Graveyard Shift

15 Real Exorcisms Gone Terrifyingly Wrong

While a popular staple in horror movies, real-life exorcisms are practiced in several cultures by those who believe that not only are demons and other sinister spirits real, but they also have the ability to possess human beings. The process of casting out an evil entity ranges in severity from simple spells to elaborate and often violent rituals performed on the supposedly possessed. A more reasonable explanation for demonic possession has often been found in mental illness: either on the part of the possessed, who may actually be suffering from demonomania, epilepsy, Tourette's, schizophrenia or another illness; or on the part of the accuser. Unfortunately, many terrifying exorcisms have involved brutal tactics including beatings, starvation and being bound for long periods of time, occasionally leading to injury and even death.

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