Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 10/27/2008 [Archive]

A Suburban Haunting - Part Two

A Suburban Haunting: Part Two

By Martha Randolph Carr

The stately Craftsman style four story house tucked back from the street and nestled in the calm of suburbia is working hard to evict the current tenants. Not by foreclosure but from possession by a demon first mentioned in the Bible. The current inhabitants, the Cranmer family, are coming forward with the support of the American Roman Catholic Church, including D.C. Archbishop Donald Wuerl because they believe there are others who are going through a similar ordeal.

Bob Cranmer, a former prominent politician from Pennsylvania has faced tough crowds before during his term as commissioner when he helped run the city of Pittsburgh but never anything like what he had found in his own home.

The family has battled demons, blood seeping down the walls, furniture moving, the stench of burning sulfur, physical and psychological attacks, mangled crosses, pounding in the walls, dark apparitions and more but have never run away from the house. In the face of something they couldn't see and couldn't tell the neighbors they have not only stayed put but have fought back.

At one point they were playing the Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ, nonstop in the two bedrooms that were thought to be the center of activity. The TV or the DVD player would be turned off repeatedly and Bob or his wife, Lesa would turn it back on and continue fighting back.

Bob, Lesa, their four children and even the late family dog, Sandy found themselves doing battle against demons after moving into their dream home nestled in the quiet community of Brentwood, Pennsylvania. The investigators from the hit A&E show, Paranormal State came to the house and caught some of the demonic activity on film but the location of the house, the name of the family and the true extent of what they endured has never been revealed until now.

The demonic gateway has attracted several prominent figures from the Catholic Church including the renowned exorcist from the N.Y. Diocese, the late Father James LeBar who died earlier this year, Archbishop Wuerl, the former three-term mayor of Pittsburgh, Tom Murphy, and the famous international evangelist, John Guest. Together they have all worked diligently to bring things down from a wall-pounding roar to a murmur.

Unlike the popular bestseller, The Amityville Horror, in which the family stayed for only three weeks before driving off into the night, the Cranmer's came together to battle the beast on a daily basis for almost two years, at times coming close to losing their sanity. The harassment was gradual until 2001 when the activity began to increase.

It started in the coat closet underneath the grand oak staircase in the front foyer of the large house.

Bob had gone to the closet and taken out his coat. As he put it on, he turned off the light by pulling on the chain. The wire that had held the chain to the hook for years had been removed just a few days ago. He started to go outside but as he did he realized he had forgotten his gloves.

When he returned to the closet and reached for the pull chain it was already wrapped around the top of the light. It had been no more than a minute since he had shut the closet door. He retrieved his gloves, straightened out the chain, turned off the light, walked into the kitchen, waited a moment and then returned to the closet. Again it was wrapped around the light. Slightly unnerved, he decided he would experiment with the phenomenon.

The next day when the family went to church Bob took some rosary beads that had belonged to his grandmother and tied them to the pull chain. When they returned home he found the chain and the rosaries wrapped around the light. Again, he straightened out the chain and the beads and went to eat lunch. When he returned this time he found the rosary beads untied from the chain and hanging on a nearby coat hook. The chain was wrapped back around the light.

This went on throughout the day as Bob kept experimenting with the rosaries and then other objects. He hung a small brass weight of about an ounce on the chain and found it placed on top of the light with the chain just a few minutes after closing the door. This went on for hours and each time the chain was wrapped back around the light.

Bob decided to try something different and shut himself in the closet to read the Bible aloud. As he did he felt the presence of something in the closet with him, and it wasn't a happy feeling. He went in and out of the closet to read from the Bible several times, each time for thirty minutes and found that it had no impact at all on the chain. It was still ending up wrapped around the light.

He decided to try one last experiment that Sunday evening.

The light was left on, the door remained open and as Bob moved a few feet away into the foyer he heard the chain move. He knew at that moment that it was more than he could handle alone and he had to seek out outside guidance. It had taken years but now he knew for sure. Something evil was living within the suburban house along with the Cranmer family. What it was, and what its' limits were, though, were played out over the next two years and would at times be violent and torturous in between small stretches of calm.

It was not until the arrival of Father LeBar that the tide appeared to turn and the demon was sent packing. But the family is still on guard even now watching for any signs of a return and they have been warned by the church that a hell mouth is very difficult to close permanently. In the meantime, though they live as ordinary a life as anyone can who has to remember to wear a cross and watch their step wondering who else might be watching them from just around the corner.

Martha Randolph Carr is writing a book with Bob Cranmer about their ordeal. If you'd like Martha to come and speak to your group visit: Martha's Big Adventure coming soon to World Talk Radio and Voice America. Email Martha at: or visit

© 2008 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo.

Download Martha Randolph Carr's color photo - Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Martha Randolph Carr's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

Halloween Costumes COLOR
By: Nate Beeler

October 17, 2008

Halloween Costumes
By: Nate Beeler

October 17, 2008

Haunted White House-COLOR
By: R.J. Matson

October 22, 2008

Haunted White House
By: R.J. Matson

October 22, 2008

Haunted Housing Market
By: John Darkow

October 26, 2007

Scary retirement BW
By: John Cole

October 10, 2008

Scary retirement COLOR
By: John Cole

October 10, 2008

The Ghost
By: Olle Johansson

September 30, 2008

By: Olle Johansson

January 18, 2008

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829
Billing Information: (805)
Technical Support:

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service