Lessons Against Fascination with Evil

The video below is a trailer for an upcoming movie. I can’t comment on the full context of the movie (since it hasn’t yet been released), but there are several important messages in the trailer.  Allow it to bring forth in you a salutary fear; don’t be fascinated by the cheap parlor tricks of Satan or the Hollywood depiction of them.

Let’s take away four lessons from the trailer.

As the trailer begins, it seems that some scam artists have drawn in gullible people with fake séances and other forms of divination. There are hidden people who speak and make noises in order to convince the “customers” that the dead are actually being contacted.

Lesson One: Never dabble in the occult, even as a ruse or a joke. Those who do so often discover that the spirits they invoke in jest are deadly serious and quite real. Never invoke dark sprits and never seek information from the dead. Evil spirits can and often do masquerade as the souls of the departed; it’s a deception.

As the trailer progresses, things get very ugly. The characters go from lies and ruses (which are sinfully ugly enough) to an encounter with the Father of Lies. One of the characters, noting the abnormal behavior of a young girl asks, “Who are you talking to?” Believe me, you don’t want to know!

Lesson Two: Calling out to the dark world beyond often brings a response, and a very dark one at that.

As the trailer unfolds it seems that things get bad very fast. One of the characters says, “Something is happening that we can’t understand.”

Lesson Three: Satanic powers are masters of deception. All the parlor tricks (levitation, slamming doors, etc.) are meant to incite fear. But the real battleground is the mind and the very subtle deceptions of the Evil One. He subtly takes up the personality of the possessed soul and makes it difficult to understand who is really talking. Indeed, something is happening that is very difficult to understand, except perhaps for a trained exorcist. Even an exorcist enters the battleground with humility and careful discernment, rooted in considering the counsel of others on the team. For this and other reasons, an exorcist should never work alone. He should have an assistant priest and a team to assist him, to observe, to advise him, and to pray.

At one point in the trailer the priest says, “… you’ve opened up a portal.”

Lesson Four: Never open a door to the occult, even in a playful way. Ask not, lest you be answered, seek not lest you be found. Don’t joke or revile evil spirits (cf Jude 1:9). Our only message to them should be this: “In the name of Jesus, the Lord, be gone!”

Keep your eyes on Jesus and the saints. Do not be fascinated by demons or any aspect of darkness.

Movies like this one can incite a salutary fear, but they can also encourage an undue fascination with devilish things. No one who has ever assisted in an exorcism shares any of this fascination at all. Exorcisms are usually lengthy, tedious, and exhausting. There is no dramatic music, and things are never finished in a convenient 90 minutes. It’s an ugly process that weighs heavily on the participants. The demons usually shift quickly from cheap parlor tricks to subtle psychological deception.

If you chose to see this movie, please learn these lessons. Shed any fascination; there is nothing fascinating about evil. It is depressing, dark, and difficult to endure.

Remember that the Lord is more powerful that any satanic force. If you should ever encounter such evil, even through no fault of your own, summon the Lord and repeatedly declare aloud, “Jesus is Lord.” The sacraments, Holy Water, and other sacramentals are also very helpful. Do not panic, just have a salutary fear such that you keep a healthy distance from any dark powers.

Use care when watching this trailer. Let it provide you with information, but don’t let it fascinate you.

14 Replies to “Lessons Against Fascination with Evil”

  1. I am a disabled elderly person living in a apartment building. The Tenants association is thinking of inviting a “clairvoyant, medium” for a presentation. The people who have signed up for it include my immediate neighbors, with whom I am not friendly beyond courteous greetings.

    I mentioned this to two Eucharistic ministers who bring me Communion on Friday and they thought there was nothing wrong with seeing clairvoyants or mediums?!

    1. Call your priest and tell him….. 1. You would like for him to come and bless your apartment and building for spiritual protection against these nut jobs and 2. You would like to have Catholics who know the Faith to administer the Eucharist to you.

    2. to “Withheld”. Please tell the two Eucharistic Ministers that everything is wrong with “mediums” and “clairvoyants’. Getting involve in new age practices is breaking the First Commandment and will definitely bring evil in ones life. Our family’s spiritual director is and exorcist under the guidance of Fr Gabriel Amorth. God bless you in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

  2. I thought a lay person should never command the devil as one would in saying “In the name of Jesus, the Lord, be gone!”, nor should one even address the devil?

    1. Banishing demons in the Holy Name is the only way you should ever speak directly to an evil spirit, but that’s actually recommended if you feel oppressed! You should not undertake a full – on exorcism on your own, but for everyday demonic oppression or temptation this will do the trick.

      They certainly hate the Name of Jesus.

      I never would have gotten through my demonic oppression last year without doing this. I’ve gotten reactions by reciting the litany of St Joseph also. God always gives you the tools you need.

  3. There’s a useful and interesting book–written in 1979 and ostensibily based on a real-life experience–that presents a useful narrative about what can happen when young people–especially young people–get tied up with occult, witchcraft, and other “tempting experiments.” It’s called Jay’s Journal, by “Anonymous…Edited by Dr. Beatrice Sparks.” It’s a vividly but understandably written tale that should convince us not to play with this kind of fire.

  4. I don’t watch movies like this, and I won’t even watch the trailer for this one. Thanks for the info on this, because I’m sure this movie will be advertised all over T.V., and I’ll switch the channel before they even show the first scene.

  5. to “Withheld”. Please tell the two Eucharistic Ministers that everything is wrong with “mediums” and “clairvoyants’. Getting involve in new age practices is breaking the First Commandment and will definitely bring evil in ones life. Our family’s spiritual director is and exorcist under the guidance of Fr Gabriel Amorth. God bless you in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

  6. Betty S., it appears Jay’s Journal is mostly fiction.
    Posting of Alden Niel Barrett (1954 – 1971) – Find A Grave Memorial site states that only 21 of the 212 diary entries were published in that book. Alden’s brother wrote a book to correct the information that had been written in Jay’s Journal. That book is titled: A Place in the Sun: The Truth Behind Jay’s Journal. Hope this helps.

  7. To Catechist: I did exactly what you mentioned, plus the fact that the person would be surrendering/handing over her own body to act as a medium which one should never do.

    I also corrected the EM who handed me the Host, saying “The Body of Christ, for you.” I do not recall going into liturgical theology & law 🙂 but I asked whether the Church had changed the words, and then added that what he said could mean something entirely different, i.e. “The Body of Christ, if that is what you think It is.” I said it IS the Body of Christ no matter if one thinks it is or not. He said a priest he once knew used to use those words. 🙁

  8. “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
    C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

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