The phenomenon of demonic possession and exorcism has both persisted since the rise of modern Christianity; demonic possession is a very rare phenomenon. Although it happens more often than people realize, it is still considered rare.
Demonic possession is held by many belief systems to be the control of an individual by a malevolent supernatural being and exorcism is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed.

To positively identify a demonic possession there three list that one should take in consideration. A fair number of the items listed in the above category could be the result of a human spirit or mental state. This is why you have to look at all three columns together to get a fair sampling. Below are the three lists.

Mental Changes Affecting The Person

  • Look for changes in personality. This is usually seen when the person is affable and suddenly becomes extremely quiet.
  • Someone who is normally very active suddenly becomes isolative.
  • Look for changes in sleep patterns.
  • Look for sudden weight loss or gain.
  • Look for changes in attitude and behaviour, usually becoming hostile.
  • Someone who begins cursing a lot when that is out of character for them.
  • Notice if they suddenly have an aversion to religious objects. They may be a person who normally goes to Church but suddenly despises the thought.
  • Look for evidence of self- mutilation.
  • Look for changes in the way the person dresses.
  • Observe their personal hygiene and look for changes.
  • Look for evidence of occult materials in the room.

  • Look for destructiveness on the part of a person, especially if that destruction is of religious objects.
  • They may become abusive and threatening for no reason.
  • They may become violent. They often attempt to hurt animals.
  • The person may experience severe nightmares or night terrors.
  • They may perform acts of humiliation, such as urinating on themselves, etc.
  • They may be sexually pre-occupied; Excessive masturbation or doing it in front of others.
  • Take note of what appears to be a different personality or multiple personalities.
  • Look for unusual changes in diet. Foods that were once favourites may now be repulsive to the person. They may eat foods that they once detested.
  • Take note if they seem to have blackouts in their memory.

    Physical Changes Affecting the Person

    • The person involved may go for long periods of time without blinking their eyes. (Can indicate a neurological condition)
    • The person may appear catatonic. (Can also be a sign of mental illness)
    • The person speaks a language they could not possibly know. (Or speak English with unusual accents.)
    • The person speaks in tongues.
    • The person will become completely rigid where they cannot be moved at all, even by multiple people.
    • Look for changes in the eyes. They may turn almost black like shark eyes.
    • Look for obvious changes in their features.
    • The person may possess inhuman strength.
    • The person may exhibit “precognition,” the ability to predict the future.
    • The person displays “retro cognition,” the ability to know about past events they should not know about.
    • The person may be able to know something about a person they have not met.

    • Their voice may change. It may go from high to low to guttural.
    • They may be able to tell what you are thinking.
    • They may move in some unusual way. For example, they may seem to glide instead of walk.
    • Writing or symbols may appear on the body in the form of welts and scratches. Look especially in areas they could not reach.
    • They may levitate.
    • Hair or eye colour may change.
    • There may be multiple voices coming from the person at the same time.
    • Take note if animals appear to be frightened of the person, especially if they begin acting fearful when there are personality changes in the person.
    Outward Manifestations

    • Objects move around seemingly by themselves.
    • Objects may disappear and not be found again. (Asporting)
    • Objects may disappear and be found in another location. (Teleporting)
    • Objects may disappear and later be found where they originally were.
    • Objects may come from nowhere. (Apports)
    • Knocking, banging or pounding may be heard throughout the house or in just one room.
    • Objects fly around as if they were thrown from unseen hands.
    • There may be knocks at the door but no one is ever there. These are often heard in threes, as this is a way of mocking the Holy Trinity. Ditto for doorbells.
    • Religious articles disappear or are destroyed. They may also be desecrated.
    • Growling may be heard but the source cannot be located.
    • There may be scratching sounds heard without an obvious source.
    • There may be foul odours that have no verifiable source. They may come and go.

    • Odd lights may be seen. They may shoot around a room.
    • Heavy furniture may move on its own.
    • There may be sightings of people or dark shadows that may or may not have form.
    • Odd-looking creatures may be seen.
    • Doors and drawers may open and close on their own.
    • Electrical appliances may turn on or off.
    • Spontaneous fires may start up.
    • Animals may become spooked and stay away from the targeted person altogether.
    • Animals may growl at something they see but you do not.
    • Any talk of God or religion may cause an outbreak of activity.
    • Glass may break for no reason.
    • Sounds of glass breaking may be heard but there is no evidence of it happening.
    • There may be sudden temperature changes, up and down although it is usually down. These can be recorder on a thermometer.
    • A person may suddenly become cold while the temperature remains constant. A thermometer may record a one to two degree drop in that person.

    • People may have a feeling of being watched or that they are not alone.
    • People may hear voices when no one is present.
    • People will often hear their name called only to find that no one is around. Sometimes, a couple will each think they heard the other call to them.
    • There may be a sensation of wind blowing even with the windows closed.
    • Lights will go off or not come on when turned on.
    • Apparent retaliation after some attempt to stop the activity.
    • Activity starts up when you attempt to say prayers.
    • Apparent retaliation if a clergyman has been to the home.
    • Physical attacks. It might be in the form of punching, scratching, biting, hair pulling, etc.
    • Psychological attacks. The devil knows your weaknesses and will try to exploit them. Someone who feels ashamed about something will have an increase in that emotion. The same is true for depression, anxiety and anything else you can think of.
    • Sexual assaults. This can run the gamut from fondling to actual penetration. This can occur in males as well as females.
    • Levitation of objects or people.

    If any of the above takes place and stop when commanded to in the name of God, or if holy water stops the activity, that is a good sign of a serious problem. However, judging one or two items by itself is not a large enough sample to conclusively prove the influence of something diabolical.

    During an exorcism, anything or nothing can happen. There is no set standard. In some cases, all hell seems to break loose; in others, not a peep is heard. Sometimes the smell of roses permeates the location, a positive sign that the entity has been expelled. However, it can take some time before you are sure an exorcism has worked. Sometimes the Ritual forces them into a state of dormancy. However, at a later date, the problem may arise again. In many cases, multiple exorcisms may have to take place. The devil can be a persistent force and it will hold on for as long as it can. It sometimes comes down to attrition.

    The person who performs the exorcism must know the risks. There is likely to be retaliation so that person must stay in God’s light at all times. There is no sense of time on the other side so even though an exorcism was performed ten years ago, there is still the risk of retaliation. There is always the risk of retaliation.

    • Anneliese Michel

    Anneliese Michel was born on September 21, 1952 in Leiblfing, Bavaria, West Germany to a strict Catholic family. When she was sixteen, she suffered a severe convulsion and was diagnosed as having epilepsy.Soon, she began hallucinating while praying. In 1973, she suffered from depression and began to hear voices telling her that she was “damned” and would "rot in hell".

    Her treatment in an unnamed psychiatric hospital did not improve Michel’s health. Moreover, her depression began to deepen. She grew increasingly frustrated with medical intervention as it did not help. Long-term medical treatment proved unsuccessful; her condition, including her depression, worsened with time. A devout Catholic, Michel began to attribute her condition to demonic possession. Michel became intolerant of sacred places and objects, such as the crucifix, which she attributed to her own demonic possession. Throughout the course of the religious rites Michel underwent, she was prescribed anti-psychotic drugs, which she may not have taken.

    In June 1970, Michel suffered a third seizure at the psychiatric hospital where she had been staying and was prescribed anti-convulsions for the first time. In November 1973, Michel started her treatment with Tegretol (carbamazepine), an anti-seizure drug and mood stabilizer. Michel took this medicine frequently, until shortly before her death.

    Anneliese went on a pilgrimage to San Damiano with a good friend of the family, Thea Hein, who regularly organized such pilgrimages to “holy places” not officially recognized by the church. Because Anneliese was unable to walk past a crucifix and refused to drink the water of a holy spring, her escort concluded that she was suffering from demonic possession. Both Anneliese and her family became convinced she was possessed and consulted several priests, asking for an exorcism.

    Eventually, in a nearby town, they came across vicar Ernst Alt, who, after seeing Anneliese, declared that she didn't “look like an epileptic” and that he didn't see her having seizures. In September 1975, Bishop Josef Stangl granted Father Renz permission to exorcise according to the Rituale Romanum of 1614, but ordered total secrecy. Renz performed the first session on 24 September. Sixty-seven exorcism sessions, one or two each week, lasting up to four hours, were performed over about ten months in 1975 and 1976. At some point, Michel began talking increasingly about dying to atone for the wayward youth of the day and the apostate priests of the modern church, and she refused to eat. At her own request, doctors were no longer being consulted.

    On 1 July 1976, Anneliese died in her sleep. The autopsy report stated the cause of death as malnutrition and dehydration from almost a year of semi-starvation while the rites of exorcism were performed. She weighed 68 pounds (30.91 kilograms).


    Residing in the small British town of Ossett, Michael Taylor, by the accounts of the priest who performed the rites of exorcism, he was possessed by over forty demons.
    It was suspected by his wife that Taylor was perhaps having an affair with the leader of the church. Whether or not that proved to be true he eventually had a series of violent outbursts with the minister, prompting an investigation into the man. By his own account he felt a presence of evil inside of him. Taking his word for it, a series of ministers from around the country were brought in to collectively cast out the demons. Over the course of over two days in early October 1974 forty demons were cast out of Taylor. Despite this, something was still wrong.
    The priests were exhausted by the two day ritual and permitted Taylor to return home so they could rest. They warned him, however, that he was still possessed by several demons, one of which was a demon of murder. Once he got there he murdered his wife and family dog. Police found the man standing in the streets nude and covered in blood. He was eventually found guilty of murder as well as being insane.

    The exorcism of Roland Doe refers to events surrounding the supposed possessed status and exorcism of an anonymous American boy, which occurred in the late 1940s: Roland Doe  is the pseudonym assigned to the exorcized boy by the Catholic Church. Later the pseudonym was changed by author Thomas B. Allen to "Robbie Mannheim

    Born into a family with no brothers or sisters, Robbie Mannheim relied on the companionship of his Aunt Harriet as opposed to other kids. Harriet was a Spiritualist and a practicing Christian who must have read the Bible with her eyes closed: one of her favorite activities with her nephew was contacting spirits with a Ouija board. Which in my world is a no go.

    Robbie eventually made a hobby out of the board and after the death of his aunt he attempted to contact her with the game, triggering a series of supernatural events wherever he went. Objects began moving or levitating, unheard voices were heard, scratches were present on doorways and words began appearing scratched into his flesh. An examination by medical experts proved inconclusive. As the media began picking up the story the word “possession” was thrown around. An exorcism was started but stopped after Robbie injured a priest severely enough that he needed stitches. Upon returning home he and his family discovered that the name “St. Louis” was inexplicably carved in his chest. That just happened to be the city where his aunt died. He therfor traveled to St Louis.

    Upon arriving in St. Louis a second exorcism with three priests was arranged. During the ritual Robbie fought the priests physically while poltergeist activity took place throughout the room. One of the demons answered that they would only leave Robbie after he spoke the right words. After thirty sessions Robbie spoke “Christus, Domini” and, after a loud sound, was found to be functioning normally. This event would later be fictionalized as the movie The Exorcist.


    Clara Germana Cele was a Christian woman, who in 1906, was said to be possessed by a demon.
    Orphaned at a young age, Clara Cele could have really used a parent figure in her life to teach her right from wrong. This guidance she lacked was most needed when she reached age sixteen and after careful deliberation made the wise decision to make a pact with Satan himself. Having never read any spiritual books at all she believed that this partnership would be a raging success.
    According to a local nun Cele was able to understand several languages she had never studied or even encountered, able to respond clearly and coherently. She had also demonstrated some form of clairvoyance, able to recall the thoughts and actions of people she had never met. Suspicions of demonic possession were confirmed when she began attacking nuns, hurling some across the room while placing others in a perfect figure four leg lock.

    At first it was believed that the girl was mentally ill. However, many accounts claimed she levitated several feet in the air more than once, which was all the confirmation local priests needed to perform the rites of exorcism. It was found that when she was sprinkled with holy water she would come out of her state of possession, but only briefly. Early in the ritual she continually knocked the Bible out of the performing priest’s hands and tried to choke him out at least once. After only two days the demon was cast out and Clara was healed.