BRENTWOOD (KDKA) -- Inside the inviting turn-of-the-century house on Brownsville Road in Brentwood, former Allegheny County commissioner Bob Cranmer says a two-year battle is being waged between good and evil -- God and the devil.
It's a story he knows many will doubt, but one he feels compelled to tell.
"I think I have a credibility that when I say something happened, folks can believe it. This isn't some flat Earth, alien abduction story. This happened," says Cranmer.
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."
Cranmer says the presence began attacking he and his family.
"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.
"I watched black shadows that slid along the floor and the walls," said Adam Blai, a psychologist who trains priests in exorcism.
A paranormal investigative team from Penn State came to the house and it would be life-changing for Blai, who would later become a trainer of exorcists and who became convinced that this was a case of demonic infestation.
"I also witnessed a stench of a column of air that moved on its own volition that didn't leave any lingering scent behind it - that was horrible, that seemed to be some type of thing, an entity," said Blai.
KDKA Radio's Mike Pintek interviews Bob Cranmer:
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."
"I feel a responsibility to tell this story in a rational, sound manner to tell people it's all real," Cranmer said. "It's true. Good and evil exists."
Cranmer and his family say it is no longer a matter of faith. That they have direct knowledge of good and evil, the devil and the power of God.
Now they want to impart that knowledge to the rest of us.
Local Psychologist A Former Skeptic, Now Trains Priests In Exorcisms (2/10/14)
More Reports by Andy Sheehan
for more features.