Exorcism in the Bible
In the New Testament of the Christian Bible a tale of one of the most well known demon exorcisms takes place. This exorcism is known as the Legion Exorcism and it involves an encounter between the Christian messiah, Jesus Christ, and a demon possessed man in the country of the Gergesnes people. This encounter can be found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The accounts in Mark and Luke are nearly identical, the one in Matthew is some what different...
The story says that when Jesus arrived on the Gergesenes coast, a man possessed by demons approached him. The man had abandoned his human dwelling and now lived among the dead. The people of the city tried many times to subdue him with metal shackles and chains. Being possessed by the demons like the man was gave him inhuman strength which he used to break free from the chains and shackles. Upon seeing Jesus and knowing his nature the demons became fearful and panicked which led them begging for mercy.
Jesus now knowing the name of the demon/demons demanded that Legion leave the man. Legion begged that it be allowed to enter into the bodies of a nearby herd of pigs. Jesus granted the wish casting the demons into the pigs, all of whom immediately ran into the ocean and downed. The possessed man was fine afterwards and returned to the city. Jesus however became feared by the towns people after all of this and was asked to leave the city.
From that account we now know that a demon exists outside the normally accepted rules of physical space, this means that demons can be both one or multiple demons occupying a space or host at the same time. A demon entity must also be identified by name before it can be successfully engaged and expelled. Also demons cannot be destroyed only expelled, some people believe that it is because demons and fallen angels were granted domain over the physical realm until God's final judgment of the Earth.
Today we now know more about mental illness an neurological disorders like epilepsy which would make a person appear to be possessed by demons when in fact they are just ill. This brings us to our first case of exorcism.
The mistaken exorcism of Anneliese Michel
Anneliese's extremely religious parents however chose the conclusion that she was possessed and contacted a church to conduct an exorcist. Upon showing up the church found no evidence that would suggest that Anneliese was possessed. The church would have expected to see levitation, abnormal strength, and precognition among other things. After the visit the church refused to conduct an exorcism and even told her parents that what she was suffering from wasn't spiritual. Anneliese's parents refused to listen to the church's advice to get psychological treatment and continued to seek out a church for an exorcism. Through years of begging in 1975 they family finally found a group of priests to perform and unauthorized exorcism on Anneliese. The exorcism done on Anneliese by these priests only made things worse. Eventually Anneliese began to believe her parents in the fact that she was possessed even though the exorcisms were not helping.
Eventually after so long having exorcizing rites performed multiple times a day, several days a week for an unknown amount of weeks Anneliese's health began to decline. Her mental state also started to decline as she became obsessed with ridding herself of demons. Anneliese began to perform 600 genuflections a day until her fluid sacs in her knees ruptured which is excruciatingly painful. Eventually the exorcisms came to an end on July 1, 1976 when Anneliese died of starvation after being deprived of food as part of the exorcism rites. The priests and her parents were found guilty of the charges of negligent homicide.
The real exorcism case of Roland Doe
This case of demonic possession went on to become a book titled The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty and then a movie with the same title.
Supernatural activity began to happen shortly after Roland's aunt died with squeaky and marching feet sounds as well as other strange noises. Then furniture began to move on it's own as well as other objects. The family realized that they needed a priest after a bottle of holy water that was set next to Roland moved across the table before falling and smashing on the floor. The family turned to their Lutheran pastor Rev. Luther Miles Schulze for help. First Roland was examined by medical and psychiatric doctors who had no explanation for the family as to why these strange things were happening. So the pastor decided to spend a night with Roland in his home on February 17th to observe him. Roland was sleeping in a twin bed next to the pastor who was awake at the time of and reported hearing vibrating sounds that seemed to be coming from the bed as well as scratching sounds inside the walls. During the rest of the night the pastor also witnessed a heavy armchair tip over on it's own as well as blankets moving around the room hitting people in the face all while the boy slept. The pastor concluded that an exorcism must be done on Roland. One exorcism was done but to no use as things continued to happen, so Roland was referred to Rev. Eward Hughes who had Roland place in the Jesuit unit at the Georgtown University Hospital. Rev. Eward conducted his exorcism on Roland at the hospital. During this exorcism Roland wounded Rev. Eward badly enough for him to get stitches so they sent Roland home to stay with his family. The boys family became even more distressed though when strange wounds began to appear on Roland's body. The family then took a train to St. Louis, while they were in the city Roland's cousin contacted one of his professors at St.Louis University. After getting a hold of Rev. Raymond Bishop who in turn got a hold of Rev. William S. Bowdern another visit from priests awaited the boy. The pastors noticed during their visit that the boy's aversion to anything sacred and began shaking the bed while objects began to fly around the room and Roland also began speaking in a guttural voice. Rev. Bowdern asked permission to do an exorcism on Roland and was granted permission by the church.
As the exorcism was being performed the words "hell" and "evil" began to appear on the skin of the boy. Roland also broke one of the priest's nose during the exorcism. Thirty exorcisms through out several week were performed before the final exorcism. When the final exorcism was complete loud noises began going off through out the hospital that Roland was staying at.
When exorcism was over the family were no longer troubled by supernatural activity and eventually moved back to their home. Roland went on to become a successful man with a family and claims to have no memory of the possession.
So now the question is....
Do you believe in spirit possession or is it all just a hoax?
Below is a video which has some pictures and audio from the exorcisms of Anneliese Michel.
Below is a documentary about possession