“THE DEMON OF FECES” and More Devilishly Creepy True Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: “The Devil made me do it” is the oldest excuse in the world; and for nearly every crime it is just that, an excuse. But I said “nearly” every crime. Once in a while there are crimes where the perpetrator is the real deal. We’ll look at real crimes committed by real demons. (The Devil Made Me Do It) *** An exorcism consultant tells us about one of the creepiest cases he was ever called in on. A case very different than other exorcisms he had been a part of or witness to. (The Creepiest Exorcism Case Ever) *** And while on the subject of exorcisms, we’ll exorcise one more demon – one that is reeking havoc in, of all places, a printing office. (The Demon of the Printing Office) *** Did you know that you are honoring one of hell’s seven princes every time you use the toilet? I’ll tell you about Belphegor – who prefers offerings of human feces! (The Demon of Feces)
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ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE…
Photo of Belphegor on his toilet throne (woodcut): https://weirddarkness.com/archives/8264 (scroll down to bottom of page)
“Giant Spider of the Congo” story from the episode “Inside The Mind of Jack The Ripper”: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/7968
“Phantoms Behind the Wheel” episode: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/7990
“Indrid Cold – The Grinning Man” episode: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/3100
HOT 50 CHART VOTING: https://WeirdDarkness.com/VOTE
BECOME A PATRON: https://WeirdDarkness.com/Patron
TRANSCRIPT for this episode (if available): Visit https://WeirdDarkness.com then use search function in righthand column to search for the title of this episode. Once found, scroll to bottom of episode’s blog post.
STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Over time links may become invalid, disappear, or have different content. I always make sure to give authors credit for the material I use whenever possible. If I somehow overlooked doing so for a story, or if a credit is incorrect, please let me know and I will rectify it in the show notes immediately.)
“The Demon of Feces” by Beth Elias for Graveyard Shift: https://tinyurl.com/y9gldcsl
“The Devil Made Me Do It” by Jacob Shelton for Graveyard Shift: https://tinyurl.com/y2qedyjq
‘The Creepiest Exorcism Case Ever” by Jacob Shelton for Graveyard Shift: https://tinyurl.com/y7krkxvf
“The Demon of the Printing Office” from Strange Company: https://tinyurl.com/ycx22gyn
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music Library. Background music, varying by episode, provided by Alibi Music, EpidemicSound and/or AudioBlocks with paid license. Music from Shadows Symphony (https://tinyurl.com/yyrv987t), Midnight Syndicate (http://amzn.to/2BYCoXZ), Kevin MacLeod (https://tinyurl.com/y2v7fgbu), Tony Longworth (https://tinyurl.com/y2nhnbt7), and/or Nicolas Gasparini/Myuu (https://tinyurl.com/lnqpfs8) is used with permission.
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Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
If you’re new here, welcome to the podcast – and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes! If you’re already a Weirdo, please share the podcast with others – doing so helps make it possible for me to keep doing the podcast!
For those of you in the Weird Darkness Weirdos Facebook group – the fake story title in tonight’s poll was “Why Demons Have Bat Wings” – all the rest of the titles are real stories you’re going to hear in tonight’s episode!
Coming up in this episode…
“The Devil made me do it” is the oldest excuse in the world; and for nearly every crime it is just that, an excuse. But I said “nearly” every crime. Once in a while there are crimes where the perpetrator is the real deal. We’ll look at real crimes committed by real demons. (The Devil Made Me Do It)
An exorcism consultant tells us about one of the creepiest cases he was ever called in on. A case very different than other exorcisms he had been a part of or witness to. (The Creepiest Exorcism Case Ever)
And while on the subject of exorcisms, we’ll exorcise one more demon – one that is reeking havoc in, of all places, a printing office. (The Demon of the Printing Office)
Did you know that you are honoring one of hell’s seven princes every time you use the toilet? I’ll tell you about Belphegor – who prefers offerings of human feces! (The Demon of Feces)
While listening, be sure to check out the Weird Darkness website. At WeirdDarkness.com you can sign up for the “Weird DarkNEWS” email newsletter to win monthly prizes, get Weird Darkness merchandise in the store where 100% of the profits are donated to organizations that help those who struggle with depression, you can visit the “Hope In The Darkness” page to find help if you are struggling with depression or dark thoughts yourself, you can find paranormal and horror audiobooks I’ve narrated, watch old horror movies and horror hosts for free 24-hours a day, and find my email address and social media links on the “contact” page. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
STORY: THE DEMON OF FECES==========
As if going to the bathroom weren’t stressful enough – pooping at work, anyone? – now you can worry about sacrificing to a demon. Belphegor, one of Hell’s Seven Princes, is the demon of sloth… and excrement. Lighting a candle in his name apparently just wasn’t enough.
Belphegor comes from Baal-Peor, seen multiple times in the Old Testament as the god of the Moabites. Hundreds of years later, Baal-Peor was Latinized into Belphegor and reappropriated into a demon to populate the Christian hell. A book on demonology from the early 1800s got the ball rolling, and Belphegor soon developed an entire mythology of his own, only loosely based in Biblical roots. Today, Belphegor is associated with Belphegor’s Prime, a prime number with “666” in the center that is supposedly demonic. And, of course, we know him as the demon of feces.
Some gods want virgins or lambs or goats, some gods want excrement. Such is the case with Belphegor, whose preferred offering is feces. “Pe’or,” as in the Hebrew root of Baal-Peor or Belphegor, is usually translated as “opening.” Rashi, a French rabbi who wrote commentary on the Old Testament said: “Peor was so named because before it they bared their anus… and relieved themselves. This was the manner of its worship.” Quite the visual image there, Rashi.
Belphegor wasn’t always a meaningful demon, or even in the forefront of anyone’s mind, until Jacques August Simon Collin de Plancy wrote Dictionnaire Infernal in 1818. In it, he only briefly mentioned Belphegor (three lines!). However, he revised the text in 1863, and included the woodcut of Belphegor on a toilet. I’ll link to the photo in the Essential Web Links section of the show notes.
Every reference to Belphegor borrows heavily or blatantly plagiarizes de Plancy, who took what the Bible set about Moab and Baal/Baalphegor and tied it into other mythologies.
Belphegor’s Prime is not only a prime number, but also a palindrome. It begins and ends with 1, and 666 is in the middle: 1000000000000066600000000000001.
The symbol for this demonic number is an upside-down Pi. It’s not so much that the prime number itself is mysterious, but its symbol definitely is. It was first seen in the Voynich Manuscript, which is a large book written entirely in a code that appears to be one of a kind and has kept historians and scientists stumped for years. It includes astrology, plants, naked women, and plenty of other weirdness. The 600-year-old tome is understood by absolutely no one – even the most elite Voynich scholars don’t even know what language it was written in before it was put into a cipher – and recent attempts to crack the code using artificial intelligence haven’t worked.
Though Belphegor has taken many forms throughout history and been associated with many different sins, he is most often seen as the demon of sloth. This could mean that he tempts mankind to be lazy, but one church father, Thomas Aquinas, felt that sloth was the root of other sins as well. Ignorance, in Aquinas’s mind, was a result of laziness.
Though he may be a fearsome demon and one of the Seven Princes of Hell, Belphegor originally came to Earth for a simple and somewhat bucolic reason. Hades sent Belphegor up from Hell to learn if married happiness was a real thing. Yes, the Prince of Hell and guardian of Sloth simply wanted to know if people could be happily married. The demons in Hell had heard that married happiness was possible, but knowing what they did about the dark side of human nature, it seemed rather unlikely to them.
And perhaps not surprisingly, Belphegor discovered that no, married happiness was not a real thing. It was only a rumor.
The Moabites worshipped Baal-Peor, which eventually became the name Baalphegor, and he is mentioned several times in the Bible. In the book of Numbers, the Israelites copulated with Moabite women and sacrificed to Baal-Peor, resulting in Moses ordering that all 24,000 of them be killed. Hosea 9:10 says: “…they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame, and they became as detestable as that which they loved.”
Belphegor has been depicted in several ways throughout history; sometimes, he is even shown as a young girl or naked woman. Belphegor has often depicted in masculine symbols like the phallus, cone, pillar, or tree branch, but he’s also been shown as a more classic demon, with a beard, horns, and talons.
Belphegor, which means “Lord of the Opening” when translated from Hebrew (Baal = Lord, Peor = Opening), is sometimes seen with his mouth wide open. Some also translate it from “Phegor,” meaning “crevice” or “split.” This translation makes sense, considering that Belphegor was worshiped in caves. Those who presented offerings to him would throw them through a hole in the cave – it’s not clear if anyone was throwing offers of excrement or not.
If you want to conjure Belphegor, you’re going to need a lot of poop. For this reason, Belphegor is said to be hard to summon, but if you do manage to rouse him, Belphegor can bring you money and the wherewithal to discover and invent new things. Ultimately, Belphegor brings you to the dark side with the promise of money – but only if you give him enough poop. Honestly, I’m not sure any amount of money (not to mention losing your eternal soul) would be worth the amount of “number two” you’d be dealing with.
Though Belphegor is now seen as one of the Seven Princes of Hell, referenced by John Milton and Victor Hugo, he wasn’t always one of the top demons – or a demon at all, actually. Though he was mentioned in the Bible in the tales of the Moabites, he’s only mentioned a few times (Numbers 25:1-3, Numbers 25:5, Numbers 25:18, Numbers 31:16, Hosea 9:10, Psalms 106:28-29, and Deuteronomy 4:3). So how did Belphegor come to mean so much more in modernity?
To put it very simply, Christians wanted to put demons in Hell to make it scarier – and the easiest way to do that was to reimagine the gods of what they saw as pagan religions. Though this isn’t always true, some Christians saw (and still see) those who worship something other than the Christian God as worshipping demons.
In de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal, he says that Belphegor is Hell’s ambassador to France, and that Belphegor’s main enemy is Mary Magdalene, who is one of France’s saints. There are many churches in France devoted to Mary Magdalene; legend says that Mary Magdalene actually started a church in Saint Baume in the South of France.
It’s unclear if being an Ambassador from Hell carries any real responsibilities, but we’ll let you know if we find a job description posted.
Though demonology isn’t a hard and fast science, most people consider Peter Binsfield’s 1589 guide to demons as the one to trust. In it, he lists the Seven Princes of Hell as Lucifer (pride), Mammon (greed), Asmodeus (lust), Satan (wrath), Beelzebub/Baal (gluttony), Leviathan (envy), and Belphegor (vanity and sloth).
The seven Archangels don’t line up with the seven deadly sins, but they are nevertheless associated with certain qualities. Michael, sometimes seen as the leader of the angels, is the angel of protection, righteousness, mercy, and justice. Raphael is the angle of healing, peace, and travel. Gabriel is the messenger, who brings God’s word to inspire writers, teachers, and other creatives; Gabriel is also associated with fertility and children. Jophiel is the angel of beauty and works with artists. Ariel is the saint of animals, the environment, and natural resources. Azrael is the angel of death, helping souls transition into the afterlife; he also helps the grieving. Chamuel has many different purposes, among them peace, protection, strength, and finding purpose in life.
Coming up, an exorcism consultant tells us about one of the creepiest cases he was ever called in on.
But first, “The Devil made me do it” is the oldest excuse in the world; but we’re about to look at some crimes committed by real demons. That story is up next when Weird Darkness returns.
STORY: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT==========
Supposedly “demon-possessed” criminals have been around for as long as people have been murdering their wives, sexually assaulting young people, or gunning down strangers in the street. Some criminals seem to use this as a calculated excuse for their actions, while others (usually suffering from mental illness, drug addiction, or both) seem to truly believe they were under demonic control when they performed their evil acts. One of the most famous cases of a demon committing crimes involves the serial killer David Berkowitz (also known as the Son of Sam), who claimed a demon inhabiting the body of his neighbor’s dog compelled him to walk the streets of New York for an entire year, firing indiscriminately at anyone who was hanging out in a parked car after dark. If you’ve ever been curious about demonic possession, or want to get the inside scoop on some of the most vile acts ever committed by the “possessed,” say a couple of Hail Mary’s and continue listening about the most heinous crimes committed by demons.
New York City during the summer of 1976 was a hotbed of anger, frustration, and fear, and David Berkowitz (AKA “the Son of Sam”) didn’t help the matter by killing six people and wounding seven others in the span of one year. After his arrest, Berkowitz told police that he was under the control of a demon named “Harvey” who inhabited his neighbor’s dog and implored him to kill people. Once, during a three-month break from his murder spree, Berkowitz wrote the New York Post to say, “I am still here like a spirit roaming the night. Thirsty, hungry, seldom stopping to rest.” After being incarcerated (Berkowitz received a sentence of 365 years in prison), he became a born-again Christian, but he still believes that the devil and god are fighting for possession of his soul.
After Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton went on a shooting spree, killing six people in the early hours of February 21, 2016, people wondered what could drive a man to commit such heinous murders. Money? Revenge? It turned out the real reason was something much more insidious. Dalton told detectives that the Uber app on his iPhone had taken over his mind and forced him to commit murder. A detective for the case said: “Dalton [explained] how when he opens up the Uber taxi app a symbol appeared and he recognized that symbol as the Eastern Star symbol. Dalton acknowledged that he recognized the Uber symbol as being that of the Eastern Star and a devil head popped up on his screen and when he pressed the button on the app, that is when all the problems started.” But it’s not just that the app-demon forced him to kill – it also helped him get from place to place in a timely manner: “Dalton explained how you can drive over 100 mph and go through stop signs and you can just get places. Dalton said he wishes he would never have spoken what that symbol was when he saw it on his phone. Dalton described the devil figure as a horned cow head or something like that and then it would give you an assignment and it would literally take over your whole body.”
Pazuzu Algarad was arrested in 2014 for killing a person and then burying the body in his backyard in July 2009, as well as helping his girlfriend bury someone she killed later that year. He had taken the name “Pazuzu” in reference to a demon mentioned in The Exorcist, and he had a forked tongue and sharpened teeth. An anonymous man who lived at the home where the bodies were buried told police that he felt Pazuzu was possessed: “It was very serpentine. And his eyes would kind of get a little, like, glazy. Like almost not there, like the inner part of him would kind of phase away. You could tell when his demons needed something from him, because they took over… About once a month, and it was usually on a full moon, they sacrificed at least one rabbit, and then he would eat the heart of it, and then burn the flesh of the rabbit.” Investigators on the scene later deemed the home (the site of many animal sacrifices) as unsafe for human life.
In 1974, Michael Taylor was just a simple butcher living in Ossett, England, who was suddenly overcome by an evil spirit. He had an exorcism performed on October 5th and 6th of 1974, and while it went okay, the priests weren’t able to expel all the demons. According to Bill Ellis, an authority on folklore and the occult in contemporary culture, “In an all-night ceremony… [the exorcists believed they had] invoked and cast out at least forty demons, including those of incest, bestiality, blasphemy, and lewdness. At the end, exhausted, they allowed Taylor to go home, although they felt that at least three demons – insanity, murder, and violence – were still left in him.” So you know, the big three. After he returned home, Taylor immediately murdered his wife by ripping out her eyes and tongue, then tearing off most of the skin from her face, finally strangling their pet poodle. Police found Taylor standing in the street naked and covered in blood shouting, “It is the blood of Satan.”
In 2012, after living in what they believed to be a demon-possessed house and becoming convinced that the world was ending, Deborah and Adolfo Gomez admitted to restraining their children (ages 7 and 5) with duct tape inside an SUV in a Walmart parking lot because they were “demon-possessed.” The couple was arrested in Lawrence, Kansas, where investigators learned that not only was the couple under demonic possession, but Adolfo had not slept for the last nine days. So maybe that had something to do with it.
In March 2016, 17-year-old Tommy Smith attempted to rob Peter Churm, a 66-year-old man, for the keys to his son’s Range Rover. When Churm refused to hand the keys over, Smith flew into a rage and stabbed Churn in the face, neck, and ears. The teenage boy stabbed the old man so fiercely that the knife actually broke in two. Churm ended the attack by bashing Smith in the head with a claw hammer. Smith, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, later told a psychiatrist that he was magnetically drawn towards his victim, and that he saw a demon float out of Churm’s wounds when he attacked him.
According to Reverend Cecil Begbie, South African Aljar Swartz was possessed by demons when he strangled a Ravensmead teenager to death before beheading him and leaving his body in an abandoned school in October 2013. Swartz claimed that he had become possessed by a vague collection of “Satanic attacks,” but he never went into further detail. Allegedly after beheading his victim, he’d intended to sell the man’s head to a traditional healer called a sangoma. Reverend Bigbie did his best to help out Swartz and instructed church groups all over Africa to pray for Bigbie on the Good Friday following Swartz’s incarceration. Swartz said that when the collective prayer was held, he felt that he was standing under a waterfall with pure, clean water flowing through his body. He claims he is no longer possessed by demons – however, the courts have stated they will not mitigate his sentence based on his supposed “recovery.”
In 1981, 19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson stabbed 40-year-old Alan Bono to death after arguing over Johnson’s girlfriend. After being picked up by the police, Johnson gave the immortal defense, “The devil made me do it.” Rather than balk at his claims, every paranormal investigator worth their salt flocked to Connecticut to interview Johnson and find out if he was truly possessed. According to Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigators who helped make the Amityville case so famous, Johnson had become possessed when he threatened to fight one of a collection of 43 demons who were living inside his 11-year-old brother. As Johnson’s trial went on, the paranormal society split down the middle. The most vocal opponent of the Warrens’ continuing support of Johnson was the Amazing Kreskin, who noted that the murder was “simply a means for the couple to prey on the superstitions of the public and build up their annual lecture revenues.” After a judge denied the demonic possession angle that the defense was trying to play, Johnson’s team didn’t have a leg to stand on and the killer was eventually convicted of manslaughter. Johnson received the maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years and was released for good behavior after serving just over four years at the Connecticut Correctional Institute in Somers.
Jason Nelson, a 32-year-old English man, claimed to be under the spell of a demon when he went on a “spree of violence,” raping a woman, attempting to rape her daughter, and then murdering Jordan Maguire after inviting the man into his home to sell marijuana.
This case is a little opaque due to the lack of verifiable facts, it seems that in 2015, while Reverend Connery Dagadu was attempting to perform a multiple-day-long cleansing ceremony on Roland Zinneh of Darby, Pennsylvania, he was strangled to death by Zinneh, who then immediately ran outside and started beating on a minivan with a shovel. First responders noted that Zinneh seemed to be dancing when they arrived on the scene, and when they tackled him to the ground and slapped him in cuffs, he allegedly began shouting, “I kill demons!” Which is confusing because we thought he was the guy who was possessed by demons.
Luis Zambrano, 30, was sentenced to 26 1/2 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Angie Escobar by stabbing her over 80 times with a pair of scissors. After she died, he shoved her into the trunk of his car. He told a judge that he was under demonic possession when he killed Escobar, but that there were also “trust issues” at play in the gruesome murder.
On April 29, 2016, two police officers responded to a phone call about a man screaming and yelling in the street and found a man who proceeded to give one of the officers a piece of his mind (“like he knew him from high school”) before biting the other on the hand. Pamela Fornett, the biter’s wife, told WTKR, “I apologize to those police officers about what happened, but I begged them, ‘Please, don’t shoot my husband.'” The officers did not shoot him, but were able to take him into custody. He is believed to be mentally ill. Fornett later said that her husband had been possessed by a demon. “I caught it on camera,” she said. “A demon – it really was, so I figured that’s what got in him.”
Noor Walile, a 38-year-old English imam, raped a boy in the bathroom of the church where he was giving lessons. When the elders of the mosque found out what had happened, Walile simply said that the devil made him do it. The elders told Walile that his choices were to face the police in England or to return forever to his native India. Walile fled to escape persecution from the police, but later secretly returned to Leicester, where he was promptly arrested and slammed with a rape charge.
STORY: THE CREEPIEST EXORCISM CASE EVER==========
I believe I’ve told this story before, but with an entire episode about demons and demon possession, I feel it’s appropriate to bring it back simply because it is such an incredible and disturbing story of a real life exorcism.
One of the creepiest exorcism cases that doesn’t get the focus that it deserves is that of Dr. Richard Gallagher’s work with “Julia,” a woman who was possessed by an incredibly intelligent demon. This case is one of the real exorcisms that were worse than The Exorcist, and it completely changed the mindset of a psychiatrist who didn’t believe that people could actually be possessed by demons. The story of Julia is not only one of the worst exorcisms to ever be recorded, but it’s also one of the few stories that delves into what it’s really like to work on an exorcism case. The case spanned multiple exorcisms, and the people who were trying to save Julia lived thousands of miles away from each other. Telling you any more would ruin how weird and crazy this story gets, so listen on as this exorcism consultant shares the story of the worst case he ever worked on.
Gallagher was brought into meet “Julia,” a woman who dressed in flowing black robes and put on black eye shadow that went back to her temples. She referred to herself as “the high priestess of a satanic cult,” which made Gallagher immediately skeptical of her claims. His skepticism began to fade when he met Julia and she immediately began to point out the secret weaknesses of everyone in the room. After that she began to guess the way that people whom she’d never met had died. Gallagher says that Julia knew that his mother had passed away from ovarian cancer and that the possessed woman was known to speak multiple languages during exorcisms.
One of the major criticisms lobbed at Dr. Gallagher’s relationship with Julia is his insistence that she wasn’t simply dealing with a major mental episode. He claims that it was much more likely that she was possessed by a demonic entity than it was that she was dealing with a psychotic episode, as Julia’s trances were much more intense than a simple disassociation.
He wrote in the New Oxford Review: “Mentally troubled individuals often ‘dissociate,’ but Julia’s trances were accompanied by an unusual phenomenon: Out of her mouth would come various threats, taunts and scatological language, phrases like ‘Leave her alone, you idiot,’ ‘She’s ours,’ ‘Leave, you imbecile priest,’ or just ‘Leave.'” Gallagher continues, saying that Julia made sure to be as sacrilegious during her trances.
When Julia’s exorcism finally occurred, it allegedly had all the trappings of your classic Hollywood film. The room grew cold in the middle of the summer. Julia taunted Gallagher’s team of priests and nurses in voices that didn’t belong to her. She began to make guttural, animalistic noises. Supposedly, objects moved around the room at will, and to top it all off, when Julia came out of each one of her “trances” she didn’t remember anything that had happened. According to one source, Julia took on an extreme strength, making it so six people had to hold her down. The source also claims that she levitated, however in Dr. Gallagher’s article for The Washington Post he says that he never saw anything like that happen.
Before Dr. Gallagher’s first meeting with Julia, he experienced an incredibly strange evening that would be a precursor for what followed. Gallagher claimed, “The night before I first saw her, our cats went wild in the middle of the night. When I met her the next day, she asked me: ‘Dr. Gallagher, how did you like those cats?” That’s not the most auspicious beginning for a relationship, but it seems par for the course when you’re dealing with demons. Gallagher continued, “I told her if she was ever involved in doing anything like that again, I would refuse to assess her for her exorcist.”
That wasn’t the only time that Julia messed with Dr. Gallagher’s head from thousands of miles away. He claims that one day when he was on the phone with Julia’s exorcist, they suddenly heard her voice coming through the receiver. Gallagher says that she was “screaming at the priest in a demonic voice.”
Aside from Julia’s voices and the horrible things she would say to everyone during her eight exorcisms, she also had a penchant for describing things about the team assembled to help her that no one should know. During Julia’s trances she would display psychic abilitiest hat absolutely freaked everyone out. In one case, she locked in on a priest who wasn’t even in the house and began to described where he was at and how he was feeling. Another priest who was directly involved with Julia’s case was consistently reported on when Julia was in a trance. Despite not knowing that the priest suffered from a chronic illness, she would discuss how he was feeling, what he was doing, and even what he was wearing.
Every case of demonic possession is different. Some demons are lower creatures who are simply lashing out at the corporeal world, while others are incredibly crafty creatures who want nothing more than to cause chaos. The demon inhabiting Julia was definitely an intelligent being that seemed hell-bent on destroying the faith of every member of the exorcism team. Proving the demon’s intelligence, it allegedly knew when the priests were trying to trick it by throwing regular water at her and would only react to genuine holy water. She was also able to reveal the facts about the past of the attendees and provide a family history of everyone in the room.
In most cases of exorcism, it’s usually the family or a loved one who seeks out the Catholic church in order to free their friend or family member from the clutches of demonic possession. In the case of Julia, it was the woman herself who went to a local priest. Gallagher believes that she was “conflicted” and that she “wanted to be relieved of the possession.” Gallagher later said that the whole case was strange because Julia continued to be involved with a Satanic cult throughout her work with the Catholic church.
“Julia was perfectly aware that she was possessed and she did not like that. It turned out that she refused to leave the cult, so she was not someone who was going to be helped. But she was also afraid of the cult. She was torn.”
Dr. Gallagher is open about how most of the patients he sees who may be possessed by a demon are dealing with a psychotic episode. Most of the people who believe they’re being assaulted by demons are actually dealing with dissociative identity syndromes. Priests call this “pseudo-possession,” but make no mistake – that’s a mental disorder.
According to Dr. Gallagher, real possessions have tell-tale signs that are incredibly hard to fake; things like levitation and having what he calls “uncommon knowledge.” Gallagher admits that he’s never seen a person levitate, although he believes that some of his associates have witnessed this feat. After studying a patient, he’ll let priests know whether or not the symptoms put off by the person he’s studying can be medically explained or not and leave it at that. However, in the case of Julia, things weren’t so cut and dried.
Dr. Richard Gallagher is an Ivy-League trained – at Princeton and Yale – psychiatrist working in Westchester County, New York, with a private practice. In an article in The Washington Post, he describes himself as a practicing Catholic and an admitted skeptic who doesn’t believe in “hocus pocus.” He believes this is why he was brought onto Julia’s case. According to Gallagher, everyone involved didn’t want this case to be about demonic possession, but they couldn’t help it. Gallagher said, “The priest who had asked for my opinion of this bizarre case was the most experienced exorcist in the country at the time, an erudite and sensible man.” Could it be that they were all having this faith tested by this alleged demon?
According to Dr. Gallagher, he and his team of exorcists weren’t able to fully help Julia because she called off the exorcism. He claimed that she was conflicted about receiving help from the church. She said that she enjoyed the power she received when she channeled the demonic entity possessing her body. Gallagher said that she was “playing both sides,” which seems like a reductive way of looking at the situation.
Gallagher stated, “Exorcism is not some kind of magical incantation. Normally, a person has to make their own sincere spiritual efforts, too.” After calling off the exorcism, Gallagher said that he only heard from Julia one more time. She said that she was dying of cancer and was thinking about continuing her exorcism. Sadly he never heard from her again.
When Weird Darkness returns…
We’ll exorcise one more demon – one that is reeking havoc in, of all places, a printing office. That story is up next.
Plus, we’ll step into the Chamber of Comments.
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STORY: THE DEMON OF THE PRINTING OFFICE==========
[Poltergeist accounts tend to be surprisingly formulaic–read enough of them, and you start to think, “If you’ve seen one polt, you’ve seen them all.” For that reason, the number of unusual and bizarre details in the following story come as a welcome change of pace. This report comes from the Benedictine monk Antoine Augustin Calmet, whose informant was probably one of the exorcists involved in the case…]
They write me word from Constance, the 8th of August, 1748, that towards the end of the year 1746 sighs were heard, which seemed to proceed from the corner of the printing-office of the Sieur Lahart, one of the common-council-men of the city of Constance. The printers only laughed at it at first, but in the following year, 1747, in the beginning of January, they heard more noise than before. There was a hard knocking near the same corner whence they had at first heard some sighs; things went so far that the printers received slaps, and their hats were thrown on the ground. They had recourse to the Capuchins, who came with the books proper for exorcising the spirit. The exorcism completed, they returned home, and the noise ceased for three days.
At the end of that time the noise recommenced more violently than before; the spirit threw the characters for printing, whether letters or figures, against the windows. They sent out of the city for a famous exorcist, who exorcised the spirit for a week. One day the spirit boxed the ears of a lad; and again the letters, &c, were thrown against the window-panes. The foreign exorcist, not having been able to effect anything by his exorcisms, returned to his own home.
The spirit went on as usual, giving slaps in the face to one, and throwing stones and other things at another, so that the compositors were obliged to leave that corner of the printing-office and place themselves in the middle of the room; but they were not the quieter for that.
They then sent for other exorcists, one of whom had a particle of the true cross, which he placed upon the table. The spirit did not, however, cease disturbing as usual the workmen belonging to the printing-office; and the Capuchin brother who accompanied the exorcist received such buffets that they were both obliged to withdraw to their convent. Then came others, who, having mixed a quantity of sand and ashes in a bucket of water, blessed the water, and sprinkled with it every part of the printing-office. They also scattered the sand and ashes all over the room upon the paved floor, and being provided with swords the whole party began to strike at random right and left in every part of the room, to see if they could hit the ghost, and to observe if he left any foot-marks upon the sand or ashes which covered the floor. They perceived at last that he had perched himself on the top of the stove or furnace, and they remarked on the angles of its marks of his feet and hands impressed on the sand and ashes they had blessed.
They succeeded in driving him from thence, and they very soon perceived that he had slid under the table, and left marks of his hands and feet on the pavement. The dust raised by all this movement in the office caused them to disperse, and they discontinued the pursuit. But the principal exorcist having taken out a screw from the angle where they had first heard the noise, found in a hole in the wall some feathers, three bones wrapped up in a dirty piece of linen, some bits of glass, and a hair-pin, or bodkin. He blessed a fire which they lighted, and had it all thrown in. But this monk had hardly reached his convent when one of the printers came to tell him that the bodkin had come out of the flames three times of itself, and that a boy who was holding a pair of tongs, and who put this bodkin in the fire again, had been violently struck in the face. The rest of the things which had been found having been brought to the Capuchin convent, they were burnt without further resistance; but the lad who had carried them there saw a naked woman in the public market-place, and on that and the following days groans were heard in the market-place of Constance.
Some days after this the printer’s house was again infested in this manner, the ghost giving slaps, throwing stones, and molesting the domestics in diverse ways. The Sieur Lahart, the master of the house, received a great wound in his head, two boys who slept in the same bed were thrown on the ground, so that the house was entirely forsaken during the night. One Sunday a servant girl carrying away some linen from the house had stones thrown at her, and another time two boys were thrown down from a ladder.
There was in the city of Constance an executioner who passed for a sorcerer. The monk who writes to me suspected him of having some part in this game; he began to exhort those who sat up with him in the house, to put their confidence in God, and to be strong in faith. He gave them to understand that the executioner was likely to be of the party. They passed the night thus in the house, and about ten o’clock in the evening, one of the companions of the exorcist threw himself at his feet in tears, and revealed to him, that that same night he and one of his companions had been sent to consult the executioner in Turgau, and that by order of the Sieur Lahart, printer, in whose house all this took place. This avowal strangely surprised the good father, and he declared that he would not continue to exercise, if they did not assure him that they had not spoken to the executioner to put an end to the haunting. They protested that they had not spoken to him at all. The Capuchin father had everything picked up that was found about the house, wrapped up in packets, and had them carried to his convent.
The following night, two domestics tried to pass the night in the house, but they were thrown out of their beds, and constrained to go and sleep elsewhere. After this, they sent for a peasant of the village of Annanstorf, who was considered a good exorcist. He passed the night in the haunted house, drinking, singing, and shouting. He received slaps and blows from a stick, and was obliged to own that he could not prevail against the spirit.
The widow of an executioner presented herself then to perform the exorcisms; she began by using fumigations in all parts of the dwelling, to drive away the evil spirits. But before she had finished these fumigations, seeing that the master was struck in the face and on his body by the spirit, she ran away from the house, without asking for her pay.
They next called in the Cure of Valburg, who passed for a clever exorcist. He came with four other secular cures, and continued the exorcisms for three days, without any success. He withdrew to his parish, imputing the inutility of his prayers to the want of faith of those who were present.
During this time, one of the four priests was struck with a knife, then with a fork, but he was not hurt. The son of Sieur Lahart, master of the dwelling, received upon his jaw a blow from a paschal taper, which did him no harm. All being of no service, they sent for the executioner of the neighbourhood. Two of the persons who went to fetch him were well thrashed and pelted with stones. Another had his thigh so tightly pressed, that he felt the pain for a long time. The executioner carefully collected all the packets he found wrapped up about the house, and put others in their room; but the spirit took them up and threw them into the market-place. After this, the executioner persuaded the Sieur Lahart that he might boldly return with his people to the house; he did so, but the first night, when they were at supper, one of his workmen named Solomon was wounded on the foot, and then followed a great effusion of blood. They then sent again for the executioner, who appeared much surprised that the house was not yet entirely freed, but at that moment he was himself attacked by a shower of stones, boxes on the ears, and other blows, which constrained him to run away quickly.
Some heretics in the neighbourhood, being informed of all these things, came one day to the bookseller’s shop, and upon attempting to read in a Catholic Bible which was there, were well boxed and beaten; but having taken up a Calvinist Bible, they received no harm. Two men of Constance having entered the bookseller’s shop from sheer curiosity, one of them was immediately thrown down upon the ground, and the other ran away as fast as he could. Another person, who had come in the same way from curiosity, was punished for his presumption, by having a quantity of water thrown upon him. A young girl of Augsburg, a relation of the Sieur Lahart, printer, was chased away with violent blows, and pursued even to the neighbouring house, where she entered.
At last the hauntings ceased, on the 8th of February. On that day the spectre opened the shop-door, went in, displaced a few articles, went out, shut the door, and from that time nothing more was seen or heard of it.
CHAMBER OF COMMENTS==========
Here in the Chamber of Comments I answer your emails, comments, podcast reviews, letters I get in the mail, and more. You can find all of my contact information, postal address, and social media links on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com. While you’re there, you can join the very active “Weird Darkness Weirdos” Facebook Group, and hang out with me and the rest of our Weirdo family! And you can drop me an email anytime at: darren @ weirddarkness.com.
(YouTube comment from MO regarding the “Giant Spider of the Congo” story in the “Mind of Jack The Ripper” episode): On this channel I have heard stories about murder and Gore got people being tortured and torn apart. Animal cruelty. And even children being tortured in that one Creepypasta that triggered everybody. I sat thru all of that and I didn’t have a problem, just thinking ‘that sucks’. But the spider thing… couldn’t sit through it. Had to skip. I am currently looking for new skin because I think mine is never going to stop crawling!
REPLY: We finally found MO’s trigger! We all have one, and we finally found MO’s!
(YouTube comment from GJ Beaudry): I’m sorry Mr Marlar, I have to unsubscribe. I think that one of the truly damaging things in this world has been religion, and although I sometimes enjoy your stories the fact that you propagate religion is past my ability to overlook the negatives associated with people’s actions done in the name of their GOD, and focus on your attempt to do good for people with depression and/or “dark thoughts”… It’s equivalent to one step forward, one step back in my opinion… Bye…
REPLY: Sorry to see you go, GJ – but on the off chance that you are still listening, I have to correct you on something. According to the Encyclopedia of Wars, out of all 1,763 known/recorded historical conflicts, 123 of them, or 6.98%, had religion as their primary cause. And if you’re talking about the most damaging things in this world, I’d think war would be the most damaging – but less than 7% of wars were caused by religious conflicts or rationale. It’s just that the ones that were religion-focused seem to get the most media attention. You might be able to argue that non-religion is just as damaging to the world. For example, state-imposed atheism (that is, the government of a country outlawing all religion) was a defining feature of brutal 20th century regimes led by Stalin, Tito, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot among others, which resulted in the suffering and murder of millions. Tens of thousands of Russian Christians alone were executed for their beliefs by atheists intent on purging religion from the Soviet Union. It wasn’t religion that did that – it was anti-religion. But if you want to leave the podcast because you think a single bible verse at the end of each episode is somehow going to destroy the world, well then, I guess I can understand you not listening any longer – and I wish you the best. And if you don’t mind me saying so, God bless.
(Comment from Kate H.): I’ve done all my work for the day and needed to take my morphine. You are THE BEST to listen to after taking morphine, as I lay back, in the dark and concentrate on your voice and story, my pain just drifts away. – Kate H.
REPLY: The owners and staff of Weird Darkness and Marlar House Productions do not endorse or support the recreational use of any illegal substances and are not liable for any damages resulting in Weirdos listening who might want to try something stupid after listening to the Chamber of Comments. . . . Wait… so… with you taking morphine and the podcast at the same time, does that categorize my podcast as drug paraphernalia? Or… am I a gateway drug?
(Case Fritz left a YouTube comment about the episode “Phantoms Behind The Wheel”): You’re a radio guy Darren… from the story here, I have never seen a 66.6 AM. I know there is a 660 AM on my radio. Is there something you may know about radio that may enlighten me?
REPLY: First off, I’ll link to that episode “Phantoms Behind The Wheel” in the Essential Web Links in the show notes. Thanks for the question, Fritz… Okay – putting on my radio veteran hat. Before I get into this I know that some stereos are going to have more precise tuning capabilities, but those are in the extreme minority and 99.9% of people who have a stereo or radio of any kind aren’t going to have that capability, so this explanation is for a standard radio dial that you’d find on most units. That being said… the only 66 that’s possible on a radio dial under normal circumstances (at least now in late 2020) would be AM 660 and AM1660. The AM dial, except for some very rare radio consoles, always goes by tens – so AM650, AM660, AM670… AM1640, AM1650, AM1660, etc. You cannot set the dial for AM666 or AM1666. And what you you are saying, a 66.6AM is even more wrong, because the AM dial doesn’t use decimal points at all – that’s only on the FM dial. And you won’t find any 66.6FM on the dial either, since the FM radio dial doesn’t go below 88.1. Plus, while the AM dial always goes by tens, in contrast – the FM dial always goes by odd numbers after the decimal – so it’s 88.1, 88.3, 88.5, etc., so even if it did go down to the 66-point-somethings, it wouldn’t be 66.6 because 6 is an even number. So for a car stereo to read 66.6AM as you heard in the story, something majorly bad had to take place in the electrical system of the radio, or something unnatural, paranatural, or supernatural had to manipulate the display.
(YouTube comment from Bob Boson regarding “Indrid Cold: The Grinning Man”, which is strongly attached to both the Mothman and the Men in Black): I think next time i get into some trouble I’m just gonna blame it all on weather balloons and venus.
REPLY: Good thinking, Bob – that sounds like a solid plan!
(Comment from Krzysztof Rzeznik) Hello Darren. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for daily contents of awesome stories that make me want to go to work and listen to your podcast during the trip. Interesting stories and your creepypasta choices are really good. I’m a Lovecraft fan and recent Neverglades Mysteries really ticked my boxes. I’m a fan of your show since April and haven’t missed one yet. Thank you for your noble cause too as I have told people about IFred and they were grateful. I have a question : does having interests in paranormal and looking for stories in that area make you experience some paranormal events in real life? That’s all, thank you Weirdo Papa.
REPLY: Thanks for the comment, Krzysztof! I’m not exactly sure how to answer your question with any authority. I can only give you my opinion, and even then, my opinion is just a guess – it’s not really based on any studies or research, or even self-experience. So take all of that into consideration. The question is, does having an interesting in and seeking out stories about the paranormal make you experience the paranormal in real life. I’d have to say NO – it doesn’t MAKE you experience it. But, it might very well open you up to it, making you more susceptible to experiencing it. That’s one of the reasons I tell people not to mess with spirit boards and Ouija boards. Will it guarantee demons will come forth out of the board to torment you? No – but do you really want to take that chance? Even a 1-in-100 chance is too risky for me. Heck, one in a thousand or ten thousand is too risky for me. I value my soul too much, thank you. But that’s not the answer to your question, I know. You want to know if just having an interest in the paranormal or reading stories about it can make things happen. I don’t really know, but it wouldn’t surprise me if things do begin to happen more to those people who have a greater interest. Possibly because those who have an interest are already on the lookout for strange things to occur around them, or are more inclined to interpret something as supernatural or paranormal as opposed to looking for a mundane answer first. I’ve also heard tales of people who had never heard of black eyed kids before, but once they heard about them, they had a personal experience. There are numerous cases of that happening – which might mean that learning about something paranormal very well might make you more susceptible to experiencing that same paranormal phenomenon. I’ve heard the same regarding the Hat Man, and sleep paralysis. But that might also be our brain trying to comprehend something new we learned and didn’t understand. I honestly don’t know. It’s a good question, but it’s a question I personally can only take guesses at.
I have included all of the previous episodes that people mentioned in the Chamber of Comments in the Essential Web Links section of the show notes so you can find them more easily. I’ll answer more of your emails, comments, and letters next time! Again, you can find all of my social media and contact information on the CONTACT page of the website, or drop me an email at darren @ weirddarkness.com.
SHOW CLOSE, CREDITS, A LITTLE LIGHT, AND A FINAL THOUGHT==========
Thanks for listening. If you want to help the podcast, be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already done so, and leave a review of the show in the podcast app you listen from! But more important than anything, please share the podcast; tell someone about it – someone who loves paranormal stories, true crime, monsters, or mysteries like you do! You can also vote for Weird Darkness in the HOT 50 countdown in Podcast Magazine – you can vote every day I upload an episode! Click the HOT 50 link in the show notes to vote, or visit WeirdDarkness.com and click on “VOTE”. While on the website be sure to also check out the Weird Darkness store where all profits I receive are donated to organizations that help those who battle depression, you can find resources to build hope in your own life and battle depression 24-hours-a-day on the HOPE IN THE DARKNESS page, sign up for the newsletter and get registered for my monthly giveaways, and a whole lot more. It’s all at WeirdDarkness.com.
Do you have a dark tale to tell of your own? Fact or fiction, click on “Tell Your Story” on the website and I might use it in a future episode.
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise), and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“The Demon of Feces” by Beth Elias for Graveyard Shift
“The Devil Made Me Do It” and ‘The Creepiest Exorcism Case Ever” by Jacob Shelton for Ranker
“The Demon of the Printing Office” from Strange Company
WeirdDarkness™ – is a production of Marlar House Productions. Copyright ©Weird Darkness 2020.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
And a final thought… “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.
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