The Reality and Fiction of Exorcism!!

The Vatican’s guide to conducting exorcisms states that the signs of demonic possession include “over human strength, aversion to holy water and the ability to speak in unknown languages, as well as spitting, blasphemy, and excessive masturbation.”(Exorcism)


The belief in demonic possession of people is a constant source of terrifying plots, in addition to one of the most widespread beliefs among religions around the world. Although manifestations change between cultures and religions, some of the signs of possession are as follows:

  • Altered memory and personality
  • Seizures
  • Nervous attacks
  • Fainting
  • Gnosis: Access to hidden knowledge
  • Glossolalia: Access to unknown languages
  • Drastic changes in intonation and facial structure
  • Apparition of wounds or injuries without apparent reason
  • Superhuman strength

The earliest reference comes from the Sumerians, who believed that all diseases of the body and death were caused by “demons of disease.” To combat them, doctors or asu applied bandages, salvia and other remedies, while the Ashipu (wizards) prayed to certain gods to ask for protection from the demon or the expulsion of the same from the body of the affected.(Exorcism)

The word “exorcism” derives from the Greek word “exousia” which means “oath.” Religious scholar James R. Lewis explains in his book Satanism Today: An Encyclopedia of Religion, Folklore, and Popular Culture that “exorcising means putting the spirit “Guest” under oath, rather than expel him, invoking a higher spiritual authority. That is why a priest invokes “the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”(Exorcism)

This practice is consistent with shamanics, who attribute possessions to a vengeful spirit (not a demon as such) that can be either an animal spectrum or a deceased person, affected in life by the patient. To get rid of the evil spirit, the shamans establish offerings and sacrifices to the beings.(Exorcism)

The most widespread concept is Judeo-Christian (in the Bible six times appear in which Jesus expelled demons) that have permeated in other beliefs. Spiritualism, which flourished in the late 1800s, preaches that death is an illusion and therefore, that spirits have the ability to possess human bodies. New Age believers also accept the concept “channeling” which indicates that the spirits of the dead inhabit the mediums body to communicate with the living through them.(Exorcism)

Fictional Exorcisms

The fascination of mankind for demonic possessions has been effectively exploited by Hollywood and its numerous movie premieres on the subject. “Based on a true story” attracts avid viewers of an experience similar to the classic “The Exorcist.”(Exorcism)

Released in 1974 and adapted from the novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist was an absolute sensation, which caused, among other things, hundreds of petitions to Catholic centers for exorcisms. The story is based on an article published in 1949 in the Washington Post, about the possession of a child, which was not nearly as dramatic as that portrayed in film.(Exorcism)

The author of American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty, Michael Cuneo blames the tape and its author of the modern interest in the phenomenon. However, he describes Blatty’s work as one laden with fantastic elements, sensational details and exaggerated situations.(Exorcism)

The reality of exorcisms

Outside the big screen, exorcisms are a perpetual and very real practice, applied to people with mental and emotional disorders. In this respect, science speculates that the success of exorcisms is due to the power of suggestion, that is, if you think you are possessed and that an exorcism will cure you, it could be effective.(Exorcism)

The Vatican has official guides to carry out exorcisms since 1614, revised in 1999. In it, the signs of demonic possession include “over human strength, aversion to holy water and the ability to speak in unknown languages, as well as spitting, blaspheming And excessive masturbation. “(Exorcism)

In addition to the exorcists who follow the practices established by the Vatican, there are a handful of them sanctioned by the Catholic Church around the world. Michael Cuneo attended 50 exorcisms of the type during the research for his book and assured that he never saw something supernatural or inexplicable: no levitation, no heads spinning, demonic scratches or anything like that, but people emotionally unstable on both sides of the ritual.(Exorcism)

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