This scenario was unfathomable in 1973, when the film version of Peter Blatty's horror masterpiece The Exorcist was released. In fact, most people were unaware that such things as demonic possession or exorcists actually existed. The Catholic Church had spent a century backing away from any public association with such things, and especially from the rite of exorcism, which had been first been given official guidelines in 1614. Those guidelines weren't updated until 1999, and now twenty years later the explosion of desperate requests for spiritual rescue from the diabolical has rendered the entirety of the process cumbersome and difficult to navigate.
But recently, the Church has been changing its tune. The Catholic Church is in the process of assigning an exorcist in every diocese in the US--all one hundred and ninety-seven of them--which is a turnabout of dogma no one could have foreseen. That's a huge investment of money and time, but even then, it's not enough. The exorcist for the Diocese of Indianapolis told The Atlantic in its December issue from last year that his office had fielded over 1700 requests (and counting) for exorcisms for 2018.
While there are now denominations on the Protestant side of the aisle that perform legitimate rites of deliverance, there's also a swelling preponderance of paranormal parasites that use people's fear of the diabolical to create fame for themselves. If someone suspects the demonic is attacking a friend, member of the family, or even himself, knowledge is necessary to protect oneself not only from the demons tormenting them but from the paranormal parasites that would torment them. Exorcisms are not a game and cannot be taken lightly, because this ritual sometimes leads to the death of the very person who sought help in the first place.
This article is an extremely broad beginner's guide to demonology, one that will hopefully enable readers to arm themselves against diabolical agents--both the demonic and the paranormal parasites. We will discuss the stages of demonic attacks and their symptoms, lay out the safest options to find help, and the best way to keep yourself from dancing with the devil in the first place.
Three Stages of Demonic Attacks
There are three universally recognized stages of demonic intrusion into a person's life. The first stage is manifestation or infestation. In this stage, the diabolical agent begins to insinuate itself into its victim's environment. Why does it need to do such a thing?
Because a demon must first be invited into a person's life and then be given permission to remain there.
That doesn't mean sending an embossed greeting card that says, "I invite you to screw my whole world up." A demon can be invited into a person's life in many innocuous-seeming ways. The Ouija board fad that swept through your middle school. Or that faze you went through in high school, when you and your three BFFs started your secret "coven" like they did in the movie The Craft. Or when you decided you'd become a paranormal investigator and without knowledge or training bought equipment and headed to as many haunted places as you could to provoke a few spirits like they do on TV.
I've seen the results of all three of this stories because they are real stories I've been told when investigating an apparent demonic infestation. The consequences of all those innocent excursions into the diabolical realm are severe, life-wrecking, and traumatic.
Satanic worship is, of course, the quick and easy way to catch the notice of the infernal. Father Gary Thomas, exorcist for the diocese of San Jose, CA informed me in a 2017 video interview I did for LiveSciFi that generational curses (when a whole family is cursed by an outsider or when a mother consecrates her unborn child to the demonic) are more prevalent than anyone realizes. But tragically, a history of sexual abuse also can lead to demonic notice.
(Yep. You can watch the interview right here)
Demons stalk their prey the same way the big cats in Africa do. They usually target the weak...the vulnerable. After zeroing in on the easiest kill, they undertake a strategy to weaken their victim more. The more terrified and hopeless that victim is, the easier it is for the demon to push them into total submission.
A demonic infestation can revolve around a location, like the purported Gary, Indiana "demon house" of the Ammons family. Because the alleged haunting was focused on the home, the Ammons family was able to flee the residence into safety. (Of course, the subsequent owner, Zak Bagans, bulldozed the house after he finished his documentary on the alleged activity, so no one else can validate his alleged experiences there. Quite convenient.) But usually, an infestation is centered around a person, and if that person moves they take the haunting with them to their new residence. During the earliest stages of the infestation, the demon begins to wind itself into the fabric of its victim's world. But even after a demon starts to impact its victim's life, it needs permission to stay. That doesn't mean that you have to physically tell the thing it can stay. It means that you accept its influence within your environment, and more importantly, upon your person.
If a demonic entity succeeds in creating a link with its victim, it can then move forward into the next stage.
Now that the demon has the necessary introduction into the victim's life, it can begin to impact its victim more strongly. In this stage, usually, the innocent-seeming haunting escalates in intensity. The demon begins to attack its victim. Scratches, bite marks, and unexplained bruising batters the person's body. Sexual attacks may also occur. These attacks are designed to a wear a person down, to take away their willpower and make them easier to subdue.
Usually at this stage, the haunting expands as well. The victim's family and home may be terrorized with paranormal activity. That's why this is typically the time when a family brings a paranormal investigation team or a psychic into their home, desperate for some validation of what's happening to them and hopefully some kind of rescue plan. Unfortunately, that's not going to work, for one big reason:
PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS CANNOT FREE A LOCATION OR PERSON FROM A DEMONIC OPPRESSION.
By the time a paranormal group is called, the demon is already solidly lodged in its victim's life. The demon has been invited in by accident--remember that tarot reading game you "played" in high school?--and then inadvertently given permission to remain. The only remedy at this point is spiritual, and that means the clergy.
But paranormal investigations do provide a very necessary function to the victims of a demonic haunting, and that's documentation. Evidence that's been captured on video or audio equipment can validate the victim's story. You can't just call your diocese, tell them your house is haunted, and an exorcist pulls up in the Ghostbusters ambulance ten minutes later. That's not the way it works. You have to have that documentation just so the Church doesn't dismiss you as being a passenger on the cray-cray train. So yes--call someone in to investigate and hopefully get that validation for you. (Don't do it yourself, though. You're too invested in proving there's a haunting. A legitimate paranormal team isn't.) I'll be delving deeply into how to find a trustworthy paranormal investigation team in an upcoming article.
Let me reiterate: for a true demonic oppression, your only recourse is through a spiritual intervention. The Roman Ritual (aka the Rite of Exorcism) is the clergy's weapon against the diabolical. However, the clergy isn't normally brought into a case until the victim reaches the third and final stage of demonic hauntings.
We'll get into possessions and why you don't want an exorcist who advertises in part two of this article tomorrow. Once it's up, I'll activate the link to the rest of the story here.In the meantime, if you have questions or are afraid that you're dealing with a demonic haunting then contact me through this blog or email me through my website: celina(at)celinasummers(dot)com. I'm more than happy to help you find a legitimate paranormal research team and to hook you up with the avenues you need to take to seek help from the clergy.
The REAL clergy.