Graveyard Shift

The Very Human Science Behind Demonic Possession

Though demonic possession has been explained by science and medicine, there's still a widespread popular belief in possessions and exorcisms. In fact, a 2003 Yougov poll of 1,000 Americans found that most believe in the existence of the devil - and just under half believe in the power of exorcism. Granted, they don't think that these happen very often, but they definitely still believe that it works. Maybe it's the power of films like The Exorcist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, maybe it's just plain old fascination with the demonic, but a lot of people chose to believe in religion over science when it comes to the apparently supernatural. 

But this misunderstanding about what causes people to appear possessed can do a lot of damage. Exorcisms are still performed with surprising regularity, often ignoring real mental and physical health issues. And even in this day and age, exorcisms gone wrong can still result in death. In so many instances, there are clearly underlying issues that cause the symptoms of possession, and the very real science is ignored in the face of religious or spiritual beliefs.

Read on for some real explanations for demonic possession, from epilepsy to accidental trips.