By Rick Hinton
Thus comes the opening music: the haunting piano from Michael Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, a thick curtain of fog and a darkly silhouetted priest next to a streetlight; also a sense of urgency. Modern-day exorcists … a present-day occurrence or a legend seeped in folklore? How does this translate into paranormal investigations? Is it something to be laughed away? Or, is there credence that demonic activity holds court in the present?
I believe that it does; that evil has the capacity to be the great imitator of what we feel is good, and sometimes steers us down a path we don’t want to walk down. Exorcism? Ghost hunting? Between the two it’s a whole different realm. And not one to be taken lightly.
Entertainment media, it appears, has become the illumination of the demonic, with exorcism portrayed in books, movies, online and television. In 2016, one show – The Exorcist – was the revamping of the original 1973 movie of the same name. Regan has grown up, now with a family of her own. However, it would seem the forces of darkness never fully relinquished its hold upon her. Was it a good show? Concerning the subject of demonic influence, I felt it was spot on; and somewhat disturbing (as was the movie when I saw it in the 1970s). It was moody, dark and yes – the first episode contained the music, fog and the solitary figure of the priest about to do battle as he stands outside the house. Nice touch!
Is it all real? Very much so. The Catholic Church has long recognized the reality of evil, demons and possession. However, it’s not a subject they will advertise, rather putting priests quietly into place to deal with it. As stated in the last article, Greenwood had one of these priests. Father Vincent Lampert resided at the Saints Francis and Clare Catholic Church on the Southside. At the time, he was one of about 50 working exorcists in the United States. His official title was “designated exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.”
“I saw someone levitate once. I saw foaming at the mouth, bodily contortions, superhuman strength, speaking in a strange language and howling like a wild animals!”
Regardless, he held to his faith, believing that evil was no match against the power that resides in the church founded by Jesus Christ. He was an adamant teacher in dissecting evil from the grace that Christ provides. To witness a possession he equated to visual shows or parlor tricks, meant to scare or distract from the business at hand.
“I think there are a lot of people who think that exorcism is a throwback to the Middle Ages,” he stated. “But, lots of times, it’s because they don’t want to think about it. They don’t want to think about the reality of evil, or what that means or entails. Evil IS a reality, but that doesn’t mean we should be afraid of it!”
Or hide our heads in the sand. …
The late Father Gabriele Amorth, the priest exorcist in Rome and chaser of demons, spent decades battling the devil and his minions by performing literally tens of thousands of exorcisms. He knew the enemy intimately, explaining many truths about the devil. True evil is a real thing, still corrupting believers and unbelievers alike; it will continue. It’s one of many reasons I’ve backed off from paranormal investigations.
Keep an open eye out there!