Smurl Haunting

The Smurl Haunting was an alleged demonic possession in the United States, on which the film The Haunted (1991) was based.

The claimed incidents began in 1974 and lasted until 1989 in the home of Jack and Janet Smurl in West Pittston, Pennsylvania. Whether the haunting was genuine or an elaborate hoax is debated.


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 but also similar to an Invisible Master), 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.

To this day people still claim to hear activity in the house on Chase St. in West Pittston.

Ghost caught on security tape at gas station



Poltergeist (German for noisy ghost) is a term used to describe a supposed spirit or ghost that manifests itself by moving and influencing inanimate objects.

Reports of poltergeist activity typically feature heavily on raps, bumps, thumps, knocks, footsteps, and bed-shaking, all without a discernible point of origin or physical reason for occurrence. Many accounts also detail objects being thrown about the room, furniture being moved, and even people being levitated. Though rare, a few reported poltergeists have been purported to speak, including the The Bell Witch in 1817 and Gef the Talking Mongoose in 1931.

Poltergeists are a special type of ghost. These ghosts are noisy and mean, and they shake furniture, break dishes, set fires, and throw people and things around.

It seems that in many cases, a poltergeist huants teenagers. Sometimes, however, the teenager is doing the strange thing on purpose to get attention, or just play a joke on someone.

Some researchers, though, think these teenagers are not doing anything. The researchers believe these strong emotions may somehow create a type of energy, or force, that makes strange things happen.

Mischievous spirits

A pamphlet printed in London 1698 by Mr. Ricard Chamberlain provides an account of a poltergeist type haunting that had occurred some years before. Two copies of the pamphlet exist in the British Museum called: "Lithobolia, or stone throwing Devil. Being an Exact and True account (by way of Journal) of the various actions of infernal Spirits or (Devils Incarnate) Witches or both: and the great Disturbance and Amazement they gave to George Walton's family at a place called Great Island in the province of New Hampshire in New England, chiefly in throwing about (by an Invisible hand) Stones, Bricks, and Brick-Bats of all sizes, with several other things, as Hammers, Mauls, Iron-Crows, Spits, and other Utensilis, as came into their Hellish minds, and this for space of a quarter of a year..."

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Tell Us What You Think About Ghosts 23 comments

crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 2 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Kris that was a very good comment and very true.

Kris 2 years ago

About 98% of films and pictures showing paranormal happenings are fakes, or so blurry or distorted, that our imaginations fill in the images. Do I see a face? Yes, I see one there...in the window...in the mirror...in that shadowy corner. It's hard to make out, but yes I think it's there. Also it's so easy to set up and rig scenes to make it look like someone has caught real poltergeist activity on film. If you'll notice that the camera is always pointing in the direction of the next action before the action happens. The cameraman of those little productions knows where to point the camera before the next happening that was planned ahead of time. Now those little spheres that seemingly move across a room? Dust motes enhanced by light shining on them. When an air currents hits them they seem to move across the room. A lot of those pics where there is a ghostly image caught with the normal subjects? Double exposures or reflections off another image or even mixtures of shadow and light in such a way as to form patterns that seem to indicate to our eyes and imaginings that there is something or someone there. Now the 2% that remains I believe are truly supernatural happenings. Don't be fooled. You have to cut through all the crap that is out there and produced for your entertainment to get to the real deals.

gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City

Very interesting about the haunting of the Smurl family. I thought that I saw a movie about it on TV-I thought that it was very frightening. It would be awful to be attacked by an evil presence! Very scary!

death girl 4 years ago

they are scary bt nice...i want to see some of them in my own eyes

Cecil 5 years ago

Ghost r real...i hav seen it wif my own eyes...

nelson 5 years ago

I can say some of these videos are great,but i would need a little more proof.

Dan 6 years ago

The video of the Marathon gas station has a simple explanation. The gas stations use 'Blue Paper Towels' for checking the oil and window washing. Obviously, a piece of it got caught up around the camera area.

someone 6 years ago

Ive seen a ghost! I see things all over the place!

Shawn 7 years ago

I beleve in ghosts

Shelly@G.P.R.G. profile image

Shelly@G.P.R.G. 7 years ago

I've decided that any video you get form Youtube that claims to have a real ghost encounter is more often than not - and usually - fake. No doubt they scare you half to death but still... good post =)

Fred 7 years ago

I believe in ghosts butt all I saw in these vids are things that I can do and have done for halloween haunted houses those vids are fake

cupck9358 7 years ago

I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts but I'm a firm believer in demons and other evil entinties

EllaEnchanted 7 years ago

I found all of this to be very interesting. :)

Jared 7 years ago

I don't believe this people n people

Kregg 7 years ago

I use to not believe in ghosts, but after a few personal experiances, both alone and with a friend trying to explain the situation with all logical reasoning with no other conclusion, I'm a firm beliver in ghosts now.

zack 8 years ago

that was crazy cool

kanwar 8 years ago

wow its so scaring

paula 8 years ago


David L 8 years ago

This is great

boobii 8 years ago

wow crazed vids but kool but the dumb fake onez extra wak but funny

crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 8 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Thanks for pointing that out. If you check now all the videos are working again.

Jeff C profile image

Jeff C 8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV USA

Wow out of 7 videos only one is playable :( All the rest have been removed from YouTube for violationg their TOS.

~Jeff C.

Christopher 8 years ago


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