This is a huge subject with years of evolution so I’m going to try and hit some nails but not all, I hope you don’t mind the odd skim over information just for ease of the read.
Ok so demons we see them referenced in a lot of films and TV shows but are they actually a demonic presence or just a psychological phenomenon that once again got out of hand,
Well let’s start with the history, demons are massively varied in cultural belief over thousands of years, some may say they are fallen angels that once were divine and now serve the ruler of hell usually Satan or lucifer, others might say that they are deities long forgotten by culture and changing religious views, some might accept them as an overall of all kinds of belief systems but each with individual ‘power’ or ‘abilities’ then others might just see them as figments of our imagination!
Demons are hugely varied in appearance and personality most have been documented in some way through the centuries and some are just assumed as minions or lost souls, they are not always evil they have been known to teach and guide just like angels and other divine spirits are said to!
Demons predominantly lay within religious belief systems, at the end of the day they are a requirement in order to show the light of good no doubt you need the dark of the bad!
The problem i find is a lot of teams and investigators out there claim demons exist almost instantly without even knowing what they are talking about this also includes self proclaimed demonologists who although make me giggle when I meet them or see them interviewed on TV they are exceptionally dangerous, some as far out as mentally ill and some so completely blinded by there own faith they mark everything with the demonic brush!
Along with most heavy Religious countries, demons and demonic possession seems to be rife, you see people and especially a lot in the paranormal community seem to believe that the brain is something that can be trusted over anything else well unfortunately this really isn’t the case (I’ll write up a nice little page about this in the future and explain the relevance in this post).
Now what could be the issue with calling demon in the paranormal community????
Well field investigators put themselves in situations not really considered very usual in the eyes of the general public, places that are known to insight fear and uneasiness, cause sensory deprivation and hyper arousal.
These situations can be dangerous to the individual and I’ll try to explain as simply as possible, this is not in the effect of “demons could be hiding in the shadows” but more of the fact that our brain is telling us we are in danger even the most hardcore investigator out there is fighting these feelings and natural responses to the surroundings we are facing.
The amygdala and the limbic system kick into hyperdrive in an attempt to save you from a completely unknown entity (just in case), the other end of the spectrum your conscious brain is telling yourself it’s fine, no worries, I’m comfortable in this situation!………….one big problem!
The limbic system and especially your amygdala doesn’t care what you say to yourself it will dig deep into your previous knowledge bank and find what it needs to make you run the hell out of there and never come back, it finds references to the dark, it finds horrible imaginary creatures, it finds all those scary paranormal movies and references to people being murdered in the dark, all the news stories and ghost stories after all you are there because of the stories you have heard, it picks up that this is the kind of place that these things happen and you are stood right in the middle of it! After all this part of your brain is designed to ensure your safety even before you are aware you are unsafe!
Try thinking about stepping onto the edge of a cliff without feeling slight panic, you could probably look over the edge but your feet will remain safely planted and balanced unless you make a conscious effort to bust through the reaction! This is your limbic system kicking in!
This is what begins the creation of what is there with the person and this can be greatly swayed by the belief system of whoever is experiencing it, including the gobs of whoever is taking a senior position within an investigation be it a medium, a lead investigator or a demonologist!
No doubt It’s not a nice feeling when the amygdala is fighting to preserve your life and this can breed thoughts of evil which in turn creates the thought of demons or a feeling that something not nice is in the room with you, most tv programmes push forward the presence of demons because the huge amount of varied Christian belief systems especially within the US!
We know about religion even if we are atheists because it is everywhere from the local church to the news to social media, religion is part of our every day life wether we like it or not! We all know demons everyone understands that they are powerful scary and bad!
Being an investigator tends to also mean we are more involved in spirituality of all kinds because of the subject we investigate!
Belief systems unfortunately effect diagnosis!
The word demon send chills down most peoples spines maybe excitement to others but what does it really mean? Are we going to be taken over and possessed? are we going to need to be blessed and tied to the bed whilst puking pea soup on priests?
Well to be honest no that’s just typical media manipulation, and really if you look into it deep enough most demons have a lore that can be researched relatively easily (trust me I used to be obsessed with the idea of them and spent many a night reading about all kinds of them)
The succubus (female) and incubus (male) demons, (and I will explain before this starts that these are centuries old beliefs so don’t be too shocked by the lack of Political correctness)
These late night tear aways are known to come into your bedroom whilst you’re sleeping and fornicate with you, the lore is wildly varied over time but basically the succubus mates with a human male and take his seed and in some lore his life force, it then mates with an incubus passing the seed across to him which in turn mates with a human female and makes her pregnant with a child that is born with severe deformities and or genetic differences (albino skin, heterochromia etc etc) in old fashioned terms ‘a demon child’,
Now back in those days to see a child appear with such deformities created a massive amount of superstition leading to the story of the succubus and incubus (basically something to blame anything on) because obviously no God in any belief system could possibly do something so horrible to someone! Oh no no no definitely not!
Anyway I digress,
let’s look at another good excuse for the incubus’ of the old times, your an unmarried young lady who is having it off with someone’s husband and low and behold without the invention of Durex or Trojan to cover your path you fall pregnant!!!!
Now what do you do? Well you try everything possible with the limited medical research of the time to get rid of the baby and ensure your reputation remains intact!
Unfortunately in trying the various archaic techniques you do little to get rid of the fetus but a lot to damage it, luckily everyone has crazy beliefs which can easily be palmed off as an incubus visiting in the night and the disabled child is the spawn of a demon, oh you poor innocent individual we will now take care of you and not push you out of our community! God is on your side!
Phew that was lucky!
Now as time has gone on people kept having these incredible experiences, whilst sleeping they would awake from there sleep and be frozen solid, they couldn’t move but still be aware and then standing somewhere in the room or even on top of them was a demonic (or equally not nice) presence, this was because they had a visit from a succubus or incubus (or the old hag, the alien abduction, the shadowman with a top hat depending which lore you follow),
anyway the problem is this is no more than sleep paralysis, a simple psychological phenomenon, some people who experience this would probably want to throttle me for making something so scary into something so simple but hey, unfortunately even though it may make some people feel cool or different to over complicate things for attention of how they are visited by demons and have sex with them, it’s really quite simple, that wonderful amygdala is playing up again, making you feel like you’re in trouble but this time you’re awake and dreaming all at the same time, you are capable of incredible hallucinations but your body is still shut down because your brain thinks its still asleep this conscious panic creates a nightmare that is basically occurring in real life or at least seems to be! Until you begin to either concentrate on something much nicer or begin to gently fight for small amount of movement and try to relax!
Why Demons Should be Forgotten in Paranormal Research
These occurrences that are psychological in manner can be horrendous for the individual unfortunately over the centuries we haven’t really had much knowledge of psychology or neurology, even today we are discovering incredible things the brain is capable of! These occurrences used to be blamed on demons, demonic possession, a demon whispering its requirements in someone’s ears, driving people insane, people hearing voices, seeing things that no one else can, making people do most things out of character.
Demons have the blame for pretty much anything over the centuries that was either to embarrassing for the individual or there surrounding family to admit! What a wonderful cop out to have!
Remember what I said earlier on? “Demons are hugely varied in appearance and personality” Just like the various personalities and preferences of each person we meet every day, you could build a personality profile of someone and fit that into an array of demons that could be influencing that person! It’s that annoyingly simple demons explained the human condition and the mental illness that was so disgustingly misunderstood!!!!
This brings me on to the highly irresponsible side of the paranormal community, and if you are reading this and think to yourself oh we do that then STOP PLEASE STOP doing it!
I have seen and known of a LOT of teams out there that are so desperate for an investigation that they would jump head first into any phone call or email from anyone who claims to have paranormal activity, this is all well and good except they don’t approach this even close to properly.
You see mental illness is rife in the world there is no doubt of that and this can go from something as tiny as being unusually quirky and eccentric to full blown psychosis,
Most investigators do not even take this into account when arriving at an investigation and blurting out to the owners or tenants of a property that the presence in the house is a demon or haunted by a malevolent spirit without even a sceptic eye on anything, this can have incredibly dangerous side effects especially if that person believes in demons due to suffering delusions or psychosis,
most investigators go into these privates residences and just get started going on about how there equipment can detect ghosts so every time they make a noise or light up the poor inhabitant feels that what worried them is definitely a spirit or demon,
too many teams are doing this and not realising the dangers, if this person has a serious mental illness and have not been taking there prescribed medication they may try to harm themselves or others because of YOUR investigation they could believe that a demon is inside of them or inside of there house.
Here are A few examples of people trying to get rid of demons
Trust me this a few of many!
Do you now see how your approach might set off a chain of events that would cause great harm to someone you are trying to help, the best approach is to look out for signs of mental illness be it in the first incident of contact or during first interview, do they claim to be able to see and communicate with demons or spirits, when going around for an initial interview look at the surroundings, do they take good care of themselves and the property, is any medication on show or are they making references to the occult or spirituality of any sort, why not ask them what they think is happening to them?
If then you think maybe this person could be mentally ill you should contact the local mental health services and mention to them the situation you will most likely come across them being already aware of the individual and will arrange a visit from a mental health worker to ensure they are taking the medication required, this is all you need to do to help a person in this situation! Step away and let the professionals deal with it, it’s for the best for you, your team, the individual and any soul that maybe involved!
Once big issue is some individuals in the paranormal community are mentally ill either diagnosed or undiagnosed, I know personally I’ve come across a few in my time, these individuals can be a danger to themselves and to anyone involved in there investigations!
Try to follow a code of ethics try not to work with people who suffer with mental illness, try not to work with young children or the elderly or basically anyone who can get confused or sucked in easily!
Be responsible as an investigator to ensure not just your own safety but that of those around you!
So to sum this up,
Remember Demons do not exist, Old folklore from times so culturally messed up with a misunderstanding of most things and a cruel response to the unknown that people would kill and torture in the name of religion are not guides for the modern world, Demonic possession doesn’t exist!
Mental illness exists, schizophrenia exists, bipolar disorder exists, depression exists, obsessive compulsive disorder exists, drug dependency and misuse exist the list goes on and on, psychological conditions are part of all of us in one way or another, each person suffering a mental illness suffers almost completely individually with there symptoms!
These people can be vulnerable so be aware and take action not to make these situations worse for anyone! see The brain and the Paranormal – Introduction to the Series