Exorcisms have been going on for centuries and they are a hot topic of discussion after the cinema release of The Pope’s Exorcist.
Oscar winner Russell Crowe plays Father Gabriele Amorth who ‘saw patients levitate, spit nails and gain super strength’.
Exorcists can be summoned when demons or evil spirits take hold of people’s bodies and minds.
And below we look at some chilling examples that left even the most experienced of exorcists, like Amorth, totally shaken.
First up we have Reverent Bill Bean who this year celebrates his ten-year anniversary of banishing demons away.
He has written several books about demon possessions and he spoke exclusively to Daily Star about his most haunting cases.
Remembering one woman with “snake-like eyes”, he told us: “In a case in San Diego, this woman’s eyes changed to a yellowish, greenish type of colour and had these reptilian-looking slits for her pupils.
“I will never ever forget that.
“Her body was withering around like a serpent, like a snake, and contorting in ways that a human body can’t.
“I’m happy to tell you that God worked through me to deliver her but I will never ever forget that.”
Next we have the previously mentioned Gabriele Amorth who was the world’s best known exorcist.
The Italian Catholic was the Chief Exorcist in the Vatican and one case stayed with him up until his death in 2016 aged 91.
And although he famously started his 30 minute sessions with a joke, this occasion in 1997 involving a “slim peasant man” was no laughing matter.
Marcello Stanzione wrote in his book: “His curses and threats were aimed solely at the exorcist; then he began spitting at him and preparing to attack him physically.
“Screaming and howling, the demon burst forth and looked straight at him, drooling saliva from the young man’s mouth.”
The demon then said “I am Lucifer” after Amorth demanded he reveal his name.
Stanzione added: “The young man’s body stiffened so much that he became hard and began to levitate. For several minutes, he remained hovering three feet in the air.”
Amorth eventually made Lucifer go away but he described the encounter as “terrifying”.
Bishop Plato Angelakis meanwhile said his first ever exorcism was the scariest of his career after he witnessed a demon possessed woman throw four men, including himself, across a room.
The victim was 60 and had not eaten in a month before priests came to her home to help.
But telling the Exorcist TV Show Podcast about what happened, Catholic Angelakis said: “For the most part she showed extraordinary strength, three or four of us, throwing us around the room – there were about four adults.
“The whites of her eyes were all back, you try doing that, that’s something you can’t naturally do.
“Some language coming out, strength is probably the number one thing for her. She had extraordinary strength.”
It took two days to “liberate” the woman – and the Bishop added: “To this day it is still one of the most intense exorcisms of a person I have ever encountered.”
It is not just Bishop Angelakis whose first exorcism was dramatic, the same can be said for Buddhist priest Paul Andrew Devlin.
His harrowing first job involved a victim who he described as having “pointed teeth, black hair and barbed wire hair”.
Speaking on The Day the Exorcist Called podcast, he said: “Her jawline was square, the teeth were pointed – that’s right the teeth were pointed – and her eyes were glazed over and black.
“It was quite a scary thing to watch. The atmosphere in this room was heavy and the power of the demon was very apparent.”
The woman, who he called G, was apparently restored the moment she sat by a fire crossed legged while eating a bowl of ice-cream.
One of the most disturbing exorcisms was told by Catholic Ron Feyl- Enright who claims to have witnessed a victim who “defied the laws of gravity” by floating up to the ceiling.
He said they stayed there for some six hours.
And explaining what levitations are like, he said: “They would actually come up from whatever they were laying in – if they were lying on the floor they’d come up from the floor and all the way up to the ceiling and stay there.
“It defies the laws of gravity if you will.
“They would actually be hovering just overhead and it’s a series of prayers and focusing in on what is actually taking place, focusing in would be where the priest would be largely responsible along with his assistant and any investigators that were in the room.
“Because everyone is praying. And so, the individual would slowly, slowly come down, we had one individual that was up there for six hours and no-one knew, really, what to do.
“As a result, I’m standing there and another bishop who’s an exorcist, he’s standing there and he’s never witnessed this before either.”