Demons Defeat Clergymen
IN A recently published volume called Shane Leslie’s Ghost Book, author Leslie, a Roman Catholic, writes about “instances of ghosts, apparitions and messages from the other or twilight world which have come under Catholic cognizance.” He relates what he calls “the last word” about the “Coonian ghost” that disturbed the peace of a house in Coonian, Ireland, with rappings, rushings, snatchings and putting out of lights.
To put an end to the activity of the wicked spirit the bishop sent three priests to the house. The priests went inside and prayed. The result of their exorcism was not what they expected. One priest said he felt the influence of the evil spirit like an eel twisting around his wrist. Another priest saw an empty bed do strange things: the bedclothes moved up and down as if someone were in bed. “Soon we could hear,” he said, “the heavy breathing, the gurgling in the throat . . . what country people would call ‘a hard death.’”
Seeing that the priests, after repeated efforts, were unable to clean out the evil spirits, the family moved to America. The priests? Author Leslie says: “The gallant clergy, who made such constant efforts on their behalf, seem to have been the worse for it. One priest had a nervous breakdown, another spinal meningitis and the third facial paralysis.”
The outcome of that clerical venture into exorcism reminds one of the Bible account about the seven sons of a Jewish chief priest. These sons were exorcists who, though they were not true followers of Christ, “undertook to name the name of the Lord Jesus over those having the wicked spirits, saying: ‘I solemnly charge you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.’”
In one house they got unexpected results: “In answer the wicked spirit said to them: ‘I know Jesus and I am acquainted with Paul; but who are you?’ With that the man in whom the wicked spirit was leaped upon them, got the mastery of the two of them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled naked and wounded out of that house.”—Acts 19:13-16.