Benny. According to Demon in the White House, she also enlisted the services of the Fox sisters, who had become renowned as pioneering spiritualists capable of communing with the dead through seances.
Before long, those in the White House came to claim that Jane could be heard talking to her deceased boy.