Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Front Row for an Exorcism

My house growing up was wedged between a Pentecostal church and a crack house. Most of the time the crack house was scarier, but there were exceptions.

One night as I was getting a glass of water, I noticed that the parking lot behind our back yard was filling up with a crowd of people. Curious, I opened the window to watch, since it was already after 10 p.m.  As the crowd moved under a spotlight I noted the elderly pastor with his rebellious teenage grandson wearing white robes. The man reached up to put his hands on the tall child's shoulders while church members stood back to give ground to the couple. All was silent and still. 

A year before I had been to the zoo in Atlanta and seen the apes. The high-pitched screams mixed with guttural sounds impressed themselves on me. At the time I disbelieved in evolution due to brainwashing, and I thought that humans could never sound like that. 

Then came a low rumbling sound from the congregation, slowly growing. The babble got louder until my mom wandered in to see what the ruckus was. "What's going on?" "They're speaking in tongues." 

And then it stopped. The pastor yelled something unintelligible and pushed the boy on the ground. It was silent. No one moved for a moment, and then the screams began. It looked like they were kicking, physically engaging the evil they saw in a boy. The pastor dragged the boy up again and everyone went inside the church. And I guess it worked because years later he became a child-preacher of that same church when his grandfather grew ill. No one called child protection services because they were, after all, doing the protecting from an invisible foe. 


  1. Are you sure it was an exorcism you witness? It sounds like it may have been the boy was being "Slain in the Spirit" but hard to know for certain based on your description. . .

    1. Should have written this in the piece: the reason I know it was an exorcism is because we were told. The grandfather quite openly told us that they had driven the devil out of his grandson during this ceremony.