Demonic possession is an idea as old as religion itself. The concept of having one's body invaded by supernatural evil has captivated even the most avid of atheists.
Whether you kneel in the pews each Sunday, or you subscribe to the notion of good vs. evil, God vs. The Devil, angels vs. demons, there have been several cases of demonic possession throughout history that are hard to ignore, and even harder to debunk. Here are four cases of alleged demonic possession that even the most ardent disbeliever would have a hard time ignoring.
1. Anna Ecklund
Anna Ecklund was born in the early 1880s in the mid-west region of the United States. She was raised in a devout Catholic family, and Anna was always considered to be a wonderful, happy, and charming young lady, that is until she turned 14.
After her 14th birthday she began to show signs of strange, and terrifying behavior. The once proud, God-fearing Catholic could no longer look at, or touch anything remotely related to religious iconology. Anna would go into fits if she saw the Bible, vials of holy water, or any image related to God or his church. Anna also absolutely refused to enter any church, or set foot on any holy ground.
A large number of troubling symptoms also followed this aversion to religious themes. Anna began to yell about depraved sex acts that no Catholic girl, her age, in the 1800s would have any business knowing about. This was also accompanied by a sexual desire that would be unhealthy anywhere outside a brothel. Anna also started to speak in both German and Latin, two languages that she had never been taught.
By 1910, no one had any answers for what was happening to young Anna Ecklund, but then some startling information came to light. It turned out that Anna's father and aunt were not in fact devout Catholics, but were instead faking the charade in order to practice witchcraft without suspicion. The theory was that Anna's father had cursed the young girl because he was unable to shake is incestuous urges for her.
The first exorcism of Anna Ecklund took place in 1912. Father Theophilus Riesinger was able to give Anna a temporary reprieve, but the demon(s) would end up coming back. In 1928, at the age of 46 she turned back to Father Riesinger for help, her life had been hell on earth to this point. This second exorcism took place over 23 days, and multiple entities made their presences' known, including Beelzebub, one of the seven alleged Princes of Hell.
Father Riesinger was eventually able to rid Anna of the demons plaguing her. You can read about it in the pamphlet he published in 1936, Begone Satan: A Soul Stirring Account of Diabolical Possession in Iowa.
2. The Ammons Family
A much more modern day example of demonic possession, the Ammons family from Gary, Indiana, claimed that they were under attack by forces that they could not explain, nor defend themselves from.
The single mother of three young children said that her family was plagued by unexplained occurrences in their home: clouds of flies showing up out of nowhere, noises coming from the walls, and wet footprints tracked throughout the house without any explanation. Latoya Ammon's children, ages 7, 9, and 12 were being targeted by dark forces. One of her sons was said to walk backwards up a wall and across the ceiling, while her other son was allegedly thrown violently through the air by something unseen. Her daughter apparently even levitated up off of her bed and suspended in midair, unsupported by any device or cables.
Latoya also said that her children began speaking to people that no one else could see, all the while smiling like serial killers, and speaking in deep tones you would expect from adult males who had smoked their entire lives.
What makes this story so intense is that it was actually witnessed by authorities. Child protective services, and the local police expected to find the scene of sadistically abusive mother. But when one officer, Capt. Charles Austin entered the home, he did not find any signs of abuse, instead he witnessed the strange events and even managed to capture a photo of a ghostly figure in one of the home's rooms. Protective services sent in psychologists who could also find no signs of any abuse. It was said that most authority figures were terrified to enter the home.
Exorcists were eventually called in, and it was said that they found roughly 200 spirits haunting the home, making it one of the most prolific hauntings on record. The family was eventually saved when they packed up and moved away from the cursed house.
3. Clara Germana Cele - South Africa
In the early 1900s, 16-year-old Clara Germana Cele was considered a completely ordinary young woman on the cusp of adulthood. But suddenly she began to show a variety of strange and unexplained symptoms. Audio recordings prove that the young lady was capable of understanding French, Polish and German, three languages that she had never been exposed to before. She was also said to "know the unknowable", exposing long held secrets of people that she could have never known before. Clara's strength was also said to be impressive, apparently being able to toss large adults around as if they were stuffed animals.
Clara could not stand to be in the presence of any religious icons, and was also seen levitating up to five feet into the air, both horizontally and vertically. When Clara's priest was called in to help, Father Horner Erasmus stated that Clara had admitted to him that she had made a pact with Satan himself. This would explain why her body was so easily corrupted by the forces of evil.
Father Erasmus, along with the help of another priest, were able to expel the demon from Clara's body during a rite that took over two days.
In March 2012, Dr. Richard E. Gallagher released a report about a woman who will hence forth be known only as Julia. This woman, Julia, had apparently openly confessed to practicing Satanism even though she been baptized a Catholic.
Julia had approached her church, who had then called in Dr. Gallagher to help determine a psychological diagnosis. Dr. Gallagher was stumped by what he experienced. Julia would allegedly enter trances, and would then utter disdainful and hateful phrases in multiple voices that were not common to her own. She would also claim to have no memory of these trances when she would awaken to reality. What truly scared Dr. Gallagher was these same voices would be heard on phone calls when Julia was not even present.
The woman known as Julia also started to display what can only be described as psychic abilities, knowing personal details about members of the team treating her that she would have no knowledge of previously, and would have had no ability to gain access to.
An exorcism was eventually called for. During this exorcism, Julia began to speak fluently in Spanish and Latin, two languages that she had never studied. The room also began to get uncomfortably hot, and Julia was seen levitating six inches off the floor for over 30 minutes.
The most startling occurrence happened when she reacted violently to the application of holy water. That in itself is not unusual, but when Julia was sprinkled with normal water (without her knowledge) she gave off no reaction what so ever.