Posted by Sam Plank @samplank
"You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it." -Johnny Cash. Tweet a tweeter at my twitty twitter, @tw1tterintw1t
Sam Plank

Let me start this off with somewhat of a disclaimer. This article talks about demons, the Bible, the devil, Jesus, and demonic possession. I'm at the point in my life where I know in my heart all of it is real, the good and the bad, because I'm a Christian. I believe every bit of it is real. Consider yourself warned...if you don't want to sit through any religious mumbo jumbo written by one of us Jesus Freaks, then you might want to click elsewhere. Having said that, if you'd still like to hear what I have to say, or you're also a Jesus Freak who likes reading this stuff, then thanks for coming along for the ride.

The problem here is, I'm a Christian who just so happens to also be a HUGE fan of horror movies, and I just had the "pleasure" of starting The Conjuring 2.

I'm going to eventually finish it, and after that, I'm going to regret watching it for a long, long time. But for now, the movie's paused and I'm writing this.

So far, it's a good movie, don't get me wrong. Great acting, great effects, and scaring the absolute hell out of me like it's supposed to do. 20-year-old me, who knew that demonic possession was a real thing and still loved a good scare would have just shaken it off, kept watching it, and watched it again. But 37-year-old me? Not so much.

What I want to talk to you about is why it's this way for me and others like me, when it started being this way, and what I plan to do about it.

Here's What I Believe

If you haven't seen The Conjuring 2 yet, here's the trailer-

Demonic nun, poltergeist activity, and grisly murders: the perfect equation for a horror movie. Like I said earlier, the younger version of me would have loved it and come running back for more. But as I'm writing this, I'm asking myself the question, why the hell did I start watching this?

Being a Christian, I'm certain of quite a few things that most would call me crazy for. Those things include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Demonic possession is 100% real.
  • Ghosts are real, and they're not to be messed with. The things we think are ghosts may be demons, looking for someone to torment.
  • These types of movies, no matter how tempting, should not be watched if you're certain of the top two things, because they open doors in your heart and mind that shouldn't be opened.

Yet, with all that, I continue to give in to my morbid curiosity, and watch the damn things.

1. Demonic Possession Is Real

Bed full of NOPE
Bed full of NOPE

I say this for numerous reasons. Those "based on a true story" disclaimers you see at the opening of so many exorcism movies aren't put there for shits and giggles. There are demonic possessions in the Bible, and there have been exorcisms throughout history. To completely deny the possibility of it being real when it's been recorded so many times throughout history is some pretty extreme skepticism, even if you don't believe in the Bible.

There's also this small problem: Now that I'm 37 and have two kids, the fact that most of these exorcism movies have children as the victims doesn't help.

2. Ghosts Are Real

Like demonic possessions, you can't have all this documented video and audio proof of something without ever thinking, Hey, there's a chance this might be real. The existence of ghosts is fascinating and terrifying at the same time.

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But no matter how much someone claims to be an expert on the spirit world, they really don't know jack. There's no scientific proof to back it up, and it's not as if you can interview a ghost. In short, there's no firm basis on which to base any of these “facts” that we supposedly know about ghosts. So they could be harmless, or they could be a lot more evil than we could ever imagine. Messing with something so unknown generally turns out bad for everyone involved. All I'm saying is that we can neither prove nor disprove, so why risk it?

3. Some Doors Shouldn't Be Opened

This leads into my next point, when it happened to me. At some point, I came to the realization that all these evils depicted in film are real, to an extent, and the more fascinated a person becomes with them, the more they play with fire — it's the whole concept behind why you should never mess with Ouija boards. My eyes were opened at some point during my walk in faith, showing me that real evil exists in the world. And any "door" that allows you to be more sensitive to demons, ghosts, etc., shouldn't be opened. So the more of those movies a person watches, knowing how real that evil is, the more of a negative effect it will have on them. I truly believe that. Also, it gives me an excuse to never do yoga.

I kid, I kid (but for real, screw yoga).

Seriously though, it never fails: When I sit down to watch a movie about demonic possession these days, it scares me on a level that I never knew when I was younger. Yet I continue to watch them.

When Did My Relationship With Horror Movies Change?

I can't say exactly when it happened. I sat down to watch a movie about demonic possession one night years ago, and just couldn't finish it. It was a horror movie, one of the things I loved most. And for the first time, I turned the movie off, turned the lights on, and went to bed.

I don't want to say it's when I had evolved enough in my personal faith to know that those things in the movie weren't just fictitious; that would imply that the rest of you that can stomach those movies aren't in some way evolved. It's more of a...I don't know...a Christian thing, I suppose. Verse after verse in the Bible tells us to stay away from evil, to focus on the good. To willingly sit down and watch a young girl's body contort, her head spin around, or listen to her speak in a demonic voice, that's not quite doing what the Bible says.

It just happened one day. I still, foolishly, watch movies like The Conjuring 2, and come out feeling an almost unearthly fear that I've done something very wrong. It's just a movie, I know that. But watching a person contort and scream, floating in the air, having a demon ripped out of them, and knowing that exorcisms happen, it stops me from watching a lot of movies.

So...What Am I Going To Do About This Internal Conflict?

The most confusing part about all of this is figuring out what I'm going to do about it. From what I've learned with all the paranormal activities, exorcists, and Damiens I've sat through, I'm most likely going to finish The Conjuring 2 and end up watching yet another demon-filled horror movie sometime in the future. I watched all the Paranormal Activity movies, and I'll most likely watch The Conjuring 3 when it inevitably comes out.

That's what I'm doing as I write this. I'm watching the second Conjuring in bits and pieces. I'm to the point where even a phone ringing in the movie makes me jump out of my seat, and I love/hate it. There's enough love that I'll keep on coming back for more.

Because with all the lights that get turned on after the movie's over, the bumps and creaks and drafts of cold air when the lights go back out, I never, ever learn.

...

Jesus.

I think I'll finish it tomorrow. At least I made it to the 32 minute mark this time.

Poll

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