Exorcism
Overview
Exorcism is the religious practice of evicting demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

s or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed. Depending on the spiritual beliefs of the exorcist
Exorcist
In some religions an exorcist is a person who is believed to be able to cast out the devil or other demons. A priest, a nun, a monk, a healer, a shaman or other specially prepared or instructed person can be an exorcist...

, this may be done by causing the entity to swear an oath, performing an elaborate ritual
Ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

, or simply by commanding it to depart in the name of a higher power. The practice is ancient and part of the belief system of many cultures and religions.

Requested and performed exorcisms occurred rarely until the 1900’s where the public saw a sharp rise due to the media attention exorcisms were getting.
Encyclopedia
Exorcism is the religious practice of evicting demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

s or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed. Depending on the spiritual beliefs of the exorcist
Exorcist
In some religions an exorcist is a person who is believed to be able to cast out the devil or other demons. A priest, a nun, a monk, a healer, a shaman or other specially prepared or instructed person can be an exorcist...

, this may be done by causing the entity to swear an oath, performing an elaborate ritual
Ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

, or simply by commanding it to depart in the name of a higher power. The practice is ancient and part of the belief system of many cultures and religions.

Requested and performed exorcisms occurred rarely until the 1900’s where the public saw a sharp rise due to the media attention exorcisms were getting. There was “a 750% increase in the number of exorcisms performed between the early 1960s and the mid-1970s”.

Christianity

In Catholic Christianity, exorcisms are performed in the name of Jesus Christ A distinction is made between a formal exorcism, which can only be conducted by a priest during a Baptism or with the permission of a Bishop, and "prayers of deliverance" which can be said by anyone.

The Catholic rite for a formal exorcism, called a "Major Exorcism", is given in Section 13 of the Rituale Romanum. The Ritual lists guidelines for conducting an exorcism, and for determining when a formal exorcism is required. Priests are instructed to carefully determine that the nature of the affliction is not actually a psychological or medical illness before proceeding.

In Christian practice the person performing the exorcism, known as an exorcist, is often a member of the church, or an individual thought to be graced with special powers or skills. The exorcist may use prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

s, and religious material, such as set formulas, gesture
Gesture
A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate particular messages, either in place of speech or together and in parallel with spoken words. Gestures include movement of the hands, face, or other parts of the body...

s, symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

s, icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

s, amulet
Amulet
An amulet, similar to a talisman , is any object intended to bring good luck or protection to its owner.Potential amulets include gems, especially engraved gems, statues, coins, drawings, pendants, rings, plants and animals; even words said in certain occasions—for example: vade retro satana—, to...

s, etc. The exorcist often invokes God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, a litany of saints, and/or several different angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

s and archangel
Archangel
An archangel is an angel of high rank. Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism and by most Christians. Michael is the only archangel specifically named in the Protestant Bible...

s to intervene with the exorcism. It may take several weekly exorcisms over several years to expel a deeply entrenched demon.

In general, possessed persons
Demonic possession
Demonic possession is held by many belief systems to be the control of an individual by a malevolent supernatural being. Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying...

 are not regarded as evil
Evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

 in themselves, nor wholly responsible for their actions. Therefore, practitioners regard exorcism as more of a cure than a punishment. The mainstream rituals usually take this into account, making sure that there is no violence to the possessed, only that they be tied down if deemed necessary for their own protection and that of the practitioner.

Hinduism

Beliefs and practices pertaining to the practice of exorcism are prominently connected with Hindus. Of the four Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 (holy books of the Hindus), the Atharva Veda is said to contain the secrets related to magic and alchemy.
The basic means of exorcism are the mantra
Mantra
A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation"...

 and the yajna
Yajna
In Hinduism, yajna is a ritual of sacrifice derived from the practice of Vedic times. It is performed to please the gods or to attain certain wishes...

 used in both Vedic
Vedic
Vedic may refer to:* the Vedas, the oldest preserved Indic texts** Vedic Sanskrit, the language of these texts** Vedic period, during which these texts were produced** Vedic pantheon of gods mentioned in Vedas/vedic period...

 and Tantric
Tantra
Tantra , anglicised tantricism or tantrism or tantram, is the name scholars give to an inter-religious spiritual movement that arose in medieval India, expressed in scriptures ....

 traditions. Vaishnava traditions also employ a recitation of names of Narasimha
Narasimha
Narasimha or Nrusimha , also spelt as Narasingh and Narasingha, whose name literally translates from Sanskrit as "Man-lion", is an avatar of Vishnu described in the Puranas, Upanishads and other ancient religious texts of Hinduism...

 and reading scriptures, notably the Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata purana
The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna...

 aloud. According to Gita Mahatmya of Padma Purana, reading the 3rd, 7th and 8th chapter of Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
The ' , also more simply known as Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, but is frequently treated as a freestanding text, and in particular, as an Upanishad in its own right, one of the several books that constitute general Vedic tradition...

 and mentally offering the result to departed persons helps them to get released from their ghostly situation. Kirtan
Kirtan
Kirtan or Kirtana is call-and-response chanting or "responsory" performed in India's devotional traditions. A person performing kirtan is known as a kirtankar. Kirtan practice involves chanting hymns or mantras to the accompaniment of instruments such as the harmonium, tablas, the two-headed...

, continuous playing of mantras, keeping scriptures and holy pictures of the deities (Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

, Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

, Brahma
Brahma
Brahma is the Hindu god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Mānu, and from Mānu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the...

, Shakti
Shakti
Shakti from Sanskrit shak - "to be able," meaning sacred force or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism. Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes...

, etc.) (especially of Narasimha) in the house, burning incense offered during a Puja, sprinkling water from holy rivers, and blowing conches used in puja are other effective practices.

The main puranic resource on ghost and death-related information is Garuda Purana
Garuda Purana
Garuda Purana is one of the Puranas which are part of the Hindu body of texts known as smriti. It is a Vaishnava Purana and its first part contains a dialog between Vishnu and Garuda, the King of Birds...

.

Islam

In Islam, exorcism is called ruqya. It is used to repair the damage caused by sihr or witchcraft
Witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...

. It consists of reciting some specific verses from the Quran which glorify God (e.g. The Throne Verse (Arabic: آية الكرسي Ayatul Kursi), and invoke God's help. In some cases, the adhan
Adhan
The adhān is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is meaning "to permit"; another derivative of this word is , meaning "ear"....

 (the call for daily prayers) is also read, as this has the effect of repelling non-angelic unseen beings or the jinn
Jinn
Jinn are supernatural beings in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings.Jinn may also refer to:* Jinn , a Japanese band* Qui-Gon Jinn, a character in the Star Wars universe...

.

The Islamic prophet Muhammad taught his followers to read the last three sura
Sura
A sura is a division of the Qur'an, often referred to as a chapter. The term chapter is sometimes avoided, as the suras are of unequal length; the shortest sura has only three ayat while the longest contains 286 ayat...

s from the Quran, Surat al-Ikhlas
Surat al-Ikhlas
Sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ , aka Sūrat al-Tawḥīd is the 112th Sura of the Qur'an. It is a short declaration of tawhid, God's absolute unity, consisting of 4 ayat. Al-Ikhlas means "the purity" or "the refining"....

 (The Fidelity), Surat al-Falaq
Surat al-Falaq
Sūrat al-Falaq is the 113th sura of the Qur'an. It is a brief five verse invocation, asking Allah for protection from the evil of Satan...

 (The Dawn) and Surat al-Nas
Surat al-Nas
Sūrat Al-Nās , or Mankind, is the 114th and last sura, or chapter, of the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book. It is a short six-verse invocation, asking Allah for protection from the Satan. It is a Makkan sura. Together with sura Al-Falaq it is also known as Al-Mu'awwidhatayn; dealing with roughly the...

 (Mankind).

Judaism

Josephus reports exorcisms performed by administering poisonous root extracts and others by making sacrifices. The Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

 mention that exorcisms were done by the Essene branch of Judaism.

In more recent times, Rabbi Yehuda Fetaya authored the book Minchat Yahuda, which deals extensively with exorcism, his experience with possessed people, and other subjects of Jewish thought. The book is written in Hebrew and was translated into English.

Rabbi Gershon Winkler of New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 explains that the procedure for a Jewish exorcism is intended not only to drive away the possessing force, but to help both the possessor and the possessed in an act of healing. The Jewish exorcism ritual is performed by a rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 who has mastered practical Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

. Also present is a minyan
Minyan
A minyan in Judaism refers to the quorum of ten Jewish adults required for certain religious obligations. According to many non-Orthodox streams of Judaism adult females count in the minyan....

 (a group of ten adult males), who gather in a circle around the possessed person. The group recites Psalm 91
Psalm 91
Psalm 91 , referred to by its Latin title Qui habitat , is known as the Psalm of Protection. As a religious song, this Psalm is commonly invoked in times of hardship...

 three times, and then the rabbi blows a shofar
Shofar
A shofar is a horn, traditionally that of a ram, used for Jewish religious purposes. Shofar-blowing is incorporated in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.Shofar come in a variety of sizes.- Bible and rabbinic literature :...

 (a ram's horn). The shofar is blown in a certain way, with various notes and tones, in effect to "shatter the body" so that the possessing force will be shaken loose. After it has been shaken loose, the rabbi begins to communicate with it and ask it questions such as why it is possessing the body of the possessed. The minyan may pray for it and perform a ceremony for it in order to enable it to feel safe, and so that it can leave the person's body.

Scientific view

Demonic possession
Demonic possession
Demonic possession is held by many belief systems to be the control of an individual by a malevolent supernatural being. Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying...

 is not a valid psychiatric
Psychiatry
Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities...

 or medical diagnosis recognized by either the DSM-IV
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders...

 or the ICD-10. Those who profess a belief in demonic possession have sometimes ascribed the symptoms associated with mental illnesses, such as hysteria
Hysteria
Hysteria, in its colloquial use, describes unmanageable emotional excesses. People who are "hysterical" often lose self-control due to an overwhelming fear that may be caused by multiple events in one's past that involved some sort of severe conflict; the fear can be centered on a body part, or,...

, mania
Mania
Mania, the presence of which is a criterion for certain psychiatric diagnoses, is a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal, and/ or energy levels. In a sense, it is the opposite of depression...

, psychosis
Psychosis
Psychosis means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality"...

, Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy
Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures. These seizures are transient signs and/or symptoms of abnormal, excessive or hypersynchronous neuronal activity in the brain.About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, and nearly two out of every three new cases...

, schizophrenia
Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social...

 or dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis and describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities , each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment....

, to possession. In cases of dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis and describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities , each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment....

 in which the alter personality is questioned as to its identity, 29% are reported to identify themselves as demons. Additionally, there is a form of monomania
Monomania
In 19th century psychiatry, monomania is a single pathological preoccupation in an otherwise sound mind. Emotional monomania is that in which the patient is obsessed with only one emotion or several related to it; intellectual monomania is that which is related to only one kind of delirious idea...

 called demonomania or demonopathy in which the patient believes that he or she is possessed by one or more demons.

The illusion that exorcism works on people experiencing symptoms of possession is attributed by some to placebo
Placebo
A placebo is a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient...

 effect and the power of suggestion
Suggestion
Suggestion is the psychological process by which one person guides the thoughts, feelings, or behaviour of another. Nineteenth century writers on psychology such as William James used the words "suggest" and "suggestion" in senses close to those they have in common speech—one idea was said to...

. Some supposedly possessed persons are actually narcissists or are suffering from low self-esteem and act like a "demon possessed person" in order to gain attention.

Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck
M. Scott Peck
Morgan Scott Peck was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author, best known for his first book, The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978.-Biography:...

 researched exorcisms and claimed to have conducted two himself. He concluded that the Christian concept of possession was a genuine phenomenon. He derived diagnostic criteria somewhat different from those used by the Roman Catholic Church. He also claimed to see differences in exorcism procedures and progression. After his experiences, and in an attempt to get his research validated, he attempted but failed to get the psychiatric community to add the definition of "Evil" to the DSM-IV. Although Peck's earlier work was met with widespread popular acceptance, his work on the topics of evil and possession generated significant debate and derision. Much was made of his association with (and admiration for) the controversial Malachi Martin
Malachi Martin
Malachi Brendan Martin Ph.D. was a Catholic priest, theologian, writer on the Catholic Church, and professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute. He held three doctorates and was the sole author of sixteen books covering religious and geopolitical topics, which were published in eight...

, a Roman Catholic priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 and a former Jesuit, despite the fact that Peck consistently called Martin a liar and manipulator. Other criticisms leveled against Peck included misdiagnoses based upon a lack of knowledge regarding dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis and describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities , each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment....

 (formerly known as multiple personality disorder), and claims that he had transgressed the boundaries of professional ethics
Professional ethics
Professional ethics encompass the personal and corporate standards of behaviour expected of professionals.- Professional ethics :Professional people and those working in acknowledged professions exercise specialist knowledge and skill...

 by attempting to persuade his patients to accept Christianity.

Notable exorcisms

  • An October 2007 mākutu lifting
    Wainuiomata Mākutu Lifting
    During an October 2007 mākutu lifting in the Wellington, New Zealand suburb of Wainuiomata, 22-year-old Janet Moses died and a 14-year-old female relation was injured...

     in the Wellington
    Wellington
    Wellington is the capital city and third most populous urban area of New Zealand, although it is likely to have surpassed Christchurch due to the exodus following the Canterbury Earthquake. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range...

    , New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

     suburb of Wainuiomata
    Wainuiomata
    Wainuiomata is a suburban town located within the city limits of Lower Hutt - and part of the greater Wellington urban area - in the lower North Island of New Zealand...

     led to the death by drowning of a woman and the hospitalization of a teen. After a long trial, five family members were convicted and sentenced to non-custodial sentences.
  • Mother Teresa
    Mother Teresa
    Mother Teresa , born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu , was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950...

     allegedly underwent an exorcism late in life under the direction of the Archbishop of Calcutta, Henry D'Souza, after he noticed she seemed to be extremely agitated in her sleep and feared she "might be under the attack of the evil one."
  • Anneliese Michel
    Anneliese Michel
    Anneliese Michel was a German Catholic woman who was said to be possessed by demons and subsequently underwent an exorcism. Two motion pictures, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Requiem, are loosely based on Michel's story.-Early life:Anneliese Michel was born on 21 September 1952, in Leiblfing,...

     was a Catholic woman from Germany who was said to be possessed by six or more demons and subsequently underwent a secret ten-month-long voluntary exorcism in 1975. Two motion pictures, The Exorcism of Emily Rose
    The Exorcism of Emily Rose
    The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a 2005 American courtroom drama horror film directed by Scott Derrickson. The film is loosely based on the story of Anneliese Michel and follows a self-proclaimed agnostic defense lawyer representing a parish priest who is accused by the state of negligent homicide...

     and Requiem are loosely based on Anneliese's story. The documentary movie Exorcism of Anneliese Michel (in Polish, with English subtitles) features the original audio tapes from the exorcism. The two priests and her parents were convicted of negligent manslaughter for failing to call a medical doctor to address her eating disorder. When she died she weighed 68 pounds.
  • Michael Taylor
    Michael Taylor (Ossett)
    Michael Taylor, an individual from the British town of Ossett, is notable for his alleged demonic possession. Christine Taylor, the wife of Michael Taylor, expressed to the Christian Fellowship Group, of which Michael was a part, that his relationship with the lay leader of the group, Marie...

     in 1974.
  • A boy identified as Robbie Mannheim, was the subject of an exorcism in 1949, which became the chief inspiration for The Exorcist
    The Exorcist
    The Exorcist is a novel of supernatural suspense by William Peter Blatty, published by Harper & Row in 1971. It was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University, a Jesuit school...

    , a horror novel and film written by William Peter Blatty
    William Peter Blatty
    William Peter Blatty is an American writer and filmmaker. The novel The Exorcist, written in 1971, is his magnum opus; he also penned the subsequent screenplay version of the film, for which he won an Academy Award....

    , who heard about the case while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University
    Georgetown University
    Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

    . Robbie was taken into the care of Rev. Luther Miles Schulze, the boy's Lutheran pastor, after psychiatric
    Psychiatrist
    A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. All psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation and in psychotherapy...

     and medical doctors were unable to explain the disturbing events associated with the teen; the minister then referred the boy to Rev. Edward Hughes, who performed the first exorcism on the teen. The subsequent exorcism was partially performed in both Cottage City, Maryland
    Cottage City, Maryland
    Cottage City is a town in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 1,136 at the 2000 census. Cottage City is a small, quiet community lying between Eastern Avenue , Brentwood, Colmar Manor, and the Anacostia River...

     and Bel-Nor, Missouri
    Bel-Nor, Missouri
    Bel-Nor is a northern suburban village in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 1,499 as of the 2010 census. The events that were the basis for the 1971 novel and 1973 movie The Exorcist have a connection to the village of Bel-Nor....

     by Father William S. Bowdern
    William S. Bowdern
    Father William S. Bowdern, S.J. was a Jesuit Roman Catholic priest in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. He was the author of The Problems of Courtship and Marriage printed by Our Sunday Visitor in 1939. He was a graduate of and taught at St. Louis University High School; he also taught at St....

    , S.J., Father Raymond Bishop S.J. and a then Jesuit scholastic Fr. Walter Halloran
    Walter Halloran
    Father Walter Halloran, SJ was a Jesuit Roman Catholic Christian priest who, at the age of twenty-six, assisted in the exorcism of Robbie Mannheim, a thirteen year old Lutheran boy in St. Louis, Missouri who it is said became possessed after using a Ouija board...

    , S.J.
  • Salvador Dalí
    Salvador Dalí
    Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

     is reputed to have received an exorcism from Italian friar
    Friar
    A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders.-Friars and monks:...

    , Gabriele Maria Berardi, while he was in France in 1947. Dali created a sculpture of Christ on the cross that he gave the friar in thanks.
  • Clara Germana Cele
    Clara Germana Cele
    Clara Germana Cele was a Christian woman, who in 1906, was said to be possessed by a demon.-Possession:She is said to have been possessed when she was a sixteen year old school girl at St. Michael's Mission in Natal, South Africa. The girl was an orphan of black origin and was baptised as an infant...

     was a South African
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

     school girl who claimed to be possessed in 1906.
  • Johann Blumhardt
    Johann Blumhardt
    Johann Christoph Blumhardt was a German Lutheran theologian and the father of Christoph Blumhardt.The elder Blumhardt was educated for the Reformed ministry and, after a brief term as executive for a missionary society, became pastor in Möttlingen, an obscure village of Württemberg, southern Germany...

     performed the exorcism of Gottliebin Dittus over a two year period in Möttlingen, Germany from 1842-1844. Pastor Blumhardt's parish subsequently experienced growth marked by confession and healing, which he attributed to the successful exorcism.
  • George Lukins
    George Lukins
    George Lukins, also known as the Yatton dœmoniac, was an individual famous for his alleged demonic possession and the subsequent exorcism that occurred when he was aged forty-four; his case occasioned great controversy in England.-Biography:...

     in 1778.

Cultural references

Exorcism has been a popular subject in fiction, especially horror
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

.
  • The Dybbuk (1914 play by S. Ansky
    S. Ansky
    Shloyme Zanvl Rappoport , known by his pseudonym S. Ansky , was a Russian Jewish author, playwright, and researcher of Jewish folklore....

    )
  • The Exorcist
    The Exorcist
    The Exorcist is a novel of supernatural suspense by William Peter Blatty, published by Harper & Row in 1971. It was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University, a Jesuit school...

     (1971 novel by William Peter Blatty
    William Peter Blatty
    William Peter Blatty is an American writer and filmmaker. The novel The Exorcist, written in 1971, is his magnum opus; he also penned the subsequent screenplay version of the film, for which he won an Academy Award....

    ; inspired by exorcism of Robbie Mannheim)
  • The Exorcist
    The Exorcist (film)
    The Exorcist is a 1973 American horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty and based on the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim, dealing with the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s desperate attempts to win back her...

     (1973 film, and its sequels and prequels, were inspired by the exorcism of Robbie Mannheim and the Roman Catholic ritual of exorcism; based on the novels by William Peter Blatty
    William Peter Blatty
    William Peter Blatty is an American writer and filmmaker. The novel The Exorcist, written in 1971, is his magnum opus; he also penned the subsequent screenplay version of the film, for which he won an Academy Award....

    ).
  • Repossessed
    Repossessed
    Repossessed is a 1990 comedy film that spoofs the 1973 horror film The Exorcist. It was written and directed by Bob Logan. The film features the original star of The Exorcist, Linda Blair, as well as Leslie Nielsen and Anthony Starke...

     (1990 comic movie starring Linda Blair
    Linda Blair
    Linda Denise Blair is an American actress. Blair is best known for her role as the possessed child, Regan, in the 1973 film The Exorcist, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes, winning one. She reprised her role in 1977's Exorcist II: The Heretic.-Biography:Blair...

     and Leslie Nielsen
    Leslie Nielsen
    Leslie William Nielsen, OC was a Canadian and naturalized American actor and comedian. Nielsen appeared in more than one hundred films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying more than 220 characters...

    )
  • Days of Our Lives
    Days of our Lives
    Days of our Lives is a long running daytime soap opera broadcast on the NBC television network. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday in the United States since November 8, 1965. It has since been syndicated to many countries around...

     (1995 saw the first ever excorcism performed on a daytime soap opera)
  • Stigmata
    Stigmata (film)
    Stigmata is a 1999 supernatural horror film directed by Rupert Wainwright and starring Patricia Arquette as a hairdresser from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who is afflicted with the stigmata after acquiring a rosary formerly owned by a deceased Italian priest who himself suffered from the phenomena...

     (1999 film starring Patricia Arquette and Gabriel Bryne)
  • Possessed
    Possessed (2000 film)
    Possessed is the name of a 2000 Showtime original movie starring Timothy Dalton, based on events appearing in the book Possessed by Thomas B. Allen, which is inspired by the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim;...

     (2000 film inspired by exorcism of Robbie Mannheim)
  • Exorcist: The Beginning
    Exorcist: The Beginning
    Exorcist: The Beginning is a 2004 prequel to the 1973 film The Exorcist. This is the second version of the third Exorcist sequel. It was adapted by William Wisher Jr., Caleb Carr and Alexi Hawley, and directed by Renny Harlin...

     (2004 movie) a prequel to the 1973 film The Exorcist
    The Exorcist (film)
    The Exorcist is a 1973 American horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty and based on the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim, dealing with the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s desperate attempts to win back her...

    .
  • Supernatural
    Supernatural (TV series)
    Supernatural is an American supernatural and horror television series created by Eric Kripke, which debuted on September 13, 2005 on The WB, and is now part of The CW's lineup. Starring Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, the series follows the brothers as they...

     (2005 television series)
  • Constantine
    Constantine (film)
    Constantine is a 2005 American action horror film directed by Francis Lawrence as his directorial debut, starring Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, with Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton, and Djimon Hounsou...

     (2005 movie) is based on the DC
    DC Comics
    DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

    /Vertigo comic book
    Comic book
    A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

     Hellblazer
    Hellblazer
    Hellblazer is a contemporary horror comic book series, originally published by DC Comics, and subsequently by the Vertigo imprint since March 1993, the month the imprint was introduced, where it remains to this day...

    .
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose
    The Exorcism of Emily Rose
    The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a 2005 American courtroom drama horror film directed by Scott Derrickson. The film is loosely based on the story of Anneliese Michel and follows a self-proclaimed agnostic defense lawyer representing a parish priest who is accused by the state of negligent homicide...

     (2005 movie) was inspired by the Anneliese Michel
    Anneliese Michel
    Anneliese Michel was a German Catholic woman who was said to be possessed by demons and subsequently underwent an exorcism. Two motion pictures, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Requiem, are loosely based on Michel's story.-Early life:Anneliese Michel was born on 21 September 1952, in Leiblfing,...

     case.
  • Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist
    Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist
    Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist is a 2005 supernatural horror film directed by Paul Schrader. It is a prequel to The Exorcist .-Plot:...

     (2005 movie) was an alternate prequel to The Exorcist
    The Exorcist (film)
    The Exorcist is a 1973 American horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty and based on the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim, dealing with the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s desperate attempts to win back her...

     directed by Paul Schrader
    Paul Schrader
    Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and former film critic. Apart from his credentials as a director, Schrader is most notably known for his screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull....

    .
  • A Haunting
    A Haunting
    A Haunting is an American paranormal docudrama anthology television series that originally aired from October 28, 2005 to November 9, 2007 on the Discovery Channel. The program features narrations, interviews, and dramatic re-enactments based on various accounts of paranormal experiences at...

     (2005 Discovery Channel TV series about reportedly true stories, many involving demons and exorcisms.)
  • Requiem
    Requiem (film)
    Requiem is a 2006 German drama film directed by Hans-Christian Schmid. It stars Sandra Hüller as an epileptic woman, Michaela Klingler, believed by members of her church and herself to be possessed...

     (2006 German-language movie by Hans-Christian Schmid) is based on the Anneliese Michel
    Anneliese Michel
    Anneliese Michel was a German Catholic woman who was said to be possessed by demons and subsequently underwent an exorcism. Two motion pictures, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Requiem, are loosely based on Michel's story.-Early life:Anneliese Michel was born on 21 September 1952, in Leiblfing,...

     case.
  • D.Gray-man
    D.Gray-man
    is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsura Hoshino. The series tells the story of a boy named Allen Walker, a member of an organization of Exorcists who makes use of an ancient substance called Innocence to combat the Millennium Earl and his demonic army of akuma...

     (2006 Japanese animation series by Hoshino Katsura)
  • Grudge 2 (2006 English movie based on the Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    ese Ju-on
    Ju-on
    is the title of a series of horror films by Japanese director Takashi Shimizu. Shimizu attended the Film School of Tokyo, where he studied under Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Kurosawa helped Shimizu shepherd the Ju-on projects to fruition.-History:...

     series)
  • Apparitions
    Apparitions (TV series)
    Apparitions is a BBC drama about a priest, played by Martin Shaw, who examines evidence of miracles to be used in canonisation but also carries out exorcisms.The series is written by Joe Ahearne.- Episode 1 :...

     (2008 TV series)
  • Boys Do Cry
    Boys Do Cry
    "Boys Do Cry" is the fifteenth episode of Family Guy's fifth season, originally airing on the Fox TV Channel on April 29, 2007. The episode follows the Griffin family after Lois gets a job as an organist at the local church, and she insists that the rest of the family go to church with her...

     (2007 Family Guy episode about the town of Quahog trying to exorcise Stewie, forcing the family to leave Rhode Island)
  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
    Bullshit!
    Penn & Teller: Bullshit! is an American documentary television series that aired from 2003 to 2010 on the premium cable channel Showtime. In Canada, the series aired on The Movie Network and Movie Central.- Overview :...

     (Showtime TV series) Season 5, Episode 5 - "Exorcism", air date: April 19, 2007. Provides some skeptical commentary on the usefulness and scientific validity of exorcisms.
  • 1920
    1920 (film)
    1920 is a 2008 Indian horror film written and directed by Vikram Bhatt. Filmed in Hindi, the film revolves around the events surrounding a married couple living in a haunted house in the year 1920. The film stars debutant actors Rajneesh Duggal and Adah Sharma as the married couple...

     (2008 Bollywood movie)
  • True Blood
    True Blood
    True Blood is an American television series created and produced by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, detailing the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional, small town in the state of Louisiana...

     (2008 HBO television series)
  • Paranormal State
    Paranormal State
    Paranormal State is an American paranormal reality television series that premiered on the A&E Network on December 10, 2007. The program follows and stars the Pennsylvania State University Paranormal Research Society, a student-led college club...

     (2008 A&E TV series)
  • The Unborn (2009 film)
  • Blue Exorcist(2009 Japanese manga)
  • The Last Exorcism
    The Last Exorcism
    The Last Exorcism is a 2010 American found footage horror film directed and edited by Daniel Stamm. It stars Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, and Louis Herthum....

     (2010 American mockumentary horror film about "a troubled evangelical minister who agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew".)
  • The Rite (2011 film)
  • Season of the Witch (2011 film)
  • The Devil Inside
    The Devil Inside (film)
    The Devil Inside is an American supernatural horror film directed and co-written by William Brent Bell, as a documentary-style film about a woman who becomes involved in a series of exorcisms during her quest to determine what happened to her mother, a woman who murdered three people as a result of...

     (2012 film)

Gallery



File:Folio 166r - The Exorcism.jpg|A boy possessed by a demon
File:Folio 164r - The Canaanite Woman.jpg|The Canaanite woman's daughter
File:Healing of the demon-possessed.jpg|The Gerasenes demonic
File:Christus heilt einen Besessenen.jpg|At the Synagogue in Capernaum
Exorcism at the Synagogue in Capernaum
The Exorcism at the Synagogue in Capernaum is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels, i.e. Mark 1:21-28 and Luke 4:31-37.According to the Gospels, on the Sabbath Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum, and Jesus began to teach. People were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as...


File:Sant Apollinare Nuovo - Healing of the demon-possessed.jpg|Christ exorcising at sunset
File:Schnorr von Carolsfeld Bibel in Bildern 1860 191.png|The blind and mute man
Exorcising the blind and mute man
Exorcising the blind and mute man is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels, i.e. Matthew 12:22-32, Luke 11:14-23 and Mark 3:20-30.According to the Gospels, Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, so that he could both talk and see...


File:JesusCuresamute.gif|Exorcising a mute
File:GiottoArezzo.jpg|Saint Francis
Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the lay Third Order of Saint Francis. St...

 exorcised demons in Arezzo
Arezzo
Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000....

, in a depiction on a fresco by Giotto.


See also

  • Exorcist
    Exorcist
    In some religions an exorcist is a person who is believed to be able to cast out the devil or other demons. A priest, a nun, a monk, a healer, a shaman or other specially prepared or instructed person can be an exorcist...

  • Deliverance ministry
    Deliverance ministry
    In charismatic Christianity, deliverance ministries are activities carried out by individuals or groups aimed at solving problems related to demons and spirits, especially possession. Leaders of and adherents to these ministries emphasize the activities of evil spirits in many physical,...

  • International Association of Exorcists
    International Association of Exorcists
    International Association of Exorcists is a Roman Catholic organization that was founded in 1990 by six priests including the world-famous exorcist of Rome, Father Gabriele Amorth and Father Jeremy Davies.-History:...

  • Kecak
    Kecak
    Kecak is a form of Balinese dance and music drama, originated in the 1930s Bali and is performed primarily by men, although a few women's kecak groups exist as of 2006....

  • List of exorcists
  • Yoruba religion
  • Gay exorcism
    Gay exorcism
    Gay exorcisms , similar to demonic exorcisms, are where an exorcist evicts "homosexual demons" or other spiritual entities from a LGBT individual. These exorcisms are intended to remove homosexuality from an individual...


Further reading

  • William Baldwin, D.D.S., Ph.D., "Spirit Releasement Therapy". ISBN 1-882658-00-0. Practitioner & Instructor of Spirit Releasement Therapy, containing an extensive bibliography.
  • Shakuntala Modi, M.D., "Remarkable Healings, A Psychiatrist Discovers Unsuspected Roots of Mental and Physical Illness." ISBN 1-57174-079-1 Gives cases, and statistical summaries of the kinds of maladies remedied by this therapy.
  • Bobby Jindal
    Bobby Jindal
    Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is the 55th and current Governor of Louisiana and formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives. He is a member of the Republican Party....

    , BEATING A DEMON: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare. (New Oxford Review, December 1994)
  • David M. Kiely
    David M. Kiely
    David M. Kiely is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Having worked in advertising in several countries, he returned to Ireland in 1991, to take up writing full time. His first book was published in 1994...

     and Christina McKenna
    Christina McKenna
    Christina McKenna is an author who was born and grew up in Draperstown, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. McKenna attended the Belfast College of Art where she obtained an honours degree in Fine Art and studied postgraduate English at the University of Ulster...

    , The Dark Sacrament : True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism. San Francisco: HarperOne, 2007. ISBN 0061238163. Ten detailed accounts from the casebooks of two exorcists, one Roman Catholic, the other Anglican. The cases are very recent.
  • Malachi Martin
    Malachi Martin
    Malachi Brendan Martin Ph.D. was a Catholic priest, theologian, writer on the Catholic Church, and professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute. He held three doctorates and was the sole author of sixteen books covering religious and geopolitical topics, which were published in eight...

    , Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans. ISBN 0-06-065337-X.
  • M. Scott Peck
    M. Scott Peck
    Morgan Scott Peck was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author, best known for his first book, The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978.-Biography:...

    , Glimpses of the Devil : A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption. ISBN
  • Max Heindel
    Max Heindel
    Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. He died on January 6, 1919 at Oceanside, California, United States.- Early infancy :...

    , The Web of Destiny (Chapter I - Part III: "The Dweller on the Threshold" Earth-Bound Spirits, Part IV: The "Sin Body"--Possession by Self-Made Daemons—Elementals, Part V: Obsession of Man and of Animals), ISBN 0-911274-17-0
  • Frederick M Smith, The Self Possessed: Deity and Spirit Possession in South Asian Literature and Civilization. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-231-13748-6
  • Gabriele Amorth
    Gabriele Amorth
    Gabriele Amorth is an Italian Roman Catholic priest and an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome who claims to have cleansed tens of thousands of people of evil spirits. Controversially, he believes that practising yoga is satanic and leads to evil just like reading JK Rowling’s Harry Potter...

    , An Exorcist Tells His Story. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999. Vatican's chief exorcist tells about Roman Catholic practice of exorcism with numerous anecdotes from his own experience.
  • G. Paxia, The Devil's Scourge - Exorcism during the Italian Renaissance, Ed. WeiserBooks 2002.
  • J McCarthy The Exorcists Handbook - Approaches the subject of exorcism in a clear non-religious manner. Golem Media Publishers Berkeley CA ISBN 978-1-933993-91-1

External links

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