exorcism
   The expulsion of DEMONs and other unwanted spirits from a person or place. Rites of exorcism have been performed since ancient times as remedies against the negative or malevolent influences of spirits, such as the perceived cause of illnesses, bad luck, personal difficulties, OBSESSION, and POSSESSION. The word exorcism is from the Greek exousia, meaning “oath,” and translates as adjuro, or “adjure,” in Latin and English. To exorcise does not really mean to “cast out” so much as it means to “put the Devil on oath,” or petition a higher authority to compel the Devil to act in a way contrary to his wishes.
   In Catholicism, exorcism is performed when the church asks publicly and with authority in the name of JESUS Christ that a person or object be protected from the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion. In some cultures, demons are exorcised by loud noises, such as beating gongs and bells, and by beating the victim physically, in order to force the demons out of the body. In other methods, rituals for exorcism provide for less extreme measures through the use of holy objects, prayer, and commands.
   Exorcism is considered dangerous for victim and exorcist, and even for onlookers, for expelled demons will immediately look for a new host, unless they are properly bound and dispatched.
   Demonic Exorcism
   In Jewish tradition, demons were exorcised often by casting them into an object or an animal. An exorcism formula in the Talmud for healing demon-caused blindness calls for the blindness (demon) to leave the victim and pierce the eyeballs of a designated dog. The Jewish historian Josephus, born soon after the Crucifixion of Jesus, wrote of a celebrated exorcist named Eliezar, whom he witnessed in action. Eliezar had a ring attached with certain roots prescribed by the legendary King SOLOMON. The root, called Baaras, was probably boara, a highly toxic root that burns with a flamelike color and emits lightninglike rays. Eliezar held the ring under the nose of a DEMONIAC and caused the demons to leave through the breath blown through the nostrils. Eliezar then passed the demons into a bowl of water, which was at once thrown over, dispersing the demons. The technique was in accordance with prevailing beliefs of the time that many illnesses were caused by inhaling demons. In the New Testament, Jesus and the disciples cast out numerous evil spirits, the most famous of which are LEGION, demons sent by Jesus from a man into pigs (Luke 8:30). According to descriptions in the Gospels and Acts, exorcisms were usually easy to perform. Jesus or an apostle ordered the evil spirit to depart, and the demon immediately complied. Luke 9:38–43 tells of a case in which the disciples had failed to exorcise a boy, and Jesus succeeds in casting out the demon by rebuking him:
   A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.” “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
   Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. Jesus recommended in one case that prayer and fasting are necessary to expel some demons. In Mark 9:18, Jesus told a man that all things are possible, including the exorcism of his son, to those who believe. Thus, faith can influence the success of exorcism.
   Sometimes an expelled demon can return with reinforcements, as Jesus noted in Matthew 12:43–45: When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation. After the Crucifixion of Jesus, the apostles exorcised in his name. None of them had a specific exorcism ministry or sought out the afflicted; the sick traveled to them for help. Only Christians could successfully performs exorcisms. Acts 19:13–16 describes how seven Jewish exorcists failed to exorcise demons in the name of Jesus and Paul. They were attacked and beaten by the possessed man:
   Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. [One day] the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. Paul was so successful as an exorcist that even items of clothing he touched could be given to the afflicted, and their possessing spirits would depart (Acts 19:11–12). Acts 16:16–19 tells how Paul exorcised a slave girl of a divining spirit. The spirit enabled her to tell the future and was not “demonic” in the modern sense: Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. The owners of the slave girl were not pleased to have their source of income terminated, and they had Paul and his companion Silas arrested, flogged, and imprisoned. In the early church, all believers were held to be capable of exorcism. The apostles performed exorcisms for those who sought them out. After they were gone, others carried on the work. There was no special class of exorcists or deliverance ministers, or formal training or ordination; however, it was held that one had to be a true believer in the faith in order to succeed. Origen, a church father anathematized and martyred in 253, said that the plainest of persons, even the illiterate, could perform deliverance or exorcism.
   By the third century, the dangers of exorcism were recognized, and the church began approving certain individuals for the task of expelling spirits and healing by laying on of hands. In the mid-third century, Pope Cornelius used the term exorcist as an order among the Roman clergy. The ministry of deliverance became increasingly restricted and by the Middle Ages was performed more as formal rites of exorcism. Instead of spontaneous prayers in individual circumstances, priests relied increasingly on standardized prayers and procedures. The focus shifted primarily to demonic possession. The role of exorcist fell to priests. Solemn exorcism became a formal liturgical rite performed only by a priest on a possessed person and only with permission from a bishop. Private exorcisms are performed by ministers and laypersons for various demonic problems and are permitted in the Catholic tradition.
   Protestants deemphasized or eliminated exorcism; some, such as Calvinists, held that it pertained only to the early years of Christianity. Exorcism is carried on by some under the name of DELIVERANCE.
   In the wake of the abuses of the Inquisition, the Vatican banned five manuals of exorcism in 1709 and in 1725 instituted more controls. In the late 19th century, Pope Leo XIII (r. 1878–1903) reportedly had a vision of demonic spirits trying to attack Rome. He wrote a prayer that is now included in the RITUALE ROMANUM and said at many masses, the prayer to the archangel Michael: St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protector against the wickedness and the snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen. Church officials became skeptical that possession was genuine and in modern times preferred psychological explanations to demonic ones. However, in 1972, Pope Paul VI affirmed the existence of SATAN and his attempts to pervert humanity.
   Pope John Paul II (r. 1978–2005) stated in 1987 that “the devil is still alive and active in the world” and championed exorcism. He reportedly performed three exorcisms himself. The first one was in 1978 and few details are known. The second was performed in 1982 on a young woman named Francesca F., who convulsed on the floor when taken before the pope. He said, “Tomorrow I will say Mass for you,” and she was freed of demons. The third exorcism was done in 2000 on a 19-year-old hunchbacked Italian woman. She attended one of the pope’s public audiences in St. Peter’s Square and shouted obscenities. He took her into a private audience, prayed for her and blessed her, and promised to say a mass for her. However, the woman was not rid of demons. Pope Benedict XVI, who assumed the papacy in April 2005, is more conservative but has praised exorcists and has encouraged them to pursue their ministry. In the modern Catholic tradition, major rites of exorcism are performed in which a demon is ordered in the name of Christ to leave the body of a person who is possessed. Lesser rites of exorcism expel demons from a place (see INFESTATION) and relieve a person who is suffering from OPPRESSION. However powerful the demon may be, he ultimately must yield to the power of the Lord. The EXORCIST also calls upon all the saints, the Virgin Mary, and the angels, especially the archangel Michael, an ancient foe of the DEVIL.
   Exorcisms are performed once it is determined that a victim is genuinely under the influence of demons. The discernment of an exorcist priest is important. In addition, the church may ask physicians and other medical professionals to rule out natural causes; a psychiatric examination may be desirable but is not necessary. Lesser rites of exorcism, including deliverance, can be carried out by a priest or even a lay demonologist who has been trained by a priest, but the solemn rite of exorcism for possession can be carried out only by a priest, and upon approval by a bishop. The solemn rite is part of the RITUALE ROMANUM, which dates to 1614. Minor revisions were made in 1952. As of the Second Vatican Council (1962– 65), it underwent a series of revisions. Since 1999, the exorcism portion was reissued in a new 90-page document, De Exorcismus et Supplicationibus Quibusdam (Concerning exorcisms and certain supplications). The rite includes prayers and passages from the Bible and calls upon the demons, in powerful Latin, to depart in the name of Jesus Christ.
   The new version eliminates some of the rough medieval language used to describe the Devil. Instead of having the exorcist command the demons or Devil to leave the victim, the exorcist now calls on God to command the demons to leave.
   Some contemporary exorcists prefer to use exorcism as a diagnosis of possession and to use more traditional versions of the rites (see AMORTH, FATHER GABRIELE). Outside Catholicism, priests and ministers perform most demonic exorcisms, but clairvoyants and spiritualists also expel evil spirits. In non-Western traditions, shamans, adepts, and other members of priestly classes perform exorcisms. In occult traditions, exorcisms are performed according to magical rites. Beating and whipping the possessed in order to expel demons are a common practice and were undertaken in European exorcisms in centuries past. The practice is still in use privately. In 2007, police in Phoenix, Arizona, responded to a report of violence during an exorcism and found a 49-year-old grandfather choking his allegedly possessed three-year-old granddaughter. Police used a stun gun to subdue the man, who lapsed into unconsciousness and died later in a hospital.
   The Setting of an Exorcism
   According to the Rituale Romanum, an exorcism should be carried out in an oratory, chapel, or small room for devotional prayers in a church. There should be few witnesses. Images of the crucifix and the Virgin Mary should dominate the setting. The exorcist should be vested in cassock, surplice, and violet stole. The rite begins with the aspersion of holy water, and the showing of the crucifix to the victim.
   In fact, throughout history, exorcisms have been performed in a variety of settings, and some of the more famous cases, such as the LOUDUN POSSESSIONS, were witnessed by thousands of people. In contemporary times, exorcists might perform the rites in the home of the victim.
   A special connection exists between the demon and its possessing location, most often the victim’s bedroom or personal place. Anything that can be moved is taken out, such as rugs, lamps, dressers, curtains, tables, and trunks, to minimize flying objects. Only a bed or couch remains, accompanied by a small side table to hold a crucifix, candle, holy water, and prayer book. Doors and windows are closed but cannot be nailed shut because air must be allowed to enter the room. Doorways must be kept covered, even if the door is open, lest the evil forces inside the room affect the area outside. Modern exorcists also employ a small tape recorder to validate the procedure. The church forbids the filming of exorcisms to protect privacy.
   The exorcist is assisted by one or two other priests, who monitor the exorcist, trying to keep him to the business at hand and not be misguided by the perversions of the demons. They also provide physical aid if necessary. If the exorcist collapses or even dies during the ritual, an assistant takes over.
   Other assistants include a medical doctor and perhaps family members. Each must be physically strong and be relatively guiltless at the time of the exorcism, so that the Devil cannot use his or her secret sins as a weapon against the exorcism. The assistants should not be weakened or overcome by obscene behavior and language, blood, excrement, and urine. They must be able to disregard personal insults and be prepared to have their darkest personal secrets revealed. In non-Catholic exorcisms, rites may be performed in a victim’s home, a church, or a sacred setting. In some Pentecostal and charismatic exorcisms, entire congregations participate in the expulsion of demons.
   Characteristics of an Exorcism
   Prayer and commands are central features of exorcism. Catholic rites are among the most formal. Other rites include a laying on of hands and the use of strong fumes to drive out demons. Hindu priests may blow cow-dung smoke, burn pig excreta, pull their or the victim’s hair, press rock salt between their fingers, use copper coins, recite mantras or prayers, cut the victim’s hair and burn it, or place a blue band around the victim’s neck to exorcise the demonic spirits. Trying another tack, the exorcist may offer bribes of candy or other gifts if the spirit leaves the victim. Early Puritans relied solely on prayer and fasting.
   In earlier times and even today, exorcisms may include the physical beating of a sufferer to force the demon to depart or throwing stones at the possessed person. In 1966, members of a fanatic cult in Zurich, Switzerland, ritually beat a young girl to death for being “the devil’s bride.” Catholic exorcisms involve only the use of prayer and sacraments. The exorcist demands to know the name of the demon and the time of its departure. Demons seldom work alone, and thus several or even many may possess a person. Initially, they resist. Resistance can last for months or even years, requiring repeated exorcisms. Rarely is an individual freed of demonic influence in a single exorcism. One of Amorth’s cases lasted for more than 16 years.
   Knowing the names of the demons is helpful but is not essential to the success of an exorcism. Demons are liars, and they are expected to give false names. Sometimes, the names of important and powerful demons are given, even SATAN and LUCIFER. Some names sound nonsensical, and sometimes demons give the names of human beings known for their evil, such as Hitler.
   Violence often dominates a demonic exorcism. Furniture bangs, breaks, and levitates; waves of heat and cold pour over the room; and horrible cries emanate from the victim, who may also levitate. Often, the victim suffers real physical pain and distress and must be held down by assistants, who are other exorcists and laypersons. Demons spit, vomit, and engage in other, more disgusting bodily functions as well. They recoil when sprinkled with holy water or touched by a crucifix. Spiritually, the demon and the exorcist engage in battle. While the demon hurls invectives, the exorcist counters with the strongest demands for the demon’s departure, vowing pain and penalty if it does not comply. Demons are never insulted, however, for they are FALLEN ANGELS and possess great intelligence and wisdom.
   According to MALACHI MARTIN, no two exorcisms are exactly alike, but they tend to unfold in similar stages:
   • The Presence. The exorcist and assistants become aware of an alien feeling or entity.
   • Pretense. Attempts by the evil spirit to appear and act as the victim, to be seen as one and the same person. The exorcist’s first job is to break this pretense and find out who the demon really is. Naming the demon is the most important first step.
   • Breakpoint. The moment when the demon’s pretense finally collapses in a scene of extreme panic and confusion, accompanied by a crescendo of abuse, horrible sights, noises, and smells. The demon begins to speak of the possessed victim in the third person instead of as itself.
   • The Voice. Also a sign of the breakpoint, the voice is babel, and it must be silenced for the exorcism to proceed.
   • The Clash. As the voice dies out, there is tremendous pressure, both spiritual and physical, as the demon collides with the “will of the Kingdom.” The exorcist, locked in battle with the demon, urges the entity to reveal more information about itself as the exorcist’s holy will begins to dominate. There is a direct link between the entity and place, as each spirit wants a place to be. For such spirits, habitation of a living victim is preferable to HELL.
   • Expulsion. In a supreme triumph of God’s will, the spirit leaves in the name of JESUS and the victim is reclaimed. All present feel the Presence dissipating, sometimes with receding noises or voices. The victim may remember the ordeal or may not have any idea what has happened.
   Demons are expelled when they decide to leave voluntarily or are forced out by the power of the rite. They suffer torment from the prayers and sacraments. Sometimes demons who are high-ranking refuse to leave unless they are cast out by an ANGEL. If God sends an angel, an invisible battle takes place between angel and demon, which causes a great deal of discomfort to the victim until it is over. Successful exorcism depends also on the reform of the victim, in terms of attendance at church and right living. Once expelled, demons cannot return unless the victim expressly invites them back, even unconsciously.
   Exorcism of Djinn
   Islam considers exorcism of DJINN to be a noble endeavor, practiced throughout the ages by prophets and the righteous. According to the Qur’an, the faithful are obliged to help the oppressed, including those troubled by djinn. The djinn especially like to interrupt Salaah, or formal prayer; occupy homes and steal the essence of food; and cause mental disturbances and physical illness. There are no formal Islamic rites comparable to those of Catholicism, but exorcisms must follow strict guidelines. The djinn must be rebuked, warned, shamed, and cursed in the same ways permitted against human beings. Measures appropriate against the unfaithful can be applied to djinn. It is permissible for exorcists to listen to what the possessing djinn have to say, but it is forbidden to believe them, for they are deceivers. Djinn will not harm exorcists who act in proper fashion according to the Qur’an, but there are some dangers to exorcists who confront especially powerful djinn (afrit or ifreet), for they may suffer harm.
   Specific prayers and verses from the Qur’an are used; the use of AMULETs and TALISMANs is forbidden. One of the greatest weapons is the Ayatal-kursi, sura 2:255: Allah! There is no god but He—the Living, The Selfsubsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him Nor Sleep. His are all things In the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede In His presence except As he permitteth? He knoweth What (appeareth to His creatures As) Before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they compass Aught of his knowledge Except as He willeth. His throne doth extend Over the heavens And on earth, and He feeleth No fatigue in guarding And preserving them, For He is the Most High. The Supreme (in glory). Those who recite the Ayatal-kursi every night before going to bed will receive a guardian from Allah who will keep djinn away.
   Another qur’anic exorcism weapon are the closing verses from sura 2:285–86. Even the djinn complain about their effectiveness:
   The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord as do the believers. All believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, and His messengers (saying), “We make no distinction between one and another of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and obey, and seek Your forgiveness, Our Lord, to You is the end of all journeys.” Allah does not burden a soul beyond its capacity. It gets every good which it earns and suffers for every ill it earns. (Pray): Our Lord, do not condemn us if we forget or fall into error. Do not give us burdens like what you gave to those before us. Our Lord, do not burden us beyond our capacity. Blot out our sins, grant us forgiveness, and have mercy on us. You are our Guardian, so help us against the disbelieving people.
   Sometimes djinn must be beaten out of people. The blows are not felt by the possessed person but are felt by the djinn, who howl and scream in agony. Another technique employed by exorcists is to blow three times into their hands before reciting verses, thus invoking a blessing of the moisture or air touched by divine words remembering Allah.
   Words and phrases from proper qur’anic verses can be written in ink made from allowable substances on vessels used for washing and drinking by the possessed; the water also may be sprinkled on the body. Similarly, the essence of the verses can be ingested by eating food prepared with inscriptions written on it (such as bread) or alphabet soup.
   The prophet Muhammad acted aggressively against djinn. Once while he was engaged in Salaah, IBLIS went to him and troubled him. Muhammad grabbed him, wrestled him to the ground, and choked him. Muhammad said, “I choked him until I felt the coldness of his tongue on my hand. And if it were not for Sulaymaan’s prayer, he would have been tied up so they could could see him.” The mention of Sulaymaan (King SOLOMON) refers to Solomon’s prayer to Allah for unique power over the djinn, possessed by no one else. If not for that, Muhammad would have had authority to bind Iblis himself. Muhammad also exorcized djinn by cursing them three times: “I seek refuge in Allah from you! I curse you by Allah’s perfect curse!” The same CURSE is used against infidels.
   Muhammad exorcized djinn from others by beating the possessed and by ordering the djinn out. A man took his grandson, who became insane through a possessing djinn, to see Muhammad. The Prophet beat the boy’s back while saying, “Get out enemy of Allah! Enemy of Allah get out!” The djinn left and the boy was healed. In another case, a boy suffering with fits was taken to Muhammad. The Prophet blew into his mouth three times and said, “In the name of Allah, I am the slave of Allah, get out enemy of Allah.” The boy was healed.
   Spirit Exorcism
   In some views, possession is not an evil situation but a spiritual one. Exorcism is not a religious expulsion but a firm good-bye, sending the spirit out of its living host and on to its proper realm. Such techniques of persuasion involve the use of psychic force. Spiritual exorcists may perform several persuasive departures in one day, depending on the individual exorcist’s intuitive ability and strength. Working with spirits, the exorcist has come to recognize the sensations associated with such restless entities, usually described as vibrations or a feeling of cold. Some entities emit odors, like stale flowers or worse.
   DR. CARL A. WICKLAND and the Anglican clergyman CANON JOHN D. PEARCE-HIGGINS are two of the most famous practitioners of persuasive exorcism. Wickland believed that possession occurred when a discarnate human entity blundered, confusedly, into a living person’s aura and became trapped. Using the services of his wife, Anna, a medium, Wickland coaxed the spirit out of its victim and into his wife, through whom he communicated with it.
   Canon Pearce-Higgins agreed with Wickland that possession is not demonic but a manifestation of confused, earthbound spirits. He refused to call himself an exorcist. He employed religious services and simple conversation to persuade the spirit to leave. He said that the possessing spirit needs as much help and consolation as the possessed victim.
   Exorcism in Magic
   Exorcism rites of spirits, demons, ghosts, poltergeists, elementals, and unwanted or negative spirits, energies, or thought forms are part of ritual magic. Literature of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, one of the leading occult societies in the West, provides information for performing exorcisms. The Golden Dawn flourished from the late 19th century into the early 20th century; its rituals are now public and provide the foundation for many magical practices. An example of a Golden Dawn exorcism follows; it is drawn from material found in GRIMOIRES. In a record of a personal experience, the Golden Dawn initiate Frater Sub Spe reported that he concluded that he and his wife were possessed by a vampirizing elemental— a low-level spirit—after his wife’s bout of influenza left both of them in a state of inexplicable exhaustion and vulnerability. Frater Sub Spe at first thought to consult a fellow adept, but during a state of intense concentration, he was instructed by a nonphysical guide to perform the exorcism himself with the guide’s instructions.
   A vision of a stately man in black magical robes appeared and responded to the secret Golden Dawn salutes given him by Frater Sub Spe. The magician merged with the body of Frater Sub Spe, taking possession of it and giving instructions via words and impressions. Frater Sub Spe was told to do the following: turn down the gas, burn incense, trace an invoking Pentagram of Fire toward the east, trace the sigil of Leo in the center of the pentagram, vibrate the Name of Power “Adni ha Aretz,” return the coal to the fire, and face East and make the Qabalistic Cross, a ritual gesture, and trace an invoking Pentagram of Earth.
   Frater Sub Spe did as instructed, and at the end of the ritual, he ordered the possessing spirit to appear before him:
   As I did so a vague blot, like a scrap of London fog, materialized before me. At the same time I sensed my guide, standing close to my right hand, raising his hand in the attitude of the 1=10 sign [a grade of the Golden Dawn]. I felt him (my guide) mentally order me to command the appearance of the obsessing entity, using the Names JHVH, ADNI, AGLA, AHIH. I did so and the mist thickened and formed a kind of nucleus. My guide then instructed me, “Use the Name of the Lord Jesus.” I did so, commanding in that name a fuller manifestation. I saw, at first dimly, as “in a glass darkly,” and then with complete clarity, a most foul shape, between a bloated big-bellied toad and a malicious ape. My guide spoke to me in an audible voice, saying “Now smite it with all your force, using the Name of the Lord Jesus.” I did so gathering all the force I possessed into, as it were, a glowing ball of electric fire and then projecting it like a lightning flash upon the foul image before me.
   There was a slight feeling of shock, a foul smell, a momentary dimness, and then the thing was gone; simultaneously my Guide disappeared. The effect of this experience upon me was to create a great tension of nerves and a disposition to start at almost anything. Afterwards, when going upstairs, I saw floating balls of fire; this may have been hallucination. Both my wife and myself rapidly recovered our full health. Afterwards, a message came to me that “the unclean spirit is gone out, but it remains to purge away his traces from the house of life.”
   The great English occultist and ritual magician William S. Gray composed an exorcism ritual for banishing evil within the self, based on the Tree of Life in the KABBALAH. The ritual does not instantly eliminate evil but reduces the influence of evil in daily life, thus benefiting an individual’s overall spiritual path and enlightenment.
   FURTHER READING:
   - Davies, T. Witton. Magic, Divination and Demonology among the Hebrews and Their Neighbors. First published 1898.
   - Ebon, Martin. The Devil’s Bride, Exorcism: Past and Present. New York: Harper & Row, 1974.
   - Eliade, Mircea. Shamanism. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1964.
   - Fortea, Fr. Jose Antonio. Interview with an Exorcist: An Insider’s Look at the Devil, Diabolic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance. West Chester, Pa.: Ascension Press, 2006.
   - Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy. New York: Facts On File, 2006.
   - Ibn Taymeeyah’s Essay on the Jinn (Demons.) Abridged, annotated, and translated by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002.
   - MacNutt, Francis. Deliverance from Evil Spirits: A Practical Manual. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Chosen Books, 1995.
   - Martin, Malachi. Hostage to the Devil. New York: Harper & Row, 1987.
   - Oesterreich, T. K. Possession: Demonical and Other among Primitive Races, in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Modern Times. New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1966.
   - Wickland, Carl. Thirty Years among the Dead. North Hollywood, Calif.: Newcastle, 1974. First published 1924.
   - Wilkinson, Tracy. The Vatican’s Exorcists: Driving Out the Devil in the 21st Century. New York: Warner Books, 2007.

Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology. . 2009.

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  • exorcism — [eks′ôr siz΄əm, eks′ərsiz΄əm] n. [ME exorcisme < LL(Ec) exorcismus < Gr exorkismos] 1. the act of exorcising 2. a verbal formula or ritual used in exorcising …   English World dictionary

  • exorcism — exorcismal /ek sawr siz meuhl, seuhr/, exorcisory /ek sawr suy zeuh ree, seuhr/, exorcistical, exorcistic, adj. /ek sawr siz euhm, seuhr /, n. 1. the act or process of exorcising. 2. the ceremony or the formula used in exorcising: An elaborate… …   Universalium

  • exorcism — The expulsion of evil spirits. It was the belief in the 1st cent. CE, and long afterwards, that evil spirits could take possession of a person and cause mental and physical illnesses, especially epilepsy. By exorcism, which could take the form of …   Dictionary of the Bible

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