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Witch & Popcorn


The Exorcist



Bright Blessings film lovers!

Classic horror film, The Exorcist has terrified people for decades with the demons, acrobatics of the actress playing a possessed child, and ingrained beliefs in demonic possession- and it’s one I just can’t get enough of. Watch this trailer here:



You wouldn’t know it to talk to me today since I am such a horror fan, but this film literally scared the ever living hell out of me when I was in high school. I was awakening psychically and had gone on a starvation diet that increased my imagination. Seeing the backwards crawl down the steps in that fateful scene scared me so badly I could not sleep alone! Now, we all know it’s fiction, and being a witch who has been ridden by spirit and have witnessed possession, I know these horror films don’t have the details right about what possession is.

The film starts when as aging priest, Father Merrin finds a carving of Mesopotamian demon Pazuzu in a desert dig and journeys to find a larger statue of him, only to look horrified. Fast forward to Washington, to an actress mother, Chris MacNeil and her daughter Regan who have a seemingly perfect life together. Then disaster strikes- Regan plays with an Ouija board she finds and communicates with a seemingly innocent spirit named “Captain Howdy”. Noises start in the attic, and before long, Regan is full blown possessed, and acting crazy.

At first, Chris thinks there are rats in the attic and Regan has a psychiatric disorder- but she slowly accepts the behavior is due to demonic possession and enlists a young Priest named Father Damian, or Dimmie’s help. By that time, signs are appearing in town. A statue of the blessed virgin Mary has been vandalized, and had sexually explicit things glued to it. Regan’s behavior prior to things like her head spinning around include her telling her mother’s guests at a party “You’re going to die up there” and promptly peeing on the floor, to the extreme of stabbing herself with a crucifix, saying “Fuck me Jesus”. The bed Regan slept on moved of it’s own accord, and it kept getting worse.

Of course eventually, good overcomes evil, and Regan is saved, but not before all hell literally breaks loose and creates irreparable damage.

As entertaining as this film was, and the standards it set for demonic possession films, there is plenty it actually got wrong. Pazuzu is not what the film portrayed, nor is Ouija boards. Possession is not as it was portrayed, and it is also reported this film was based on a real exorcism case- but the fact is, the victim wasn’t even possessed.


The Rob or “Roland Doe” Exorcism

In the 1940’s the press reported one of three exorcisms in the US approved by the Catholic church was on a boy whose name was disguised as a Roland Doe. Accounts stated things began to fly and break in the house, and swear words appeared scratched into his skin. A priest supposedly had a nervous breakdown and disappeared. A skeptical researcher, Mark Opsasnik believed based on his findings the child was a spoiled brat who liked to upset his family and neighbors and friends. He found no official documentation of the scenario at all and no evidence the Priest visited the family or had a breakdown. It is accepted by Opsasnik and other researchers the child was either a “trickster” or was mentally ill.

Opsasnik had to say about the whole thing, “ To psychiatrists, Rob Doe suffered from mental illness. To priests this was a case of demonic possession. To writers and film/video producers this was a great story to exploit for profit. Those involved saw what they were trained to see. Each purported to look at the facts but just the opposite was true — in actuality they manipulated the facts and emphasized information that fit their own agendas.”


What is Possession?

Possession is when a spirit is inside your body. A spirit OTHER than yours, of course. Pop culture and films like The Exorcist portray possession as unwilling, and the individual whose body is inhabited is a helpless victim who cannot get the harmless spirit out. Some Christians will tell you baptism in the name of Jesus will give Jesus full ownership of your body and that no demon can possess your body after this. Unfortunately, this belief- or fear, I prefer to call it- is not based on evidence.

There is a place in the New Testament where Jesus casts demons out of a man and they go into a herd of pigs, and in other places where possession causes blindness, deafness, convulsions, foaming at the mouth, and enhanced strength. Think about this. This was all written during a time people did not understand the human body very well. Blindness was caused by demons? Then why do surgeries fix this today? Enhanced strength was caused by demons? Then is weakness a sign of purity? These are superstitious beliefs from people who were still learning about medicine and how the body worked. Nothing more.

To be possessed, or ridden by a spirit, one must invite it inside, or allow it in if it asks to come. I have been ridden by a spirit I have a relationship with and it was temporary to ask for help. I did witness what I was told was a possession, and an exorcism was called for- and I admit, before the ritual, there was a black smudge where the individual’s face would have been. Afterwards, I could see his face clearly and he behaved normally. However, I was told he had summoned that spirit, and it was claimed by another individual he could not get the spirit out. Unfortunately for this story, soon after the man summoned the spirit into him again. It was 100% willing.

If I had a house guest I wanted to have stay with me and a relative of mine disagreed with it, and had somebody come in and forcibly remove my guest. I would probably just tell them to come back and tell my relative off. I have heard people tell terrified stories- in the process of getting a lot of attention talking about it- all about how they are possessed, or they have demons or evil spirits they cannot get rid of- and I admit, I don’t believe one damned word of it. Every medium I know says you simply ask the spirit to leave. Sure, there will be some more powerful spirit at some point, but chances are, it will be the spirit in another human being they were born with and they simply have a stronger will than you do.


The Ouija Board

I have written about Ouija boards before and talked to a lot of people about them. These are inanimate objects, and are not magnets for evil. Spirit boards have been attested to all the way back to ancient China, and are just one of many ways to communicate with spirits. A lot of demon films start out with under-aged females “playing” with an Ouija board and saying pretty much the same stupid thing, “If there is a spirit here, let us know.” So basically, you are welcoming ANY spirit in that would happen to hear. That’s like opening your front door and telling anybody who walks past they are welcome.

Stupid. You wouldn’t do that, and you shouldn’t communicate with whatever the heck will answer. But still, what makes you think an inanimate object will act as a pathway for the spirit to enter? What makes people think an Ouija board is somehow specially crafted for that purpose? It isn’t. It is a mass-produced board game that is created in a factory. There is no hard-core black magic and demon summoning going on at the conveyor belts. Films are fun to watch, but we should be careful about immediately believing a concept that has become popular in fiction.

Furthermore, it’s downright rude to send a call out to any spirit that will answer. It would be like dialing a random phone number and demanding to know who picked up the phone. That would make somebody pretty angry, and the disrespect would upset a spirit also. Furthermore, it is not a fun pastime to conjure up random spirits when you are bored or what a thrill with friends. Spirits are living entities who have feelings too. Be respectful, and maybe they won’t get pissed off.



Pazuzu is literally portrayed as the Judeo Christian Satan in this film. A seasoned Priest and a strong young Priest are summoned to cast him out with “The Spirit of Christ Compels You!!!!”, holy water, many prayers, and powerful faith. Unfortunately, despite what some Christians would tell you, not all non Jesus gods or spirits are the devil. Who Pazuzu is happens to be very different than the biblical Satan.

Pazuzu was the son of Hanbi, and Hanbi was the father of evil spirits and forces. Pazuzu, having come from such evil was not benevolent, but he was not the supreme evil . He brought famine during the dry season and locusts that ravaged crops in the rains. Despite all the atrocities he was in charge of, he was called upon to protect people as well. Amulets of him were given to pregnant women to protect against Lamashtu who would harm pregnant mothers and children. She would also infect men with various diseases…and she was Pazuzu’s wife! He was called upon to ward off various other demons as well.

Also, Satan according to the Bible, was simply doing his job. He was protective of Jehovah with Job- yes read the whole book. He specifically told Jehovah that Job only loved him because he had a great life. Yes he did. He was called upon to test Jesus in the desert before he embarked upon his ministry- and Jesus passed the tests. The other place he is seen in the Bible is tempting Adam and Eve to see if they will obey Jehovah or not. His name meant “prosecutor” and in modern Christian belief, you must be tested by Satan to prove you are worth of Heaven. You cannot make it into Heaven without passing the test- so instead of trying to ward him off or blame him if you choose to give into temptation, if you are a Christian, strengthen yourself and welcome his testing. But no, he is not going to possess your body and make you spit green pea soup onto an elderly Catholic Priest.


What They Got Right

During the exorcisms, the Priests commanded the unclean spirits out of Regan with power and authority. It took a while, but eventually, the spirits departed. Father “Dimmie” gave the spirit a place to come- into his own body. Every move the demon made during the exorcism was with permission. The spirit also played on the insecurities of younger Priest “Dimmie”, knowing how to emotionally manipulate him. In the end the will of the Priests outdid the spirit’s desire to stay inside the child and it left.

If you find spirits in your home or near you anywhere and you don’t want them there- command them away from you as the Priests did in this film. You won’t need structured prayers of the authority of any deity. Flat out tell them they are not welcome, expecting them to leave, and they will. No horror flick can convince me after I have seen this technique work time and again that it doesn’t.


What is Horror?

Some of us love horror for the creativity and drama of it. Some people like the thrill of being afraid. That’s fine, just don’t carry it so far you scare yourself half to death and convince yourself of utter bullshit. There is no devil spirit that will take your soul and body hostage, or that your god will ignore it and let you suffer. The movies are great. They come up with new scary stories all the time, and some of us never get tired of seeing the new things they present to us. Enjoy the movies, and don’t forget that fiction is just that- fiction- and no, the devil is not coming for you.

So watch the Exorcist for the amazing entertainment it provides. The special effects and acting were so good, it scared the hell out of generations of people and set a precedent for almost every other exorcism film forever. Just don’t scare yourself to death if your stairs creak after watching it or fear the biblical devil is coming for you, because it’s not going to happen.

I have watched this film countless times over the years, and it never ever gets old. It was so beautifully made, and is so terrifying. If you love horrors, you MUST watch The Exorcist. Maybe not as often as I do, but at least once for sure.

Happy viewing.

Blessed Be.



About the Author:

Saoirse is a practicing witch, and initiated Wiccan of an Eclectic Tradition.

A recovered Catholic, she was raised to believe in heaven and hell, that there is only one god, and only one way to believe. As she approached her late 20’s, little things started to show her this was all wrong. She was most inspired by the saying “God is too big to fit into one religion” and after a heated exchange with the then associate pastor of the last Xtian church she attended, she finally realized she was in no way Xtian, and decided to move on to see where she could find her spiritual home.

Her homecoming to her Path was after many years of being called to The Old Ways and the Goddess, and happened in Phoenix, Arizona. She really did rise from her own ashes!

Upon returning to Ohio, she thought Chaos Magic was the answer, and soon discovered it was actually Wicca. She was blessed with a marvelous mentor, Lord Shadow, and started a Magical Discussion Group at local Metaphysical Shop Fly By Night. The group was later dubbed A Gathering of Paths. For a few years, this group met, discussed, did rituals, fellowship, and volunteering together, and even marched as a Pagan group with members of other groups at the local gay Pride Parade for eight years.

All the while, she continued studying with her mentor, and is still studying for Third Degree, making it to Second Degree thus far.

She is a gifted tarot reader, spellworker, teacher, and was even a resident Witch at a Westerville place dubbed The Parlor for a time.

Aside from her magical practice, she is a crocheter, beader, painter, and a good cook. She has been a clown and children’s entertainer, a Nursing Home Activities Professional, a Cavern Tour Guide, a Retail Cashier, and a reader in local shops. Her college degree is a BA in English Writing. She tried her hand at both singing and playing bagpipes, and…well…let’s just say her gifts lie elsewhere! She loves gardening, reading, antiques, time with friends and soul kin, and lots and lots of glorious color bedecking her small home!

On the encouragement of a loved one several years back, she searched for a publication to write for, and is right at home at PaganPagesOrg.

She is currently residing in Central Ohio with her husband, and furbabies.

Saoirse can be contacted at [email protected].