The entire Paranormal Activity series is based on a demonic entity, “Toby”, that has been worshipped for centuries by a witch coven called the “Midwives”. The witches are known to brainwash women to give up their first-born sons to be possessed by this demonic spirit. Most of the movies are focused on the past and present lives of Katie and Kristi, two sisters who fall under the influence of the witch coven.
Since each new movie in the series is not in chronological order, it can be difficult to piece together all the pertinent information obtained by all the films. After a marathon of every Paranormal Activity film and side research on the films, I have created a timeline-style summary of the movies for your convenience.
September 1988 (Paranormal Activity #3):
Katie and Kristi are young girls who live with their mother, Julie, and her boyfriend, Dennis. A demon terrorizes the girls, harming Katie until Kristi bargains that she will do what the demon wishes so that it will no longer harm Katie. The supernatural occurrences in their home lead the family to flee to the girls’ grandmother, Lois’s house in hopes of finding safety. Dennis soon learns that something isn’t right, and finds Lois with members of her coven. Lois then kills Julie and Dennis. Afterward, Katie and Kristi contently join hands with their witch grandmother and head toward the staircase. Kristi calls Toby over before the three ascend up the stairs. Based on the trailer for the movie, we can see that Julie’s house is then set on fire.
The photo shown of the house fire was from the trailer for the movie and was never actually seen on screen. The time stamp has to be inaccurate, since the girls’ “Bloody Mary” scene is dated in that house one week later…
SMALL SPOILER ALERT– The in-between period:
In the newest movie, The Ghost Dimension, we learn that after their parents’ death, the Midwives coven raises the girls (for an unknown amount of time) and trains/brainwashes them to follow the demon.
August 2006 (#2):
Kristi and her husband Daniel Rey have a one-year-old son, Hunter. He is the first male born in Kristi’s family since the 1930’s. Martine, the housekeeper, fears an evil presence in the house and is fired for her faith in the supernatural. It soon becomes apparent that the evil spirit wants Hunter. Near the end of the movie, Kristi becomes possessed by the demon, and Daniel calls Martine back into their home for guidance. She tells him that the demon can only be removed if transferred into another member of Kristi’s family. In his attempt to save his wife and son, Daniel agrees to do this despite his daughter Ali’s disapproval.
October 2006 (#1):
Katie and her significant other, Micah, move to a house in San Diego, California. Katie had recently (in September) confided in her sister, Kristi, that she felt as though strange occurrences were taking place. Katie tells Micah that she believes an evil presence has haunted her since she was a child, but he does not take her seriously. A psychic agrees that there is a demonic entity tormenting Katie, and recommends she see a demonologist. Micah begins filming Katie and notices odd changes in her behavior. Only a couple weeks pass by until Katie is fully possessed and then kills Micah on October 8, 2006.
October 9, 2006:
A now-possessed Katie kills Kristi and Daniel, and then abducts their son, Hunter. She leaves, cradling Hunter, and the screen fades to black as Hunter’s crying turns into laughter. An epilogue text states that Daniel’s daughter, Ali, was on a school trip during these events, and she returned three days later to discover the bodies of her father and stepmother. The text also states that Katie and Hunter’s whereabouts remain unknown.
November 2011 (#4):
The focus switches to a family in Henderson, Nevada that includes: the mother, Holly; the father, Doug; the daughter, Alex; and her younger brother, Wyatt. Alex and her boyfriend Ben discover their new neighbor’s son, Robbie, hiding in their family treehouse. The next day, Robbie’s “mother” (Katie) falls ill and is taken to the hospital, leaving Robbie, who mentions an invisible friend, in the care of Alex’s family. Robbie quickly displays strange behaviors and weird things start happening to the family. Robbie befriends Wyatt and reveals that “Wyatt” is adopted and that his real name is Hunter. By the end of the movie, Katie has taken and brainwashed Wyatt and killed everyone except Alex. She runs to escape Katie, but is last seen outside with a coven of witches approaching her (so we can assume she was also killed). After the credits, there is a scene in a Voodoo-type shop where a Mexican woman warns two men that “this is only the beginning”, setting up the events for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.
June 2012 (#5, The Marked Ones):
The setting is now Oxnard, California, where high school graduate and city boy Jesse Arista lives with his father, sister and grandmother. He begins to enjoy the summer with his best friend, Hector. In the apartment below lives a mysterious woman named Ana, who everyone believes to be a witch. Paranormal occurrences gradually begin to take place and Jesse finds a mysterious bite mark on his arm that gives him superhuman abilities. Jesse sees the ghostly figures of young Katie and Kristi and is then attacked by a roaring demonic figure. Jesse’s friends are concerned and meet with
Ali Rey, who had researched demons after her father and step-mother (Daniel and Kristi) were killed and half-brother (Hunter) kidnapped by a possessed Katie six years earlier (movie 2). Ali tells the friends that Jesse has been “marked” by a worldwide coven of witches called the Midwives, who have been brainwashing women to give up their first-born sons to create an army of possessed young men. Ali gives an address to where a “final ritual” is supposed to take place, and warns that the Jesse they know will no longer exist if the demon manages to fully consume him. The friends go to the address, which happens to be Grandma Lois’s house (from the 3rd movie) and are attacked by the coven outside.
“A demonic Jesse appears and chases him to a doorway, which transports Hector back in time to the night of October 8th, 2006, at the household of Katie and Micah (movie 1). Katie appears in the kitchen, sees Hector and screams for Micah. Micah assumes Hector is an intruder and attacks him, but Katie stabs Micah to death when he comes downstairs. Hector rushes to flee but Jesse, now completely reanimated and under the demon’s influence, appears and attacks him off-screen; a witch picks up the camera, and stares blankly at it before turning it off.”
This leads us to the most recent, and possibly “final” film of the series, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.
December 2013 (#6, The Ghost Dimension):
The Fleeges family is persuaded to move into Kristi and Daniel’s old house. The family consists of parents Ryan and Emily and their daughter, Leila. Family friend, Skyler, and Ryan’s brother, Mike, are also staying with the family for a short time. Leila begins acting strangely (example: hiding religious items and talking to her imaginary friend Toby). Ryan and Mike find a box containing old VHS tapes, along with a special camera used for “spirit photography”. As the brothers watch the old VHS tapes, they witness the paranormal activity that took place in 1988. They also learned that young Katie and Kristi were taken in and brainwashed by the witch coven, were somehow able to see 20+ years into the future, and wanted to take Leila back to their time. The witches wanted Toby to be “real” and have the ability to walk among them. The ending left the door open for the possibility of more movies in the future in order to answer new questions viewers may ask.