Nobody can say for sure if demons are real. Countless books and movies, however, have portrayed evil spirits dominating the body of a helpless human victim. In fact, even the Christian Bible has mentioned Jesus “casting out demons” from people more than 30 times.
Many religions also do not dispute the claims of the existence of demons. Exorcism rituals, prayers, spells, and incantations removing these spirits exist in most religions.
Among all these stories, there are 10 cases that are terrifying, and if eyewitnesses are to be believed, these demonic possessions did happen in real life.
Note: We used images from movies and other sources to represent most of the cases since there are no photographs available.
1. Anneliese Michel
The case of Anneliese Michel is a controversial one which inspired the Hollywood movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Anneliese Michel was 16 years old when she was treated with epilepsy and mental disorder and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
Sometime in 1973 however, Michel began to be suicidal, she threw away all religious icons, drank her own urine, and began hearing voices.
Medicines didn’t help her. Michel asked her family to bring in a priest because she felt demons were taking over her body. Her request was requested rejected at first, but two local priests performed exorcism rites on her in secret. Her parents stopped her medical treatment for her epilepsy and mental disorders. Unfortunately, she passed away after a year. Read the full story HERE.
2. Clara Germana Cele
The first case is a Christian student named Clara Germana Cele, who studied in St. Michael’s Mission in Natal, South Africa. Sixteen-year-old Cele was believed to have made a pact with Satan. Several days later, Cele started behaving eerily. She was revolted with religious artifacts like crucifixes. Furthermore, she suddenly became fluent in many languages, even if she had no previous knowledge of them. The sisters who took care of Cele also reported about her clairvoyance about other people’s thoughts and their past history as well.
She was also said to produce scary, animal-like sounds and could levitate up to five feet in the air.
Because of her strange behavior, two priests were called upon to perform exorcism. Cele then tried to choke one of the priests with his stole. A crowd of over 170 people was said to have seen her levitate as the priests read Bible passages. After 2 days, the rites of exorcism successfully drove the dark spirits from her body.
3. The Son of Sam and the Demonic Dog
In 1976, the people from North America’s East side specifically, New York City were terrorized by a sadist serial killer known as the “Son of Sam,” or the “44 Caliber Killer.” For more than a year, the killer toyed and lead police on a wild goose chase, leaving behind taunting and notes at the gruesome crime scenes. Six people were murdered and seven others severely injured in a period known as “Summer of Sam.”
David Berkowitz was finally caught and he eventually confessed to all of the shootings and claimed that he killed because he was following the orders of a demon.
Berkowitz did not admit to being possessed himself. However; he claimed that his neighbor’s dog was possessed, and was the one commanding him to perform these horrible killings. Berkowitz was sentenced to six life sentences, and in the mid-90s he changed his confession, stating that he had indeed been a member of a secret Satanic cult that had inspired and orchestrated the incidents as part of a sacrificial ritual murder.
“Julia” is another case of demonic possession. In 2008, Dr. Richard E. Gallagher, a board-certified psychiatrist and associate professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College, reported the case of a patient with the pseudonym “Julia” documented the case of a patient nicknamed Julia.
Dr. Gallagher himself has reported flying objects, levitation and speaking in tongues. Julia was also reported to know details about people with whom she has no previous knowledge of.
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Gallagher’s statement:
“Periodically, in our presence, Julia would go into a trance state of a recurring nature,” writes Gallagher. “Mentally troubled individuals often ‘dissociate,’ but Julia’s trances were accompanied by an unusual phenomenon: Out of her mouth would come various threats, taunts and scatological language, phrases like ‘Leave her alone, you idiot,’ ‘She’s ours,’ ‘Leave, you imbecile priest,’ or just ‘Leave.’ The tone of this voice differed markedly from Julia’s own, and it varied, sometimes sounding guttural and vaguely masculine, at other points high-pitched. Most of her comments during these ‘trances,’ or at the subsequent exorcisms, displayed a marked contempt for anything religious or sacred.
Julia’s case is unique because it is very rare that a psychiatrist acknowledges demonic possession, instead of attributing the symptoms to a mental illness.
5. Roland Doe: The Exorcist
The Exorcist is one of the most popular Hollywood movies about exorcism. It is said to be inspired by the tale of Roland Doe or “Robbie Mannheim”, the most wicked among the stories of demonic possession. In fact, Roland Doe was a pseudonym given to him by the Catholic Church to protect the family’s privacy.
Sometime in the late 1940s, Doe’s aunt gave him a Ouija board to use. After his aunt’s death, Doe used the Ouija board to contact her, but instead, it became a channel for demons to possess him.
Strange sounds such as dripping water, unexplained footsteps and scratching noises gripped their household. Later on, religious icons began to shake and fly off the walls. Roland’s body became filled with scratches and strange words that seemed to have been carved into him by invisible claws. Roland spoke in tongues in a deep voice, and he began levitating as his body convulsed in deep pain.
These happenings prompted the family to bring in a Catholic priest who performed the exorcism ritual over thirty times. Roland, who became so strong even injured the priest several times throughout the ritual. Finally, the rite became successful. The entire hospital heard Roland’s anguished cries as demons were said to have left his body. A horrid sulfuric odor hung in the air immediately after.
6. Anna Ecklund: The Earling Possession
Anna is a 14-year-old girl from Earling, Iowa who began showing signs of being possessed by demons. She was raised as a Catholic however, her aunt and father who were into witchcraft, supposedly often cursed her. Her food was tainted with herbs. Later on, she shunned all religious articles and refused to enter the Catholic church.
In 1912, exorcism rites were performed on her and she was declared “healed” But her father and aunt prayed to Satan for her to continuously be tortured. Within the same year, Ecklund had become possessed by many demons, some of whom are said to be the same ones who took over Annaliese Michel.
In 1928, Ecklund once again asked for the Church’s help. She was living with nuns in a convent at the time of the exorcism. Whenever the nuns bless the food that she was about to eat, she would sense prayers. She would make hissing sounds and get mad at the nuns. She only ate foods which have not been blessed. Witnesses claim that Ecklund suddenly had knowledge of different languages that she never knew before. Witnesses also state that Ecklund levitates and could climb on walls. She became clairvoyant and usually spat on the priests. Her eyes began to swell and she became so bloated and heavy that she almost broke the iron bed.
Finally, after twenty-three days and three full exorcism rites, the priests finally declared her free from the demons who took possession of her.
7. Michael Taylor and the Demon of Murder
Michael Taylor and his wife Christine were residents of a small town called Ossett in Great Britain. They were traditional and were very religious. They were even part of a Christian prayer group led by a certain Marie Robinson. Sometime in 1974, Taylor’s wife, Christine, accused Michael and Marie of having an affair, which both denied. Michael Taylor then began shouting obscenities and began acting bizarrely. Witnesses state that he seemed to be possessed by evil spirits.
After several months of his crazy bizarre behavior, Taylor finally agreed to consult with a priest who performed exorcism rites. The exorcism rites lasted for more than 24 hours. The priests claimed to have removed around forty demons from Taylor.
However before Taylor left, he was warned that he still had a demonic murderer in his body.
And the priests were right! As soon as Taylor came home, he then slaughtered his wife and their dog. After the gruesome murder, he roamed the streets covered in blood. The court, however, pleaded him not guilty due to insanity.
8. Arne Cheyenne Johnson
Arne Cheyenne Johnson’s case is known as the “Demon Murder Trial” It is known for being the only court case in the US wherein the defense attempted to prove the defendant (Johnson) was not guilty because he was possessed by demons.
In 1981, Arne Cheyenne Johnson slaughtered his landlord, Alan Bono, in Connecticut. Johnson’s councilors debated that his actions indicated a cycle of erratic and unpredictable behavior that had begun when Johnson was very young. Johnson’s family had even confided and consulted with “demonologists” Ed and Lorraine Warren, saying that the child had been haunted and harassed by unknown paranormal entities. They also insisted that his wrong doings were not from a psychological disorder but because he was possessed by demons.
Later on, the court ruled that being possessed by demons was not a valid defense against first-degree murder. Johnson was eventually convicted. However, he only served five years in prison instead of his ten to twenty-year sentence.
9. George Lukins
In 1778, an English tailor named George Lukins claimed that he was possessed by evil spirits. Neighbors often heard him singing and speaking in a strange voice.
He was then sent to a medical facility for over twenty months, but doctors could not do anything to help him. His nurses eventually discharged him from the facility, and they were more convinced that his illness was not medical at all but demonic in nature.
During one of his evil episodes, a very violent Lukins reportedly claimed that he was the devil himself, barked repeatedly like a dog, and sang songs backward.
Lukins claimed that he was taken over by seven evil spirits, of which seven clergymen should help him. With this information, the church finally stepped up and decided to get involved. The seven priests gathered at the Temple Church, where they performed exorcism rites. After the ceremonies, the priests claimed that Lukins was saved from the demons who possessed him. George Lukins finally exclaimed, “Blessed Jesus!” He then praised God and recited the Lord’s Prayer. He was very grateful to the priests.
10. Elizabeth Knapp
In October of 1671, Elizabeth Knapp, a servant in the household of Reverend Samuel Willard, began displaying strange behaviors and complaining about pains in her body.
According to Elizabeth, the possession began when she was visited by the Devil one night and she had made a pact with him, selling her soul for money and youth. From then on, Elizabeth’s appearance began to change, she would speak in strange voices, and her body would become so contorted that it took several people to hold her down. Nothing else is known about Elizabeth or the outcome of her ordeal, or whether she was able to overcome her demons.
What others are reading: The Creepy True Story Of Elisa Lam: Paranormal, Suicide, Or Murder?
There are a lot of unexplainable things in this world. Perhaps demonic possessions are real. What do you think?