“Good night, kids, sleep tight, don’t let the demons bite.”


I am freaked out by the thought of demons.

Or angry ghosts.

Hell, a HAPPY ghost could tap me on the shoulder in my house and say, “You’re gorgeous. Have a great day today! Really get out there and seize everything this day has to offer you!” and I would punch that ghost so hard in the throat, it would die again.

Who knows what’s real? What’s imagined? What’s a figment of our fearful imaginations?

I’m easily freaked out by the paranormal, as you know if you’ve been reading my drivel at all for the last eight and a half years. I went on a few dates in college with a minister’s son (we PKs stick together and smoke crack together and hit the strip clubs together. Just kidding, Dad.). He told me a story of his father trying to rid a house of a demon. It was a subtle demon, I guess. Moving a particular ceiling tile each night. Things like that. To this day though, that story, true or not, sticks with me.

I was 100% convinced as a teenager, thanks to my father’s excellent child-rearing, that if I ever touched an Ouija Board, I would summon a demon who would make my head spin and my puke reach previously unrecorded levels of velocity.

I still haven’t ever touched an Ouija Board, and just don’t talk to me about demons. Or ghosts. Or anything I can’t see and feel and punch in the throat if called upon to do so.

So, color me flabbergasted (which is, I think, I nice shade of puce) that ex-county commissioner Bob Cranmer is claiming the house he lived in since 1988 is haunted.

And not just haunted.

PISSED OFF DEMONS HAUNTED. (Although, as I think about it, demons are probably, by their very nature, just generally pissed off at all times.)


Check THIS out, Wendy Bell:

It began happening shortly after he, his wife and their four kids bought the house in 1988.

What seemed to be bumps in the night, turned into something more. They began seeing a dark pillar that moved through the house with a repulsive, acrid smell.

“As I called it, a stench,” says Cranmer. “It was a combination of like a burning sulfur or rubber.” 

Burning sulfur. Hmmm. Okay. A smell. That’s not too threatening. I’m sure my son has released farts that could be classified under the “burning sulfur” set of smells. No biggie. Let’s move on.

Cranmer says the presence began attacking he and his family.

Wait. WUT?

“It would scratch us at night, bite us,” Cranmer said. “I woke up in the middle of the night, I was completely turned around in bed – my feet were on the pillows, I was under the covers and my head was at the foot of the bed. Things like that on a consistently on a daily basis.”

Clocks would stop, art work would routinely be turned upside down, crucifixes bent, rosary beads shattered and worse.

“This entire house was marked with a blood-type substance that would be on the walls and the ceiling,” Cranmer said.

On the direction of then-Bishop Donald Wuerl, exorcists and priests assisted the Cranmers to rid the spirit, which became more resistant over time.

“This thing did not want to give up,” said Cranmer. “It was a relentless back and forth battle. Where it would prevail, there were several rooms in the house that we could no longer use. But in the end, the power of the Lord prevailed.”

Cranmer says he and his family still have the scars — physical and emotional.

Two of his children were treated in Western Psych for trauma.

But though wounded, he says their faith is now unshakable.

Now he’s written this book – “The Demon of Brownsville Road.”

Readers, we are not going to get into the religious aspects of this. AT ALL. And if you try to start a religious fight in the comments, I will find you and I will throat punch you, because in case you can’t tell, the sub-topic of this post is how much I enjoy throat-punching.

What we are going to talk about is this:


Assuming everything you’re saying is true, you had a demon in your home. Scratching your family. Wounding your children. Sending YOUR CHILDREN TO THE PSYCH WARD. Flipping you around in your beds. Filling your house with a pillar of stench. Scarring your bodies.  Biting your family. Painting your house with blood.


You continued to live there?

I mean, okay, maybe you don’t leave because of the smell. Chalk it up to Indian food farts, which are, in my experience, the worst of the farts.

Maybe you explain away the fact that you were flipped around in bed as just a really restless night of sleep.

But the day you wake up and your walls are painted in blood and your children are scratched and bitten and crying and scared, well, sir, that’s the day you move out. That’s the day you say, “Pack it up. We’re going to Grammy’s house until this thing is gone.”

You don’t stick around for years, or months, or even days. If I suspected for one SECOND that a demon was in my house, I would have exited like the frickin’ Road Runner, leaving behind a circular cloud of dust and nothing more.

“This thing did not want to give up,” said Cranmer. “It was a relentless back and forth battle. Where it would prevail, there were several rooms in the house that we could no longer use.”

Again, WUT?!?!

You don’t just close the door to certain rooms and says, “Kids. What did I tell you about playing in the demon’s room?! Don’t come crying to me when you wake up covered in blood and scratches and your pee comes out burning of sulfur.”

You don’t wait until you have TO TREAT YOUR CHILDREN IN A MENTAL INSTITUTION before saying, “Demon, we outta here. Have a nice death.”

I’m flabbergasted and stunned and all of the words that mean flabbergasted and stunned.

If my father made me live in a house with a demon, I’d have throat-punched him and made a run for it.

Respectfully of course, Dad.

Meep meep.

P.S. If you chuckled at any point during this post, you owe me five dollars and you can pay it via the donate button up there under the thermometer. Every penny goes to the Mario Lemieux Foundation fund this year’s Make Room for Kids efforts at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

P.P.S. This book better have pictures of blood spattered walls.


  1. bluzdude
    February 12, 2014 11:09 am

    How do you list a house like that? “Paranormal-friendly?”

  2. BurghLL
    February 12, 2014 12:10 pm

    I’ve met a priest that tried to excorcise that house! Said it was no joke – blood seeping through the walls. Apparently Brownsville Rd was an old Indian Trail, and quite a few houses are supposed to be haunted. I grew up in a neighboring borough and am completely freaked out by it!

    • Suzie-Q
      February 13, 2014 2:35 pm

      Yeah…and I met a ghost that said the same thing!!! I do think this would have been in all of the newspapers had it been happening as stated!!

  3. SteelCityMagnolia
    February 12, 2014 12:52 pm

    Wow… My flabber is officially gasted….

    I can’t stay in my house if I hear a mouse running in the walls…. Nope. I’ve set up camp on my bff’s couch until said mouse and his relatives were “taken care of.” To stay in a house bleeding from the walls and stinking to high heaven and waking up scratched and bitten??? No. Frickin. Way. What the hell is wrong with people???

    I have a friend who is an avid “ghost hunter”. He’d LOVE to check those houses out. He keeps trying to convince me to go along on a “hunt” but I flat-out refuse. I had a very scary experience with a Ouija board in college (hey, it may have been my roommates, it may have been other people in our dorm, but I just wasn’t messing around with that business anymore,) and I just don’t care to go stir up some pissed-off spirit and have it follow me home. I’ve had enough crazy stalker ex-boyfriends in my time to add crazy-stalker chain-rattling spirit to the fray.

    Those poor kids… They’ve got to be scarred for life.

  4. Jim
    February 12, 2014 3:58 pm

    Bob sounds…like he needs help. Many different kinds of help.

  5. PA Girl in VA
    February 12, 2014 9:18 pm

    I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of ghosts (ghosts, NOT demons) and always thought it would be kind of cool if my deceased father were to come back and visit me. But I’ve always said that if I ever opened up my eyes or turned a corner in the dark house and saw a vision of a dead person standing in front of me, I am pretty sure I would probably die right then and there on the spot and join them in the afterworld. At least YOU seem to think you would have the forethought to throat punch them and run away (meep meep!).

  6. Leigh-Anne
    February 13, 2014 10:34 am

    Is it bad that I think the most disturbing thing about this article is the sentence “Cranmer says the presence began attacking he and his family.” Poor grammar is the scariest demon of all.

  7. MattDC
    February 13, 2014 6:03 pm

    There aren’t many comments here from a certain male demographic, so allow me. I always loved Ouija boards, demonology, red stains on the walls, and the long Georgetown stairs in The Exorcist down to the Potomac, where I live. I’ve even met Cardinal Wuerl a few times, and he’s a good guy. The main thing is that, back in the 70s, buying into all that crap was a sure fire way to get laid. If I were 17 again, I’d be memorizing every episode of Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Lost Girl, and True Blood. Ladies, as I’ve warned my daughters, if you meet a hot guy who seems to know a lot about this stuff, be very, very suspicious.

  8. MrCharlesCranmer
    February 15, 2014 7:53 pm

    Hey there. Charles Cranmer here. Son of The Auther. Please, We would love to do an interview for you to help clear this all up. Or just to answer questions concerning our expierance or the book in general. Visit our Facebook page. http://Www.facebook.com/thedemonofbrownsville and message us any and all questions you have. Whether it be for Bob Sr. or one of the four children (all of whom are in their 20s now) we will answer them.

  9. bucdaddy
    February 20, 2014 11:22 am

    No such things as ghosts or demons or angels. Sorry to spoil the fun.

    I believe I saw a flying saucer once, though. Seriously.

    And then there was the Magic Pigeon …