Exorcists meet in Poland to tackle vampires and mental illness

I’ve never been to keen on exorcisms. There’s just something about them that seems overly melodramatic. And there’s something about them that doesn’t sit right with me. I mean if Satan (or a demon) can possess someone’s body, make them speak in tongues, and perform all sorts of other supernatural feats, why not do something that would really prove that it was Satan (or a demon)? How are these people confined to a bed? Again, I’m not saying there haven’t been certain cases that have been intriguing, but for the most part, I feel like “demonic possession” can be explained away as metal illness 99.9% of the time. And with that in mind, I present to you this story from Yahoo News (as well as our 300th post here at The Occult Section!):

Scary shit.

Vampires, the devil’s deceit and mental illness are among the hot topics for some 300 exorcists who flocked to Poland this week from as far away as Africa and India for a week-long congress.

Held at Poland’s Roman Catholic Jasna Gora monastery, home to the venerated Black Madonna icon, this year’s congress “examines the current fashion for vampirism in Europe and the world-over, schizophrenia and other mental disorders as well as the devil’s deceit during exorcism,” according to the monastery’s radio station.

Also attending are “priests and lay people who work with exorcists or who are themselves practitioners in cases which do not involve possession but rather other forms of harassment by evil spirits,” Polish exorcist, Father Andrzej Grefkowicz was quoted as saying.

Hailing from India, world-renowned exorcist Father Rufus Pereira as well as chief exorcist of the Archdiocese of Vienna Larry Hogan are among the participants, the radio reported. The unusual meeting is held once every two years.

The Jasna Gora monastery’s venerated Black Madonna icon is believed by many Poles to work miracles.

Legend has it that it was painted by the apostle Saint Luke on a table top from the home of the Holy Family, according to the Jasna Gora website. Records suggest the icon arrived in Poland during the 14th century.

With around 90 percent of the population declaring themselves Roman Catholic, Poland remains one of Europe’s most devout countries.

I’ve experienced some strange, scary shit in my time on this planet, and I’m sure I will experience some more before I depart this world. But I haven’t ever experienced anything nearly as dramatic as an exorcism. And whether it really is demonic possession, or simply mental illness, I really don’t ever want to.

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