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?

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Intellectually I know there's no such thing as demons, but I too have heard many similar stories from people. I don't have a formal opinion as to how to explain such occurrences. I'm interested to see what everyone else has to say too!
I have also seen people who I could have sworn are demon possessed. Reptile eyes. I'm sure it was just mania.

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.

Well, of course it would be interesting to know what is really going on. But obviously we currently have no logical explanation. Needless to say, that does not mean we get to say " therefore Demons". Just as we don't get to look at gaps in our scientific knowledge and say " therefore god".

That's reasonable. 

Yeah, sounds like the neighbor's remote control reaches their TV...and

TAMPA - According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than  15,000 fires are sparked every year by clothes dryers.  Lint and other  debris can build up in your dryer vent, reducing air flow to the dryer, backing  up dryer exhaust gases, creating a fire hazard.


Read more: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/money/angies_list/thousands-of-fir...

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 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"? 

They're dismissible combinations of hoax, delusion, mental and developmental disorders, brainwashed kids, mass hysteria, exaggeration and fabrication.

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. 

Anecdotes. I'm telling you (removed once) that my father told me (removed twice) that a family told him (removed three times)... and so on. I don't know what "a shadow has appeared" means, or what "a girl has appeared" means. The recognizable portions of the story (like a drier fire and problems with a television remote) aren't so impressive. I had a small drier fire last year and I've seen universal remotes connect with the wrong devices before.

Anyways, I'm just curious to hear what you guys think of stories like that.

I think that whenever there is any attempt to independently verify the facts, stories like that don't hold up.

Also, have any of you heard or experienced anything similar?

Sure. Visit YouTube and you'll find a steady stream of people making similar claims about everything from the sun dancing in the sky, to people dying and going to hell, to angels appearing at funerals, to people possessed by demons. It happens all the time. The "supernatural" parts always come down to hoaxes or to somebody's say-so.

" 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!

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 are quite a lot of prizes offered for evidence of the paranormal.

For instance, there's a million dollar prize from the James Randi foundation, which is still up for grabs after 50 years and over a thousand applications, none of which ever passed the initial qualification stage.

Good luck.

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.   

There's a difference between paranormal and supernatural;

I don't think so. Or if there is, the supernatural is considered a sub-set of the paranormal, in that the latter word refers to all things scientifically unexplainable, and the former word more often refers to gods, magic and spirits (but doesn't necessarily have to).

paranormal: very strange and not able to be explained by what scientists know about nature and the world : not scientifically explainable : supernatural

supernatural: unable to be explained by science or the laws of nature : of, relating to, or seeming to come from magic, a god, etc. (1) of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil (2)a : departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature, b: attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)

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.  

Schemer's interests run more along the lines of debunking claims of the paranormal (or if you like, the supernatural) and the pseudoscientific than investigating them as legitimate claims, although debunking requires investigation. (James Randi is a regular in Skeptic magazine.) Likewise, no such claim has ever withstood a thorough working over by the scientific method. I appreciate what these folks do, but it's because they expose hucksters and con artists, not because they investigate the paranormal as a legitimate subject.

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