It's an eerie story of a so-called "demonic infestation" that seems so terrifying that it is perfectly suited for the pages of a horror novel. But Bob Cranmer, a former commissioner in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, insists that it was a horrific and life-altering reality for him and his family.
From a mysterious, blood-like substance coating the walls of his home to crucifixes purportedly snapping in half on their own and scratches randomly appearing on his body, Cranmer told TheBlaze earlier this year that something profoundly evil was terrorizing his family.
He claims that the demonic force was eventually expelled, but only after the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Fr. Michael Salvagna, a local priest, Protestant pastors and Adam Blai, a self-described demonologist, spent two years fervently battling its presence by repeatedly holding Mass and blessing the home.
December 12, 1988: The day Bob Cranmer and his family moved into the home (Bob Cranmer)
Following the release of his new book in August detailing the purported horrors titled, "The Demon of Brownsville Road: A Pittsburgh Family's Battle with Evil in Their Home," Cranmer recently shared with TheBlaze photos and additional details of what unfolded.
He claims that the images, which show a range of the purported activity in the home, capture only a tiny portion of the chaos that raged:
The "Figure" on the Staircase
Cranmer said that it at first seemed as though there was a "friendly ghost" inside the home in December 1998 after his family moved in — and that it wasn't until 2003 that the situation truly intensified.
One day, he said he noticed the family dog sitting and intently staring at something on the staircase.
Cranmer didn't see anyone or anything there, but he decided to snap a photo anyway. After he had it developed, he noticed a "smoky skeleton" on the staircase.
And that's what he believes his dog was staring at — the very force that he contends was wreaking havoc within the home.
"I couldn't see it with my own eyes," he said.
(Source: Bob Cranmer)
In a previous interview, Cranmer, who has four children, said his kids also once saw the entity, describing the figure as “a really strange-looking person” wearing a black dress.
But that was the only overt apparition, as he said the demon would typically manifest itself as a shadowy figure moving about the home.
Blai, a demonology expert, has a degree in psychology and said he saw shadows with no origin and experienced phantom smells.
“I observed black shadows sliding along floors and walls that were not being cast by anything,” Blai told TheBlaze. “I also smelled a column of air with a horrific death-like stench that moved like a person walking. This column of air left no lingering scent behind it like natural odors would.”
Mysterious Scratches on His Body
Cranmer also said that he would often wake up in the morning with mysterious scratches on his body.
"The scratches would [usually] appear in a group of three parallel scratches and they would generally run straight down your back and across your chest," he said. "I would never feel [them] when they were being applied. I would wake up in the morning and I could certainly feel them then because it hurt."
See a photo showing some of those scratches below:
The Bending and Snapping of Crucifixes
It wasn't uncommon for the Cranmer family to use crucifixes in their effort to battle the demonic force they believed was infesting their home.
They would often wear the necklaces, but would frequently wake-up and discover that something quite peculiar had happened to them.
"There's one that my son wore. It was bent completely in half, folded over on itself," he said. "And we found it on the floor off of its neck and when I opened it up again it broke in half."
Here are some photos of the crucifixes, which were bent and snapped in half:
"Blood" on the Walls
Perhaps one of the creepier claims is the blood-like substance that Cranmer said first appeared in puddles on the bathroom floor and then later on the walls of the home.
"The walls really didn't bleed," he said. "It's not like this stuff seeped out of the walls on its own and ran down."
He said, instead, that it seemed as though someone or something had intentionally splattered it.
Noting that priests were always going through the home and splashing holy water on the walls and floor, he said it seemed as though the demonic force did the same thing with the reddish substance.
The red substance Bob Cranmer says was inexplicably splattered on his walls. (Source: Bob Cranmer)
And here's a paper towel that is saturated in the mysterious red substance:
Orbs in the Coal Room
One day, Cranmer snapped a photo of the coal room of his home and later noticed numerous circular objects seemingly floating in the air.
Supernatural orbs or a mere consequence of the complexities surrounding lighting and photography? You decide:
While Cranmer's story might seem unbelievable to many, the Diocese of Pittsburgh has publicly stood by the details, as have others who were involved during the two-year effort to correct the situation inside the home.
"I kind of have post-traumatic stress disorder," Cranmer said of the experience. "I was always worried that this thing was coming back and that it would start up again."
But aside from a few minor incidents, the home has been relatively calm since faith leaders held a final Mass in 2005, he said.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Salvagna, who was present during what Cranmer described as "deliverance services" in the home, corroborated many of the details shown in the photos and described by Cranmer in interviews.
“When we went to pray … you felt you were invading an enemy territory,” Salvagna told TheBlaze. “We would have these smells … drippings on the wall that looks like blood.”
The staircase inside the Cranmer home under which paranormal investigators and faith leaders claim they found a demonic "lair" (Bob Cranmer)
The priest also said that Cranmer and his family members would “wake up with scratches or bites” and that the horror took a toll on the entire family.
Salvagna offered up the theory is that an abortion mill was run inside the home long ago and that it possibly opened the door to the terrifying presence. Additionally, the family believes that a traumatic murder and burial might have unfolded in the 1700s on the property.
The priest described the process of dispelling the force as a long one that was “like putting out a fire on a gas well.”
“There are ritual prayers for house infestation. There are patterns of prayer,” Salvagna said. “We turn to God, the saints, the blessed mother … there are regular prayers … Psalms … scripture passages.”
Read more about the terrifying story here.