Attack from the Invisible Realm
A STUDY was made some years ago of 25,000 people in various countries to find out if, “while they were awake and in a good state of health, they had at any time heard a voice, seen a form, or felt any touch which could not be explained by material means.” The results of this widespread inquiry were regarded as amazing, since the proportion of mentally sound people who, in England alone, had received such clear-cut impressions was one in ten.1
Was this attack from the invisible realm? “Nonsense,” say many of today’s psychologists, who like to use the word “hallucination.” On the other hand, psychical researchers, the parapsychologists, are not so skeptical; they have found too much that science cannot explain, such as extrasensory perception.
Moreover, many are the reported attacks from the invisible realm. Often there are reliable witnesses. Furthermore, the worldly psychologist who puts no faith in God’s Word, the Holy Bible, is a most dubious authority for Christians. Those who read their Bible know that the inspired Scriptures tell of the existence of wicked spirit creatures and “woe for the earth” in our day. Why? Because “the one called Devil and Satan . . . was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.” Thus man must face up to the fact that the Devil and his angels are invisible forces confined to the vicinity of the earth and whose existence means “woe.” No product of the imagination are the “wicked one’s burning missiles.”—Rev. 12:9, 12; Eph. 6:16.
One of the many ways Satan’s invisible forces bring woe to mankind is by harassing persons while they are trying to sleep. Individuals sometimes report invisible hands pulling at the bedcovers, harassing them also by touches that keep them awake. The bed may even be lifted, shaken or moved about. A skeptic, a British artist, heard of such a disturbance and went to live in a house at Poling at Sussex. He is no longer a skeptic. He reported: “I had not been asleep in the room long when I awoke with a start, feeling that someone had lifted up my bed beneath me. I thought it might be someone who had hidden there to frighten me. I made a search but found nothing. Later my bed was violently shaken and I was twisted around like a top. When I had time to collect my wits I found that I was lying crosswise on the bed and most of the bed clothes were on the floor.”2
One of the most impressive cases said to have come to the attention of parapsychologist J. B. Rhine was that of a fourteen-year-old boy, often assaulted in the bedroom. When the boy went to a minister’s home to sleep, the bed shook so violently he had to get up and try to sleep in a heavy armchair. While the clergyman stood over him, the heavy chair tilted to one side and fell over, throwing the boy to the floor. The minister, trying the same posture in the armchair, could not even tilt it.3
In another case, in Runcorn, Cheshire, England, the newspaper told how invisible hands “kept throwing a boy out of bed at night.”4 Clergymen who have witnessed and reported such assaults have often failed to stop them, and even get attacked themselves. In fact, the spirit in the Runcorn case, according to the Spiritualistic publication The Psychic News, badly treated Methodist cleric W. H. Stevens by hurling a Bible at him.5
The assaults thus are often of such a nature that it is utterly impossible to attribute them to dreams or imagination. For instance, a London newspaper tells of a man and wife at Epsom, in which the wife experienced bedroom disturbances. It was not the wife’s imagination, since the husband stated:
“One night Betty was sitting up in bed when something began pulling at her shoulders. It dragged her towards the window. It lifted her body so that only her legs and thighs were touching the bed. She cried for help. I grabbed her by the legs. But whatever it was had great strength. At first I couldn’t hold it. I felt myself going towards the window too. Then quite suddenly it seemed to lose its power and Betty fell.”6
From all over the world come reports of these harmful assaults. The Panama City Herald! told of an eighteen-year-old girl harassed by spirits. While in the presence of city officials and a doctor she was attacked. “Clarita’s hand was bitten while I was holding it,” said a city official. Explained the doctor: “I always thought of this world as a visible thing, but here is something unknown, a force unseen yet felt.”7 A group of houses in a Malay kapong in Jelutong, Penang, was the scene of attacks on children. Said a Singapore newspaper: “The spirit is said to have attacked young girls and children, sometimes stripping them naked, and often causing them to groan in agony.”8 Such assaults are similar to those made on the hapless exorcists of which the Bible says the man in whom the wicked spirit was “leaped upon them, got the mastery of one after the other, and prevailed against them, so that they fled naked and wounded out of that house.”—Acts 19:16.
A recent book, Evidence of Satan in the Modern World,9 tells of many factual accounts, not only of demon assaults, but also of angry conversations between attempting exorcists and the wicked spirits.
In many cases the demons harass people by talking to them; such persons report hearing “voices.” This is called “clairaudience” in spiritistic circles, and spiritists have written a number of books at the dictation of demon voices. But these voices harass many persons, inducing them to violence, murder and suicide. A Singapore man heard a spirit voice for four days telling him to commit suicide. He did. His wife said that her husband had told her of the spirit’s commands, but she treated it as a huge joke.10
Scores of examples of harmful attacks from the invisible realm are given in the booklet, published by the Watch Tower Society and now out of print, called “Can the Living Talk with the Dead?” For example, it reported:
“The Chicago News made an investigation of spirit phenomena and reached the following conclusions: ‘As to the voices that so many are bending ear to catch, I have learned that they are more likely to suggest evil than good. . . . Once a communication is established it takes a positive thought to fight off these “voices” or forces of evil. . . . It is never safe to yield your will, your soul or individuality, into the keeping of these unearthly powers. . . . I found one woman who was led by the “voices” to kill her little girl by drowning her in a bath tub. . . . I found a man who said the voices told him to strike a young man that he met coming out of a restaurant. He did so. . . . There are hundreds of similar instances.’”
Before the flood of Noah’s day “the earth became filled with violence” because of demon activity. (Gen. 6:1-11) Today much violence is stirred up by the demons who induce men to attack other men. Much “woe,” then, is the result of attack from the invisible realm. Christians must be prepared for spiritual warfare, realizing they are a special target of the “wicked one’s burning missiles.”
1 Phantasms of the Living, E. Gurney.
2 Ghosts over England, R. Thurston Hopkins.
3 Philadelphia News, August 27, 1949.
4 Victoria (Canada) Daily Colonist, May 14, 1953.
5 New York Journal American, October 15, 1953.
6 London Daily Mail, July 17, 1950.
7 Panama City Herald, May 19, 1953.
8 Sunday Times, August 30, 1953.
9 Léon Christiani, Macmillan, 1962.
10 The Straits Times, December 15, 1953.