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April 18, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Sixteen: P is for Possession


It seems most people's conception of what possession is like is largely confined to their exposure to movies like The Exorcism.

Of course people and even animals can be possessed. What does the possessing? Demonologists say demons are the only spirits that possess people and animals, just like the demons that possessed the single man in the New Testament before they were cast out by Jesus and then possessed a bunch of pigs. People of different religious persuasions say demons do not possess people but instead other kinds of spirits do. The point is that a possessed person might suddenly feel extremely depressed, sick, lethargic, etc. Possessed animals might act crazy but have no physiological explanation for their condition.

Some paranormal experts theorize that a building or location can become possessed, like the Stanley Hotel in The Shining. The building or land itself can throw up obstacles to people, breaking them down over time so they too become possessed. Unexplainable fires might start up, an unusual number of accidents occur in the location and other such strange events become commonplace.

Objects can be possessed as well. A possessed object might float independently in the air, move by itself, turn on and off at will, etc. Some people claim that electronics are more prone to possession than other objects, but I personally think that's born more out of a fear of technology than anything else. Sometimes possessed objects are difficult to detect. People have unknowingly brought a possessed object into their house, triggering a sleuth of paranormal events in the house that only stop once the object is removed.

The cure for possession is exorcism, which is done in a variety of ways depending on a person's religious beliefs. Some claim that exorcism is a hit-or-miss process, while others claim that the rite can actually kill the person it is supposed to help.

9 comments:

Kate said...

I sometimes have dreams that I buy a house that is possessed by an evil spirit. They are some of the scariest dreams because the feeling of evil is so palpable. Makes me wonder what it's about, considering that people say the house represents one's self in dreams...

Steven said...

Kate, I agree that would be a frightening experience, which is why that is the subject of my first published book. In fact the main character dreams repeatedly about living in a house that is possessed by an evil entity. There are signs of possession, which often vary wildly depending on a person's religious convictions.

Julia King said...

Possessed objects--creepy! This makes me think of an episode of Supernatural where there's a mirror that is possessed with Bloody Mary. She travels from her original mirror and throughout mirrors in the city when people play the "Bloody Mary" game. Eep! That would frightened me.

Steven said...

Julia, I actually cover Bloody Mary and the mirror game when we get to S.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

While I don't think an exorcism is required, I do believe in demon possession. It explains some of the evil acts that people commit.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Rather frightening to think of an object or place possessed.

Steven said...

Alex, you're not alone in your disbelief of exorcisms. And not all "exorcisms" are performed in the same ways, especially when done by non-Catholic groups.

Diane, I can tell you from experience it is much more frightening to experience a possessed object or place. Trust me.

VR Barkowski said...

The idea of possession disturbs me. Although, I'm not sure I believe in demonic possession, per se. I do believe there are energies, both negative and positive, that can build-up and effect changes science can't explain—at least not yet. There really is so much we don't understand about our world. It bothers me when people dismiss something like possession out of hand.

VR Barkowski

Steven said...

VR, perhaps the most disturbing part of possession is the loss of control it entails. I too am disturbed by people who want to limit our body of knowledge to only things that are scientifically understood at the present moment. That doesn't encourage forward progress or the attainment of all truth in the universe.