Demonic Possession

Demonic possession is a very rare phenomenon but is held by many belief systems to be the spirit possession of an individual by a malevolent preternatural being commonly known as a demon.

Although it happens more often that people realize, it is still considered rare. Science has swept away much of what used to be considered demonic possession. Diseases of the mind such as Schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome and various forms of psychosis were once regarded as signs that diabolical possession of the individule was taking place.

There are other documented manifestations of demonic possession that are not so easy to dismiss. These include those that involve multiple credible eyewitnesses reporting alleged possession victims displaying inexplicable behavior, such as levitating in the air, speaking languages they have never been exposed to, and revealing information that they could not have possibly been aware of.

Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying. Other descriptions include access to hidden knowledge (gnosis) and foreign languages (xenoglossia), drastic changes in vocal intonation and facial structure, the sudden appearance of injuries (scratches, bite marks) or lesions, and superhuman strength.

Religious Context

There is also reference to denomic possession within the Christian Bible and the Muslim Koran

The Bible gives some examples of people possessed or influenced by demons. From these examples we can find some symptoms of demonic influence and gain insight as to how a demon possesses someone. Here are some of the biblical passages: Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:18; Mark 5:1-20; 7:26-30; Luke 4:33-36; Luke 22:3; Acts 16:16-18. In some of these passages, the demon possession causes physical ailments such as inability to speak, epileptic symptoms, blindness, etc. In other cases, it causes the individual to do evil

Muslims believe in the concept of a malevolent Devil. Belief in Jinns, or supernatural beings, is also widespread in the Islamic world.

A related belief is that every person is assigned one’s own special jinnī, also called a qarīn (also called a hamzaad in India & Pakistan), of the jinn that whisper to people’s souls and tell them to submit to evil desires. The notion of a qarīn is not universally accepted amongst all Muslims, but it is generally accepted that Šayṭān whispers in human minds, and he is assigned to each human being

Recent case of Demonic Possession

The present day, the following are four cases of Demonic possession since the early 1900 that have particular influence on Holywood and society at large.

Anna Ecklund – 1912-1928 – Earling, Iowa

Anna Ecklund was just 14 when she was allegedly cursed by her father and aunt – and soon she was unable to be near religious artifacts or churches. She underwent an exorcism in 1912, but her father and aunt then prayed for Satan to visit her again.

In 1928, she asked the church for help and was put in a convent. But when nuns came near her she would hiss at them, speak in foreign languages and levitate. After three more exorcisms, she was declared free of the demons.

Roland Doe – 1940s – Cottage City, Maryland

Doe – known as the inspiration behind the Hollywood film, The Exorcist – was 14 when his aunt encouraged him to use a Ouija board in the 1940s. When she died, he might have tried to contact her this way and it is believed this gave demons the chance to reach him.

When he was possessed, religious artifacts began flying off the walls and people could hear footsteps and dripping inside his home. Scratches also began appearing over his body, which levitated and contorted. His family contacted a Catholic priest and an exorcism was performed more than 30 times, sometimes injuring the priest before they were eventually successful. Doe went on to have a normal life, according to reports.

Anneliese Michel – 1973 – Germany

Anneliese was a 16-year-old Bavarian girl who had suffered with epilepsy and mental illness. In 1973, she began to hear voices, drink her own urine and became intolerant of religious symbols. She begged her family to take her to a priest to rid her of demons. Two local priests secretly agreed and performed nearly 70 exorcisms (each lasting up to four hours) in 10 months – but her parents stopped treating her health issues, and she died from emaciation and starvation. The film The Exorcism of Emily Rose is loosely based on her life.

Michael Taylor – 1974 – Yorkshire, England

Taylor was a married Christian who was accused by his wife, Christine, of having an affair with a prayer group leader. He responded with anger and continued to act erratically, leading some people to think he was possessed by evil.

He eventually underwent an exorcism that last for more than 24 hours and priests believed it to be successful. They warned that a demon may still be inside of him. When he went home, he murdered his wife and was later found wandering the streets. He was found not guilty in her murder by reason of insanity.

The Case of Latoya Ammon’s Children – 2014 –  Indianapolis, US

As recently as January of 2014, the Indianapolis Star reported that Police Captain Charles Austin has subscribed to the the story of demonic possession told by Latoya Ammons, a mother of three children from Indiana. According to her, dark entities caused her three children – then aged 7, 9, and 12 – to be observed with bulging eyes, evil smiles, and strangely deep voices. Close to 800 pages of official records document the case.

At first, Captain Austin was skeptical about the strange story told by Ammons, but home visits and interviews he and his team conducted have convinced him that something supernatural took place in the home. It began in November of 2011 when Ammons reported that in the middle of winter, a swarm of flies gathered by their porch window. That was followed by strange sounds and shadowy figures leaving wet bootprints on their floors.

The incidents escalated when in March of 2012, Ammons allegedly saw her 12-year-old daughter levitating over her bed, the girl only descending after being prayed over by family members and friends but being unable to remember floating. Later, a headboard smacked into her head, causing a wound requiring stitches, and Ammon’s 7-year-old son flew out of a bathroom as if thrown. Ammon’s 9-year-old son, meanwhile, was seen by a nurse walking backwards up a wall onto to the ceiling.

Eventually, the children were taken away from Latoya because of suspected abuse, but a photo of the Ammons’ home that an officer took with his iPhone seemed to lend credibility to the troubled mother’s story. A white human-like silhouette is clearly visible in one of the windows.

 

Greyfriar’s Kirkyard. Edinburgh

Ghost hunting this Halloween with Haunted Island

A couple of years ago my partner and I went to Edinburgh for the weekend.

We did a few of the touristy things and decided to go and find the statue of Greyfriar’s Bobby.

We found it and were rather unimpressed with it, So we decided to go and have a look in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard right next to the statue. I had seen this place on a programme like Most Haunted or similar years ago but completely forgot that the place was meant to be haunted.

We wondered around the churchyard for a while, It’s actually quite a pleasant place to visit, Its like a little oasis of calm in the middle of the noisy city, After about 20 minutes or so we decided it was time to leave and find a pub.

When we got out of the churchyard I was surprised to discover 4 small scratches on my right hand, They were fresh and still bleeding, I had not scraped my hand on anything, We had stayed on the path, I didn’t touch anything the whole time we were there, After a minute or so I shrugged it off and thought oh well, I must have scraped it on something, And off we went to the pub.

Once we had got a drink we went to sit down and I realised the whole lower half of my body felt freezing cold, The top half of my body was a normal temperature, There were no breezes coming from anywhere and it was a blazing hot day outside, A rarity for Scotland. After w few minutes my body temp went back to normal but I was spooked by the whole thing.

When we got home I decided to do some research on Greyfriar’s and discovered that hundreds of people have reported being attacked by an unseen entity in the last few years, The entity is believed to be the spirit of George Mackenzie, Also known as Bloody Mackenzie, One time Lord Advocate during the rule of Charles ii and also considered one of the most vicious religious persecutors in history, Most of the attacks are reported to take place in an area of the churchyard known as the covenantors prison, Which is not open to the public but we had stood just outside the entrance to it, But attacks have been reported in other areas of the churchyard too.

A couple of days after we got back, My son, (who was 12 at the time) told me that for the past 3 nights, He had seen the silhouette of a man in a hat on his bedroom wall at night, We had not mentioned any of what happened to him so as not to scare him, But it left me wondering if I had bought an unwanted souvenir back home with me!

Thankfully he never mentioned it again.

— Submitted by Haunted Island Reader

Enfield Poltergeist. London

In 1977 a small semi-detached council house in Enfield, North London,

In 1977 a small semi-detached council house in Enfield, North London, became the centre of an investigation into poltergeist activity.

The case of the Enfield Poltergeist held the nation spellbound 30 years ago, and continues to this day! All manner of professions where caught up in the story which puzzlled policemen, psychics, experts in the occult and hardened reporters alike .

This May Sky Living is airing a 3 Part drama based upon the events at the house in Enfiled. Called the  The Enfield Haunting
http://www.sky.com/tv/show/the-enfield-haunting

Enfield Poltergeist involved levitation, furniture being moved through the air, and flying objects swirling towards witnesses. There were cold breezes, physical assaults, graffiti, water appearing on the floor, and claims of matches and wiring spontaneously bursting into flame.

Mrs Harper and her four young children who lived at the property where subjected to unexplained knocking on the walls, furniture moving across a room by its self amongst other terrifying events that would lead on of Britain’s national papers into the foray. The family in the Enfield case consisted of a mother, two daughters and two sons; Margaret aged 12, a younger sister Janet aged 11, Johnny aged 10 and Billy aged 7.

Investigation

The incidents were duly investigated by Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, both members of the SPR, who were convinced by the evidence which they encountered during their thirteen month investigation. The investigators captured the event of a chair being flung across one of the young girls bedrooms, with a signed affidavit to that effect by serving policewoman. Interference with the electrics, knocking on walls and floorboards, blankets torn from the beds, and even accounts of the children levitating in mid air all added to the horrors the Harpers had reported and now the investigative team had to endure.

Of all the accounts recorded by Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, the most troubling is that of  the daughter Janet aged 11, the young girl at the centre of the events seemingly acted as the mouthpiece for Bill Wilkins, a foul-mouthed, grumpy old man who had died in the house many years before.

Janet was witnessed and recorded speaking using false vocal folds for hours on end while she was apparently possessed by another entity. Speaking in this way is believed to be impossible, although not medically proven. When speaking with the false cords Janet said she was “Bill” who had died in the house of a brain haemorrhage. The “Bill” persona habitually made jokes and exhibited a very nasty temper, swearing at Maurice, once calling him a “fucking old sod”.

Several recordings were made of these occurrences by the BBC, who left recording devices to capture any audio anomaly’s, when the recording team recovered the devices they found the metal inside of the recording machines bent, and all recordings erased.

Later due to the mounting media interest Grosse was contacted by a man who claimed to be Bill’s son, who in turn confirmed the details of his father death and personality.

Over the course of 13 month many inexplicable events took place, at least 26 of which the investigators considered could not be accounted for by fraud. These included moving furniture, flying marbles, interference with bedclothes, cold breezes, pools of water on the floor, apparitions, physical assaults, graffiti, equipment malfunction and failure, disappearance and reappearance of objects, apparent levitations, and fires which spontaneously ignited and extinguished themselves.

Naturally, many questioned whether it was all a hoax — but no explanation other than the paranormal has ever been convincingly put forward

More Information About Enfield Poltergeist

Watch the trailer for The Enfield Haunting – the brand new three part drama series coming soon to Sky Living HD

Robin Hoods Grave, Kirklees. Yorkshire

Does Robin Hoods Grave lies at Kirklees Park Estate, West Yorkshire,

Robin Hood is a heroic outlaw in English folklore, and, according to legend, was also a highly skilled archer and swordsman. Does an unmarked grave in Kirklees wood hold the remains of one of Englands greatest heroes… Robin Hood

“The Armytage family lived over the brow of the hill on a splendid site once occupied by Cistercian nuns. It was called Kirklees. There was more than an insularity which set the mansion apart. There was a mystery about it which local people only reluctantly tried to penetrate. The mystery was helped physically by the thick shroud of trees that surrounded the place and was sustained by local tales of ghosts of prioresses and nuns and or the death of Robin Hood whose grave is so imperturbably marked as lying within Kirklees grounds in spite of any facts which might suggest to the contrary.”
THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT.

This would appear to be the first reported mention of ghostly activity around Robin Hood’s Grave, but considering the history of Robin’s death; cursed by a witch on his way to the nunnery, murdered by an apostate nun and cast into an unhallowed grave which is on the crossing of ley lines; it is hardly surprising that the site is reputed to have unquiet spirits hovering around.

Contemporary Ghostly Accounts

An elderly lady, Mrs Edith Ellis, witnessed silver arrows in the sky above Kirklees when visiting her old aunt at Hartshead in the early years of the last century. She also reports hearing Robin calling for Marian. Another sighting was made by a tenant farmer of Kirklees in 1926. One day,” he recalls, “I was sitting on the grave shooting rabbits. As I was about to shoot I felt a tap on my shoulder, and my shotgun went off accidentally, removing two of my front teeth on its recoil. There was nobody to be seen at the time.

On another occasion I was on my way home from the Three Nuns. As I was walking through the woods something fell out of a tree and knocked me to the ground. When I got up I could see the old gatehouse. In the window I could clearly see a man with a bow. My family always said it was the drink, but it was Robin Hood’s ghost.”
In 1963 guitarist Roger Williams took an unofficial stroll up to Robin’s grave with a friend. About twenty yards from the grave he saw a white robed woman who suddenly seemed to glide towards the two men. What made Roger’s hair stand on end was how silently she moved over the twigs and bracken. At about five yards from Roger the woman stopped and stared at him with “dark, mad eyes.” Then she moved away and vanished. It was 2.30 p.m. and a bright,sunny day.

Roger Williams saw the same apparition again in 1972, in full daylight, and again she stopped a few yards from him and his companion. This time Roger remembered a few more details. The woman was wearing a long white dress with a square neck and long sleeves which accords with the habit of a Cistercian nun. Again she looked at him angrily before moving off, but the eerie sequel to this experience was that Roger’s house then experienced a series of strange noises and bangings. After this, Roger swore that “wild horses would not drag me up there again.”

Mark Gibbons, a member of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society, had a similar experience in 1998. With other members of the group he had gone up to try and find Robin’s grave one moonlit night, but they had got lost in the dark, tangled wilderness of the Kirklees woods Suddenly Mark saw a white figure pointing in a certain direction which turned out to be exactly where the grave was situated. Mark however was too unnerved to continue and fled back to the roadside while his companions continued their quest.

Famous Investigators

A later explorer to Kirklees, vampire hunter Bishop Sean Manchester, had a similar experience when he was confronted with a “wild staring hag with red eyes” and his fellow vampire hunters deserted him, one of them becoming impaled on a bramble bush.

It is true that Robin’s grave was excavated in an amateurish way by a Victorian Armytage (who was reputed to be in his cups at the time) and the ground beneath found to be undisturbed, but the many historical documents naming Kirklees as Robin’s final resting place cannot be ignored.

The fact is, his bones could lie anywhere on that hillside, while a gravestone resembling the original one drawn by Dr Johnstone, is to be found in nearby Hartshead churchyard, to where it may have been moved during the Civil War. Many visitors to the grave have recorded their experiences for posterity, including the following quote from a Victorian tourist :

“I had the strangest emotions when I first stood over the grave of this old forest hero. I stood there and had no words, nor can I find any now to tell what my feelings were. Bravehearted Robin ! Thou hast found a fit resting place in this glorious park, among these solemn yews and silent trees .”

A hundred years later it is a different story:

“There it was, looming out of the dark, a massive,broken edifice, a huge ship of stone, wrecked in the everglades of Kirklees. Fallen pillars and twisted railings were were all that remained on Yorkshire’s buried treasure. We had found Robin Hood’s Grave.” – MARK GIBBONS, SECRETS OF THE GRAVE.

Feature Length Interview : Robin Hood’s Grave Revisited with David Farrent

Maybe the last word should be with Victorian poet, George Searle Phillips, a friend of the Brontes, who visited the grave in 1848, and wrote an epic poem, a small section of which is printed below :

Tread lightly o’er the earth and speak no word
Till the Great Spirit doth unloose your tongues
For where those yew trees nod their funereal plumes
Upon the highest platform of the hill,
Lies gentle Robin Hood, his mighty heart
All muffled up in dust and his bright eyes
Quenched in eternal darkness. Never more
Shall the woods echo to his bugle horn,
Or his unerring arrow strike the deer
Swift flying, till it hits the bloody grass.

Haunted Island would like to thank the Author of this story Barbara Green for her valuable contribution.

The Ancient Ram Inn. Gloucestershire

Built in 1145, in Wotton-under-Edge, the old inn is reputedly the most haunted in Britain.

Built in 1145, in Wotton-under-Edge, the old inn is reputedly the most haunted in Britain.

The Inn is a Grade II listed building, and ceased to be a working pub in the 1960’s. A large black cat is often seen in the Beaufort Room, which is reported to be the most haunted room in what is now a house. Highwaymen regularly stayed at the Inn and some say they might still visit in spirit form. Investigators have managed to capture some very ghostly images on camera at the Ram, including white vapour, ghost lights, and most convincingly a man in a lace collar who’s face is reflected in a photograph of a grandfather clock.

UPDATE: 14th Feb 2014 – is this Britain’s most haunted B&B – where terrified guests have been left so scared they have even jumped out of the windows.

“I knew nothing of the hauntings when I bought the place. It wasn’t until the first night, when I felt a pair of cold, hairy hands pulling me out of bed, that I knew something strange was going on at the Ram. My daughters regularly saw a large black cat like creature and I have since found out that this animal – an evil incubus – features in many paranormal situations. Several of our visitors have been thrown out of chairs and others have felt icy hands in bed”.
John Humphries, Owner.

More Information About The Ancient Ram Inn