An Exploration of the Spiritual Aspects of Everyday Occurrences
The Inspiration: Deliver Us From Evil
If you have not watched the movie, Deliver Us From Evil, it is based on the true account of events as recounted from the perspective of Ralph Sarchie, a police officer, regarding his investigation of a “series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes." So as to not spoil this movie for those who have not seen it, the only detail concerning the movie that will be revealed is the fact that the series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes are the result of demonic activity. Watching the movie led to this article. For those who are interested or curious, the trailer for Deliver Us From Evil appears here.
The Ultimate Source: The Holy Bible
The Biblical Perspective vs. Modern Times: Are Demons Real?
Anyone who is a Bible-believing Christian will tell you that demons are real. The entire Bible references demons, demonic possessions, and demonic oppression. Jesus specifically told his Disciples that they had power and authority to cast out demons. The Apostles also cast out demons. However, today there are many others who are skeptical of or outright deny the existence of demons, many of whom believe in ghosts and hauntings.
So, what is a demon exactly? Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a demon as:
(1) an evil spirit (b) a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin (3) an attendant power or spirit and (4) a supernatural being of Greek mythology intermediate between gods and men
The Bible tells us that a demon is a spirit being that is unclean and immoral in nature and activities. We see the evidence of demonic activity throughout the Bible, from the Old Testament to the New Testament. A few examples where spirits evidenced control over human hosts are set out in the New Testament: (1) Jesus warned in a parable of the possibility of multiple demons living in or indwelling a person; (2) Evil spirits were in the demoniac in the synagogue; (3) the Gerasene demoniac was a person who was with a spirit; (4) Many were described as having an evil or unclean spirit; and (5) such a spirit entered the young boy and then mauled and convulsed him (as summarized here).
Many who believe that demons existed during Biblical times think that there is no demonic activity today. It is rare that you find many people who will admit that they believe the existence of demons or demonic activity. However, a perusal of YouTube videos provides a plethora of opportunities to look at "possession" and "demonic activity."
Below are a few recent cases attributable to demonic possession.
Hotel Cecil Video Surveillance of Elevator
Elisa Lam was a Canadian-Asian who was visiting America alone. She resided at the infamous Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, California near the derelict Skid Row area. She was missing two weeks before her body was discovered at the bottom of a water tank on the roof of the hotel after the hotel’s patrons complained of blackish water with a foul taste. She had a history of bipolar disorder, but was seemingly fine during the time leading up to her disappearance. The footage of her last moments before her death have caused many to speculate that she was possessed by a demon or demons just prior to her untimely demise. In viewing the video footage, her behavior is definitely bizarre. She appears to be talking to someone and it is noteworthy that the elevator doors remained open for such a long amount of time before finally moving on to other floors. The raw footage from the Hotel Cecil's video surveillance of the elevator allows a glimpse of those last moments and appears above.
Latoya Ammons, Her Children, and the House on Carolina Street
According to The Blaze, in 2011, Latoya Ammons moved into a rental home with her children on Carolina Street in Gary, Indiana. Soon after, several strange events occurred, from seeing demons, swarms of flies, hearing dogs barking, and other unusual occurrences. Ms. Ammons reported her children having “evil grins” and “bulging eyes,” and speaking with strange voices. Ms. Ammons’s 9-year-old son would talk to an “invisible child,” who told him what it felt like to be killed. Ms. Ammons also saw her son thrown across a room, though no one else was present. Ms. Ammons saw her 12-year-old levitate from her bed and she only returned to the bed after Ms. Ammons and her guests prayed. Ms. Ammons also personally saw a demon. This culminated in her witnessing her demon-possessed 9-year-old son walk backwards up a wall and ceiling in an emergency room while a child services case worker and a nurse were present. The child services case worker and nurse were so terrified that they immediately ran to get a security officer, who in turn ran to get the hospital chaplain. Many of the incidents that happened are noted in hundreds of pages of official documents as reported by the Indianpolis Star. Latoya Ammons’ mother witnessed many of the events as well. Police officers were afraid to enter the Ammons’ house and city officials were afraid to set foot on the property that Latoya Ammons was renting at the time. The full article from the Indianapolis Star concerning this incident appears here. Since these events, Zak Bagans, host of “Ghost Adventures,” decided to buy the home for $35,000. He reportedly intended to document the experience of living there. “If it’s true this home is a portal to hell, then I want to go there and see what happens,” Bagans told TMZ. Since that time, the home has been demolished. "Something was inside that house that had the ability to do things that I have never seen before — things that others carrying the highest forms of credibility couldn't explain either," he told the IndyStar via email. "There was something there that was very dark yet highly intelligent and powerful." Bagans plans to release a documentary that chronicles his experiences in the near future.
The House on Carolina Street
Tormented Unknown Female
Possessed Beauty Guru
The Crazy or Possessed YouTube "Beauty Guru"
Several people have weighed in on this video. Very few speculate that the video is the result of a carefully planned, elaborate hoax produced to generate attention. This is not hard to believe as the recent quest for followers, likes, sponsors, fame, and/or attention has most people doing anything to be noticed. However, the vast majority believe this woman is possessed by a demon. Looking at the deranged actions and accompanying detached and spaced out expression on the face of the woman appearing in the video, it is apparent that a completely different scenario is highly likely. Is it a possession? View the video above and decide for yourself.
Collage of Photos Concerning the Possessions on Carolina Street
The Signs of Possession
What does demonic possession look like? For a detailed example of demonic possession, see Mark 5:2-13 as set out in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The respective verses are as follows:
2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
What can be gleaned from these verses is this list:
- Demons can cause unusual strength
- Demons can make a person unreasonable
- Demons cause excessive crying
- Demons manifest sadistic/masochistic behavior
- Demons recognize Christ as the Son of God
- Demons have names
- More than one demon can possess the same body
- Demons desire to stay in the same geographic location
- Demons can cause animals to kill themselves
- Demons desire to be in a body when it dies
Another example of characteristics appears in Mark 9:17-27. Those scriptures follow in detail:
17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
From this, the following can be ascertained:
- Demons can cause dumbness and deafness
- Demons cause rabid animal behavior in people
- Demons can indwell from childhood
- Demons cause suicidal behavior
- Demons resist leaving a person and violently "rent" the body while leaving
Other Documented Cases of Possession
"George Lukins fell into a violent fit, barking and hissing at the men before shouting that his 'torment of George Lukins would be a thousand times worse.' " He reportedly displayed seven demonic personalities, finally yelling that he was the devil himself. -1778
Clara Germana Cele prayed and made a pact with Satan when she was sixteen years-old. Within days, she was reportedly overtaken by strange impulses, was repulsed by religious artifacts like crucifixes, and could speak and understand several languages of which she had no previous knowledge. She also knew the thoughts and histories of the people she encountered. -1906
Anneliese Michel had a history of epilepsy and mental illness, for which she had often been treated at a psychiatric hospital. However, in 1973 Michel become suicidal, spurned all religious artifacts, drank her own urine, and began to hear voices. She begged her family to bring in a priest because she believed that she was possessed by demons. She died within a year, basically wasting away. A video of her exorcism can be found here. -1973
A young man named David began hearing and seeing a demon or demons. He subsequently went into convulsions and bruises appeared on his wrists and neck. He shouted and hissed at his family in Latin. Ultimately, his sister's fiancé ended up suffering as well after seeing a demon. His behavior became increasingly erratic, culminating at a small party at his rental home. According to witnesses, Arne Johnson suddenly went into a trance, growling under his breath, then walked slowly towards his landlord and stabbed him viciously in the chest multiple times. -1981
With all of the documented cases of demonic possession, as well as accounts recorded in the Bible and other religious sources, do you believe that demons exist? Consider the information in this article along with your personal experiences and complete the polls and post a comment below.