1. Anneliese Michel
In the mid-1970s, a German woman named Anneliese Michel underwent 67 rites of exorcism. The Washington Post reported that “under the influence of her demons, Michel ripped the clothes off her body, compulsively performed up to 400 squats a day, crawled under a table and barked like a dog for two days, ate spiders and coal, bit the head off a dead bird and licked her own urine from the floor.” Her story was also the inspiration for The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
2. Brother Hermes Versus 35,000 Evil Spirits
Hermes Cifuentes, who is called “Brother Hermes” in his home country of Colombia, claims to have exorcised 35,000 evil spirits over the past 25 years. His method of exorcism, covering the body in mud and surrounding it with fire, is very unorthodox. Pictured above is Gisela Marulanda in the process of an exorcism performed by Brother Hermes.
3. The International Association of Exorcists
As of July 1, the Vatican’s International Association of Exorcists has 250 priests across the globe committed to the art of vanquishing evil from humans.
4. Bobby Jindal’s College Exorcism
Before he was the governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal was just your average college student who tried to compel a demon out of his friend Susan. He wrote about the experience in an article titled “Beating a Demon: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare.”
5. The Strange Case of Roland Doe
Roland Doe’s case has been the inspiration for several books and movies about exorcism, including Posessed and The Exorcist. Those who were around for the exorcism performed on Roland reported objects floating or moving across the room, as well as noises coming from inside the walls.
6. The Exorcism of Mother Teresa
According to the Archbishop of Calcutta, Mother Teresa was the subject of an exorcism. In 1997, Doctors could not explain why Mother Teresa was experiencing insomnia. Archbishop Henry Sebastian D’Souza said, “I thought she might be getting attacked by the devil.”
7. Michael Taylor and the Demon of Murder
On October 5, 1974, a Yorkshire man named Michael Taylor underwent an exorcism that lasted all night. After the exorcism was completed, he killed his wife, strangled his dog, and was found naked in the street and covered in blood. The exorcists claimed that “although they had driven forty evil spirits out of Taylor, a few remained, including the demon of murder.”
8. Clara Germana Cele
Clara Germana Cele was a South African schoolgirl who, in 1906, was reportedly possessed by a demon. Nuns who were present for Clara’s “condition” claimed that she could speak languages she had never heard before, that she could levitate up to five feet in the air, and that the only thing that would stop the levitation was holy water.
9. Demons of Indiana
Latoya Ammons claims her house in Gary, Indiana was infested with demons. Lights flickered, oil appeared on blinds, shadowy figures appeared from nowhere, and Latoya’s children were talking to ghosts or cursing in demonic voices. After several exorcisms on herself and her family, Ammons says she believes they were tormented by Beelzebub, the lord of the flies.
10. An Exorcism in the Philippines
National Geographic covered the story of a boy in the Philippines who violently shook whenever scripture was read to him. In the
Philippines, the exorcist had to first figure out whether the evil spirit was Satan, or one of the many “demons, evil dwarves, or trolls” that are part of Filipino culture.
Dr. Richard Gallagher, a psychiatrist who is also a delegate to the International Association of Exorcists, wrote this account in the New Oxford Review regarding the demonic possession of a woman he calls Julia. Gallagher says items flew off of shelves while Julia levitated. She also would yell things like “leave her alone, you idiot” or “leave, you imbecile priest.”
12. The Demonic Dog and the Son of Sam
David Berkowitz, known as the Son of Sam, is a serial killer who tormented New York City from 1976 until 1977. When he was finally caught, he claimed that his neighbor’s dog, Harvey, was possessed by a demon that ordered the killings.
13. Text Messages from Hell
Demons pop up in the strangest places. A Polish priest named Father Marian Rajchel performed an exorcism on a teenage girl. After the ceremony was completed, Father Rajchel claims he began to receive text messages from the evil spirit he tried to cast out.
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