The Haunted is a book written by Robert Curran with Jack & Janet Smurl as well as the Warrens – yes, those ‘always in the limelight’ self-styled demonologist Ed and psychic medium Lorraine, and there is also a made-for-television movie of the same title. It’s really rather dreadful but if you scare easily, it might make you less likely to sleep at night after watching it.

I first read The Haunted back in the late 80s shortly after it was published, when my mother ordered it from Doubleday or some such book club. We both found the story impressive yet while my mom wholly believed it, I found some of the incidents reported within quite unimaginable – particularly, the levitation of Jack, Janet, and Mary (Jack’s mother), the ‘minotaur’ like creature that chased Jack on at least two separate occasions in the book, and Jack’s alleged rapes by a succubus.

People who are being ‘haunted’ always cite financial reasons as why they cannot move, but the hell with that. If I lived in a house and I experienced such weird and frightening goings-on, I’d get the fuck out and just take a loss on the money. I believe that hauntings are fake, the people suffering from them either delusional or under the yoke of mass hysteria (Salem Witch trials are a prime example of the latter), or total hoaxes created to garner publicity and riches.

One explanation for some of the odd occurrences in the Smurl duplex is the fact that they had two teenage daughters, and two pre-pubescent girls. All of that hormonal action likely caused some of the poltergeist activity in the double-block home. It has been proven that raps, knocks, banging in the

walls, items flying through the air, and other such phenomena are usually the result of children going through adolescence. Just imagine what would occur if you have 4 of them experiencing the raging of hormones at the same time!

There are people who reviewed the book on Amazon who claim to have known or know the Smurls. Dawn, the eldest daughter, has a Facebook profile – who doesn’t lol – and I’m sure her sisters do as well. These people stand by the Smurls even though residents of the duplex state that they have not experienced anything of the nature that was visited upon the Smurl family.

I stand by my skepticism and my belief that the poltergeist activity was the result of teenage hormones and mass hysteria within the family.


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