Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Unexpected Demon

Have you ever wondered what exactly it takes to have a malevolent force to manifest itself into our plane of existence and harass those otherwise abiding in peace in our realm of physical reality?

Me too.

Despite many encounters with destructive and malign forces that express themselves in our realm of existence in one form or the other I have often wondered what kind of force is required to unleash this abominable force upon our senses.

Of course there is the usual suspects.

A dark site of archaic unknown evil, long forgotten, but which echoes into our present time; an ancient site of human sacrifice or execution; a place of unjust and generational repeated action which resulted in the death or corruption of the innocent or a site repeated and volatile occultist and satanic rituals preformed in order to illicit a response from the realm of the fallen itself.

All the fun stuff of occultist lore.

But what happens when the most seemingly minuscule of actions actually makes manifest a demonic force that not only presents itself upon our earthly plane but which interacts with others by which it causes physical and dangerous attacks on all who dares to enter its sphere of influence?

Erie Pennsylvania has many Catholic Colleges and this event took place on an off campus housing facility not directly associated with one of these Colleges.

It was a multi bedroom house that was rented a few years ago by four College wrestlers. These four friends were large bulky brutes and were quite bold and fearless.

Hardly afraid of anything.

But events unfolded within their residence that forced all of them out and one refused to even enter the building to retrieve his personal belonging after one particular night of terror.

When they first moved in the apartment it was a quiet and tranquil abode. They studied, relaxed and threw their fair share of rowdy parties. They were there for almost a year before the problems started. And they could trace it back to one particular incident.

It is an incident that has undoubtedly happened millions of times with varying levels of fury and rage. Some will call it sacrilege, others just call it just a natural and innocent act of frustration or disappointment.

One night after studying his assigned theological homework, one of the wrestlers became very frustrated. He was at the school on a scholarship and struggled through most of his subjects. He was barely making a C average on most subjects, but in his Catholic Theology course he was failing miserably. He just could not comprehend all the complicated concepts and his failure with these courses doomed his G.P.A. That night he was vexed beyond compare by the teachings of Transubstantiation.

Knowing he was doomed to fail the early morning test on the subject and seeing his wresting and Collegiate future slip through his fingers he cursed at God and threw his Bible against the wall.

I have known many who have done the same thing, even Clergymen who were in a crisis of faith.

But something was unleashed that night by that small incident of anger and frustration.

The wrestler eventually worked out a deal with his theology professor but within a week of the incident with the Bible strange things began to happen in the shared apartment.

At first it was just puzzling.

After two of the roommates washed the evenings dishes they stacked them on the right side of the sink and went to bed.

The next morning they were all on the left side of the sink. In perfect order.

Next were the bookcases on the south side of the house.

The bookcases on other walls were not affected. But two of the six rooms had bookcases on the south. One morning the occupants of those rooms woke up to all the books piled up one upon another in perfect form.

Soon the phenomena became more dramatic and increased in intensity with every day.

Books would fly off shelves.

Glasses would shatter in locked cabinets.

One morning they woke up to find their backyard littered with dead rats.

It culminated one evening when one of them young men's fiance had come to visit. They were walking down the back stairs when suddenly the 250 lbs hulk of a wrestler was pushed by some invisible force down the stairs. Ripped from his fiance's arm he tumbled head over heals down the staircase like a rag doll. He fell at the bottom of the stairs and lay motionless.

That what when his fiance saw it.

It was a dark form that lurked at the bottom of the stairs, hovering over her fiance. It raised its shadowy head up to her and leered at her with his glowing red eyes.

Her scream rolled up from an inner terror that she had never before or has never since experienced.

And with that sound her fiance roused and slowly stood up, and the shadow figure faded.

That night he was checked out at the emergency room, and had only a few bruises.

They never returned to the apartment.

His roommates knew of the strange occurrences but tried to shelter themselves by considering that the physical manifestation a mere hallucination from the trauma of seeing her fiance take such a harrowing tumble.

But soon that shelter would be destroyed by a storm of evil.

Within a week they would wake up with scratches across their body, have the house reek with a thick sulfuric smell, and come home from classes to find the living room furniture ripped apart.

The paranormal phenomena peaked when one morning while one of the men was shaving in the bathroom. He saw the shadow take form behind him and saw a face next to his own.

They all moved out and told the campus minister about all of the incidents. He listened with shock and after talking with the local church hierarchy did the only thing he could think to do.

He called the Vatican to find the nearest Catholic exorcist.

The nearest priest trained for the rite was in Buffalo and he came before the week's end.

What exactly happened at the cleansing of the apartment, nobody knows.

In fact nobody is talking about the incident at all. They were told not too.

They did not want to tarnish the reputation of the College.

I found out of this by one a former wrestler who had been best friends with the young men who went through the torment. He himself had a similar incident while living in Pittsburgh. You can read his story here: The Specter of the Watchers it has some interesting background on this incident and Nephilim.

But whatever happened there seems to be working, other students have lived there in the years since and none of them have experienced anything out of the ordinary. The young girls that live there have no idea what transpired there just a few years ago.

A Bible thrown in rage manifesting a violent demonic presence?

I would suspect there is more to the matter than that.

Either there was more to the background of the person who did the act or the location of the house was in someway predisposed to such a malignant manifestation.

Otherwise for every act of outrage over faith unfulfilled or disdain of dogma such specters of evil would be billowing out from the abyss at every turn. But instead, usually the out come of such acts are either a deepening of faith or its complete loss. And God knows our hearts. He knows our frustrations and our limitations, our disdain for living in a less than perfect world.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope


cryptidsrus said...

I agree that there is more to the story than just a simple "sacrilege" towards God in the form of a thrown Bible, Swope.

Probably a preexisting predisposition in the house that was "activated" by the student's unfortunate act.

I have felt bad feelings towards the Universe and God (regretfully) but nothing has ever happened to me.
Maybe the young man NEEDED to go throught that? Soem kind of weird lesson about repecting the Great Beyond?
Who knows? Great story anyway, Swope.

Mojo Mom said...

It seems a common trait for humans, at one time or another, to shake their fist and curse the sky. Maybe it has something to do with our natural need to Believe in a Supreme Diety that guides our every action. And it seems easier to blame said Deity when things don't go our way rather then admit to simple failure..."All part of God's Plan."
Personally, I do believe in "God's Plan", but I believe that God's Plan includes giving us opportunities and choices. It's what we do with those choices that determines our individual fate.

Likewise, we have the choice of free will. For example, the purpose of having a Savior in Chrisitianity is for forgiveness of our sins...a "do-over", if you will. But having freewill doesn't mean we understand how to use it. To simply accept Christ into your heart is walking a walk. But to confront both good and evil and knowingly choose good over evil is the true purpose of the gift of freewill.
On the flip side, we also must live with the consequences of our choices, good and bad. Some of us never understand that our failures can only be blamed on our own faults. No, it is much easier to complain and point the finger at the One who put us here.

Great post, as always.

Howard said...

Even assuming this story is true, there's nothing really new here; two well-known factors come into play.

1. The same grave sin may have different levels of culpability when committed by different people, depending on (at least) their knowledge and consent of the will. So for a Caesar to be acclaimed as a god is one thing; but Herod Agrippa should have known better. It appears that there was indeed a sacrilege, but to what extent this was just a "crime of passion" is impossible to say.

2. The "more is involved" does not need to involve any of these human actors, let alone have anything to do with the location. Jobs children suffered due to demonic action, but not because of anything they did. Or remember the man born blind from birth: Was it due to his sins, or to the sins of his parents?

brypie said...

scary stuff!

Jeff said...

You write better when you don't try so hard to use traditional literary devices of horror. Let the story stand on its own.

That said, I grew up with a malevolent entity. We believed it to be the spirit of a man who, in life, was a violent mental patient. Does insanity carry over into death, do you think?

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks Jeff,

In my experience,a malevolent entity is not a ghost. Any violence points to a demonic being.

Do psychological problems follow in a haunting? Good question, emotions follow over so it could be possible since some psych issues have an impact on the soul.

eleutherius said...

The problem with dabbling in the occult -- e.g., tarot readings, ouija board, seances, etc. -- is that some people leave a door open and fail to realize that they've left themselves vulnerable. Years may pass, then something like the Bible-tossing incident takes place, and this arouses the interest of, well, something, which finds the door open ...

Anonymous said...

no thing is "caused" by any other thing in respect to these phenomena. cause and effect is an illusion.

Anonymous said...

I knew the famous man, Harry Smith, who was quite reputed for his occult knowledge.
He told me never to say "God" and "damn" together, and he said it vehemently. I stopped saying it from then on. I figured, this guy should know!

Anonymous said...

As for whether malevolence points to strictly demonic activity, there is some evidence, based on the exorcisms of some PEOPLE (there is no rite for exorcising a PLACE as such within Catholicisms, with the possible exception of certain specific situations like consecrating a new church building) that the possessing entities are souls in Hell. It's hard to be certain, since these spirits lie at every possible opportunity, but some exorcists are convinced by the fact that they maintain their insistence that they are human souls even after they have been compelled to be truthful about other things. From a practical point of view, there should be little difference between a damned angel and a damned human, other than the fact that the human would probably be weaker and less knowledgeable.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Anonymous,

Since I am not Catholic I cannot verify whether they have consecration rites for buildings, however the Protestant tradition that I was trained in does have such ceremonies, and it does seem to come from a common tradition.

Traditional Christian Theology however does not ascertain that a human soul can become a demonic entity. The closest thing to such a theory is the old church tradition of the Nephilim from Genesis 6, and even that is not within the authority of Systematic Theology exactly but based on traditions from the psuedophigra.

Anonymous said...

There are Catholic blessings for houses, but I think they basically invoke the protection and blessing of God rather than commanding demons to leave. Besides, "exorcism" is a technical term in Catholicism for what can be done only by a bishop or specially authorized priest; it is different from a prayer of deliverance, which any Christian can do. An exorcism is a prayer of the whole Church, but a prayer of deliverance is a private prayer. A prayer of deliverance from a very holy person, though, can be particularly effective.

Of course no human soul can become a demon (which is intrinsically pure spirit) any more than a saint in Heaven is an angel. However, a disembodied soul is a spirit and may be capable of some of the same acts as other spirits. Even certain "ESP" type phenomena might be due to the activity of a soul that "puts the body in park but leaves the motor running" -- hence the near-universal significance of the trance. This is not to say that it is safe or a good idea to try to use these abilities, which Adam may have once had but which we cannot licitly use. At least that is the argument of Abbot Alois Wiesinger in Occult Phenomena in the Light of Theology (Roman Catholic Books, ISBN-13: 978-0912141800). It's not an easy book to find or to read, but it presents some interesting ideas.

cryptid_hunter said...

Cool story Pastor Swope.

I don't know if any of the other folks here watch that A&E show Paranormal State? But this week they had an episode that was centered around demonic possession that was very interesting. One young lady in particular, also from a previous episode, is reported to be possessed and they (investigators and priests) have tried numerous times now to do a successful exorcism and it just doesn't seem to take. They apparently communicate with the demon(s), that identifies it's name as Six (we are many) and the investigator's psychic, Chip Coffee, supposedly was able to get the names of all 6 demons. I remember one of those names being Bael, or something to that affect. But anyway, it is a TV show and so obviously there could be theatrics involved, wink wink, but it was interesting to watch on a Monday night at 9 PM.

Sam said...

Is there any place that we can really be safe?

We have no way of really knowing what triggers this sort of occurance to happen. We live our lives with the notion that God is watching us always. But perhaps he's not the only one watching?

Jeff said...

TV show theatrics? Say it isn't so!

Wasn't Bael a Canaanite god - the one where they tossed babies into the burning belly of his brazen idol?

Pastor Swope said...

Hi Jeff,

Ba'al was a Canaanite god, The Phoenician colony of Carthage had the brass idol that they would heat up and place a living child in his searing arms. The deity is also the same as Molech (Molok,moloch,etc).

The name Ba'al was a quite common and means lord or god. So a variety of deities were given the name as a general title.

Legenda said...


Sly said...

I have had similar experiences in my life. I have thrown a couple of crucifixes in fits of anger or pain, and cursed God. Not a good thing to do.

But I always felt that God knew my heart and always found a way to forgive my human errors.

I also think some people, (from birth) just seem to attract the spiritual to them.

It seems like a game between the seen and the unseen. Some of us just have to fight fire with fire. As you know the old saying...

"For we wrestle not with flesh and blood..."

Wonderful post.

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Hollow Shadows said...

I'm telling my experiences because you seem pretty knowledgeable about this subject and any response on this or views would greatly be appriciated. Ok, ever since I was young about I guess five to to the age of nine I had nothing but nightmares of horrible creatures that would torment me as a child which made it hard to go to sleep as you could imagine, but it doesn't stop there unfortunatly. After the nightmares stoped something began. Twice I have seen a shadow that fills me with nothing but pure horror and would appear after something strange occurrs while asleep to wake me. The first time in my room and after I had the first nightmare in three years of what I belive was Hell, I awoke in tears and there it was a shadow with the figure of a man loomed over the side of my bed just starring at me. The second time it happened that same year during the summer my family and I were vacationing in Florida at a resort. While asleep the second night for some unexplained reason I woke up only to see it again, that shadow that haunts my thoughts to this very day but this time I had the courage to turn on the lights and TV and stayed up that night and found it hard again to get a good nights rest. However that was the last time hopefully I would have to encounter that thing. The next occurrenses would happen three times during my sixteenth year and this time the same dream that occured three times as I already explained. In the dream I would be laying in bed when all of a sudden the light shinning in my windows turn blood red and there was my shadow on the wall at the end of the bed and after a few seconds looking at it the shadow started writhing and screaming and suddenly my view of the dream went into third person and I was gone and what was left was what could be described as a demonic looking creature with red and black skin roaring into that red night.
Also to add I have a strange way of attracting pain and giving it off as in I always seem to hurt my friends and family, emotional for my family and pshcological for my friends to the point were I'm loosing friends and the trust of my family and I don't want to do these things but ever since I was young I've had a destructive urge for everything and everyone. So if anyone might be able to give an answer or just what they think would once again be a blessing and I am seventeen now.

Anonymous said...

I am inclined to agree with the Rev. that
In my experience,a malevolent entity is not a ghost. Any violence points to a demonic being.

In addition, I confirm that the Catholics have got a consecration ritual in order to dedicate buildings, most notably churches, to God`s worship. We Orthodox Christians do as well, and our tradition is older than that of the Roman Church.

The word in Greek is Καθαγιασμός basically a translation of the Latin Consecrare, to make sacred, where the English speakers get their word Consecrate from.

As for exorcism, it is not at all a technical term of the Roman Church. It is merely a Greek compound word, which means simply `to cast out`.

Εξορκίζω/Εξορκισμός=Εξ+Ορκίζειν=To cause one to take an oath OR to cast out.

Pastor Swope said...

Sorry Jose, your comment was somehow deleted. I will post it from what I had in my email inbox

"Jose Prado has left a new comment on your post "The Unexpected Demon":

With all due respect to everyone's beliefs on here, I am a Pagan High Priest, use the tarot and other forms of Divination and I am not haunted or possessed by any Demons. That being said, it is not necessary to do a 'ritual' in order to call in or be haunted by Demons. Demons can and will follow spiritually vulnerable people randomly. Why? Because they are predators and predators prey on the weak. Or even those they just assume are weak. Demons are restless and roam places in search of victims. That entity could just have been in the vecnity and either sensed, saw, or heard his frustrstion and used his condemnation of God as an open door in. It varies by situation. No one person or situation is the same. Also, since Christianity came from Judaism one would need to study Judaism to know for sure if a human could be a Demon or not. The Jews believe in Dybbuks, condemned souls who are barred from entering Heaven and beaten by Angels for all eternity. They come down to Earth, roam places searching for peoole to possess, spread bad luck, negative energy, disease etc.. All the classics signs of Demons even requiring an Exorcism. So a soul can become Demonic or at least Demon like. And not all evil spirits are demonic some spirits could be from a race of good or neutral spirits and still choose to be evil. Free will extends to spirits too. "

Violet Black said...

Mr./Ms. Hollow Shadows, I'm not really experienced with the problems you've described, but my first impression is that you might really have literal "inner demons" trying to hurt you and your loved ones. Have you tried telling the unclean spirit(s) to leave you alone (forever, etc.) in the Name of Jesus? That's how I've been handling my sleep paralysis for awhile. Eventually such overt attacks became a rarity for me--though it's more because I've started to physically feel when the creatures arrive, so I can tell them to leave the moment they touch me rather than after they launch their attack. I haven't been around this site long enough to know your background, but I think the basic exorcism sort of thing I just mentioned can vary in effectiveness based on whether you're a born-again Christian and how well you can restrain your fear and doubt.

Sorry to answer two years late; I hope you already found help a long time ago!

For the original topic...yeah, I think Mr. Prado has a point about the uniqueness of circumstances and prey. Personally, I've been trying my darndest to keep track of all the mental states that make me vulnerable to sleep paralysis (and related) attacks, but it seems like the thresholds keep changing on me. One discovery that shocked me is that prayer, of all things, seems to change the threshold. I've been given some kind of healing gift thing, but since I'm too shy to run around and tag people with magical Holy Spirit power, it mostly ends up getting used on myself when I'm in physical or emotional discomfort. But whereas the average night terror is preceded by a cold wind pushing into my forehead, letting my body fill with the warm tingling energy from the prayers seems to make it possible for the enemy to drop into any part of my body the moment my mind strays. I think there's something special--in the most disturbing way--about letting the profane mingle with the sacred, which would explain both the Old Testament fixation on purity and seemingly absurd dark-side practices like saying the Lord's Prayer backwards. Even my rudimentary awareness of that connection is terribly intimidating. I've actually grown afraid to use the healing prayers on myself very much because I'm not disciplined enough to stay safe. Maybe someday...