For most, the idea of delving into the mind of the devil is something that should be avoided like the plague — images of possessed victims writhing around in their beds, projectile vomiting lurid gunk into the face of priests, and spine-crunching 360° head spins are ones that promise to stick in the mind and haunt your dreams for weeks on end.
However, those of you who are down to dance with demons will be hyped to hear that this December marks the release of Incarnate, a demonic horror courtesy of Blumhouse, and one that promises to plunge to depths no horror movie has gone before. In what sounds like The Exorcist meets Inception, this demented tale follows an unconventional exorcist (Aaron Eckhart) as he ventures into the subconscious of an 11-year-old possessed boy. And it looks wild. Watch the official trailer below:
The idea that a person's soul can be possessed by a sinister entity is one that's permeated religion across the spectrum and provided inspiration for some of the best (read: most horrifying) entertainment throughout the ages. But what happens when the borders of entertainment and real life become blurred?
The following five detailed accounts deal with real people, in real-life situations, who've claimed their bodies have been entered by forces deadlier than we could ever imagine. Don't say I didn't warn you...
1. The Exorcism Of Anneliese Michel
For this tale we're heading to Germany in the early '70s and into the disturbed mind of a devout Catholic woman named Anneliese Michel. For a period of seven years, Michel battled suicidal levels of depression that stemmed from the belief her soul was riddled with demonic spirits. From "devil faces" whispering tales of damnation to becoming completely intolerant of sacred places and objects, self-harming and drinking her own urine, so extreme was Michel's experience that her parents enlisted the help of two priests to conduct a series of exorcisms.
Michel underwent a staggering 67 exorcisms in total, with individual sessions lasting up to four hours; an ordeal so grueling she lost her life as a consequence. Her parents and two priests were later charged with negligent homicide, and her story provided inspiration for The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
2. A Pact With The Devil
Raised in a South African orphanage, Clara Germana Cele was 16 years old when she signed her soul away to Satan and sparked a tirade of terror on the nuns running her school. Using a sudden extraordinary strength to fling them across rooms before beating them up, she began speaking in tongues, demonstrating clairvoyant traits, and developed a beastly howl that — as the nun in the below extract described — penetrated the sanity of anyone unfortunate enough to hear it:
"No animal had ever made such sounds. Neither the lions of East Africa nor the angry bulls. At times, it sounded like a veritable herd of wild beasts orchestrated by Satan had formed a hellish choir."
When they tried to exorcise the devil, reports stated that Cele tried to choke her priest using his own copy of the Bible! Jesus wept!
3. A Certified Case Of Demonic Possession
In a 2008 case that would defy science and reason, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Richard E. Gallagher wrote a thorough account of what he dubbed "The Case of a Modern-Day Demoniac," in which he cited his client, a young woman nicknamed Julia, had suffered "a genuine attack" at the hands of an evil spirit.
Despite admitting to spending several spells with Satanic cults, Julia was described as logical, intelligent and engaging; traits that became increasingly questionable as time went on. Noting her abilities to be "paranormal" and "attacking," Gallagher wrote:
"Remarkably, for about 30 minutes, she actually levitated about half a foot in the air. The presumptive target of the exorcism, the entity (or entities) that was possessing Julia, could also distinguish between holy water and regular water. She would scream in pain when the blessed water was sprinkled upon her."
It's unknown whether Julia was ever cured of her ills. You can read Gallagher's statement in full, here.
4. The Collaborated Case Of Latoya Ammons
When single mother of three Latoya Ammons moved into her new house in Indiana, no amount of preparation could've prepared her for the horrors lurking behind its quaint exterior: Footsteps in the dead of night, swarms of flies in the midst of winter and, more hauntingly, bouts of rage that appeared to take control of her children, forcing them to hurt one another. However, it was when Ammons witnessed one child levitate from their bed that she knew she was dealing with something supernatural.
What makes this case creepier still is the sheer amount of outsiders collaborating with Ammons's testimony:
Austin, a 36-year veteran of the Gary Police Department, said he initially thought Indianapolis resident Latoya Ammons and her family concocted an elaborate tale as a way to make money. But after several visits to their home and interviews with witnesses, Austin said simply, "I am a believer." Many of the events are detailed in nearly 800 pages of official records obtained by The Indianapolis Star and recounted in more than a dozen interviews with police, DCS personnel, psychologists, family members and a Catholic priest.
5. Text Messages From Hell
When Polish priest Father Marian Rajchel performed an exorcism on a teenage girl in 2014, little did he know the demonic spirit within her would begin contacting him too — via text message. Apparently, on trying (and failing) to free her soul from Satan, he believes that the demon is now using the possessed girl's phone as a means of attack, sending messages like, "She will not come out of this hell. She’s mine. Anyone who prays for her will die," and "Shut up, preacher. You cannot save yourself. Idiot. You pathetic old preacher."
"The author of these texts is an evil spirit who has possessed her soul. Often the owners of mobile phones are not even aware that they are being used like this. However, in this case it is clear ... this young girl has been possessed, and needs further help."
TL;DR? Just say your prayers kids, you might need them.
Incarnate will possess theaters nationwide December 2nd — are you ready to delve into the devil?