Exorcism Files: A Review

Pray the Our Father. Clasp your Rosary. Place a copy of the Litany of the Saints by your side. Then you may be spiritually equipped to open the book, The Exorcism Files: True Stories of Demonic Possession by Adam Blai (Sophia Institute Press, 2022). 

As the author noted, he has spent his career as a forensic psychologist, and then assisted exorcism ministry in the United States and in other countries. He also said that he has become an expert in religious demonology for his diocese and has instructed Catholic priests about exorcisms. He has totaled up the numbers of demonic cases and exorcisms in which he has participated and that number totals in the thousands.

Blai starts his book with a discussion of “spiritualism,” or trying to communicate with the dead, and known in Scripture as “necromancy.” Since the beginning of mankind, many people try to ask a spirit for appearance or to communicate through a medium. Blai then traces to modern times peoples’ fascination with communicating with the dead, which has led the use of Ouija boards, television show like the Ghost Hunter, and then ghost-hunting groups.

But, most importantly for anyone willing to read through spiritual possessions and exorcisms, Blai includes in his first chapter this text: “He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment” (Matt. 22:37–38). So, we see that the Old Testament prohibition against seeking communication with ghosts and spirits is strong, and Jesus affirms this by stating that the most important commandment is to love God alone. To seek information, consolation, or power from a spirit other than God is to treat that spirit like a god and to cease to fully trust and love the true God completely.”

Blai then separates the text into four parts, starting with how the paranormal has captured public interest with the formation of such groups as Wicca and Witchcraft. These groups convince people they, not God, have control over their life and their pursuit of happiness. 

Part II deals with how Blai finally understood the importance of what God had called him to do: to work with those who are part of the paranormal world and who may use such tools as divining rods to hunt ghosts. Part III details how he began to be an integral part of the work with an exorcist dealing with a possessed person whose fight to return to a normal life sometimes turned out poorly. As it seems, the devil or devils took over the person’s soul and that person chose to stay possessed. Part IV talks about how his work has “become a matter of life and death—my own.”

In each section, he includes short chapters that tell the story of someone possessed and how Blai worked with that person and then joined in with the priest for an exorcism. As he summed up, the exorcism rite, which may have taken hours or even days, the priest and Blai recited the Litany of the Saints (included in the Appendix I) and then started the exorcism rite: “There are Gospel readings, Psalms, and large sections of exorcism prayers and commands to the demon. The rite essentially has three phases: prayers to agitate and wear the demon down, interrogations to get answers to questions, and adjurations to command it to leave the person,” he wrote.

And an example of an interrogation includes, “I command thee, unclean spirit, whosoever thou art, along with all thine associates who have taken possession of this servant (handmaid) of God, that, by the mysteries of the Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the descent of the Holy Spirit, by the coming of our Lord unto judgment, thou shalt tell me by some sign or other thy name and the day and the hour of thy departure.”

As Blai concludes, he urges the readers to learn about God, participate in the Sacraments, and as the best defense against demons, pray, pray, pray. And a remarkable strengthening prayer is this:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Photo by Dejan Livančić on Unsplash

The Exorcism Files: True Stories of Demonic Possession is now available from Sophia Institute Press.

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A convert to Catholicism, Alexandra Greeley is a food writer, restaurant critic, and cookbook author, who is passionate about every aspect of the food world — from interviewing chefs to supporting local farmers and to making the connection between food and faith. Her latest work is Cooking with the Saints.

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