Exorcism. Most people have heard of this practice in one way form or fashion. Nowadays the belief that demons exist and can possess people is more likely something you’ll find in a novel or see in a horror film than in real life. However, the fear of demons and evil spirits has been one of the most widely held religious beliefs in the world and goes back to antiquity. Unsurprisingly, the Catholic Church still claims humans can be possessed by demons and for that matter, the Bible recounts six instances of Jesus casting them out and offers exorcisms to remedy this threat.
The idea that invading spirits are inherently evil is mainly a Judeo-Christian concept, though every religion and belief system accepts possession, in one form or another. In the United States exorcisms declined dramatically during the eighteenth century and occurred rarely until the latter half of the twentieth century when there was a sharp rise due to the media attention exorcisms were getting. Hollywood contributed greatly to the exorcism’s “resurrection” with mainstream films often noted as “based on a true story.” As a result there was a fifty percent increase in the number of exorcisms performed during the 1970s and what’s even more tragic is that there were several cases where the “possessed” person died during or shortly after the exorcism. These are 25 Things You May Not Know About Exorcism. Warning: These may creep you out, so make sure you turn on the lights before you read this.