By Rick Hinton
Should a paranormal investigative group suddenly find themselves in a situation involving demonic activity, they should have but one option – backing out of the residence and closing the door behind them. The majority of groups are not mentally (or physically) equipped to take that on.
Growls, foul odors, scratches and strange languages caught on audio recorders might be an indication you are not dealing with Casper the friendly ghost. If an individual in the investigation is spiraling into what appears to be demonic possession—with those witnessing levitation, again … foreign languages, or bouts of abnormal strength – it is a road you don’t want to go down. You will not intimidate these presences with your ghost hunting skills, rather just make the situation worse; for yourself and the client. Back away and get these people professional help with the big guns. There are those trained to handle it.
When former Southside Times editor, Nicole Davis, interviewed Father Vince Lampert for an article in 2014, he wasn’t what she expected an exorcist to look like. Yes folks, the Southside of Indianapolis – Greenwood to be exact – had its very own exorcist. Nicole recalls him being a very calm and humble individual. Yet, beneath his calm demeanor resided an unspoken strength and sense of purpose.
“An exorcism is a prayer of the church,” he stated. “It means to bind with an oath, ultimately the goal is to bring relief in the life of a person who is suffering. An exorcist doesn’t have any special powers or abilities. An exorcist is an instrument God uses to bring freedom from evil in a person’s life. The power of exorcism always rests with the power of Christ.” Father Lampert has since left Greenwood for another assignment.
In the year 1999 the Vatican revisited, for the first time in 300 years, the church’s exorcism regulations. It needed to be done. In the past, as now, medical conditions exist (depression, schizophrenia, epileptic seizures and chemical imbalances) that are attributed to demonic influence. More so in the past, it was easier to write off something that wasn’t understood to the work of the devil. Revamping these ancient exorcism procedures now includes working alongside doctors and mental health professionals, more equipment for the exorcist’s tool bag. Many trained in exorcisms have adopted equipment and procedures used by paranormal investigators: digital audio recorders, cameras, EMF meters, etc. to validate claims of demonic intrusion and how they will proceed forward. It’s bridging the gap between clergy and the paranormal community. Yet, there continues to be a thorough investigation before getting down to the serious work of deliverance. The rite of exorcism is never taken lightly.
Generally accepted degrees of demonic infestation, from minor to bad times, are interference (temptation); obsession (Ouija boards, seances, seeking); oppression (physical signs); possession (it just got real – aggression, strength, defiance, a change in personality and usual habits). Minor symptoms are often resolved with prayer, oils, incense and cleansing. However, true possession is a beast in rage! Unlike the portrayal of exorcism in movies and television, it could take years to get rid of a demonic infestation. For more icing on the cake, houses, buildings and even objects have been known to be possessed. Regardless of what you have heard, however, the demonic is not the majority of paranormal investigations.
The process starts with the determination that actual evil events are taking place. If so, the exorcist will take it from there. Paranormal investigators need to step away and not try to resolve matters by what they have seen in movies or read about. The consequences are all too real!