Have you ever experienced waking up in the middle of the night with an odd feeling that somebody or something is watching over you? Or have you seen some strange pair of eyes suddenly coming out of the dark and staring right at you? You might be thinking demons are responsible for these hair-raising moments, but if they really exist, is it possible to become possessed by them?
Well, after reading the spooky real-life tales below, you might believe that demons are more than just characters in our favorite horror films and legends. So here’s an advice: do not read them all by yourself. You wouldn’t want to have troubles sleeping at night.
Anneliese Michel‘s demonic possession story was so promising that Hollywood was convinced to make a movie out of it. Titled The Exorcism of Emily Rose, the 2005 horror film was actually based on the real-life account of Anneliese.
Born in Germany, Anneliese had lots of issues while growing. Aside from suffering epilepsy, she also had mental illness, for which she was treated at a psychiatric ward.
In 1973, when she turned 20, things started to get weird. She became suicidal and started to furiously reject all religious relics and symbols. She also drank her own urine and heard random voices telling her to “rot in hell”. Aside from that, she saw faces of devils.
Knowing her story, Catholic Bishop Joseph Stangl used his power and authority as a member of the Catholic church to investigate. He believed that Anneliese’s actions weren’t normal for a typical 20-year-old girl. He came up with the conclusion that she was likely possessed by a demon, so he secretly performed an exorcism ritual.
For 10 months, 70 exorcisms were performed on the young girl. At that span of time, her parents never treated her mental disorders and epilepsy. A year after that, Anneliese died because of malnutrition and dehydration.
The priests who helped conduct the exorcism rituals were later on found guilty of manslaughter. They were sentenced to six months in jail.
The next story is about Michel Taylor. He lived with his wife, Christine, in a little town called Ossett, somewhere in Great Britain. As a couple, Michel and Christine were very religious. In fact, they regularly attended activities of a Christian prayer group.
However, in 1974, Christine accused her husband of having an affair with the prayer group’s leader. Michel was obviously disappointed with all the allegations that he started to spew profanities at his wife. He even acted completely erratic, which was so not him. According to witnesses, he looked like he was possessed by an evil spirit.
For several months, Michel continued such behavior. So Christine decided to consult a priest who then performed an exorcism rite on her husband that lasted about a day.
Those who took part in the exorcism said over 40 demons were removed from the body of Michel. But the priests warned him that the demons may still remain in his body and soul—and they weren’t wrong.
Michel then went home and savagely murdered his wife and dog. Before he was arrested by cops, he wandered in the streets for a couple of hours, drenched in blood.
Another spine-tingling story is about the possession that happened to 14-year-old boy “Roland Doe”. (It is not his real name. The Catholic church protected the boy’s privacy by giving him such alias.) His tale was actually the basis of the 1974 horror film The Exorcist.
In his early years, Roland lived a normal life. But in the late 1940s, things started to get weird, especiallt when he tried to contact his deceased aunt using an Ouija board. Many believed that this object served as the portal to a multitude of demons who wanted to take over his body.
Since Roland used the board, his family began hearing eerie sounds around the house, such as unexplained footsteps, scratching noises, and dripping of water—but it didn’t end there as the religious objects in the house also started flying.
One day, Roland levitated into the air with his body strangely contorted. He even spoke in different tongues in a hoarse voice. Because strange things just didn’t stop happening, Roland’s family immediately decided to do something about the boy’s odd behavior.
A priest was then brought in to conduct an exorcism rite. It was performed more than 30 times before the priest declared it to be successful. During the process, the boy injured the priest a lot of times, and those who witnessed the incident said an awful sulfuric odor lingered in the air afterwards. Roland eventually returned living a normal life.
Another story is that of George Lukins from England. This greedy man claimed to be possessed by not one but seven different demons. In the late seventeenth century, he requested seven priests to cleanse his body from all the bad spirits.
His odd tale began when Sarah Barber, George’s close friend, noticed that he had been acting rather strangely. She said George’s mental and physical condition had slowly deteriorated compared before. He began having seizures and growled at random people near him. He also spoke in disturbing and out-of-this-world languages.
In 1778, seven different priests conducted a lengthy exorcism ritual on George at the Temple Church in Bristol, England. By the time the rite started, George reacted violently and began shouting and hissing at all the priests. Over the span of the exorcism, George changed to seven various demonic personalities, before finally claiming that he was the “devil himself”.
Sooner though, the priests who took part in the ritual declared it was a success. All the demons were sent back where they belong, and George lived a normal life.
Known as the Son of Sam, David Berkowitz is a notorious serial killer who was believed to have been forced to kill people by a demon.
In 1976, he started murdering. His ruthless activities went on for about a year, before he was brought to jail. His killings all had similar modus operandi. At first, he would approach a random stranger in the middle of the night and then shoot him with a .44 revolver. Without even saying a word, he would leave the crime scene.
But at one of the crime scenes, the cops saw a nauseous note left by David. The note told something about his father named “Sam” who drank blood and kept David locked in an attic. It also said that “Father Sam” orders David to “go out and kill.” The strangest part is that David didn’t have a dad named Sam. His father’s name was actually Tony, so the cops were very confused.
When he was finally arrested in 1977 with a total of six killings, David explained everything. According to him, Sam was the name of the devil who possessed the dog of his neighbor. He also reasoned how the dog of his neighbor became a channel for an evil and how it commanded him to perform murders.
Clara Germana Cele
Here is another story of a girl from Natal, South Africa.
As a kid, Clara Germana Cele lived an ordinary life. But when she turned 16 in 1906, everything changed abruptly. She began doing weird things. She then displayed some rather unbelievable yet unusual super powers.
The Christian girl started speaking various languages fluently, such as Polish, French, and German, even if she had never studied or heard these before. She was also able to expose the best kept secrets about people whom she had never really encountered before. She even mysteriously levitated vertically out of her bed.
At some point, she threw people bigger than her across the room. Apparently, Clara’s strength and power is beyond human. Witnesses said her voice sounded like “a veritable herd of wild beasts orchestrated by Satan.”
Later on, Clara revealed that she made a pact with Satan. She allowed him to take over her body. But did she really made such agreement with Satan? Well, two local priests believed so. These priests were those who performed an exorcism rite on her. In that span of time, more than 170 people saw how she levitated several feet from the ground, while the members of the church were reading the scriptures.
After two days, the priests declared it was a success. They said all the evil spirits had been abolished from Clara’s body.
Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Richard Gallagher was given a rare and challenging opportunity in his career. A bishop asked him to investigate and provide a psychiatric analysis on a woman who, he insisted, was possessed by evil forces.
Normally, doctors and scientists just note these cases as mental illnesses. However, Dr. Richard decided to put his prejudices aside and continued examining the woman who was known under the alias “Julia”.
The examination process started out completely fine, but it seemed that demons reminded her that she was still possessed. From a hypnotic state, Julia became wild and furious. She began shouting at the doctor and other people in the room. She told them, “Go away you idiots! Leave her alone.” Julia even started shaking violently, and all objects in the shelves whooshed to the air.
An exorcism rite was then performed on her. She screamed profanities at the priests in Spanish and Latin. Reports say she levitated about 15 centimeters off the ground for an hour and a half. She also shouted in pain while holy water was sprinkled on her.
Arne Cheyenne Johnson
Arne Cheyenne Johnson‘s murder trial is probably the most recent one on this list. It was the first-ever case in the United States where a lawyer begged for his client’s innocence on the grounds of evil possession. Basically, he wanted to prove that “he didn’t do it, it was the demon.”
A year ago, Johnson stabbed his landlord Alan Bono using a pocketknife, resulting to his death. But prior to the incident, family members of Arne already experienced unusual things at home, such as hearing noises like doors slamming, mysterious voices, and footsteps.
Arne’s fiancée’s younger brother, David, said he saw an apparition, which looked like “a man with big black eyes, a thin face with animal features and jagged teeth, pointed ears, horns, and hoofs.”
Shortly thereafter, David began having bruises all over his body. He also shouted at his family in Latin.
After a few days, Arne himself claimed he had become possessed. Since his confession, creepy things already happened. A few weeks after, his demonic activities came to a climax. When his family held a party at home, he just went into a trance. And then he slowly walked toward his landlord, grunting under his breath. All of a sudden, he stabbed him a couple of times in the chest.
After the trial, the judge handling Arne’s murder case declared that demonic possession wasn’t a valid defense, so Arne was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
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