When investigating haunted houses, sometimes you discover that the house isn't haunted, but a member of the family is. A person could be oppressed or possessed by a demon or an evil spirit. An oppressed person is attacked externally. Symptoms range from extreme depression to being beaten physically by an unknown force. Possession occurs when a demon or demons actually reside inside an individual. Symptoms of possession include an extreme heavy feeling on the back or neck, speaking in a different voice or language, hearing voices and having knowledge of the unknown. The possessed person will only have partial control of their emotions and activities. Of course, a person with any of these symptoms should be checked first for medical and psychological problems. A person can become possessed through obvious ways like participating in satanic rituals, obsessive use of a ouija board ,but can be also totally at random. The possessed rarely seek help for themselves and it is usually a friend or family member who does. Exorcism is the casting out of demons or evil spirits from persons, places or things which are believed to be possessed. Almost every religion has it's own form of exorcism. I will focus on the Catholic rite since that is what I am most familiar with.I have assisted in over 25 exorcisms and it is usually necessary to physically restrain the individual because of their violent behavior(I've been bitten,punched and scratched). Hospital type restraints are used and sometimes even a straitjacket. It is also helpful to have 2 to 4 restraining the individual since the person usually possesses great strength and will often break out of the restraints and attack the priest, the assistants or even themselves. Once the person is restrained, the priest will read the Litany of the Saints. He will use Holy Water, a crucifix, Holy relics and a purple stole, all of which are used at certain times during the exorcism prayers. An exorcism can last an hour or go on for months.
Amanda , who is 25 , was invited to a party by a friend she made at her new job. As far as Amanda knew, it was just a party where there was going to be music, food and dancing. Amanda, eager to make new friends at her new job thought this would be fun and accepted. After a night of dinner and dancing, she went to sleep feeling fine. When she woke up her feet were swollen to three times their normal size. She called her mother who immediately took her to the emergency room. Nothing could be found to be the cause of her problem and they sent her home with a report stating just that. Amanda also started talking in a voice that was not her own and it understandably scared her and she would often ask her mother to stay with her since she lived alone in her apartment. Amanda's mother told us sometimes she would stop in to check in on her daughter and if she didn't answer she would let herself in. Three times she found Amanda sleeping, but floating 2 feet above her mattress. Since she was afraid to touch Amanda, she would call her son over to push her back down to the bed. Amanda has no memory of these incidents . Amanda's stomach would also expand to several times it's normal size. Again, another hospital visit leaving them with no explanation. Amanda was conscious of the other voice that was coming out her and she sometimes talked in another language that she didn't understand, and when the voice spoke English, it was with a thick accent. Amanda's mother contacted us around 3 weeks after the initial incident. When interviewing Amanda ,we found it odd that these changes came immediately following the party. Amanda claimed she never thought there was a connection. We were puzzled also until some research uncovered that the party she went to fell on November 2 nd. In the Haitian religion, November 2 nd is celebrated as All Souls Day. This is the day to honor the spirits who are keepers of the gateway between the living and the dead. Apparently, Amanda wasn't told that the party she went to was also an invitation for the dead to reside among the living for the day. Amanda also mysteriously didn't remember all of the details that night and we believed that her new Haitian "friend" might have been jealous of Amanda and in some way caused this. Amanda was scheduled for an exorcism a week later, but called us a few nights later because she felt the person inside of her kept trying to speak and was afraid something terrible might happen before her exorcism. Another investigator and I agreed we would go to her apartment and pray with her. Not even 5 minutes into the prayers, she put her head down and when she brought her head back up, we were looking into just the whites of her eyes and for the first time we heard the voice that we had been hearing about. Needless to say, our prayer session turned into a full blown exorcism that lasted over four hours. We believe it was sucessful. She hasn't had any reoccurrences since then.
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