I wanted to know any of you guys' thoughts on demon possessions. What do you make of stories like the possessions of Clara Germana Cele, Roland Doe or, more recently, "Julia"?
What spurned my curiosity was a recent occurrence that I'm loosely connected to. A family that I know contacted my father, a reverend, to bless their house because they believe it's haunted. Every family member has claimed to have seen and heard strange things. The mother says she's seen a girl appear randomly in different parts of the house; they all say that their TV turns on and off of its own accord; the father says that a shadow has appeared over him multiple times (not sure what that means; he didn't know how else to explain it); they say they've seen things move of their own accord; and finally, the exact day my father was supposed to go over there for the blessing he got a call shortly before he was going to leave- the house caught on fire; the investigators say it was a dryer fire.
The family attributes all these things to a set of figurines their daughter has of Santo de Muerte. They say when she got them and started messing with them, that's when it all started.
Anyways, I'm just curious to hear what you guys think of stories like that. Also, have any of you heard or experienced anything similar?
Reptile eyes? *shutters*
I've seen some crazies in my day too. I used to work in a pharmacy that was on the same intersection as a mental rehabilitation facility. One woman in particular gave us some stories. One time she came in, walked up to the counter and dropped her pants claiming that her water broke. She wasn't even pregnant. A couple weeks later she came in again butt naked, walked up to the counter and started shuffling while standing in place, and continued to do so until she was escorted out by the police. It was the most bizarre shit.
Yeah, sounds like the neighbor's remote control reaches their TV...and
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It's amazing that most of the world is equipped with video camera cell phones, yet the miracles are confined to patterns on a piece of toast.
I'm not sure they have a remote (it's a really poor hispanic family). I guess I didn't specify in my post but I'm under the impression that it turns on when no one's around and someone has to go turn it off. Probably just electrical problems since they have a really old house and probably a really old TV. The dryer fire is only significant because of the timing.
" I'm telling you (removed once) that my father told me (removed twice) that a family told him (removed three times)"
Not precisely. I've heard this from the family firsthand so it's only twice removed. But yeah, I get the point. I don't think their story is all that robust myself; it just spurned my curiosity. I'm dying to get in there with my recording equipment and some mics and see if I can't dig up some creepy shit!
There's a difference between paranormal and supernatural; I'm fascinated by the paranormal! The supernatural is boring; it's too predictable, requires too much faith and too little research; it starts with a conclusion, or jumps to conclusions with little or no thought. It's unfortunate that so many people have ruined paranormal research by assuming there's something supernatural going on. That's why I have a lot of respect for Michael Schermer and the Skeptics Society; they're interested in the paranormal but they do honest research.
"very strange and not able to be explained by what scientists know about nature and the world"
That's what I mean by paranormal. I don't mean something that absolutely can't be explained by scientific means, but more something that isn't really understood yet on a scientific level. When five people all swear that they saw someone levitate or something of that nature, it's interesting. Did the person actually levitate? Probably not. Probably some trick of the mind or something. But we don't know. It's the lack of knowledge that fascinates me. We can hypothesize all day about what might have happened but all we really know is that SOMETHING HAPPENED and it made 5 people swear to their graves that they saw something extraordinary. It takes a powerful force to provoke such claims, even if it's only the force of mind.
I might be mistaken in my perception, but I gather that you think I'm trying to prove something. I assure you I'm not. I'm merely expressing my interest. I can see you have none.
"They're dismissible combinations of hoax, delusion, mental and developmental disorders, brainwashed kids, mass hysteria, exaggeration and fabrication."
That might be the case for many of them. I don't think it's fair to dismiss every haunting or possession story outright though. I'm sure you've know some perfectly sane people who believe in that stuff. Have you read Dr. Richard Gallagher's article in the New Oxford Review regarding "Julia"? Here's a PhD psychiatrist claiming firsthand to have seen and documented real case of demon possession. That's not proof obviously, nor is it likely true; but it's certainly intriguing!
"The reality of nature is much more interesting and exciting than any fantasy of the supernatural."
I wonder how many demons are involved. Maybe they work in teams. Why worry about them if all they can do is cast a few shadows or interrupt someone’s television viewing. If they cleaned the house and did the ironing would they be upset? How do they know it is not God trying to give them a sign? Christians are easy to fool, especially when in small herds. Show them a statue, tell them it weeps holy tears and they will see it crying. Chop down a tree to reveal a fuzzy image of Jesus and they will be on their knees in a second, believing that they can communicate to it via telepathy.
So while they are suffering from a delusion, they are probably being honest when they report it as “possession”. They know no better. Any chance of a Faux News clip?