JoJo Wright might be known throughout Los Angeles and beyond as a fun, quirky on-air personality from KIIS-FM and host of the iHeartRadio Countdown, but he’s also a part-time ghost hunter, with a serious enthusiasm for all things ghostly and inexplicable. So his podcast, Paranormalish, with his producer Dana, focuses on spooky stories, interviewing regular people and even celebrities like Pink and Kevin McHale about their real supernatural experiences. On this episode, JoJo talks with Grown-ish star Francia Raisa and her sisters Italia and Irlanda to hear about their stories of living in a haunted house growing up, with several encounters with spirits. “Our friends would always say your house creeps me out,” Irlanda says. “They were genuinely freaked out” because of the sounds the house would make. “The typical noises that you would picture with paranormal activity, creaks, voices, laughter?” JoJo asks, and the sisters confirm: dishes would crash against each other, doors would slam, they’d hear water running with no explanation; “You'd go in the kitchen and the cupboards are just open and you're like, ‘Oh God, this is annoying.’ Just having to shut them,” Irlanda laughs.
All three of the sisters had some kind of experience in the house, but Irlanda goes first because her stories are the most intense. As children, the sisters’ grandmother lived with them, and when she passed away, their mother didn’t tell them for a year or more, always saying she was just in the hospital having her diabetes treated, or that she was visiting family. So the young girls had no idea that she had died. One day, Irlanda was playing in her closet in her room, and her mom called her into the kitchen. “I called back...‘In a second Mom, I’m playing with Grandma’s hair,’” Irlanda recounts. “My mom just runs...into the room and she opens the closet and I look up at her and I say, ‘Mommy, you made Grandma go away.’”
Another time, Irlanda says, she was in the bath, and her mother heard two children laughing and playing in the bathroom. “So she walks back in...and I looked up at her again and said, ‘Mommy, you made my friend go away.’” She had several encounters with this little kid, she says, including when they first bought the house and she saw a little boy crying on the edge of her bed. “When we moved out, they saw abandoned toys under the house,” Francia says, and Irlanda says, “Mom had said…‘Oh yeah, a little kid passed away and they buried the toys under the house as a memorial.’”
Francia’s story involves a game called “six pencils,” similar to using a Ouija board, where you create a rectangle using pencils, and when you ask questions, the rectangle will go up or down for yes or no. “At one point I looked down at my carpet and the shadow of the six pencils was all over my room. It was multiples of them,” Francia recalls. “Then I saw a print on my mirror and it wasn't a hand print...it was like a goat print, and it freaked me out.” They immediately stopped playing, but one of the elements of the game was that you have to ask to leave the game, and if you don’t, you’re still playing. Days later, while she was on the phone, Francia suddenly felt like she couldn’t breathe. “I was trying to say ‘help me’....and I heard laughter in my ear.” She played the game once more, just to ask if she could stop, “and then I never touched it again.”
Join JoJo, Francia, Italia, and Irlanda to hear more about their experiences in the haunted house, how they all reacted to seeing The Exorcist, the rumored Poltergeist curse, and more spooky stuff to get your Friday the 13th started off right, on this episode of Paranormalish.
If you want to be sure you're listening to the podcasts everyone else is checking out, iHeartRadio has you covered. Every Monday, iHeartRadio releases a chart showing the most popular podcasts of the week. Stay up to date on what's trending by checking out the chart here. There's even a chart just for radio podcasts here, featuring all your favorite iHeartRadio personalities like Bobby Bones, Elvis Duran, Steve Harvey and dozens of others.
Photo: Getty Images