Unruly Child Just Going Through Chthonic Demon Phase

TRENTON, N.J. — Allaying fears that their unruly child may have in fact been sent from the underworld to destroy humanity, the parents of six-year-old Charlie Shepherd confirmed today that he is “just going through a chthonic demon phase.”

“It’s perfectly normal. All kids go through this at around his age,” said his mother Christine Shepherd as she struggled to pry him down from the ceiling with a golden scepter dipped in holy water. “He’ll be over it in a few months.”

While neighbors initially brushed aside his diabolical behavior, some began to express concern when disemboweled livestock began showing up on their lawns overnight.

“It wasn’t so much the eviscerated cattle in my front yard that worried me, but the strange symbols he would burn into the grass around them with his eyes,” said neighbor Kathy Johnston. “The hellish little fiend never even apologized.”

However, the Shepherd family says they are not worried, noting that many of the other neighborhood kids acted far worse at his age.

“You want to talk about a hellraiser, Tommy O’Shea used to throw eggs at houses every weekend,” Mrs. Shepherd said, pointing out that her son would never do such a thing, as any time she buys eggs he immediately eats the entire carton raw in a single bite. “That kid is the devil.”

At press time, the Shepherds expressed confidence that their teenage daughter Madeline would soon get over her “serial homicide” phase.