If you've ever watched a scary movie, then you've probably seen instances of paranormal activities. Evil spirits or ghosts seem to protrude from your flat-screen TV and into your own home. You have to turn on all of your lights, lock all of your doors, and check all of your rooms.
Maybe you've even contemplated on calling the police, a ghostbuster, or your shrink. Relax! You're not crazy. You're just being cautious. You're unlike the characters in the horror flicks.
They may ignore the signs, but you're going to pay close attention, even if people think you're bonkers. Remember the movie The Exorcist? A preteen girl was possessed by the devil itself, and her mother was frantically searching for answers. She thought her daughter was suffering from a mental affliction, so she sought medical counsel. However, her child's problem lied within the supernatural realm, so she needed the priest's help.
While his efforts were without vain, he passed away, so the little girl could live. The Exorcist was more than a blockbuster of the 1970's. The movie was an instant classic. The possibility of life beyond the grave frightened and fascinated people, so their curiosity allowed them to explore the concept of paranormal activity. Even though science may disprove any instance, there have been cases unexplained by teams of psychiatrists, doctors, and scientists. How can they dissect the intangible demonic forces, possessions, or the uneasiness in people's spirits?
As much as they would like to solve otherworldly matters, they should just accept that they lack the expertise. Specialized situations need specialized care, and fifteen examples below are proof of such.
15 Anneliese Michel
A 17-year-old teenager, Anneliese Michel, was believed to have died from demonic possession. During the late 1960's, the young woman underwent traumatizing experiences that are commonly associated with schizophrenia. “Anneliese began to suffer from convulsions. Court findings have her experiencing her first epileptic attack in 1969. Soon, Anneliese started experiencing devilish hallucinations while praying. She also began to hear voices, which told her that she was damned,” an article reported.
Her parents were looking for answers in psychiatric fields, but medication did little to aid Michel's problem. Eventually, her mother and father went to Catholicism for help. However, their religion only made Michel's burden even heavier. She endured at least “67 rites of exorcism over a period of 10 months.”
She died of an official prognosis of malnourishment and dehydration, but she suffered much, much more. May Michel rest in peace.
14 Janet Hodgson
At just 11 years old, Janet Hodgson survived the haunting of her household. She and her siblings experienced the unbelievable feats of levitation and flying furniture. “Then I experienced Lego pieces flying across the room, and marbles, and the extraordinary thing was, when you picked them up they were hot,” she recalled.
August 30, 1977 was the night that her family's terror began, and they had to survive the good and bad of their poltergeist. Hodgson remembered her familial life with a poignant clarity, and she dished on her feelings about her childhood. “The levitation was scary, be-cause you didn't know where you were going to land. I remember a curtain being wound around my neck, I was screaming, I thought I was going to die,” she said.
Even though her family moved away, the inhabitants lived to haunt the next family. Clare Bennett and her sons moved into the home, but they packed their things and left after a couple months. They were being harassed, as well.
13 Dave Murphy
Dave Murphy was a security guard for Utah's Capitol Theatre, so he was used to the late-night hooligans, eerie emptiness, and quiet solitude. However, he was stunned when he fell prey to forces beyond his control. He recounted the times he heard doors slam even though nobody was in the building with him. The force was so strong that windows vibrated. “I saw a woman. She walked right past me as I sat in the control room. My jaw dropped,” he recalls.
He had never seen a woman dressed in colonial attire before, especially since the building was unoccupied by anyone else. He was floored, but he was just one employee out of a few who had similar experiences. The theater's reputation was spreading fast, so the place's crew members were offered a spot on the television show Paranormal Witness to relay their brush with the other side.
12 Don Decker
Don Decker appeared on two different television series to explain the magical power he gained...from an outside force. He was in an upstairs bathroom when he was possessed by a malevolent spirit. “He was washing up for supper when he felt strange and confused. He fell to the floor and had a vision of an old man wearing a crown in a window. Decker also had deep scratches that suddenly appeared on his wrist. [He] attributed the wound to Satan,” an article explains.
The inmate had the ability to “make it rain” indoors, quite literally. The paranormal activity happened at a rental with his family and friends bearing witness to the strange event. They were worried for Decker, not to mention themselves. The men noticed Decker seemed to be in a trance, so [someone] decided to call police,” an article explains.
The cops were unable to rationalize what happened next. Not only was Decker's apartment doused in water, but the water was levitating from the floor. How was Decker able to get such a unique power? He attributed his eerie ability to his late grandfather, a man who was known for his mean spirit.
11 James Penniston
James Penniston was in the United States Air Force when he witnessed an unfathomable moment. He was informed by his boss about an indescribable light emanating from the Rendlesham Forest. “There was a bright light emanating from an object on the forest floor. As we approached it on foot, a triangular craft came into view. The craft was fully intact sitting in a small clearing inside the woods,” his bio relays.
He first thought he and his team were dealing with an airplane crash, but they were very surprised. They felt like they were witnesses to an extraterrestrial craft unlike anything known to man. “When we came up on the craft, there were blue and yellow lights swirling around the exterior as though part of the surface and the air around us was electrically charged. We could feel it on our clothes, skin, and hair. Nothing in my training prepared me for what we were witnessing,” his bio relays.
Even though they were never harmed by the mysterious machine, Penniston remembered the craft with a haunting clarity. He would never forget.
10 Zak Bagans
The host of Ghost Adventures, Zak Bagans, spent $35,000 on the Gary, Indiana house reported to be the “portal to hell.” The home gained national attention when a mother and her two children experienced traumatizing events in it. One of the most terrifying experiences was when her young daughter levitated, not to mention other horrors that haunted their home. However, Bagans was more intrigued than terrified.
“Zak says he's going to live there and document his experience — 'If it's true this home is a portal to hell, then I want to go there and see what happens,'” he says.
He should enter at his own risk. Has he not seen American Horror Story: Roanoke?
9 Maurice Theriault
Maurice Theriault grew up in a very abusive home. According to a paranormal website, the man suffered a painful childhood. His father was very negligent, not to mention always angry and spiteful. Theriault had been his victim for years and years, and his life became even worse with time. “[He] began to ask for help at this time, calling upon anyone who would help him and then unknowingly asking Satan to help him through his situation,” the site states.
His supposed prayers to Satan had a lasting impact on the rest of his life, so Theriault lived a very damning existence. Not only was he dealing with the trauma of his childhood and adolescence, but he was also dealing with the demonic forces inside of his own being. As he was trying to quell the demons within him, he reacted by hurting his own wife. “One night while trying to recite the Hail Mary to make the possession stop, he became so violent he tried to choke his wife,” the site states.
He was able to cope with the horror after he survived an exorcism, and he even gained fame and fortune through his book deal and insurance policy. However, he was soon arrested for the “sexual abuse of a minor.” Were the demons responsible for the crime or was he the one responsible for it? People have given mixed opinions, but they can agree that Theriault's story is a harrowing tale.
8 Jennifer Groesbeck
May 7, 2015 was when Jennifer Groesbeck lost her life to a horrific car crash.
She was driving home after a familial visit, and her baby, Lily, was in the backseat. They were travelling along a bridge when her car careened into the body of water below. When the police arrived on the scene, they were prepared to find two dead bodies. However, the four men heard a woman's voice. “Wading through freezing water, several officers began hearing a voice calling out to them from inside the car. The voice asked for help. The cry for help drove both men and two other officers to manually flip the overturned vehicle,” an article states.
They found the lifeless mother, but they also found her daughter alive. While the adult was badly injured and submerged in water, her child suffered little harm. Even though the baby had been trapped inside the car for 14 hours, she made a quick recovery.
The mother may have died, but her spirit ensured the protection of her infant. True love still exists...even in the afterlife.
7 The Ouija Board Curse
Two Texan teenagers were playing with the Ouija board when their game took a violent turn. A 15-year-old boy stabbed his 14-year-old friend, and he told the police that the board game told him to harm his peer. “He pulled the weapon on the friend in a wooded area behind a high school in Weslaco, a small town along the U.S-Mexico border at the southern tip of Texas,” an article states. Even though the perpetrator put the blame on the game, his reasoning was paltry. The police further investigated the incident, and they said that he was sane. “The alleged assailant has no history of mental illness,” the article states.
His victim survived the attack, and he was sent to the hospital for further care. However, he will always be haunted by his friend's attempted murder. Even though law enforcement claimed the boy had a clean bill of health and no criminal record, they were still puzzled.
Did the friend have ulterior motives or was he just possessed to kill his friend?
6 Arne Cheyenne Johnson
Arne Cheyenne Johnson made national headlines with his trial. He was the perpetrator in the “Devil Made Me Do It” case, a case about how Johnson murdered his landlord under the pretense of demonic possession. However, was he really moved by evil spirits to kill the man? His lawyer, family, and friends believed so. “Arne Cheyenne Johnson was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for the killing of his landlord. Johnson killed his landlord during a heated conversation. His defense lawyer argued in court that he was possessed,” a page states.
His case was the first in the U.S. to argue Johnson's innocence. However, the judge ruled in favor of Johnson's opposition, so the murderer received five years in prison. His loved ones were distraught. They knew Johnson's body and mind were under siege.
According to them, he was forced to kill.
5 David Berkowitz
David Berkowitz was known more so by his moniker “Son of Sam.” He was coined with the nickname because of his murder spree throughout the 1970's. He had killed six people, and he caused harm to seven other individuals. “Berkowitz wrote to columnist Jimmy Breslin, signing the letter 'Son of Sam.' Once caught, he claimed to have been taking orders from a demon in possession of his neighbor's dog, Harvey,” an article states.
Whether he was really possessed or not has yet to be determined. However, the murderer was convicted to life behind bars. Regardless of his chance at parole, he'll probably never leave prison.
4 Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor, his wife, and his children were regarded as a quiet yet kind family in the town of Osset. However, the town was disrupted by a heavy presence of evil. He had fallen in love with Marie Robinson, the Christian Fellowship Group's pastor.
The two were engaged in strange practices and rituals, and their uncanny involvement had a lasting impact on Taylor. He became a hollow shell of his former self, and his virulent attitude led to the killing of his wife and dog. They were brutally disfigured by Taylor. His crimes were evident, but the court deemed him insane. He spent a few years in a psychiatric hospital, but his demons were always haunting him.
Taylor's a prime example of demonic possession, and his life remains an unnerving reminder of the dangers of demonic forces.
3 Pope Francis
Pope Francis is more than just a public fixture of the Vatican. He helps civilians in need, and he's always humble of his status. When people need help, he's there.
In particular, one boy was in crisis. The pope laid his hands on the child's head, so people thought the pious man was exorcising the demons from the boy's body. However, reports have suggested otherwise. “The Holy Father did not intend to perform any exorcism. As he often does with sick and suffering people who are presented to him, he simply intended to pray for the suffering person,” a spokesperson asserts.
Maybe he was just involved in deep prayer, or maybe he was performing an exorcism. Other exorcists believed the man was relieving the boy of demons, so who knows.
2 Anna Ecklund
Anna Ecklund was a victim of demonic possession in 1928, and she was one of the first Americans to suffer from the affliction. Very little is known of her personal life, but the girl was rumored to have lived with different forms of evil. Her aunt possibly cursed her, and her father possibly had inflicted his perversions on Ecklund. From her childhood to her adolescence, the young girl was tormented by several demons.
“[She was] constantly vomiting foul substances, various parts of her body swelled,” a page relays. She suffered for years and years, but her exorcism proved successful, and she lived into adulthood. Hopefully, she was finally able to live a happy and healthy life.
1 Final Thoughts
I feel like there are otherworldly powers beyond the human imagination, and the thought scares me. Hell, even writing the article gave me an uneasy feeling. The research and study of such gruesome and violent accounts of possession is alarming.
Were the aforementioned victims struggling with demons, or were they struggling with mental afflictions only explainable by science? While their stories remain a mystery, they'll remain a constant reminder of intangible horrors.
What do you guys think?
Sources: huffingtonpost, wow, dailymail, tmz