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Unexplained Phenomena Articles

Top Five Famous Spiritual Possessions

Top Five Famous Spiritual Possessions

For centuries, the cultural belief that evil or trickster spirits can possess humans has been a terrifying phenomenon across many religions. Tales of intense and sometimes mortal spiritual possessions help give rise to blockbuster horror films and books that horrify audiences worldwide. Try to fall asleep tonight after you read about the most infamous real-life spiritual possessions!

5. The Possession of George Lukins

In 1778, an otherwise normal English tailor named George Lukins mysteriously began to act strangely. Accounts detail outbursts of aggressive barking noises and eerily reciting hymns backward. Lukins claimed to be possessed by at least seven distinct demonic beings. After an extensive ceremony of several priests, they were finally able to cast out the demon that possessed Lukins. The ordeal became one of the only recorded possessions of the era that had a happy ending.

4. The Possession of Gottliebin Dittus

In the mid 19th century, German villagers noticed several signs that something was afoot at the home of 28-year-old Gottlebin Dittus. When authorities investigated, Dittus claimed that her house was haunted and suffered from frequent violent outbursts and trance-like states. During her exorcism, Dittus vomited various strange items such as glass, nails, and blood. After this, she claimed "Jesus is victor" and cleared the demon that possessed her.

3. The Possession of Clara Germana Cele

In 1906, a 16-year-old teenager from South Africa was rumored to have made a pact with the devil. Strange behavior ensued, including tearing at clothes, growling, and superhuman strength. Finally, two priests performed an exhaustive exorcism on Clara using holy water, burning her skin. Clara's body was also seen levitating before 170 witnesses. After the ceremony, a noxious smell around her body was a tell-tale sign that the evil spirit had left her.

2. The Possession of "Roland Doe"

The victim's real name has been heavily guarded for decades—but his possession became the basis for the classic horror film, The Exorcist. Grieving the loss of his aunt, Roland began seeing and hearing strange things. As time passed, furniture and other heavy objects would move on their own accord in the boy's presence. Finally, after Roland started entering violent, trance-like states, a series of exorcisms were performed—and a happy ending eventually ensued. The priests involved with the exorcism have long kept their silence, adding to the mystery of the case.

1. The Possession of Anneliese Michel

Unfortunately, not all spiritual possessions have a happy ending. The possession of Anneliese Michel is the basis for the horror film The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Anneliese, a young German woman, started suffering from chronic seizures. Shortly after that, Anneliese claimed to see demonic faces and heard strange voices telling her she was "damned" and that she would "rot in hell." The young woman could not stand religious artifacts and started becoming increasingly violent. As her condition worsened, a total of 67 Catholic exorcisms did nothing to save her. Anneliese eventually died of starvation. Her parents and priests were charged with negligence.

There you have it—the top five most notorious, real-life, spiritual possessions. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction—which of these will haunt your dreams tonight?

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