The Alleged Smurl Family Haunting pt 1
On August 19, 1986, a curious news item appeared in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader regarding the home of West Pittston, PA family Jack and Janet Smurl. The couple claimed, for more than eighteen months their home had been a battleground of spiritual warfare that included everything from ghosts wandering the halls and tormenting the family dog to demons attacking the children and even sexually assaulting the adults in the house.The article in the Times Leader began a weeks-long fascination with the family and their ordeal, drawing reporters from all over Pennsylvania and the surrounding states, and eventually attracting the attention of self-proclaimed demonologist and psychic medium Ed and Lorraine Warren. At first, the Smurls' claims of demonic infestation were taken seriously by the church, many members of the press, and countless of the Smurls neighbors. As time wore on, however, the inability of both the Smurls and the Warren’s to produce any evidence of their supposed haunting led many to believe the claims were just a hoax perpetrated by the family for attention and fame.
Thank you to David White for research assistance
Citizen's Voice. 2017. John James Smurl obituary. June 23. Accessed July 5, 2023. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/citizensvoice/name/john-smurl-obituary?id=15953106.
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—. 1986. "Haunted family nregotiating movie deal." The Citizen's Voice, September 6: 2.
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—. 1986. "Brain surgery revelation casts demon dwelling doubts." The Scrantonia, August 24: 15.
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