My Meeting With the Exorcist

Posted: January 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


This has been a difficult entry to write. I don’t know how to begin or how to explain what happened in that meeting, because much of it was more felt and sensed than directly communicated. I will start with some background and hope that the rest will make sense.

I had met with my pastor prior to him setting up this meeting with Father P. During our meeting, I spilled it all: my life as a paranormal investigator, my run-ins with negative and possibly demonic forces, the strange stuff that follows me around from time to time, (what I call “spirit manifestations”) and my philosophies on life and death and the afterlife. I am, usually, quite good at gauging the reactions and intentions of the people to whom I choose to confess the oddities and curiosities of my life; however, on this occasion, I wasn’t paying enough attention to the effect that my words had on my pastor. That day, I needed to tell all my stories without filters or careful editing. It might have been just a little too much to process for a pastor who barely knows me and has had no experience with the paranormal. That might explain why he hastily arranged a meeting between a Catholic exorcist and me.

My first impression of Father P. was contradictory. He seemed to be an extraordinary gentle soul, but had an aura of darkness about him. He was thin, tall, hollowed and very quiet. I felt slightly afraid of him. After an opening prayer, I launched into my history with the Paranormal Housewives and explained what we do, how we do it, why we do it, and so on: the usual introduction to a weird situation. Father P. was not responding, but listening, and observing me very closely. Pastor C. seemed dissatisfied with the approach I was taking and encouraged me to talk about the unidentified spirits following me home. His focus seemed to be about the times I had felt out of control or confused by the spirit world rather than my abilities as an investigator or my skill at discerning what is positive and what is negative on the other side of the veil.

Pastor C. was unsuccessful in his attempts to coax me to discuss my fear, confusion and ignorance of the energies that occupied three of my houses over the last fifteen years. I was reluctant to reveal such intimate feelings to Father P., because I didn’t want to be judged by a representative of the Catholic Church, I didn’t know him very well (and he still hadn’t said a word) and mostly because I don’t wish to emphasize the difficult aspect of my contact with spirit to the exclusion of the amazing doors of knowledge and perception that this contact has opened and facilitated. Much of what I have learned has changed my life for the better; concentrating on my own moments of doubt and fear does not seem productive.

Finally, Pastor C. revealed that he was concerned about me, and felt that I wasn’t spiritually prepared for what comes up during paranormal investigations. He was saying, in effect, that I was messing around with forces greater than myself, and I might be incapable of handling the ugliness that could arise from those situations. Although Pastor C. is emphatically NOT fundamentalist in his beliefs, he may be still harbor some genuine concern regarding paranormal manifestations. The belief that contact with the dead cannot happen (unless these are souls in Purgatory needing one’s prayers for release—but that reflects Catholic doctrine) is a common interpretation of Scripture for Christian pastors and churches. The general consensus among the various denominations of Christian churches is that there is no bona-fide contact with the spirits or souls of once-living people, since you are either in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory (although Purgatory is a Catholic concept). Anything that contacts you while you are on Earth is demonic in nature and only desires your ultimate spiritual destruction.

It is at this point in the meeting where Pastor C. seeks Father P.’s opinion and validation of his concerns about me. Father P. says something like this: “If you concentrate on Jesus’ infinite love for you and everyone and everything, you will be fine.” He elaborates on the intense and all-consuming power of God’s love. Nothing can destroy that love, and nothing evil can conquer it under any circumstances. He spoke of meditating on that love and simply being with it and in it, not hysterically invoking Jesus’ name in an anxiety-producing effort to repel demons. He placed great emphasis on the peacefulness and timelessness of absolute love. That is all the protection that one needs.

I told Father P. that I and we (the PHW) pray before every investigation and afterwards. I tell him that I ask for protection from the Holy Spirit and don’t wish to communicate with anyone in spirit unless that communication is sanctioned by God. That statement pleased him; in fact, he smiled for the first time. Everything from that point forward changed from stiff and odd to comfortable and illuminating. I asked if he thought that the spirit of those who have passed from this earth could be bound or tied to people who won’t allow them to move to the light out of grief, trauma or unresolved emotion. He agreed completely with that statement. He also agreed that homes or buildings can be places a spirit would hide out in fear of judgment or persecution. This was a revelation to me, because he was contradicting the Christian fundamentalist viewpoint (which, I need to clarify, Pastor C. does NOT share; his is a liberal and progressive church) that all spirit contact is from demonic entities. He was agreeing with the vast majority of paranormal investigators that there is something of the human spirit that can stay behind and play out traumas of the past, either because someone living cannot or will not let them go, or because they are reluctant to abandon old routines, habits, ideas, preconceptions or beliefs.

I expressed my absolute and total relief that he was not of the mind that I was a pawn of the devil. When he told me that I (and my team) am the “first line of defense” for him, I cried. I am not, out of ignorance, talking to demons, but I am actually performing a service for the Church and him by weeding out cases of psychological disturbance, true contact with the dead, and poltergeist phenomena created by extreme duress or conflict in the living. There are multiple categories of paranormal experience, and only in exceedingly rare cases are we dealing with demonic manifestations. In those rare cases, our team has figured it out very quickly. We know when we walk into a room that the demonic is influencing a person’s behavior and creating an atmosphere of confusion, dread, depression and depravity. I have faced this direct assault on three occasions: twice during a home investigation and once in an abandoned ward in a state hospital.

How did we know then that these were not spirits of the dead, a time warp where the past was playing on or physical effects of trauma in the living? That would require too many pages, but let me offer a brief distinction between paranormal phenomena involving the spirit and manifestations of the demonic: during one home investigation, the client had drug and alcohol addictions and had, I believe, interacted with forces he thought he might control, but which instead were controlling him. The feeling in the house was one of darkness and confusion. All my photographic and audio data was destroyed (black images and a buzzing interference on audio) by some force which did not want to be revealed. I knew that I needed to leave that house from the moment I walked in; however, I did not have the strength yet to make that proclamation to the other ladies. I have that strength now.

The second time also concerned a home investigation where one of the clients confessed to practicing witchcraft and then claimed to see something evil crouching in the corner of the ceiling. Why she was surprised that darkness and depression had invaded her house is something of a mystery; she herself was using the dark arts to contact her dead husband. When you seek contact with the dead through occult practices designed to give YOU the power of contact with the other side, you will run into the demonic very quickly. That is an open invitation. “Ego” and “Evil” (as Pastor C. stated) are very closely related. If you seek contact with spirit through the power of God and not through your own power via the occult, you may be granted the opportunity of true spirit contact.

The third time, in my opinion only (I don’t want to interpret this experience for the other ladies, who may or may not see it the way I do), had something to do with an evil force that had used the mental and emotional illnesses of the patients in the ward of the old State Hospital as fodder for his own personal desire for power and control. I think that this “thing”—which shall remain nameless—took advantage of the patients’ lack of self control and their emotional pain to manifest itself. Once it had the sufficient emotional fuel to wreak havoc, that’s exactly what it did. It made a sad situation much worse and more desperate. It also, I believe, prevented the genuine and positive spiritual interaction from occurring for more than a fleeting moment.

The rest of our and my investigations concerned psychological, spiritual and residual manifestations that could have negative emotional content, but were not in and of themselves ‘evil’ or demonic. Most responsible, spiritually or religiously grounded investigators DO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between the spirits of ‘transitioned’ souls, stone-tape residual effects, poltergeist activity and demonic manifestations. I think Pastor C. is afraid that I (or anyone who does what I do) can be ‘tricked’ into thinking that something is innocent when in fact, it is evil. How do I know if something is genuine or faked by the devil?

I know it in its positive effects. If I leave an investigation invigorated, excited and intrigued, I know; if over the next few days, reviewing evidence is revealing and thrilling, I know; if I feel happy, loving and entirely myself for the next week, I know. If, on the other hand, I am sick for days afterwards, have nightmares, experience unsettling manifestations in my house that continue for weeks, or if the investigation itself was heavy, draining, confusing, depressing and emotionally difficult, then I know that I am in dangerous territory and action is required. Even the negative investigations have tremendous value, however. The scary confrontations with the unknown (and perhaps unholy) sent me straight to church—two churches, in fact, count me among their members—and allowed me a closer relationship to God (or whatever you may wish to call the Universal Good). If it weren’t for those frightening encounters with the dark side, I would not have been sitting next to Father P. and Pastor C. experiencing the spiritual power of their blessings and love for me.

What meant the most to me during that meeting was the unconditional acceptance of who I am and what I do from a respected and powerful member of the Catholic Church. Not only did he not judge, reproof or criticize me, he actually sanctioned my work—our work—and thanked me for doing it. He agreed to be a resource for our team in the event that we need his services. When he recounted some of his experiences battling the devil, it was so terrifying that I almost begged him to stop. I do have to know, however, what kind of damage evil can do, so that when I am confronted with it again, I will recognize it quickly and make some important decisions. I do not know how Pastor C. feels about that meeting. He may still harbor the fear that I am in over my head, and perhaps doesn’t agree with Father P. regarding contact with spirits of the dead. It may have been unnerving for him to hear such unwavering and unquestioning support for me, if he feels that I am, in any way, in spiritual danger.

As I stated before, Father P., for the first twenty minutes of our meeting, did not talk but only watched me. Now I know why. He was reading me on a spiritual level, checking me for any signs or symptoms of demonic influence or oppression. He did not find anything that worried him or required further intervention. I wonder if Pastor C. thought that I might have been harboring something dark of which I was entirely unaware. In any case, this is conjecture and speculation; but it makes sense.
Father P. saw right through me and believes that I am a child of the Light, as we all are; there is nothing he needs to cure, expel or expiate. I am whole, I am capable, I am strong and I am good. The meeting with them both changed my life on many levels. Father P. knew me by the end and had a message for me that I will never, ever forget. He could not have given me this message without—somehow—knowing my entire life and psyche. It has to do with releasing my anxiety, fear and insecurity and knowing that I am on the right path. Anxiety is my number one challenge in life. He revealed to me how it had affected everything I do and blocked me from everything I could do. He told me how to dispel it and said other things which I prefer to keep to myself.

By the end, both Pastor C. and Father P. engulfed me in pure love. It was amazing, to say the least. Our closing prayer ignited such spiritual power that the overhead light started blinking, turning off and on at random intervals. It was yet another affirmation that the world is so much more complex and fascinating than we can possibly imagine; and that the power of love can change every, single detail of our life and our world, it we would only let it.

—-Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW

  1. Excellent article, I enjoyed reading that Pastor P’s opinion and attitudes toward spirits of passed humans haunting places. He’s very open minded it seems.

  2. Gopach says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your experience has given me strength. Sometimes I question if I am on the right path. I am about to go on a journey go Texas to help others in their fight with the paranormal. There is preparation that needs to be done before entering the battle. Your experience tells me that I am too on the right path.. Although there seems to be a lot of paranormal enthusiasts, there are very view that know what to do when encountering a threatening situation.Thanks again, Gopach.

    • parawife says:

      You are more than welcome. Truth is, very few of us have the guidance and mentoring that we need to handle the negative and/or threatening situations that can arise during investigations. We need to seek out community support, and that often means talking to multiple priests and/or pastors until you’ve found your people. I find that some mental health professionals are also very supportive and useful in organizing and creating a supportive community. Use all your contacts and don’t be afraid to make new ones. We are in uncharted territory here!

  3. Great post . . .very interesting to read about the Father’s observations and responses. The discussion about positive and negative energies made me think of something I’ve been considering for a while now . . . My family moved to Oregon about 8 1/2 years ago (I actually grew up about 2 blocks from Jennifer and have known her since kindy).

    Since we’ve moved, we’ve been through the most turbulent phase of our lives–we have a family business that supports my parents and my own nuclear family; it has increasingly struggled until it imploded last spring. I’ve been trying to rebuild it during this past year. Finances have been challenging to say the least but our family remains strong, in fact, we’re stronger than ever.

    The thought occurred to me last December that I should sage the house–my husband and I work from home and my parents work from their home. I haven’t seen strange things happening, well except for seeing a flash of motion coming down the stairs in the evenings when I’m watching TV but I truly believe that’s just my eyes or imagination–I’ve never felt negative emotion or a heaviness outside myself in the house, though our lives have had a lot of anxiety and stress and turbulence and uncertainty. I’m not aware of anything bad happening here–our home was built in ’77 and no one has passed here. I’ve not been aware of feeling external energy except for a week or so last fall when I was really focused on communicating with my grandmother and I did feel her warmth and love and connection–a very positive experience and I definitely feel her energy was reaching out to mine at that time. But that’s it. In fact, as I write this, I remember when we first saw this house that it just felt good to me. Like a good place to be with a positive energy. I think the energy is still positive–we frequently host friends for various occasions and they comment that they like being here.

    Still, I wonder what your thoughts are on saging the house? Do you think there could be an energy that is behind all the trouble? If we were to sage, might things turn around? Have we put negative energy here with our stress and anxiety? And if you do feel we should sage, does it need to be done by someone with experience? Note–as mentioned above, not a lot of spare cash flowing to hire someone.

    Just looking for your general thoughts at your convenience. Thanks in advance and thanks for sharing your fascinating work through your blog.

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