Imagine moving into a house only to realize that the only place you’re supposed to feel safe is haunted by a demonic entity. It’s the stuff nightmares are made of, right?
Well, that is exactly what the Smurl family had to go through for more than a decade. It started when they were forced to move out after a great flood ruined their previous home. The family then bought a duplex in Pennsylvania in 1973. Little did they know, their once peaceful lives would forever be changed by a malicious being that targeted them for 13 years.
The Terrifyingly True Story Behind the Smurl Family Haunting
The Smurl family moved to a duplex located on Chase Street in West Pittston, Pennsylvania. It was divided on both ends: the left side, where Jack and Janet Smurl together with their two daughters resided, and the right, which was occupied by Jack’s parents.
The house needed a few fixes here and there, so the family decided to take on the responsibility themselves. It was during this period that the supernatural activity began.
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The haunting begins
In the first few months of 1974, strange occurrences began to happen around the house. Tools would go missing, water pipes would break, and there were unexplained bangs that occurred during the day and night. All these activities were pretty harmless, and the family would often think nothing of it. However, as time went on, the entity in the house was about to make its presence known in the most sinister ways possible.
On multiple occasions, the kitchen appliances would catch fire. The family would then have their appliances checked for faulty wiring, but it all came out with no negative results. Strange voices and screams that seemingly came from someone getting disemboweled were also being heard out of nowhere while cold spots were felt in certain areas of the house. There was even a sour smell that crept around the walls.
Despite these disturbing incidents, the Smurl family continued to live in the house. Jack was promoted, Janet was happy with the two girls, and their in-laws remained at peace living in the shared space. But like every ghost story, the Smurl family was about to be the terrorized by entities even further.
Torture, sexual assault, and more incomprehensible voices
The Smurls began to experience financial difficulties while living in their haunted home. To add to their unfortunate luck, Mary, Jack’s mother, suffered a heart attack. Amidst all this, the paranormal activity intensified. One evening, Janet thought she heard her mother-in-law was calling her name and vice versa. Horrible black masses also started to show up throughout the home as if it was a sign that whatever was haunting the property no longer wanted them there.
Other than the psychological torture Mary and Janet had to endure, they also began to witness a number of apparitions. Janet claimed that she saw a black figure materialize in front of her in the kitchen. On the same night, Mary had a similar sighting only this time it was on her side of the house.
Toward the end of 1985, Jack experienced a horrible incident. He was pinned down by a succubus with a young girl’s body and an old woman’s head and then sexually assaulted. Janet was assaulted as well, this time by a shadowy figure that appeared right next to her. During both incidents of sexual assault, Jack and Janet heard loud pig grunts from behind the house.
No one was spared from the evil that haunted the duplex. Jack and Janet’s young daughter risked serious injury when the ceiling light collapsed all of a sudden. Luckily, she was able to dodge the object before it shattered to pieces on the ground. The family dog was subjected to unimaginable terror too as he was pinned to the wall by an unknown entity.
Enough was enough
Terrified by the events, the Smurl family contacted acclaimed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. After investigating the house, Lorraine, who is a clairvoyant, concluded that the Smurl family were sharing their space with four entities: an elderly woman, a violent girl, a melancholic man who suffered throughout his life, and a demon who ordered the spirits around.
According to Lorraine’s husband, Ed, the demon that inhabited the home was very powerful and had a strong malicious intent against the family. He even claimed that the demon wanted the investigators to get out and recorded a number of audiotapes containing violent knocks and sounds. The reason why the house had such strong spiritual energy was all because of a passageway that connected the world of the living and the dead. The Warrens tried to help the family by fighting the spirits off. They conducted group prayers and exorcisms until a church-sanctioned blessing finally ended all the attacks.
But was it real?
After enduring more than a decade of psychological torture, the Smurl family finally got to live in peace. Their story garnered widespread media attention and a bit of scrutiny along the way. Skeptics have said that the family fabricated their story in order to monetize from it, especially since Jack Smurl scored a lot of movie and book deals not long after.
So were the experiences legitimate or were they all exaggerated for the purpose of making money out of it? To this day, no one really knows what happened in that duplex house in Chase Street, except maybe the Smurl family. Still, both skeptics and believers can agree on one thing: this was truly a strange and terrifying tale.