The Paranormal Events Surrounding the Smurl Family. In 1973, Jack and Janet Smurl moved into the same house as Jack’s parents. The Smurls, a Catholic family, were fond of the idea of the whole family living together and started residing in a duplex, built in 1896, which they split into two.
The neighborhood they moved into was lovely, and the family had enjoyable times. With twin babies, life was seemingly perfect for Jack and Janet. However, about a year and a half after moving into the house, strange events began to unfold.
Life turned into a nightmare for the Smurl family. Between 1974-1987, the Smurls claimed they were haunted by ghosts. Their story caught the attention of journalists, demonologists, and the Catholic Church. Naturally, this intrigued the media, inspiring numerous articles, a book, a TV movie, and attracted the famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Due to flood damage in their house in Wilkes-Barre, Janet and Jack Smurl, along with their young daughters and Jack’s parents, moved to a duplex on Chase Street in West Pittston, Pennsylvania. The old house, which needed renovation, became their project for repairs and redecoration. During this period, spooky incidents started occurring. Initially, these were harmless: objects disappeared and reappeared, old stains seeped through fresh paint. Kitchen appliances would suddenly turn on despite being unplugged, and horrible smells enveloped the house only to vanish moments later.
Yet, the Smurl family soldiered on. Jack got a promotion and also coached his daughter’s softball team; Janet became pregnant and assisted in organizing a group against drunk driving at the local high school. Their daughters excelled in their studies, and their mother-in-law was content. But as with all good ghost stories, their fortune began to shift. The Smurl family started to struggle financially, and Jack’s mother, Mary, suffered a heart attack. Meanwhile, the paranormal incidents intensified.
Jack claimed a succubus entered their living room and sexually assaulted him as he watched a baseball game on TV. Neighbors reported hearing screams from the house when the family wasn’t home. Desperate and scared, the Smurls turned to the Warrens for help. After investigating, Lorraine Warren, a renowned medium, claimed that the Smurl house was shared with four entities: a harmless old woman, a violent young girl, a man who had suffered and died in the house, and a demon using the three spirits to destroy the Smurl family.
Several exorcism rituals were conducted, but the attacks persisted, prompting the family to go public with their story.
Eventually, the family moved out of the Chase Street duplex in 1987. The paranormal events that were said to follow the Smurl family to their new home supposedly ceased in 1989, after an exorcism approved by the church. Since then, experts, priests, TV producers, and journalists have all scrutinized the Smurl family’s tale. Among them were journalist Robert Curran and the Warrens, who relayed the Smurl case in their book “Haunted: One Family’s Nightmare”. While many reviewers sided with skeptics, suggesting plausible explanations behind the Smurl family’s supernatural claims, no one can deny the eeriness of their story.
Whether these experiences were real or entirely fabricated, only the Smurl family truly knows. Whether we choose to be spiritualists or skeptics, after all these events, we can’t deny that their story was bizarre.
The Smurl family’s story has inspired several works either drawing from their experiences or directly recounting them.
“The Haunted” (1991): This TV movie is based on the events the Smurl family experienced, with the family being supported by the Warren couple throughout their supernatural ordeal.
“The Haunted: One Family’s Nightmare” (1988): Written by Robert Curran and aided by the Warren couple, this book delves deeper into the events the Smurl family experienced.
“The Haunted” (2009-2010): This documentary series, aired on the Discovery Channel, involves paranormal investigators exploring supernatural events. The Smurl family’s story was covered in one of its episodes.
“The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren” (2013): Written by Gerald Brittle, this book chronicles the career of the renowned paranormal investigator couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The book includes their work on various cases, including that of the Smurl family.
In summary, whether the experiences of the Smurl family were real or completely fabricated, their story remains an eerie and controversial chapter in the annals of paranormal events.
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