We have been getting a lot of emails lately about demons and possible possessions. Lately movies, TV, books, and even other teams are scaring a good percentage of the public. Even the above gif file of the eyes, can scare people into thinking of demons. There are even books out there now with titles like 'how to know if you are possessed by a demon'. Putting fear into the public is a great way to sell books, movies, TV and tickets to 'demon' classes. Even I as a child was scared to death from watching the movie the Exorcist - and even to this day it creeps me out.
It has been found that most of the exorcisms performed by the churches in the last 200 years, were performed on people that might have had medical issues like
And what kind of exorcism would this have been? Seeing as this group was a group with no legality behind them, what made them experts on performing such a ritual? In theory, if we are talking about what is thought to be a real demon from scripture, a real exorcism can only come from a priest, and he has to get special permission from the Vatican to perform the ritual. And not every priest can perform the ritual, only a few are selected to go through the program to become exorcists (I believe there are only about 2 who are actual Exorcists in Canada).. There are groups that read from the Bible and claim they can perform exorcisms, but most of them have no clue what they are doing.
So that brings another question - can only priests do exorcisms?
Many cultures have their own beliefs on demons, not just the Catholic religion, but most exorcisms are performed on Christians from the Catholic religion. (there are other religions in other parts of the world that perform their own, but we don't usually hear about it) The main basis of an exorcism is to expel the demons out with the light and might of the higher powers. But for an exorcism to work, theory states there has to be a strong belief from both parties.
What is sad is that there seems to be a new found money making scheme from scam artists who prey on the fear of those who are truly scared. I have been contacted with complaints of 'Cleansers' or 'House Blesses' that will only do what they promised, if they are paid. And sometimes if they scare a person enough, they can keep coming back doing more and more 'cleansings' or 'exorcisms', and making a good profit. I had a complaint about one 'paranormal' team that the partner will go in - say the house is 'haunted' with a bad spirit - but for a 'donation' - his partner can cleanse it. The last complaint I got about this group, he had the homeowner so scared that is was worse than she thought, that his partner would probably have to come out to do 3 or 4 cleansings (and this is a group that claims to be non-profit). I told her as I tell everyone else - when you get a suspected scam artist in your home like this - contact the city, town, province, state - to see if they have a business license. Then contact bylaw and put in a complaint. Its always good to inform the police, especially if money has left your hands for such a service, and you feel you have been 'conned'. If they are asking for money, they are making money and should report it to the IRS or Revenue Canada (depending on where you live), and should be listed as a licensed business. Either way, you should get a receipt. Especially if its a 'donation' - ask for proof of their non-profit or society status. We don't ask for donations or money for our investigations, but I always carry a copy of our incorporation papers with our societies legalized number on it.
The Devil made me do it.
That phrase is still prevalent in today's culture. Again usually associated with religion, a persons actions are blamed on the Devil or 'Satan'. How many stories have you heard in the news about a murderer or pedophile blaming his/her actions on the fact they were possessed by the Devil or a Demon? When in fact, they have been shown to have schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses, or they have personal reasons for what they did, or financial, or just the fact they got a rush in their horrible actions. I have even heard of spouses cheating on each other and blaming their actions on the fact that the Devil got in them, and they didn't know what they were doing. In a way, society has given us another outlet for hundreds of years, for not being responsible for our own actions, or knowing right from wrong - especially when we get caught.
But are demons real? If not what are the possible explanations?
Its like with everything associated with the paranormal, it cannot be fully proven, and some argue that it cannot be disproven either.
And I know the question is going to come up 'but what about the 50 years research done by the Warrens?'. They were considered experts in the field of demonology. The problem I have with their research, almost every investigation they went on, they proclaimed a demon was involved. Then why all the other professional paranormal investigators that have been in the field for over 35 years (including in the UK) - have never come across a demon in their research? Because most paranormal investigators are looking for all explanations, so that they can rule out everything else to get to the paranormal. I am not discrediting the research the Warrens did, but there are questions that do have to be asked, as there has to be with all research (including ours). Those that proclaim themselves to be paranormal investigators and demon experts, go into an investigation looking for a demon, thusly they believe a demon is involved already. And no matter what happens, will say a demon did it.
Now when it comes to research, a lot of professional investigators including ourselves, have encountered what is know as 'mischievous' or negative energies. Again, other teams call these demons, when they don't have what is known and believed to be demon characteristics. If a ghost or spirit is thought to be mischievous, by moving things around, or even saying angry things, doesn't mean its a demon. It means it might want attention, and maybe doesn't like the situation it finds itself in. If the entity/spirit/ghost is saying negative or threatening things, it can play with a persons mind and make them very scared. It is believed that these energies 'feed' of increased emotional stress. Even though we ourselves have encountered such activity, we have not found any as of yet, that actually cause physical harm.
When we get contacted by people who think they are suffering a possession, some of the symptoms they describe is increased lethargy, negative thoughts, and feeling 'trapped' and being 'watched' - feeling like there is something in the room with them. These are also symptoms of depression. That is why it is SO IMPORTANT to get assessed by a medical expert.
Another thing that could cause these symptoms in increased EMF (Electrical Magnetic Fields). These can be caused naturally or by electronics. High concentrations of these fields can cause these symptoms. That's why its important for a team when going into an investigation not only use their EMF reader to pick up paranormal energies, but natural/man made electrical energies as well. Another natural occurrence that can cause these symptoms is low level sound. This can be caused by everything from sewage pipes, to sounds travelling underground from drilling, factories, etc.
Another thing we have noticed is in former drug users, they also suffer these symptoms. When someone is a heavy drug user, and after they get clean, there are parts of the brain that are damaged. I know people personally who are in their 40's that somehow miraculously made it through their drug use, who are now suffering symptoms very similar to the onset of Alzheimer's, to tremors, to the symptoms described above. I know there are many who would love to argue with me, but illegal narcotics/drugs do damage the brain. Even heavy use of the prescribed drugs that are abused, same thing.
So what makes us experts?
We are not , no one is. Beware of people who claim to be. But we have had people close to us in our lives that have suffered from addictions and mental illness. We have studied and researched the paranormal for a collective of 25 years. We have people on our team from many different faith backgrounds (including non-believers). We even have Catholics represented. And even our team member who is Catholic is even a bit suspicious of possession (this person is dedicated to her church and community, so they are a practicing Catholic). Another team member is ordained in another faith, that doesn't believe in Satan, or God being a bearded guy - but believes there are negative energies, and that 'God' is a male/female energy. It helps to have people with different beliefs involved in an investigation - because then there are other theories that might come into play that will explain better what is happening if there is a paranormal occurrence.
Again if you think you are possessed, get to a doctor right away. And stay off the internet looking for the 'symptoms', because if you get convinced enough - the mind is a powerful thing, you will think yourself into fully believing you are possessed, although you might be suffering from an illness that needs to be looked after immediately. And even when something as simple as a large truck goes by and shakes your place, you will think its a demon and really psych yourself out.
So are demons real? Again, we cannot say they don't exist, but there are a lot of explanations out there of what else these experiences could be, and have proven to be. I plan on studying more on the subject in the near future, but again it doesn't matter how much I study - I will never become a demon expert. Again as I stated before - there is no such thing. A lot of us can even say we are experts in the field of the paranormal - but its better to say we are 'experienced', but not expert. Demons and the paranormal are not a proven (or disproven) field. Its like proving the existence of Aliens. Until we have one right in front of us - its all theory.
So before contacting a team about the possibility of you or a loved one being possessed, PLEASE contact a doctor first. Again, everything has to be ruled out before a truthful, real investigation can begin.