Stories of haunted houses are often laughable at best. Like, “The window flew open in that deserted home late one night!” or “We heard a scary moan!” It was likely caused by a strong gust of wind, if anything, and these tales aren’t all that believable to begin with, huh?

So, when former Pennsylvania politician Bob Cranmer purchased a house just outside of Pittsburgh, he wasn’t concerned when the faucet would turn on randomly in the night. Probably old plumbing, right? Eventually, though, the creepy happenings occurred more frequently—so much so that living in the enormous house became a waking nightmare.

What ensued was an 11-year battle with a demon that left everyone terrified…

Stories of haunted houses usually stop short of anything truly frightening. Maybe the windows rattle and doors slam, or someone thinks they see the shadow of a Victorian woman. In the case of former Pennsylvania councilman Bob Cranmer, however, the stories were a bit more unsettling…

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Sitting on the corner of Sceneridge and Brownsville Road just outside of Pittsburgh was a quaint home that Bob had been mesmerized by as a kid. After a long career of public service, he made an offer to purchase the home. Strangely, it was accepted without any questions, even though it was for a price below market value.

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Looking at the house from the outside, you’d think Bob and his wife, Lisa, had pulled off quite the steal. With a well-kept lawn, fresh red paint, and huge front porch, this three-story home seemed like the perfect place to settle down and entertain their family and friends. But it would soon become the worst purchase Bob ever made…

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As its new owner would soon learn, the house had a violent history. In the 1700s, a tribe of Native Americans massacred a group of white settlers on the property, at least according to Bob’s future speculations. Later, in 1909, a disgruntled builder allegedly cursed the house. Yet these weren’t even the strangest parts of the house’s history.

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Another theory was that an early 20th-century doctor allegedly rented a room in the house and performed over 100 then-illegal abortions. Put simply, some felt this house had a history of bad juju—and Bob and his family would eventually feel the brunt of it.

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From the first moment Bob and his family stepped into their new home, something seemed off. As they did a walk-through of the home, the family lost track of one of their sons. Eventually, they found him crying on the staircase as though something horrific had happened. They should have packed up and moved out right then…

Ultimately, Bob and his family moved in but they could never quite get settled. At first, they were victims of the prototypical haunting: radio dials turned on their own, lights flickered, and the faucet flowed periodically. For 10 years, the activity remained at this level—strange, annoying even, but nothing truly horrifying. But then, in 2003, the intensity of the haunting escalated dramatically.

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In an interview with WJW Fox 8 News, Bob told the reporter: “We’d wake up on a regular basis with scratches and bite marks. This thing was out to hurt us.” What’s more, something ghostly would pound on the walls at night.

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Ryan Ruell, host of A&E’s Paranormal Stateverified Bob’s claims. The experienced ghost hunter told People magazine that the house was his number one scariest encounter: metal crucifixes bent right before his eyes and an unknown liquid that was blood-like in composition dripped from the walls. Scientists tested the liquid—seen on the wallpaper below—and results were inconclusive. That wasn’t the worst of it, though…

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Desperate to solve the ghost problem, Bob next consulted an exorcist, who also seemed to feel something was strange about the home. Specifically, he was drawn to a single closet. “It was a gut level, really strong feeling that there was something there,” demonologist and exorcist Adam Blai told Fox 8 News.

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After he zeroed in on the closet, Adam cut through the plaster wall inside—a wall that had gone untouched since the house had been built. Inside, he found possessions from every person who had lived in the house since it was built. Still, the worst was yet to come.

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Included in the closet stash was a sketch of the home’s original owners from 1909, complete with some very cruel and almost evil things written about them on the back of it. This, Adam noted, was likely enough to invite the demon in, giving him power in the home.

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Eventually, when the strange happenings had reached critical mass, Bob claimed the demon revealed itself to his family. That part of the story unfolded in “The Blue Room,” which was so-named due to the wallpaper inside. In Bob’s mind, it was the epicenter of the evil.

According to the book Bob eventually wrote documenting his experience, The Demon Of Brownsville, the demon manifested as a shadowy, foggy black figure that smelled like must. And it drove his family mad.

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“My two sons were in a psychiatric hospital,” Bob told Fox 8 News. “My wife had spent several weeks in a psychiatric ward.” Bob’s son-in-law once saw the demon—Bob named it Mulech—hovering over his son’s bed. He spoke to the shadow, and it fled into the house’s crawlspace where, as Bob wrote, it bumped around loudly at night from then on. Soon, the family decided they needed to fight back—and fast.

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Along with the calling in the exorcist, Bob fought Mulech the only way he knew how: by staying up all night reading Bible verses. For six months straight, he played Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ on loop. Nevertheless, he woke up each day with new scratches and bite marks. The family wore crosses around their necks, but somehow, these would bend or end up on the other side of the room, folded or broken.

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Amazingly, around 2006, with the help of the exorcist—who performed any number of rituals over the course of two years—and Bob’s Bible reading, Mulech supposedly fled the home. Finally, Bob was free.

Suzanna Stratford / Youtube

“If people don’t want to believe it… okay,” Bob said in his closing remarks to Fox 8 News. “But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It exists. That’s why I’m telling this story.” True or not, Bob’s experience far exceeds your normal house haunting story.

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Since Mulech fled, Bob and his wife still live in the Brownsville house. Somehow, his grandkids are even able to sleep inside of it!

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