Apart from possession by the Holy Spirit, Christianity regards possession as the work of the Devil. In medieval theology Satan entered the victim directly, or by using an intermediary, such as a witch or wizard, causing the victim to act abominably and renounce God.
According to demonological literature, sometimes the voice of the possessed person changed, sometimes even his or her appearance. The body might be thrown into convulsions, and strange objects and even creatures were said to be passed from the orifices, mainly the mouth and anus. The possessed person also displays hatred and/or fear for the symbols of goodness and sanctity. The cure for possession by evil spirits is exorcism.
In Judaism the most feared evil possession is by the Dybbuk, a doomed soul that wreaks mental and spiritual havoc on the hapless victim. In many nonwestern cultures communication with, and voluntary possession by, various deities is central to religious worship (see Voodoo).
Similarly in Christianity, voluntary possession by the Holy Spirit is encouraged, especially in the Pentacostal movement, whose adherents may speak in tongues, perform faith healing, and writhe uncontrollably in a form of ecstatic communion with God.
Evidence for genuine possession by an evil supernatural force is unavailable, mostly because those who have supposedly been possessed insist on anonymity, and those who have participated at exorcisms refuse to reveal any details which might breach that anonymity and permit verification of some of the reported phenomena. People participating in exorcisms are usually also firm believers in demons and the efficacy of exorcism. Their accounts and testimony are most likely colored by their beliefs, because their interpretation of events are certainly based on their faith.
This website is best viewed with the latest
Internet Explorer or
makes extensive use of
Flash and Scripting in its pages and interface. Make certain your browser
permissions are set
accordingly and that you have the latest
Flash plug-in for the full experience, proper look and accurate
layout. You can do it with confidence. This site does not contain any viruses, malicious software
Occultopedia is the genuine article, the
original and the best internet index of the extraordinary and uncanny,
shamelessly copied by many, but never equaled. Online since 1995 — at first in a free web space provider
(Tripod.com), and in 1997 finally
with its own domain name and hosting — Occultopedia still is the
principal online resource for those looking for the unexplained, the
curious and the unusual.
Occultopedia respects your privacy. As
such, no cookies or any other tracking software will be installed as a
part of this website's original programming. I do not seek to obtain any personal information
beyond what is volunteered through electronic communications
(e.g. emails & forms).
Occultopedia may appear to be a for profit site, but my site is
not in reality a commercial one. All of the commercial links are from affiliate
programs, and the little revenue I get from these is to pay for hosting,
bandwidth — that can be quite costly if you have a lot of traffic, graphics and
pages — and any other expenses related to Occultopedia's upkeep, support, and maintenance.
For more details, visit my
Occultopedia is a
resource available to the whole world. Usage of my word definitions and articles
by educational institutions, teachers and students alike, is here by granted.
Reproduction for profit, and for display in another web site is strictly
forbidden, and will be handled as copyright infringement and prosecuted to the
full extent of the law. However, if you follow
some simple guidelines,
I will grant permission for limited reproduction. For more information, please consult my
intellectual property rights, warranties and
disclaimers information page. Support Occultopedia and make it your
destination. If you prefer, you can also make a donation.
HELP FOOT THE BILL: this website
is created and maintained by one guy, who also pays the hosting bill.
Please donate if you like and/or use Occultopedia.
Participate in Occultopedia and submit a word
definition or article for the occult encyclopedia at my
page. If you would like to suggest a web site or page for
addition into Occultopedia's links database, please go to my
URL submission page.