People Who've Witnessed Possessions Describe The Signs

If you thought the concept of demonic possession sounds scary, imagine being present for an exorcism. People who witness exorcisms describe the events as extremely tense and chaotic, with all involved parties sent into a heightened state of tension, confusion, and dread. The signs of demonic possession vary from story-to-story, but they often detail victims overcome with seizures and an ability to speak in tongues. For the witnesses of demonic possession, they often leave the incident more confused than anyone else, unable to explain the events they saw with their own eyes. 

Many Reddit users saw demonic possessions with their own eyes, and shared their stories for the community to speculate over. In hindsight, many exorcism witnesses acknowledge there may be scientific reasons behind possessions they saw. As many admit, mental illness could have largely played a role in these exorcism accounts. Even still, such science still comes up short in assuaging many of these storytellers' fears.

Photo: The Last Exorcism / Studio Canal

  • It Ends In Tragedy

    From OuttaSightVegemite:

    "My family used to own and run a real estate office. My grandfather owned it and was the boss, my mother managed the rent roll, and clients and I worked there on weekends as a teenager.

    "We worked in a multicultural area, which I always loved, and there was a reasonable Maori/Islander community there, a lot of whom were very religious. In one particular property we managed, there was this one family who had two sons. One of them played football with my brother and the other is the subject of this incident.

    "So this kid was 11, I think, and, according to the family, began acting strangely. He'd have violent outbursts, say terrible things, stuff like that. Apparently he was seriously out of control. The family called their (Baptist, I think) Minister and asked what they should do, if there was even anything they could do. The minister told them that he was free one evening later that week and h-e'd bring the things needed for a Baptism. He said that he'd perform an exorcism for them and a good spiritual leader, good religious people and a Baptism could oust an evil spirit.

    "This particular evening arrived and the Minister got all set up. He got this deep tub which they all filled with water for the Baptism, chose some passages from the Bible that'd help with the exorcism, and got the whole family to gather around for support and prayer. Now, Islander families tend to be large; there were aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Everyone was there and willing to help this child. The parents are instructed to bring out the kid so the father goes in to get him.

    "The kid was a f*cking mess. He was described as being like the Tasmanian Devil from the cartoons, just all over the place. His dad put the boy over his shoulder and brought him down to where everyone was standing, the kid fighting it every step, but with his father being an absolutely enormous man, he didn't stand a chance.

    "The Minister said for everyone to gather around and put their hands on the child and to pray for him. The father held him in the middle of the family group and everyone reached out their hands to touch the boy who was thrashing around like a wild thing. What I heard was that it seemed like the boy was totally out of control. Time comes for the Minister to say whatever it was he said and then for them to get him into the tub for the Baptism, which was supposed to expel the demon they figured was possessing him. The father and an uncle or something were the ones who got him into the tub and the family stood around praying their hearts out, but the boy tried to escape the second his body hit the water. He put up a crazy fight and more family members came to get him into the water. Finally they got him in and they were able to hold him there.

    "And hold him.

    "And hold him.

    "And hold him.

    "They didn't mean to do it, but they drowned him. He was an 11-year-old boy who was on the cusp of puberty. Of course his behavior was erratic, of course his attitude was f*cking awful, of course he fought being held down by his own family. What did they think was going to happen?

    "The parents, uncle, and Minister were all arrested. The uncle got off on an accessory charge, the parents got 10 years but got out sooner and the Minister got 15 and was in just about the whole time because he was the leader. He should have known better. My mum had to go and talk to the police, be a character witness, talk about the family and the property and whatnot.

    "That certainly wasn't the only awful thing that happened while I worked there but it was the most traumatic."

  • A Djinn Possessed This Tiny Woman

    From possessedtw:

    "I am a 6'2", rather fit man. I practice Aikido and can bench press 240. My father and his brothers are pretty much as tall as I am, maybe less strong due to age although most of them have been in fighting sports for a while. One of my aunts is about 5'4'', probably weighs like 110 lbs at best. There was this time when she really went plain crazy. She would get incredibly angry/out of control at random times, spitting nonsense words, and there would be absolutely no way I, or my father, or both of us would be able to get her down. This felt like DBZ Yamcha trying to get Perfect Cell into an UFC submission. She had 10 times my strength. We needed to work as four to actually pin her down and get her to stop moving until she calmed down.

    "That was extremely scary. She could just pop off anytime and go crazy. Now I didn't believe in the supernatural, but my grandmother, a rather traditional Moroccan woman, was convinced she was possessed. And honestly it really felt like it. For those who don't know it, Morocco has a pretty big culture about supernatural/sorcery/possessed/exorcism sh*t. So most of the elders in the family firmly believe in it.

    "Fast forward a few months later when it was getting way too difficult for us to handle her. My uncle contacted a good friend in Morocco who has an 'exorcist' in his family. The exorcist asked us to do one rather twisted thing. He asked my aunt if she could put a drip of her blood in a glass of water, and leave the glass somewhere in the apartment while she was sleeping (not next to her). We were reluctant, but my grandmother forced her to do it. On the morning, the glass was empty. I'm still convinced she probably just woke up at night and drank it, but the exorcist's version was 'she is possessed by a demon (commonly known in the Muslim culture as 'jnon' or 'djinn'), giving him this blood just was a way for you to welcome him and calm him down temporarily, and she needs to see an exorcist ASAP.'

    "Now we were getting convinced he was right, seeing her often getting crazier and crazier. In desperate times, sometimes you just chose to believe to a possible solution. So at this point I decided to believe in what he said and we had to go get a proof that he was right. We live in France, and decided to drive to Morocco (about 1500 km driving plus a six-hour boat, with another 500 km in Morocco again). I've never been as scared as this day. I was sitting in the back on the right, my father on the left, my aunt between us. She went crazy at some point. We couldn't really hold her as she was trying to hit my uncle driving. We almost ran into a wall. My father had to - dangerously - choke her until she lost some strength.

    "Anyway. Here we were in Morocco, in this village named 'Sefrou,' known as one of the biggest places in the country were sorcery happens. Rather creepy place. And not in a conventionally creepy way. What we know of creepy is just what horror movies picture; the African creepy is on another level.

    "We went to meet this exorcist guy. He asked us to buy a sheep to 'sacrifice,' and told us we should bring him the sheep's guts back to him for the exorcism to happen. My father and uncle took care of this. Me, I was F*CKING SCARED. As stated earlier I didn't believe in that sh*t. I decided to because, honestly, the situation called it. But at this point, in a freaking spooky village in the middle of Morocco, where we were advised to never eat anything outside or accept anything from strangers who might try to curse us,' where everything looked twisted AF, I was really losing it and couldn't wait to leave this place forever.

    "On the following day we went to the exorcist's, bringing him the guts. He put them in a bowl, asked that if we were feeling strong enough we should stay with him, as more people would make it easier to 'exorcise' my aunt. Well, I really wanted to leave but seeing everybody staying, I stayed as well.

    "My aunt was lying down in front of us, next to the bowl, and we were sitting down around her holding hands. The exorcist started saying stuff I couldn't understand (it was traditional Arabic and not a Moroccan dialect). He got sweaty as he spoke faster, and I saw my aunt twitching in what looked like pain. The light went out (holy sh*t, I think I peed my pants at this moment), the exorcist screamed something, my aunt screamed as well, then total silence.

    "I think the silence was for about 30 seconds but it felt like hours. The exorcist's assistant then came in with a lamp and we saw both my aunt and him have passed out, the bowl on the floor with the guts next to it. The guts turned black. I am having goosebumps just writing that and re-picturing that. The assistant urged us not to touch the guts at any cost. The exorcist woke up, put some water on his face, then told us to follow him. We went to the top of a nearby hill, and he asked us to burn the guts right there, as 'the demon was now possessing the sheep and we could now get rid of it.' Done.

    I have never seen my aunt showing any more problems whatsoever since this day. Her crisis periods never happened again, but to this day it honestly still scares the crap out of me. Just seeing her now gives me the chills. And the worst is, her sons love me but I really have trouble staying around her as I am genuinely scared, and they obviously don't know why."

  • Never Play With Ouija Boards

    From a deleted user:

    "When I was 14, my best at the time and I got a Ouija table and decided to play with it a bit. We got into a dark room at my place, lit some candles, and started the bullsh*t.

    "Another friend of ours knocked on the door as we tried to 'contact the spirits'. We let her in and resumed. This third person kept mocking us as we tried to get the "supernatural messages,' when all of a sudden, she passed out.

    "We thought she was joking, but then she opened her eyes and started to talk with a voice that wasn't hers. It was damn scary, but we still thought she could be playing with us. Then she laughed (a horrible laugh) and started to say things that happened to me that I never had said to anyone and same for my best friend.

    "Candles started flickering and the flames went a bit too high for my skeptical being not to shiver in spite of myself. My best friend ran out of my place straight to her neighbor, who was a candomblé's mother-of-saint.

    "When the woman came to my place and saw our friend, she gasped and told us to help bringing the girl to her place. We did so, but not before getting some scratches. Once there, the neighbor locked herself with the girl in a room and told us to wait outside.

    "I don't know what happened, but after a couple hours our friend came out, very tired and with no memory of anything after we let her in and started to play with the Ouija table.

    "The mother-of-saint told us off to not to play with what we can't control and whatnot.

    "Nowadays, I believe this friend got impressed/suggested with the 'ritual' and it was all. The only intriguing thing is the fact that she knew all those secret things about me and my best friend. It was scary for two 14-year-old girls."

  • A Terrible Retreat

    From loldemort7:

    "I have never known what to make of this. The high school I went to was a religious private school. Senior year, it was traditional for the entire senior class to go on a religious retreat up in this remote resort in the mountains with a few teachers. The point of the retreat was to grow closer to each other as a class and also to find God. Maybe experience spirituality? They took away our phones and forbade us from using any form of the Internet or communication with the outside world; then they made us go through a series of soul-baring exercises and speeches and whatnot. Honestly pretty cheesy stuff, not that exciting.

    "On the third day of the retreat, however, the entire grade is in the main hall doing an 'hour of silent prayer' that was pretty much like meditation, but we were supposed to be communicating with God. All of a sudden, there's a huge crash and everyone looks over to see a girl toppled over onto the floor. As everyone stares, she starts writhing around on the ground and screaming, but not screaming in, like, pain. The voice that she was screaming was in a really strange, deep voice and didn't sound like her at all. Someone yelled, "She's seizing!' I remember that because there was a girl in our class who was known to have epileptic seizures and would do it in assembly pretty frequently, but it wasn't the same girl.

    "Then she stood up and started yelling in 'tongues.' Her eyes were rolled up and her head kept twitching back-and-forth. She started to run all around the room, yelling in an unintelligible gibberish language, and every now and then she would run at the cross in the middle of the room and then run back, screaming and crying.

    "At first I honestly thought this was a dumb high school prank to freak everyone out, but if that was what it was, she took it way too far. The teachers tried to calm her down but she just kept screaming in this weird language. She started pulling on her hair so one of the teachers called an ambulance, but we all knew it would take a while for them to get to this remote retreat. Another teacher tried to take her by the shoulders and she dug her nails into his arm really hard and just kept screaming. It took several more minutes to calm her down (the teachers actually evacuated us from the room) and then she just... went quiet.

    "They took that girl away that night (though I don't know how, we were all kept in the cafeteria after that) and she never came back to school after the retreat was over. I wasn't friends with her friends so I don't know if they knew what really happened. Probably expelled for her 'prank.' But maybe not! It went on way too long and convincingly for me to really tell myself that she'd f*ck around in front of all the teachers like that. It was insane. I don't know. None of the teachers were ever allowed to talk about it when we asked, afterward."

  • A Curse That Manifests Like Demonic Possession

    From FYAC:

    "So my friend is Mexican, just like me, and our families believe a lot of crazy sh*t. Well, my friend's mom believed someone had put a curse on her, seeing as how so many weird and unfortunate things had been happening to her, including her rapidly decreasing health. Since back in her village you'd hire a curandero or brujo for this stuff, she searched around and finally found a reputable one. Well, he paid her a house visit, and turns out that she had been cursed, according to him; a jealous ex-lover of her husband had put a pretty wicked one on her, he even said that she was lucky to still be walking.

    "Anyway, he said he was going to perform a ritual that night on her in order to dispel the evil, but she had to completely relax and close her eyes because he was going to summon a great spirit who was not supposed to be seen by humans or something like that. Anyway, the brujo went and did all his business while her daughter (my friend) was there for support. Well, the brujo started chanting and the room, she said, became very heavy and loud, gradually building up. She couldn't see anything because her eyes were obviously closed, but she felt a presence in the room. Then she heard growling and howling and all sort of animalistic noises.

    "Anyway, the brujo said he had found a willing wolf spirit to trace and get rid of the curse. My friend told me she pretty much sh*t herself hoping for it to be over. After a few hours, the noises finally stopped and the room felt light again. Then man then said that the spirit had done it's job and that her mom was good to go. She did, which blew my mind since the next day she was healthy as an ox. Still gives me chills thinking about it."

  • The Help Needs Help

    From dr_franck:

    "One of our live-in housekeepers/maids experienced a 'demonic possession.' I was one of the first to discover her. She was shouting obscenities (religious ones) while contorting her body as if she had a seizure. Nothing odd or unnaturally flexible, just thrusting her torso and legs up and down on the bed. She was on the verge of really hurting herself. My first thought was 'HOLY SH*T. SHE'S HAVING A SEIZURE.' I tried to get her into a car and to drive her to a hospital, but she would not stop thrashing and we were scared she would hurt herself on the car ride going there. (I'd find out later that real seizures really do not last this long).

    "Eventually, we got some neighbors and nearby security guards to pin her down on a mattress for what seemed like an eternity (one-to-two hours? She would not stop screaming) until our parents came home. I was crying just from how stressful it was, not knowing what exactly was going on, and if our housekeeper would be alright.

    "When my parents heard about what was going on (despite being devout Catholics), they were extremely rational and level-headed about it and even said 'We are not calling a priest.'

    "Eventually, paramedics arrived. The odd (and wasteful) thing about it was that the housekeeper displayed no other signs that constituted that of a medical emergency. Aside from the screaming and spazzing out and possibly hurting herself, she did not vomit, bleed, foam at the mouth. It was only when the paramedics gave her a sedative did she calm down.

    "And this happened a few more times, and we were all a lot more nonchalant about it knowing that it wasn't a medical emergency. But we still had to enlist the help of others to pin her down until she'd finally calm down. It shook me a lot psychologically, as I was sorta young.

    "After she was laid off, I found out much later on that whenever she was 'possessed,' her relatives would simply hog tie her and tie her to the bed, and she would finally calm down. Apparently (as my sister who majors in Psych suggested), our housekeeper's tendency to be 'possessed' is a way for her to feed off the attention of others while processing internal stress or turmoil that makes it difficult to cope."