THE HAUNTED: One Family's Nightmare by Robert with Jack Spurl & Others Curran

THE HAUNTED: One Family's Nightmare

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Amityville, it seems, isn't the only East Coast suburb with a resident demon. According to this rude account, one of Satan's errand-boys also shares quarters with all-American couple Jack and Janet Spurl in their tidy West Pittston, Penn., duplex Curran, the chief teller of this tale, is a reporter for a couple of Scranton newspapers. He shares authorial credit with the Spurls, and with ""demonologists"" Ed and Lorrain Warren, veterans of battle with the Amityville horror. That five authors in tandem could conjure up a narrative so crudely wrought--all blunt, single-sentence paragraphs and shallow characterizations and clunky portents such as ""This was not the end, it was only the beginning""--is nearly as strange as the stream of occult muggings allegedly purveyed on the Spurls and their children by the demon and three assistant spirits. The talc unfolds in bite-sized chunks of first- and third-person narrative and tape-recorded transcriptions, spliced by the stow of young David Wilson, the boy who grew up to be an ""apprentice demonologist'."" Among the terrors wreaked upon the Spurls: foul smells; forced levitations; bites by unseen assailants; appearances by a demonic menagerie, including a dog without head or tail, a pseudo-centaur, and ""a creature roughly eight feet in height that stood on two legs but had, on top of its wide shoulders, a furry head with blinding red eyes and a piglike snout""; and--juiciest of all--rapes Of Jack Spurl by an insatiable succubus. A series of exorcisms performed by a ""traditionalist priest"" did little good; when the Spurls traveled, the demon followed, and eventually took to bothering neighbors as well. In 1987, the Spurls went public with their story, generating a storm of publicity--and this book. ""Today, the haunting continues,"" writes Curran. No wonder: film rights have already been sold. And what ambitious demon would want to miss out on the many readers who will no doubt crowd to this simplistic and clumsy, but undeniably luridly entertaining, book?

Pub Date: April 4th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's