View Full Version : Exorcism advice

L. OBrien
05-12-2016, 02:39 AM
I'm working on an interactive fiction piece that deals with a couple of possible exorcisms (as in the MC is trying to exorcise a malevolent spirit, and has a few possibilities of how she's going to go about it). Anyone know any good resources for researching exorcism? Better yet, anyone have any personal experience?

05-12-2016, 03:49 AM
No personal experience and, lapsed or no, the Catholic in me is thankful for that. Hostage to the Devil by Malachi Martin is, IMHO, absolute garbage, but he spins a credible enough story that it's good research, at least if you're going for the traditional, Churchy perspective. Also, he was on Coast to Coast a lot and (let me be clear that I think he's a liar) he has an interesting perspective and some of what he says freaks me the blank out.

Can't think of many books, two movies I liked were 'Exorcism of Emily Rose', which wasn't the best horror movie ever but got into some interesting ethical questions. Also, 'The Possession of David O'Reilly, a UK movie that is about the scariest thing I've ever seen on film. Another UK mini-series called 'Apparitions' was pretty good, very well researched and surprisingly even-handed. Also, if you're looking for a show about demons, there's this very scary horror series called Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Terrifying, and I thank God that it's just make-believe.

If you're going outside the catholic tradition, well, then we're usually talking spirits and not demons, every culture deals with it differently but everyone agrees possession happens.

Also, vis-a-vis demons, they really scare me. Like, hard, and I'm not that easily rattled (or that invested in believing in them). Let me share a weird story: Once when I was a kid, I started having sleep paralysis. So, kinda sleeping, kinda awake. People who have been through it know what I mean. A houseplant next to my head comes alive, and starts turning into tentacles with mouths. So, this thing starts talking and admits that it's a demon. But the odd part is that it was whining, kinda this bitchy, whiny, unhappy voice. And it tells me that people don't understand how hard it is being a demon, and how their whole existence is inverted. I'll never forget it's exact words, "You don't understand how it feels to have everything about you be wrong". Sympathy for the devil, or just plain 'ol night terrors? Who knows, but I always remember that when I think of demons.

King Neptune
05-12-2016, 03:51 AM
The Catholic Church has a specific set of rituals for banishing demons, etc., but they usually keep it secret.

There are some ceremonial magic exorcisms that involve many of the same elements that should be available.
https://books.google.com/books?id=_6shCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA69&lpg=PA69&dq=ceremonial+magic+exorcism+ritual&source=bl&ots=G5OKm7ZUY4&sig=LKstOPQOE_kTneCtPVngva7nwQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8lviDmtPMAhVDeCYKHTIlD5MQ6AEIQDAF#v=on epage&q=ceremonial%20magic%20exorcism%20ritual&f=false

There are prayers, salt, and usually "bell, book, and candle". Sometimes tere is a liquid that is sprayed around. Use the search terms "ceremonial magic exorcism ritual" and you should get more than enough recipes. I only pasted two links. You could also try searching for the Catholic ritual.

King Neptune
05-12-2016, 03:54 AM
The Catholic ritual is online, but I don't know how complete it is.


05-12-2016, 06:54 AM
You might do well to read The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty, which is generally regarded as one of the finest horror novels ever written. The movie rocks, too.


05-12-2016, 07:19 AM
You might do well to read The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty, which is generally regarded as one of the finest horror novels ever written. The movie rocks, too.

cawThe book is really good, and I don't usually do horror. It won't give you much insight into the rituals, though, if I'm remembering correctly. The movie might show more of that; I haven't seen it because I know my limits when it comes to body horror and barf scenes. :D

Dorian Graves
05-12-2016, 06:52 PM
If you're at all interested in a non-Catholic method...I know that in Wicca (or other forms of witchcraft), Bay Laurel is a near-necessary component for exorcisms. Best used fresh, of course, but I'm sure even some crushed bay laurel from a well-stocked kitchen could work. If you want to get fancy, I'm sure a crafty modern witch could combine it with a cleansing agent (be it water, a tincture of crystals, a cleaning spray, or even diet cola--heard that stuff's surprisingly effective at cleaning) to create a holy water spray of sort.

shuffler of words
05-12-2016, 07:16 PM
You might want to research the real life exorcism of Anneliese Michel. Wikipedia-link (english): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anneliese_Michel
It´s a very controversial case which happened in the seventies in germany and had a tragic outcome.
There is even a documentary film which I once saw and it was very gut wrenching. (Although it was in german so I´m not sure, if that will be of any help...)
But if you look into this case and you´re a catholic, be prepared. This might rub you the wrong way. (The church doesn´t look good at all...)
If you search on youtube you might even find audio of her "posession".

Edit: I think this case was actually the inspiration for the exorcist and it led to reforms in the church due to the following trial.

05-12-2016, 08:08 PM
The inspiration for Blatty's book (The Exorcist) was attributed to the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe (alias "Robbie") that began in Cottage City, Maryland (outskirts of Wash., D.C.) and concluded in St. Louis, Missouri.


shuffler of words
05-12-2016, 08:22 PM
Interesting. Thank you for the correction.
After reading the article: Annelieses Exorcism was three years after the release of the film. I should have looked it up I guess.
Happy to see, it wasn´t as deadly for the boy.

05-13-2016, 12:00 AM
The ideas of demonic possession and exorcism are as old as mankind, so you have lots of different traditions to choose from. Some assorted, miscellaneous beliefs and practices from various cultures include:

Uttering a demon's proper name to make it go away
Channeling the demon into a sacrificial object (or animal) and then destroying it
The use of written spells or amulets
Invoking demon-fighting spirits or gods to chase the demon away
Using images of other demons or monsters to ward off evil spirits
Using ceremonial weapons to symbolically slay the demon
Using certain sounds (like the ringing of bells) to ward off demons

L. OBrien
05-13-2016, 10:23 PM
Thanks for all of the suggestions! These are really helpful.

The Anneliese case is horrifying in an entirely different way than I had expected. Thank you for sharing that.

At present, I'm trying to go for one modern ritual, one traditional one, and a botched attempt at bell, book, and candle (actually an excommunication ceremony) done by a high schooler subbing a copy of Hamlet for the holy book.

05-14-2016, 09:24 PM
You might find these interesting (I do not presume to judge the veracity or indeed sanity of those interviewed):


05-18-2016, 08:06 PM
The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio is an interesting and non-sensational (but sometimes creepy) look at Catholic exorcism. A pretty quick and engaging read, too, from what I remember.