Have you ever wondered if some stories of demonic possession could be true? In today’s modern age, people generally scoff at demonic possession. Spooky ghost stories and the like are meant to be left in horror novels and films, or so they say. Despite a general disbelief, a demand for exorcisms has risen so much that the Catholic Church had to hold a conference about it. Even a prominent psychiatrist claims demonic possession is the real thing. With so many people believing they’re possessed, maybe some cases are actually true? There’s no way to know for sure. But you can always say a prayer and listen to these 25 Horrible Demonic Possessions That Could Be True.
In 1912, this fourteen-year-old girl from Iowa was a devout Catholic, but her father and aunt, who practiced witchcraft, would curse her and taint her food. After a while, she couldn’t enter a church, look at religious artifacts, and became sexually depraved. Some witnesses testified that she spoke in languages she’d never known before. She supposedly levitated and vomited out of her mouth. Eventually, priests came to exorcise the demons and after twenty-three days, they declared her free of demonic possession.
The Ammons Family
Gary police Capt. Charles Austin said he thought the story involving a mother and three children being possessed was a hoax until he visited the house several times. Since then, he said he’s a “believer.” From a swarm of flies in winter to a little boy walking backward up a wall, many strange and eerie things happened in the Ammons’ home. Eventually, this caught the attention of the Catholic Church and priests exorcised the demons. Since then, the family claims things have turned back to normal.
In 1974, this man worked as a butcher and was considered an affable man, but not particularly religious. However, he began attending Christian Fellowship Group and became enamored with the lay leader, Marie Robinson. Eventually, he had an episode of becoming “bestial” and verbally assaulted Robinson to the point where he had to be restrained. He had no memory of the incident, but his personality slowly deteriorated to the point where priests came to perform an exorcism. They said they exorcised 40 demons, but murder was still inside him. Soon after, he brutally murdered his wife in a grisly and violent manner and afterward, proceeded to kill his dog, ripping off its limbs.
Twenty years before the Salem Witch Trials, this sixteen-year-old girl was a servant in the house of Samuel Willard, a prominent Puritan preacher. When Knapp started having violent fits, he frequently consulted a local medical doctor, but the doctor didn’t know what was causing it. She also would speak in a hollow voice and call the minister a “great black rogue” and said he “tells the people a company of lies.” Little is recorded of what happened to her later.
This man’s possession started in 1788 when he would violently slap himself in the face and have wild fits. As his possession grew worse, he claimed he was the devil, made barking noises, sung an inverted hymn, and was very violent. Priests exorcised his demons, and it was reported afterward he was “calm and happy” as if back to normal.
In the late 19th century, this man became a lay brother at a monastery but eventually was considered demonically possessed. Some of the symptoms included having knowledge of things he would have no way of knowing and speaking in Latin, though he had no official training in it. No exorcism was performed on him and he died in 1871.
Woman Diagnosed by Dr. Richard E. Gallagher
This ivy-league educated and self-proclaimed “man of science” never considered demon possession to be real until he saw it up close and personal with a woman named “Julia.” He’s a board-certified psychiatrist and teaches at Columbia University and New York Medical College, but he also helps distinguish psychological disorders from “real demonic possessions.” Julia would know things about Gallagher that only he knew and even had books flying off the shelves around her at one point. Sometimes her voice would appear on his phone when he was talking to a priest. Julia tried to be exorcised but eventually gave up and was later diagnosed with cancer.
Carolyn Perron and the Perron Family
This mother and family moved into their new 14-room home in 1971 not expecting what would befall them soon after. Things started small, like a broom missing, until the children started seeing spirits, some friendly and others not. Other events took place, like beds rising off the floor and rooms smelling like rotting flesh. The found a Satanist had once lived in the house, and they tried to have the demons removed through exorcism.
Robert the Doll
This doll has been said to be haunting the residents of Key West for over a hundred years. As a young boy, Gene Otto loved the doll, but when mutilated toys and weird things happened, he would say, “Robert did it!” Accounts of the doll giggling menacingly and going from room to room spread through the neighborhood, and eventually, the doll was put in the attic. When Gene inherited the house, he brought Robert down and painted with him. It’s said the doll drove his wife insane. The doll is now on display at the Fort East Martello Museum.
The Dibbuk Box
This old Jewish wine box was owned by a Holocaust survivor and brought to the United States. The owner said to her daughter to never open it because it contained a demon. The daughter eventually sold it to a shopkeeper named Mannis, but he didn’t believe the story until he opened it and weird things started happening. Later, his store was destroyed with nothing stolen and a shopkeeper said lightbulbs smashed as if out of nowhere and a strange, disembodied voice screamed out loud. When Mannis gave the box to his mother, she died of a stroke five minutes after receiving it.
The famous novel and film The Exorcist was inspired by an actual exorcism in 1949. This thirteen-year-old boy from Maryland became obsessed with using an Ouija board to contact his dead aunt. His behavior changed rapidly and his home suddenly was filled with strange noises and supernatural activity. Eventually, the family requested a priest to exorcise the demons from Mannheim. During the exorcism, he spoke in fluent Latin and words like “Hell” and “Evil” would appear on his body. After the exorcisms, Manneheim went back to normal and lived a normal life.
The Bell Family
In 1817, the Bell Family lived on a farm in Adams, Tennessee. John Bell, the patriarch of the family, started seeing weird things around the farm but told his family to say nothing of it for fear of being called crazy. Their whole house soon became possessed with their daughter, Betsy, waking up with handprints and welts on her face. John also suffered choking fits and eventually fell into a coma and died.
Father Marian Rajchel
After this priest performed an exorcism on a teenager, he later started received several disturbing text messages. He believes demons are using the cell phone to taunt him, sending him messages like, “Shut up, preacher. You cannot save yourself.” Another message read, “She will not come out of this hell. She’s mine. Anyone who prays for her will die.”
This murderer is one of the first to use demonic possession as an argument for innocence. His girlfriend’s brother, David Glatzel, claimed to have witnessed a demon at night and had scratches and bruises on his arms. He went to Arne for help and they approached a priest to exorcise the demons. They supposedly exorcised 40 demons, but turned their attention to Arne for helping David. Soon after, while having dinner with his girlfriend and their landlord Alan Bono, Arne murdered Bono with a pocket knife. His case didn’t hold up in court.
Man Exorcised by Pope Francis
In 2013, a 43-year-old Mexican father claimed to be possessed by many demons, having already had 30 exorcisms performed by 10 exorcists. He eventually had Pope Francis pray over him and it was captured on video. Witnesses claim during that time a horrible roar of a lion was heard. The man claims his whole life deteriorated when he was first possessed. He’d fall into trances and speak in unknown languages. Sadly, he still claims to have demons inside of him.
This 28-year-old woman was born to deeply religious parents in Mottlingen, Germany. After a priest and doctors claimed the Dittus house was haunted, Reverend Johann Christoph Blumhardt advised Gottliebin be removed from the house as she had the worst symptoms. Once she was removed, the hauntings at the house ceased. She only grew worse. Speaking in different languages, having violent convulsions, and yelling out blasphemies, the young girl spoke in a different voice entirely, claiming to be a woman in her visions. During the exorcisms, she supposedly threw up blood, nails, and glass. After two agonizing years, Blumhardt finally found a way to exorcise the demon entirely and became a local hero to the villagers.
This Uber driver who murdered six people told the police his Uber app was possessed and told him to do it. He claimed the devil sent Satanic messages through the app. A Satanic symbol popped up on the screen and when he clicked it, he immediately became Satan’s puppet.
The night before this man hacked his mother and sister to death with an ax, he said, “I am the devil, I need to confess.” He was also heard by witnesses to speak in a strange language and said he was possessed by demons.
The Smurls Family
Also known as the Smurl haunting, this family claims their house was haunted by a demon from 1974 to 1989. From loud noises and bad odors to more violent activities like having their dog thrown against a wall and their daughter thrown down a flight of stairs, the Smurls claimed to experience all kinds of horrors that brought the attention of demonologists, priests, psychologists, and heavy media coverage. While some backed up their claims, many others said it was a hoax and not to be believed.
Woman Seen by William Friedkin
This director of The Exorcist recently made a documentary following real-life exorcist Father Amorth as he performed an exorcism. The woman known as Elizabeth would shake violently as Amorth chanted Latin spells to cast out the evil spirits. She’d also scream, “Don’t touch her!” and “I am Satan!”
Growing up in Bavaria, West Germany, in the 1960’s, this girl would occasionally go into trances, convulsions, pass out randomly, and wet her bed. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and given medicine for it, but the medicine didn’t seem to help her and the symptoms only grew worse. Eventually, she would do 400 squats a day, crawl under the bed and bark like a dog, eat spiders and coal, and even bit the head off of a dead bird. She believed she was possessed by five demons: Lucifer, Cain, Judas Iscariot, Adolf Hitler, and Nero. Exorcisms did nothing to help her, and she died of malnutrition and dehydration in July 1st, 1976.
Clara Germana Cele
This sixteen-year-old girl was said to be possessed by a demon in 1960. She admitted to making a pact with the devil and could do extraordinary things, like speak in many languages she didn’t formerly know, have super strength, and clairvoyance. At one time, she levitated five feet in the air and could easily hurl nuns across the room. She was successfully exorcised and said to be acting totally normal afterward.
Living in Litchfield, Connecticut, this woman started feeling a dark presence by her side and would occasionally be pushed and hit by an unseen force. Eventually, the attacks grew more violent until she’d be black and blue in places she wouldn’t be able to do to herself. Found to not have any psychosis, Reading turned to exorcism.
Psychopath, con-artist, and America’s first serial killer, this man created a castle with a labyrinth of hidden chambers, rooms, and compartments to keep his victims, mostly women, before torturing and murdering them. He was captured and confessed to killing 27 people, but it’s believed the murder count could be anywhere upwards of 200. Many believed the only way he could have done these things was to be possessed by Satan. He even confessed, “Yes, I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer no more then the poet can help the inspiration to song…”
Also known as “Son of Sam,” this serial killer plagued New York City’s streets from 1976 to 1977, killing six people and wounding seven using a revolver. When police searched his apartment, they found Satanic graffiti and diaries confessing to other atrocities. He pled guilty to the murders and told police his neighbor’s dog was possessed by a demon and told him to do it.