If you believe that a demon has come to haunt you—or worse—even tried to possess you, you may want to seek the help of a qualified exorcist. Exorcists report how the need for exorcisms has sharply increased in the last decade. Supernatural forces exist, but they can be difficult to get rid of once invited into our lives. Let’s look at how to get an exorcism.
To get an exorcism, you must pass an evaluation of the Catholic Church. You contact the clergy to report signs of demonic possession. The clergy asks you to fill out a form. If you pass the screening, you will be administered a priest with special knowledge in demonology.
There are essential things that you must know before getting an exorcism. If you are not careful, you might get into deeper trouble. In this article, you get all the information needed to make a knowledgeable decision on how to get an exorcism – and from who.
Seek a Reputable Exorcist
How do you seek reputable help in a field where you can’t prove anything? First, never let anyone charge you for an exorcism. You have some frauds charging $300 an hour for exorcisms. The Catholic church does exorcisms free of charge as do most reputable spiritual organizations.
Someone who charges you even a few dollars to perform an exorcism doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Don’t hire them.
The other danger that I must mention is how you should choose your exorcist carefully. Look at the history of the religious organization and check the credentials. Don’t go to just anyone. In some religions, the practice of an exorcism—or deliverance, as some call it—becomes more of a circus than anything else.
You can spot these because they lack structure in how they perform it, and there’s no clear logic to the way that they perform it. Many exorcists of the Catholic church, in comparison, must study demonology and pass a set of qualifications. That’s not the only danger of it devolving into a spectacle, however. Going to the wrong exorcist could cost you everything.
Important Note: People do die going to exorcisms, but in some cases, it’s not due to the demon but to negligence on the part of the exorcist.
Church Exorcism Leads to Death of Three-Year-Old Girl
On September 24, 2021, Arely Naomi Proctor, a 3-year-old girl from San Jose, California, was killed when a Pentecostal church performed an exorcism. The family began to withhold food and water from the girl. The mother allegedly strangled the child, and the grandfather tried to force her to vomit throughout the day. They believed that they were curing her of her demons, but the alleged actions of the church ultimately led to the death of a child.
Unfortunately, this shows you only one case of dozens where misguided religious fanatics undertake an exorcism blindly without true understanding and without the same rigorous criteria. I’ve seen this for myself in person with some of these churches, and they perform these things very lightly at some religious organizations and without much reason behind it. A true exorcist will take the practice with the utmost respect and knowledge that they could be hurt in the process.
In the past, the Catholic church would force a person through a set of criteria to ensure that they needed an exorcism. They did this to prevent it from becoming what essentially turns into a form of roleplay therapy, and in some cases, it can become dangerous when not grounded in a system.
Oscar Ayala, the preacher at the church of the deceased girl, was quoted in the Mercury News that they may not have taken the most logical approach, which shows that it lacks the system that Catholicism and others have. They allegedly didn’t call the ambulance for one to two hours, which shows you how this wasn’t someone who even had a system to work with to make the exorcism more credible and safe. This is what I’m hoping to help you avoid in an exorcist because it’s dangerous and misguided.
In the case of the girl, they allegedly undertook this exorcism because the girl would wake up and cry or scream for no reason, and they were trying to free her of her demons. When she died, she hadn’t eaten for 21 hours and was found dehydrated. They had allegedly spent several hours choking the girl. That church had also been involved in a prior case where they had allegedly tried to kidnap a three-month-old boy.
I highlight this to show you why you must choose an exorcist very carefully before you even begin and how bad it can get if you choose the wrong one. Going with a proven system for exorcism is usually a better idea. The warning signs existed.
In some cases, even adults have died going to the wrong one. Beware of anything that feels like a fringe fanaticism that isn’t commonly accepted—sometimes there’s a reason. Use this checklist in the table below to find a reputable exorcist:
|Does it come from a well-known religious organization?||X|
|Do they charge for the exorcism?||X|
|Do they use a set of criteria to decide on whether to perform an exorcism?||X|
|Does the person performing it have integrity and good history?||X|
|Do they claim to be a leading expert of the supernatural?||X|
|Has a screening system for how the exorcism proceeds?||X|
Getting Started – How Exorcisms Happen
First, you need to request an exorcism. How the exorcism proceeds from that point may differ from one spiritual organization to the next. Reputable exorcists do an evaluation to determine if the individual truly requires an exorcism.
In some cases, mental health issues can intermingle with demonic possession issues and make it difficult to tell the difference. In the past, the mentally ill were thought of as demonically possessed, but today, they have more rigorous criteria to vet those who may require an exorcism.
You first request an appointment with your exorcist. The exorcist will listen to your history to determine where the demons may have come from. Did you invite them in through some form of occult practice? Reputable exorcists won’t use you as an example to feed their ego or the ego of their religion. This should remain 100 percent confidential.
The organization will hand you a form to fill out as part of a screening process. They don’t do this to dismiss your claims of needing an exorcist. Instead, they do this because they want to maintain the integrity of the practice. Referencing the example above, they require this to keep exorcisms grounded in reality.
To give an example of how serious real exorcisms can become, the person may bleed or foam from the mouth, hallucinate or show signs of amnesia.
What Doesn’t Happen in a Reputable Exorcism
You don’t simply walk up and get an exorcism just because you requested one. Most exorcisms never happen because they go through a rigorous process. First, they will have doctors, psychiatrists and therapists evaluate you.
In many cases, people would be better served if they would go for treatment by a doctor.
The video below shows you another example of someone who died during an exorcism, but this one happened within the Catholic church:
Some argue that she had a mental illness and was starved to death during the exorcism. In this example, however, she went through a rigorous screening process before the Catholic church stepped in to perform an exorcism. She saw many doctors before this happened.
Most of the time, the exorcist will try to perform a minor exorcism before they even think about doing a major one. For example, after they evaluate you, they will pray over you.
The stages for how it escalates happens slowly. You don’t simply request an exorcism and immediately get the same as what you’d see in the movie The Exorcist. Any reputable exorcist will take on the stages slowly and one at a time.
What if I’m Not Catholic?
You don’t necessarily need to go to a Catholic church to receive an exorcism. While they have received the most press for their exorcisms, most religious organizations offer exorcisms in some form. However, the Catholic church performs exorcisms for non-Catholics as well, and they don’t charge for them. While they may request an offering at the end, they don’t demand someone pays $300 an hour for one.
Check with the head of your religious organization to see what they’d offer for exorcisms and how they might perform them. The one thing that I would recommend is to make sure that they have some working system for how an exorcism proceeds, and they don’t undertake this practice lightly. You can go to the wrong exorcist.
If you watched the video above, you will see how terrifying a true exorcism can become. They’re not, in any way shape, or form, meant to become a carnival or a form of entertainment, and they should never be treated lightly. I say that because some do treat it lightly. I’ve seen some examples on Youtube where they even make sound effects as they’re “exorcising” the demons—that’s not a real exorcism.
You have some Catholic priests who train in nothing but exorcism, which should demonstrate how much training goes into it. Most exorcists will also treat it like a vow of confession, and they don’t talk about them. In a Catholic exorcism, many reports using Easter water instead of holy water since Easter water is more potent.
Other Religions – How to Get an Exorcism
I’ve spoken a lot about exorcisms and how they happen in the Catholic church as well as to beware of religious organizations that take this practice too lightly. Whatever you do, make sure that it has a reputable way of exorcising the demons.
In Hinduism, when they perform an exorcism ritual where they will recite the names of Narasimha. This fierce avatar of Vishnu seeks to destroy evil. You will need to speak with the spiritual head of your organization to start the exorcism.
Judaism performs exorcisms as well, and in fact, in the past, the Christian scholar Origen credits the Jews as being especially good at exorcisms. You can hear him saying this in “Origen: Contra Celsum Book IV.” You would need to speak with a rabbi, baal shem or rebbe who understands Kabbalah and has mastered it. In a Jewish exorcism, a group of 10 adult males will gather in a circle around a possessed person. They will recite Psalm 91 as the rabbi blows on the shofar or ram’s horn.
The Jewish rabbi blows the horn in such a way as to shatter the body so that they can shake the demonic possession free. After this point, the rabbi asks the demonic force why it possessed this person. The group of 10 known as minyan will pray for it so that it will feel safe to leave the person. As you can tell, this is very different from a Catholic exorcism where they appear to force it from the person’s body.
Contrasted with Catholic exorcisms, Jewish exorcisms are often public events that they perform in the synagogue or with the minyan. Like with the Catholic church, they seek symptoms in the person before they would consider an exorcism, such as:
- Bodily sensations
What Should You Know About Exorcisms?
First, most exorcisms don’t happen in the same way as in Hollywood. This was highly dramatized to make it look more interesting. Many priests will try a minor exorcism first, which is a prayer said over the person to break the evil influence. In truth, real demonic possession happens rarely, but it does still occur more frequently than you might think.
Can You Exorcise Yourself?
Through a practice known as spirit release and cleansing, you can try to exorcise the demons yourself. Some licensed psychiatrists and therapists offer this as a form of therapy. Like with a Jewish exorcism, this is a gentler way to eliminate demons. If that doesn’t work, you could move on to more extreme measures.
If you want to learn how to dispel negative energies yourself through a self-exorcism – please read the article below.
How to perform a self-exorcism [PLUS alternatives]
Hopefully, this details how you would get an exorcism. The easy part is simply asking for one, but most reputable exorcists will carefully screen people and few will experience a major exorcism because of the rigorous process involved. If you think a demon may be trying to possess you, you may want to check out the article that I wrote here, “18 Signs of Demonic Possession.”