What’s behind an exorcist


In 1979 a film changed the way people looked at demons, exorcisms and the Ouija board for generations. It caused such a stir it was banned some countries and churches opened a midnight mass to offer the communion to those that had seen it.


For generations, it became the classic film to put on when you reached the age you thought you could watch a proper horror film. It sparked religious debates and arguments and in the years that passed, it became speculated as a “cursed” film on account of accidents that since happened to cast and crew.


Exorcisms have been around for thousands of years. There’s stories in the bible of Jesus coming face to face with a man who was possessed with many spirits hence the name “Legion” and casting them out into a farmer’s herd of pigs. There’s demons and exorcisms in Judaism, Islam and other world religions.



I want to look at what made exorcisms and the concept of demonic possession such a major fear in the middle ages that the catholic church in particular began to sanction exorcisms and doctrine the dogma that empowered their priests to carry out the ritual.

Firstly, this article is going to examine the concepts, history and origins of the concept of demonic possession as an affliction and the power of an exorcism to drive out the evil spirit or entity. To do this it’s going to look at the history of demons and try to find the entrance points into the relevant cultures of demons, demon’s having the power to possess people, and finally the rite of an exorcism to drive a demon out.

Then I am going to study the historical cases of possession that have made a significant impact in history and modern day claimed cases of possession and exorcism. This will look at societies changes in it’s willingness to accept the existence of demonic forces. I am looking to gain an understanding of circumstances that led to witch hunts and the concept of doing a pact or contract with the devil in exchange for your soul.


To conclude I am going to look at exorcisms in the context of literacy and horror and their place in society.

I hope you enjoy reading this and I hope it inspires you to ask questions. Feel free to ask me any or leave any comments.