‘The Exorcism Files’ Warns Against Opening Doors to the Other Side
BOOK PICK: ‘True Stories of Demonic Possession’
The Exorcism Files
True Stories of Demonic Possession
By Adam Blai
Sophia Institute Press, 2022
207 pages, $18.95 (e-book, $9.99)
To order: sophiainstitute.com
The preternatural world is interesting to many people, but curiosity without discernment can lead down a forbidden and dangerous path.
The Exorcism Files: True Stories of Demonic Possession by Adam Blai provides a window into that world within a Catholic framework, revealing startling experiences with the demonic.
As an appointed peritus (expert) of religious demonology and exorcism for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Blai trains exorcists nationally and regularly participates in deliverance ministry. He investigates cases of unexplained occurrences and behaviors to determine if an exorcist should be called in. His involvement in this work began with an interest in forensic psychology and the brain, but then he witnessed some strange occurrences that could not be explained by psychology. His credentials in the ministry of deliverance and exorcism are anchored in Scripture and theology, with extensive learning under experienced exorcists in the U.S. and Europe.
Blai has also assisted at more than 1,000 exorcisms, seeing firsthand that a possessed person can have secret knowledge, an ability to speak languages he never learned, amazing strength and adverse reactions to anything blessed.
Before getting into the stories, Blai notes that Scripture warns us against divination and other occult practices: “Don’t turn to ghosts or consult spirits by which you will be defiled” (Leviticus 19:31).
He also reminds readers to put God at the center:
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
Some of those who have ignored God’s commands and opened doors to the other side have become part of Blai’s exorcism files. He starts by detailing the Catholic understanding of devils as fallen angels, and the history of exorcism before the founding of the Church.
“Seven of the major miracles recounted in the Gospels are exorcisms, and exorcism was already well known to the Jewish people in the time of Jesus: [T]here were Jewish Exorcists operating in society before and during His time,” Blai writes.
The stories that follow do not seem sensationalized, but the fact that they happened at all would be unnerving for most people to witness. There is the story of Matt, who sold his soul for rock ‘n’ roll. The young, disheveled man warned Blai, “Don’t come near me. I don’t want to hurt you.”
Blai asked if he wanted help. “His croaking noise turned into an animalistic growl, and he shuffled in my direction. Snarling and shaking his head side to side, he stammered out, ‘Stay away from me. I can’t control it! Yes, I want help! Help me!’”
Blai referred the young man to an exorcist, but it would be a two-week wait. In the meantime, he took Adam’s many phone calls; Adam offered reassurance that he would be helped as he learned of his background. A female cousin had introduced him to black magic, and he began touring with a dark metal band. After seven years of that lifestyle, he was broke, possessed and tortured by demonic nightmares.
“Matt’s case was blessedly fast,” Blai explains in the book. He dramatically improved after one exorcism, but a second one was needed when it was discovered that one demon had been hiding. “Matt still calls me once a year or so to let me know he is doing well,” Blai relates.
During his early training, an older exorcist invited Blai to be part of a team for an ongoing exorcism of a possessed woman. The team included the woman’s husband, a psychiatrist nurse, the woman’s primary physician and the exorcist. No holy items could be kept in the house because they would literally disappear. The woman also understood several languages, although she spoke only English.
As the exorcist prayed the prayers from the Rite of Exorcism, the team made the responses to the Litany of the Saints.
“About twenty saints into the Litany, the woman seemed to fall unconscious. The woman’s eyes opened, and her face slowly turned toward the exorcist, her teeth bared. She hissed and pulled forward with both arms, straining toward the priest. … A wicked smile spread across her face, and she looked at the husband and kneed him, harder in the chest, using both legs to push him back.
“This continued through the Litany, then the priest started on the old solemn exorcism rite (the new 1999 Rite of Exorcism was not yet available), which had been written in 1614 and has been in continuous use since.”
Blai attended dozens of exorcisms for this woman, where there was a gradual improvement. “Some cases just do not resolve for many years,” Blai explains, “and we do not always know why.”
Freedom Through Jesus Christ
After the stories, Bai includes the Litany of the Saints and explains why only priests with their bishop’s permission should perform the Rite of Exorcism.
The book concludes with encouragement to move toward God, reminding the faithful that the best defense is prayer, following the First Commandment and living a healthy sacramental life. In this way, he says, we experience the true love and true freedom that comes through Jesus Christ.