Based in Brooklyn, NY, I write about all things creepy and strange. My book based on the real haunting of Doris Bither (The Entity 1982 movie) will be released soon. Got a question? Drop me a line.

Jack Smurl, inside the haunted home

I was thinking of creating a new section on GhostTheory. Every Friday I will post videos/movies that I love. Just like “Movie day Friday” when we were kids in school, I will post something for you guys to watch before the weekend.

Last weekend I was thinking about the documented haunting that happened to the Smurl family in Pennsylvania. Although the controversial investigators, the Warrens, were the ones who initially investigated this, it was a pretty well documented case. Drawing countless witnesses including neighbors as well as the media.

The haunting of the Smurls family was investigated by Ed and Loraine Warren.

Here is a WikiPedia history of it:

The Smurl house was split. Jack and Janet lived in one half of the abode while Jack’s parents, John and Mary, lived in the other half of the semi-detached house.

According to the Smurls, the first signs of paranormal activity began in 1974. They reported that a television set burst into flames, and a stain appeared on a carpet overnight. Water pipes began to leak even though they were repeatedly resoldered by a plumber, and scratches resembling those from a large cat appeared on paintwork and bathroom fittings.

By 1977, the reported events were escalating. Toilets flushed without human intervention, footsteps were heard on the stairs, chest drawers opened and closed unaided, radios worked when they were not plugged in, rocking chairs rocked while empty, and a sour smell filled the house.

In 1985, John and Mary claimed to hear loud, obscene language, and Jack and Janet’s house became often extremely cold.

Two days after this, an icy cold swept the house and a strange black human shape allegedly materialised in the kitchen in front of Janet. It was about five feet nine inches tall, and with no facial features. It later appeared to Mary Smurl in her kitchen.

The violence and frequency of the events continued to escalate.

In 1986, the family brought in a controversial pair of demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who announced the house was haunted by three minor spirits and a powerful, evil demon. They tried to persuade the demon to leave by playing holy music and praying. The alleged demon reacted by shaking mirrors, dressers and drawers.
Jack alleges he was raped one night by a scale-covered succubus with a young girl’s body and an old woman’s head. Janet also claimed she was sexually assaulted by a shadowy humanoid figure (described as an incubus), and that pig noises were heard from the wall cavities. The attack on Janet and the shadowy apparition are similar to the description of the attacks on Carla Moran that were portrayed in the movie, “The Entity”.

The Smurls brought in Father Robert McKenna. He conducted two exorcisms in Latin and more than fifty Catholic Masses, which allegedly infuriated the demon further. The demon was said to follow them on a vacation to the Poconos and harass Jack at work.

It was at this point the Smurls appeared on television on a Philadelphia talk show called The People are Talking hosted by Richard Bey. The demon allegedly reacted by raping Jack again, and appearing to him as a half-man, half-pig. Janet was throttled and thrown about by invisible forces.

One obvious question that skeptics always ask is why the couple did not move out of their house if the attacks were so violent and distressing. The Smurl’s response being that the demon could apparently follow them anywhere; having shown this to them when they abandoned the house for a week only to be intensly harassed at the campground where they were staying.

The Smurl family in back of home. Front row are twins Shannon and Carin. Back row from left to right are Dawn, Jack, Janet and Heather

The Haunted – The Smurl family haunting

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  • Mandy Noel Mick

    Wow… I almost didn’t notice the beautiful german Shepard behind them… wonder how he reacted in that home? I am a ghost hunter… and our team investigates throughout Ohio..West Virginia. .and Pennsylvania. .. i would LOVE to visit this house one day… that would be amazing… does anyone know if the new owner has any investigations there anytime??

  • Jeff Hicks Anderson

    You MUST be joking.

  • Nicki Marin

    Pittston pa. I lived right down the road. The house seemed pretty quiet after they left.I never heard of anyone having issues there after. Apparently it followed them.

  • RednGreen

    I love it when people who live(d) near the topic of a story post info. Did you live there when these people did? Were people in the general area aware of anything going on?

  • Nicki Marin

    I didn’t live there at the time, but people who lived around there were aware but some said they never noticed anything and others heard/saw things. I heard a few years ago on a local radio station there that it was believed to be made up so who know. The people that were there a few years back said they have no problems,but like I said it apparently followed them. Its still a creepy movie and story.