Smurl Family Haunting – Demonic Activity

In this article we will be taking a look at the demonic Smurl family haunting from the period of 1974 to 1989, in West Pittston, Pennsylvania, USA…

The Initial Incidents

The first incidents linked to the demonic haunting took place at the home of Jack and Janet Smurl in West Pittston, Pennsylvania, in 1974.

The home acted as a two-way property for the Smurl family and Jack’s parents, John and Mary. It was set up as a split house where the elder parents could also live in peace knowing that their younger relatives were near enough to help out if they needed it.

The first night of paranormal incidents saw their television burst into flames and a strange stain appearing overnight on one of their carpets.

Within days, house water pipes began to leak even though they were repeatedly re-soldered by a plumber, followed by strange scratch marks on paintwork and bathroom fittings.

The Smurl family later claimed that these scratch marks resembled the nail marks from a large cat-like beast.

By 1977 the paranormal activity had escalated out of hand – toilets continually flushed by themselves and strange footsteps could be heard throughout the house.

A sour smell constantly worked it’s way throughout the residence and radios would switch themselves on…even though they were unplugged at the socket!

The Smurl family also owned a couple of rocking chairs that would steadily rock back and forth by themselves – as if someone was sitting in them, watching them.


By 1985, John and Mary constantly claimed to hear loud, obscene language, and Jack and Janet’s house often became extremely cold even in the summer months.

Several days after the obscene language started, Janet reported seeing a strange black human shape materialise in front of her in the kitchen. She claimed that the figure was no more than six feet tall and had no facial features whatsoever.

Later that day Mary Smurl claimed to see the same dark figure appear in her kitchen in the opposite side of the house.


1985 had been a really bad year for the Smurl family – enough was enough. They decided to bring in a famous, yet a controversial pair of demonologists named Ed and Lorraine Warren.

After carrying out their initial investigation the Warrens announced that the home was haunted by three minor spirits and a powerful, evil demon.

Ed and Lorraine Warren
Ed and Lorraine Warren

The Warrens then proceeded to ‘exorcise’ the entities by playing loud holy music and holding long prayer sessions.

The alleged demon reacted by shaking mirrors, dressers and drawers.

Sexual Assault

Towards the end of ’85, a worrying incident was reported by Jack one morning. He claimed that a scale-covered succubus with a young girl’s body and an old woman’s head, appeared in front of him in the night…and managed to hold him down and rape him.

These reports were then followed by Janet’s claims of sexual assault by yet another strange, shadowy figure that appeared to her.

During these incidents of sexual assault – both Jack and Janet claimed to hear pig grunts coming from behind the walls in the house.


Desperate to put an end to these horrific sexual attacks – the Smurls brought in Father Robert McKenna. He conducted two exorcisms in Latin and more than fifty Catholic Masses…but unfortunately this only managed to push the demonic activity to new heights.

After McKenna’s work the demon decided to start to follow Jack to work and even ended up tracking the whole family to their holiday destination in the Poconos.

The Smurl family then decided to make an appearance on a Philadelphia talk show called The People are Talking hosted by Richard Bey, to tell the world about their paranormal experiences.

Fact or Fiction?

Over the years, many skeptics have pulled holes in the Smurl family haunting. The main problem most doubters had was the fact that the family members remained in their home for so long.

Surely if the demonic attacks were that bad the family would pack up and move on?

The Smurls countered this doubt by pointing out that the demon could and would follow them wherever they went – they were stuck with it!

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the case we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.

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