Living in the Deep South gives me an interesting perspective on our cultural view of the paranormal. I was raised much further north than this and the northern perspective tends to lean towards the scientific and the practical. Conversely, there are areas of the Deep South where beliefs are steeped in the unseen world and good vs evil are very black and white concepts. This is not to say one perspective is more correct than the other but sometimes I do find myself taken aback by the ways paranormal events are interpreted. Every faith system in the world differs on the little mundane details of what the afterlife is like but most of the world’s faith systems agree on the big issues. There is a force of good and love. There is a force of evil and hate. Physical life is not the end for our souls. The choice of living a good life or an evil life determines your rewards or punishments in the afterlife. In most faith systems, there are inhuman beings on both sides that try to win us over every day of our lives. Christianity and similar religions call them angels and demons. There are also human spirits that guide, love and watch over all of us.
The one thing that I wish I could change about the general cultural view of the paranormal is that if you encounter an entity that frightens you, then it must be an inhuman spirit or a demon, depending on which term you prefer. This is simply not true. The truth is real encounters with inhuman spirits are exceedingly rare and possession is even rarer. Much of the time, especially in evangelical culture, spiritual leaders fan the flames of alleged possession in order to keep their flocks devoted to their ministries. Exorcisms are conducted by the dozens in certain churches when the reality is the majority of these people are blaming demonic activity for their untreated mental disorders. Any encounter with the paranormal is viewed as evil unless it’s a sign from God or His angels. Recognizing the difference between human and inhuman spirits is vitally important to dispelling unnecessary fears, superstition and paranoia about any paranormal encounters. In my beliefs, angels and demons do exist but encountering them is pretty rare. You’re more likely to encounter friends or family members that have passed into the afterlife but still love you enough to pop in for visits.
A human spirit is basically an entity or apparition or spiritual presence of a person who was living here on Earth but is no longer present. The rule of thumb is simple: if they were happy and loving in life, they’ll be happy and loving in death; and if they were unhappy and grumpy in life, they will be unhappy and grumpy in death. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but this is in general. It’s the unhappy human spirits that get mistaken for demons the most often. Most spirits are just looking for someone to recognize their presence, so they will do things to attract attention like messing with electronics, making noises, touching, manifesting smells, making you have certain dreams, showing themselves in reflections and to the naked eye, etc. These things can be startling to people who are not accustomed to it. It’s important to understand that getting startled does not mean they are trying to hurt you or that they are demonic. When you run into a person and they startle you, the first reaction is not to point a finger and yell, “Demon!” nor should it be when a human spirit startles you. It’s also important to understand that the vast majority of human spirits do not possess the energy to cause you harm, nor are they interested in causing harm.
An inhuman spirit is, by definition, a paranormal entity that has never lived as a human being here on Earth. Angels, demons, tulpas, elementals, etc., would be considered inhuman spirits because they have never existed outside of the realm of the afterlife as a human being. Angels are interested in preserving life for good while demons are interested in destroying life for evil. Demons seek out people weakened by emotional strife, self-loathings, and other self-destructive behavior that makes a soul an easy target. They also do this because mentally compromised people are not going to be credible in proving that they exist at all. Two forms of spiritual attack can happen when dealing with a demon and they have a great deal more strength to cause harm than any human entity.
- Oppression: This is when an inhuman entity concentrates on wreaking havoc in your life, interfering with your relationships, physically hurting you with bruises, cuts, etc. You don’t have to have any direct contact with the demon and the oppression can go on for years without the person being oppressed even realizing the true cause. Inhuman entities have impressive strength and they have an uncanny ability to push your fears in order to establish control. Blessings, reestablishing control over your life, etc., are ways of eliminating inhuman presences. Oppression can evolve into….
- Possession: This is when an inhuman entity literally takes control of the human body and does bad things against the person’s will, usually without their knowledge as well. In most legitimate cases, people experience blackouts of memory during the time that they were possessed and never regain memory of what happened. Possession cannot happen without your invitation. Playing with Ouija boards, doing seances, etc., are forms of inviting this kind of activity whether that is the intention or not. Exorcisms are required to rid the person of the inhuman entity.
This is an audio recording of the exorcism that was the basis for the film The Exorcism of Emily Rose. It was very loosely based on a true story. I warn you, this is not a recording for the easily frightened. Click here for the exorcism recording.
I have encountered demonic activity in my life. I don’t like to talk about it much though because I’m of the belief that talking about past experiences with evil will attract those entities again. My ex-fiance used to practice black arts before we were together, including conjuring entities to control for his own gain, and there was always something dark in our house. It attacked my brother in his sleep, gave him its name, attacked me in my sleep, etc. Insensitive skeptics can say those things were just nightmares but many of the most frightening things happened in broad daylight when I was wide awake.
Yes, I do believe demons exist.
No, I will never speak the name of the one I encountered.