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.
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
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.