Eyes of a Demoniac

Msgr. Stephen Rossetti is an exorcist as well as an associate professor at The Catholic University of America. He writes a fascinating blog called the Exorcist Diary from which the following post comes. Oh, by the way, this photo is the real deal.


Snake Eyes

Sometimes it is difficult to determine if a person is possessed or the problems are psychological only. But other times, it is obvious. [Click to read the rest of the post.]


Video: Eerie 'Doll Altar' Found in England



Video: Eerie 'Doll Altar' Found in England: A woman walking through a wooded area in England stumbled upon a rather unsettling scene in the form of an eerie collection of baby dolls that had been fastened to trees as part of what appeared to be a makeshift altar.

New Fiction in the Frost Zone


Reporting something a little different in this post. Over the years, under different pseudonyms, I've written a number of short stories that have appeared in various online and print publications. I plan on actually releasing a collection of these works sometime next year. Most recently, I've had a short-short story published in the Winter issue of Frost Zone, a relatively new journal of speculative and literary fiction. In its two issues to date, Frost Zone has featured some stellar stories and poems, and is a welcome addition to the world of dark and eerie literature.

So grab a cup of something warm, wrap a blanket around your shoulders, and head over to the Frost Zone. Consider my story, "The Dinner Party," an appetizer for a main course of reading delights. Enjoy.

American Horror Story "Murder House" is a Real Haunted House

Rosenheim Mansion in Los Angeles, aka Murder House from the first season of American Horror Story, has quite the spooky reputation apart from its spotlight role on the cinematic screen. This article from Toofab.com explains all the devilish details. Happy Halloween.

Image courtesy of Jay Lopez, rgbstock.com

Owner Says American Horror Story: Murder House Is Really Haunted, Details Ghosts and Satanic Rituals

Demonic Doings on the Devil's Night


Take a wild guess which holiday is an exorcist’s least favorite?

Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, chief exorcist for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., recently wrote on his blog:

“I am starting to prepare spiritually for All Hallows' Eve. No bags of candy. No costumes. No pumpkins. As every year, it'll be ugly.

“Many of our spiritual sensitives will get pummeled by demons. One year, our team decided to pray over one of our most gifted throughout the night, trying to shield her from the demonic attacks she yearly suffered. It didn't work. She got pummeled anyway. But she said she appreciated our efforts.

“Several of our other sensitives will experience increased demonic harassment. Many of our clients who are possessed or severely oppressed will suffer more intensely throughout the night. The priest-exorcists themselves will typically get bombarded with demonic obsessions and an internal battle.”

Msgr. Rossetti goes on to explain that what helps fuel the demons’ power on this particular night are stupid humans (my description, not his.)

Of this species there is, unfortunately, no shortage. There are the zealots – the witches, warlocks, and satanists – who busy themselves on this high holiday of theirs with spells, curses, black masses, and all other sorts of depraved evil behavior. And then there are the dabblers, those who think it might be fun to try out a Ouija board or go ghost hunting, since, after all, it’s Halloween. And last but not least are the unwitting. These are the poor souls who allow their children to dress as devils or other occult figures, go to absurd lengths in decorating with grotesque and horrific imagery, or perhaps themselves wear sleazy, overly-sexualized costumes to parties (the naughty nurse, etc.).

Now, not all exorcists are complete fuddy-duddies about Halloween. Father Vincent Lampert, an exorcist in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, believes it’s still possible to have fun without selling your soul to the devil.

“Ultimately I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the kids putting on a costume, dressing up as a cowboy or Cinderella, and going through the neighborhood and asking for candy; that’s all good clean fun,” Fr. Lampert says.

Even a sheet with some holes cut in it as a ghost is fine, Fr. Lampert says. The danger lies in costumes that deliberately glorify evil and instill fear in people, or when people dabble in magic and witchcraft, even if they think it’s just for entertainment.

London exorcist Fr. Jeremy Davies expands on this thought. “They [those who “celebrate” Halloween] begin by playing games, but it can lead to people disbelieving in the devil and evil spirits.” In his view, this disbelief can be just as bad as believing, and that levity about such matters could be fatal. “Playing with evil under the pretext of it being untrue is to allow evil to enter.” Evil can also enter, he explains, where there exists an unhealthy interest in the occult. Whichever way evil gains entry, Father Davies is clear that any dabbling in the occult “doesn’t have to be deep to be deadly.”

In short, I think the universal adage for 2020 applies particularly well for Halloween this year: Be careful and be safe.

And  keep some holy water close by.


Thoughts from a Catholic Exorcist

Michael H. Brown, author of Lying Wonders, Strangest Things, recently published a fascinating interview with a Midwestern Catholic exorcist who, for reasons that are clear at the outset of the article, prefers to remain anonymous. Please take a few minutes to read this interview. There are some very interesting insights into the nature of evil, the reality of the demonic, and how to protect yourself from it.

Exorcist: Satanists Have Cursed Me 

The World's Largest Ouija Board (For Real This Time)

Ripley's Believe It Or Not/Instagram

You may recall I posted a story two-and-a-half years ago about the then-world's largest Ouija board. It was built on the rooftop of a supposedly haunted hotel in Pennsylvania, because, you know, if a place is already haunted, why not make it even more haunted.

But now we've moved beyond hotels to town commons, in this case, fittingly enough, the Salem Common (as in Salem, Massachusetts, the sight of the famous 17th century witch trials).

Ouijazilla, as the monstrous board is called, is the brainchild of Rick Schreck, the Vice-President of the Talking Board Historical Society. More than a year in the making, Ouijazilla is longer than a brontosaurus, heavier than an elephant, and large enough to accommodate five full-size eighteen-wheelers. A public celebration welcoming the board to its new home in Salem took place on October 12, 2019.

The creator of Ouijazilla, Rick Schreck, is an interesting guy. He collects Ouija boards like some people collect snow globes, and currently has 300 boards in his possession. Some of these boards he made himself, fashioning the planchettes out of peculiar objects like human and animal bone, human hair, and even human ashes. His next project is to make his "dream" Ouija board out of coffin materials. He happens to have a vintage black casket in his tattoo shop in New Jersey, so it's gonna happen.

I admit I don't get the obsession with making these things bigger and bigger. Of course, I don't get the obsession with any Ouija board, big or little. Call me a party-pooper if you will, but I only want to communicate with fleshy individuals. Make that flesh and blood. Fleshy sounds like my great aunt Rita.

Ripley's Believe It or Not has an interesting story on Ouijazilla. Check it out here:


The Haunted Doll Market

“These dolls aren’t for entertainment or fun. These are actual haunted items with spirits attached who want to be respected. Then you have those who, if you’re not careful, are demonic and ready to tear into your soul.” (Kevin Cain)

Interesting article by Sabrina Maddeaux on msn.com on the latest goings-on in the haunted doll trade. Would I ever bring one of these little lovelies into my home? Not on your life.

Enjoy the article but please don't let curiosity get the better of you. Caveat emptor.


Inside the Haunted Doll Markets of eBay and Etsy

Thirty years ago, the world was introduced to a 29-inch-tall doll in overalls named Chucky. With eyes bluer than a White Walker’s, hair more fiery than Ed Sheeran’s, and a smattering of freckles à la Emma Stone, he looked like the perfect childhood buddy.
Unfortunately, Chucky, the tiny antagonist of the 1988 movie Child’s Play, was possessed by a serial killer with a knack for slaughtering people with butcher knives, yo-yo strings, and anything else he could find around the house. Today, almost everyone knows that if a wild-eyed doll asks, “Wanna play?” the only acceptable response is to run as fast and far as you can.
Then there are people like Kevin Cain, a paranormal investigator in Alabama who owns hundreds of haunted dolls and other items. “I lost count a long time ago,” he says. While Cain may be an especially prolific collector, he’s far from the only one. In fact, there is a thriving marketplace for haunted dolls on the internet.

Ouija Board Nightmares: The Complete Collection - Audiobook Now Available!

Listen to 'em all, one nightmare at a time!

Once again narrated by the strong, smooth voice of Michael E. Smith.

Get your copy today at:

Also available on iTunes

Thoughts on the Ouija Board from Author Terri Reid

Best-selling author Terri Reid recently posted a fascinating narrative on her blog about the Ouija board. Terri and I are definitely of a like mind on the subject (hint: Ouijas are bad.), so after I read it, I knew instantly I had to share it.

Make sure you also check out Terri’s books on Amazon when you get a chance. She writes enthralling paranormal mysteries that have the unique ability to not only send shivers down your spine, but put a smile on your face. (Maybe just not at the exact same time.)


Ouija Board Nightmares 2 - Audiobook now available!

Ouija Board Nightmares 2 is now available as an audiobook, narrated by the inimitable Michael E. Smith. Audio fans can get their copy at:

Just like listening to smooth jazz. Well, except for that whole nightmares thing.

A Ouija Omnibus

The newest addition to the Harker paranormal collection. 

Why settle for one nightmare when you can have a whole night's worth?

Beings of Light

Much of the time this blog discusses instances of dark, eerie, and evil matters. It tends to make us forget, I think, that good also exists and is ever more powerful. I ran across a story today that reinforces that belief and illustrates beautifully that agents of good—beings of light—are with us always. In the Christian church, as well as others, we call these beings angels. And in honor of their feast day today (October 2nd), I’d like to give them a little attention with this fascinating narrative as recounted by magazine writer Robert Reilly:

There are some true believers, of course. A Creighton University Jesuit named Father Francis Deglman used to fascinate me and other students with his recital of encounters with his personal angel. He carried on a spirited discourse with this being--argued even, and complained.

His most dramatic episode occurred early one morning when he was awakened from sleep.

"Francis, get up!"

Father Deglman glanced at his alarm clock. "It's 3 in the morning," he managed to object. But he arose. The guardian angel instructed him to turn on the light. Reluctantly he fumbled for the wall switch.

"Now turn it off. And get back to bed."

Deglman shook his head, plunged the room into darkness again, and crept beneath the solo blanket, still wondering what this was all about.

The next morning a student came to see him.

"Father," he began, "last night I was thinking of taking my life. I tried to get into the campus church but it was locked. It had to be about 3 o'clock. I sat on the wall outside the Jesuit residence, certain that God didn't care if I lived or died. Then I said, 'If there is a God, let a light go on in that building.' I looked back up and your light was on." *

The light is always there for us. All we have to do is ask for it.

* As published in U.S. Catholic magazine.

Demons are real, says New York psychiatry professor

Juan de Cordoba chassant les démons

Dr. Richard Gallagher is a respected New York psychiatrist and a professor at Columbia University and New York Medical College. But he’s something else that’s even way cooler. For the last 25 years, Dr. Gallagher has served as a consultant for a network of exorcists across the country. When one of these priests suspects that someone may be a victim of diabolical possession, they ask Dr. Gallagher to assess the person to rule out a medical or mental condition before beginning the process of a formal exorcism. In most cases, there is indeed a scientific explanation for the person’s odd behavior. But not always. In his 25 years of consulting, Dr. Gallagher says he’s seen about 100 cases of true demonic possessions, and hundreds more of oppressions, cases in which a demon basically makes life miserable for someone.

In the article below, Dr. Gallagher shares some fascinating insights and creepy stories from his experiences. And good news for those of us who are fans (I've known about Dr. Gallagher for some time now): he's coming out with a book later this year entitled Demonic Foes: Experiences of a Psychiatrist in the World of Exorcism. 


Psychiatrist Professor Says Demonic Possessions Real

Lady Gaga’s Bedevilment Problem

Allow me to state the obvious: Making deals with the devil is never a good idea.

“The demonic is a loan shark, and it not only collects before you’re ready, it wants double in return for what it gives. Ultimately it wants the soul. - Ed Warren, demonologist

As I stated in my book Evil Unleashed, involvement in the occult always backfires, in one form or another. It can be quick or it can take a number of years. But be assured that the spirits you bargain with will never let you off the hook.

Just ask Lady Gaga.

In an explosive new interview, Lady Gaga relates how she went from being an unknown burlesque performer to a multi-platinum pop star “in a cinch” thanks to a mysterious, “strangely ageless man” who made her a deal she couldn’t refuse.

Well, she could have. And actually now she wishes she would have.

Read this fascinating account at the link below. And keep Lady Gaga in your prayers. If she’s telling the truth, she surely needs them. If she’s blowing a major load of performance smoke, she still needs them.

Lady Gaga: Fibromyalgia Is ‘Punishment’ For Joining The Illuminati

Witches Hexing Trump Will Have Disastrous Results (And Not The Kind You Think)

The Three Witches, Henry Fuseli, 1783

Last month a group of New York City witches gathered at Catland Books, an occult bookshop in Brooklyn, to put a hex on President Trump, members of his administration, and his constituents. This was different than the “binding spell” put on him by witches in February, explains self-described "transgender wolfqueen witch-goddess" Dakota Bracciale. The binding ritual was intended to stop the President from doing any “malignant works,” but in retrospect, says Bracciale, it was "too loving, light and soft." Hence, the hexing ritual, which actively wishes harm upon the targeted person. Bracciale claims the spells are working: just look at the disarray, scandals, and setbacks the administration has been suffering in recent months. More anti-Trump rituals are planned, and it sounds like they will continue until they achieve their ultimate goal of impeachment, or worse.

Okaaaay then. Here’s what I want to remind anyone who thinks this is a good idea. Spells, curses, hexes -- they backfire. It’s the ultimate case of “be careful what you wish for.” In my book Evil Unleashed, I have a chapter devoted to the travails of a young man who was victimized by a witch’s hex. This isn’t Bewitched, friends. This is serious stuff. Being on the receiving end of a hex can bring misery, suffering, and death. And for those doing the hexing? Well, pretty much the same.

Fr. Herman Jayachandra, a priest with extensive exorcism experience in India and the United States, and who has had to deal with curses and hexes on both sides of the world, warns: “The devil, after using a witch to the best interest of both, eventually will kill her indirectly, driving her mad so she’ll die quickly in an accident or slowly from not being able to care for herself.”

Of course, witches like Bracciale will say they’re not invoking the devil in their spells; only forces of natures, cosmic energy, thought vibrations, etc., etc. Exorcists who have been in the trenches say that’s a bunch of hogwash: The power of the spells comes from evil forces, pure and simple.

“You are becoming indebted by calling on power not from God and establishing a relationship with that power,” says exorcist, Fr. Patrick (not his real name, for privacy purposes). “If you ask a favor, these spirits don’t want to help you in the long run. If you think they do, you are fooling yourself. . . Evil is not concerned about your freedom; it wants control.”

Reverend Vincent Lampert, an exorcist from the Diocese of Indianapolis, says that those casting spells are relying on evil that feeds on anger and revenge. “The end result of all this for people will be to find themselves more deeply entangled with the devil,” he said. “Their lives will continue to spiral out of control.”

There’s a similar theme in all these warnings: loss of control. The witch may think she or he is doing the driving, but later down the road it will become apparent that they’re just along for the ride -- a ride that will end with a crash if they don’t find a way to escape the darkness.

The Peruvian Anabelle - Possessed Doll Terrorizes Family

This story goes back to May, but remains blog-worthy for its creepiness. It begs the question, though, as so many of these haunted doll stories do, why do people keep these demonic little playthings around? I don't care if my favorite nephew gifted it to me or not: she'd be outta my house faster than a dead rat.

Possessed Blue-Eyed Doll

Haunted Dolls are This Woman's Passion

When Karina Eames turned 34, her mother gave her an antique doll as a birthday present. It wasn’t an unusual gift, as Karina had been collecting dolls since her early 20s and had amassed quite a large collection. But it was unique in that it was the first doll in Karina’s possession to, well, sort of introduce itself. The doll was sitting at her feet when suddenly Karina felt her foot being touched by what she described as “children’s fingers.”

“I was both excited and scared as the fingers moved up my leg,' she told Australia’s that’s life! magazine. “I wondered if my sons, Caleb and Jacob had sneaked into my room. But there was no one there!”

Since that night, Karina started experiencing many other strange occurrences, prompting her to investigate further into her existing doll collection, and even motivating her to acquire other antique dolls with a history of “spirit attachment.” Karina, now 38, estimates that within her collection of 700 dolls, there reside about 100 different spirits.

“I love having so many possessed dolls living with me,” she said. “My house will always be happily haunted.”

[I’d rather my house be happily non-haunted, but that’s just me. - John]

To read more, see “Mum says her collection of ‘possessed’ antique baby dolls lets her talk to the dead,” that’s life! February 2017.

(Photo: Creative Commons, author: NikiSublime)

World's Largest Ouija Board

This is the rooftop of the 130-year-old Grand Midway Hotel in Windber, Pennsylvania. Owned by film maker Blair Murphy, who lives there with his girlfriend and baby girl, the hotel is not in operation but rather is open to guests on an invitation-only basis. The Grand Midway has been featured on various television shows and in books for its reputed haunted status, so when the offer came around to buy the property a few years back, Blair--who had always had an interest in the paranormal--jumped at the opportunity.

"It has been one fantastic adventure," said Blair in an interview with Guinness World Records, noting that he and his guests have experienced many strange things at the hotel. But it was when he held a Ouija board session there that the activity really kicked up.
“Things flipped out throughout the hotel.  Energies were swirling.  Guests were getting completely freaked out,” says Blair, “it seemed to kick things up into an entire new level of paranormal activity.  We were seeing floating people and hearing voices and even the hotel pets were flipping out and reacting to unseen forces. Our dreams were pretty wild.  And it wasn't just us.  Other longer-term hotel residents were saying ‘there is absolutely something going on here’ and having their own middle of the night weird encounters.”
For most people, that would have been more than enough reason to pack up and move a thousand miles away. But for Blair, it actually inspired him to make the hotel more spooky by constructing the world's largest Ouija board on the roof, so big, in fact, that it's visible from Google Maps.

“The hotel roof was this massive blank canvas just waiting for the perfect project to present itself,” said Blair. “A Ouija world record roof was a perfect match for our place.”

To see the board come alive from start to finish, check this out:

Interesting, yes. But my readers know how I feel about Ouija boards. If I lived in this neighborhood, I'd be calling my realtor about now.

R.I.P. William Peter Blatty

While taking a theology class at Georgetown University in 1949, William Peter Blatty heard about an extraordinary case of diabolical possession involving a 14-year-old boy in nearby Prince George’s County. The story stuck in the back of his mind. Two decades later, Blatty secluded himself in a cabin near Lake Tahoe and tapped out a novel on a green IBM Selectric about a 12-year-old girl who became possessed by a demon. He called the novel The Exorcist.

Topping most lists as the scariest movie ever made (and the scariest book ever written), The Exorcist not only made Blatty a star, but opened the door to a whole new generation of horror films, a sub-genre that could be called the “Supernatural Thriller,” the likes of which today are reflected in modern hits like “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “The Conjuring,” and the Paranormal Activity franchise films.

Blatty also achieved something else with The Exorcist that in the early 1970s was considered countercultural, if not downright heretical. He made evil a tangible thing. He personified it. It was something that was real, that was intelligent, that was cunning. Yet it could be confronted and overcome. By religion, of all things! This flew in the face of everything the pop psychology of the time preached, that the concept of evil was outdated, irrelevant, and, if anything, was just a “disordered psychoses” appearing in a few unfortunate individuals.

Blatty died on January 12, 2017, at the age of 89, after a short battle with blood cancer. He was a lifelong Catholic, albeit one who struggled with his faith, like so many of us. To honor his memory, here are a few interesting facts about the man who changed the landscape of cinematic horror.

  • In 1959, he took a job as a ghostwriter for Abigail van Buren, the original “Dear Abby” columnist. He ghostwrote her book Dear Teenager.
  • In 1961, while still working in public relations, Blatty appeared as a contestant on the Groucho Marx quiz show You Bet Your Life, winning $10,000, enough money to quit his job and to write full time.
  • During the 1960s, Blatty turned his focus away from novels and towards screenwriting. His credits during this time include The Man from the Diners’ Club (1963), A Shot in the Dark (1964), What Did You Do In The War, Daddy? (1966), Gunn (1967), and Darling Lilli (1970).
  • His success at writing comedy (in particular, the successful Pink Panther movie A Shot in the Dark) came to a halt with his new-found acclaim as a horror writer. Looking back at his career, Blatty once remarked: “And the sad truth is that nobody wants me to write comedy. The Exorcist not only ended that career, it expunged all memory of its existence.”
  • In an interview with the Washington Post, Blatty said that he does believe in the possibility of reincarnation. “Personally, I do. In the very early Catholic Church there were sects who definitely believed in the transmigration of souls. I've read a great deal about it. And maybe there’s something in my own life that tends to convince me it’s a possibility.”
  • His final book was 2015’s Finding Peter. It was inspired by the death of his 19-year-old son Peter, who died from a rare heart disorder in 2006.
* * *

(Photo: Creative Commons, author: J.T. Blatty)