25 Things You May Not Know About Exorcism

A creepy list: 25 Things You May Not Know About Exorcism!  Most people have heard of this practice in one 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.

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The phenomenon of exorcism has probably existed from very early times. In Greece, Epicurus and Aeschines were sons of women who lived by this art, and each was bitterly reproached, the one by the Stoics, the other by Demosthenes, for having assisted his mother in her “dishonorable” practices.

PaintingSource: Wikipedia, Image: Wikipedia

The word exorcism comes from the Greek word exorkismos – binding by oath.

Greek alphabetSource: Wikipedia, Image: Wikipedia


The Vatican first issued official guidelines on exorcism in 1614 and revised them in 1999.

exorcism (painting)Source: Wikipedia, Image: Wikipedia

Contrary to popular belief, the practice of exorcising demons is not confined solely to Roman Catholicism or the West. It is performed all around the world by every major religion.

DemonSource: Wikipedia, Image: commons.wikimedia.org


Exorcism is pretty common in Judaism as well. Josephus, a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, reported exorcisms performed by administering poisonous root extracts. In more recent times, Rabbi Yehuda Fetaya authored the book Minchat Yahuda, which deals extensively with exorcism, his experience with possessed people, and other subjects in Jewish thought.

TalmudSource: Wikipedia, Image: Wikipedia

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