An Exorcist: More Stories, by Fr. Gabriele Amorth, the official Rome exorcist and  bestselling author of An Exorcist Tells His Story, returns with more examples of how demons manifest. Fr. Amorth, who has observed the case of a woman exorcised by John Paul II, covers important themes about demonic and occult issues, answers the most common questions, and writes about why the Church is now often defenseless against the devil. CLICK HERE



Can land be "cursed"? Do past activities at a locale bear future spiritual implications? What about particular ethnic groups?

Many are the secret forces behind issues we face, and many are the effects we hardly ever realize.

When there is occultism (especially), or bloodshed (including abortion), there is a residue.

People, family lines, and places can bear baggage.

As folks who have a Mediterranean lineage, we can say that Italians often report special challenges in purging occult circumstances, and when one looks at the history of Italy, one notes the history of idolatry via paganism. There was also a great infiltration of that former world power by gypsies (who cast spells and practice fortune-telling). Often there is the "superstition of "evil eye" (or "malocchia"): whereby a curse is broken through occult means.

Every ethnic group has its "baggage." In the UK, it is psychic phenomena -- and whatever the Druids left. Ditto for Ireland. In Spain, France, and Germany, it was witchcraft, as was also true in New England. In central Asia, it was the Huns. In Egypt, it was the curse of the pharaohs. In Latin America it was the Aztecs. In many parts of the U.S., strange occurrences or maladies afflict areas where there was intense pagan activity by Native American Indians. In some cases, this may be a burial mound that was "ritualized" to keep settlers from approaching it or some other kind of curse. The cases are too many to list, but are intense in areas of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, California, and Upstate New York. While Native Americans had aspects of their spirituality that were marvelous (and overall were at least as good as any other people, often trampled upon and even massacred), on a regular basis are accounts of "bad luck" in places where there is an Indian past.

In regions with Nordic influence, there are residues from Viking paganism. The same is true with the Celtic leprechaun. In Africa, voodoo-like beliefs were sometimes translated into the occultism overseas in places like Savannah and New Orleans (via Haiti): just last week, archeologists in Maryland announced that they'd found an African "spirit bundle" (hundreds of pieces of lead shot, pins and nails, was used to ward off spirits).

Meanwhile, in England, there was a little uproar last week over a documentary on the "village of the damned" -- an allegedly haunted town called Denbigh where there was a mental institute in the 1840s and many report strange phenomena.

Before there was a mental institute, it is believed by some to have been a spot cursed by witches who were executed there.

Land that won't sell is sometimes the site of a past crime.

Says a deliverance expert, Larry Cummins, from Ireland, "I was contacted by Father John from County Down in August of 2005. A parishioner was having a serious problem in their new family home. On St. Stephens Day 2004, someone visiting the house saw a 'strange female figure' appearing in the house. Not long afterward, a man started to appear dressed as a monk in a black habit and always with his head down. The Bible would regularly fly off the stand onto the floor, to be replaced again by the family." It was land he discerned to have been used centuries before for sacrifice. One "haunted" house in London was the scene of constant injuries and was found to have been an abortion mill in the 1930s and 1940s, he asserts (for your discernment).

Darkness in one era often attracts darkness in the next -- until it is purged. In current times, "ghost" stories (read: demons) are prevalent in places like Salem  (and scores of other old America towns).

In fact, "ghost tours" have spread to many major cities, focusing on the past spiritual baggage of earthbound spirits. Such spirits, if they actually are there, should be prayed for (that their souls head for the Light of God), not conjured by seances, mediums, or Ouija boards (which are enormously dangerous).

Near Scottsdale, it's burial mounds; in Euclid, Ohio, it's tornadoes that defy meteorological explanations (in this spot that the Indians called the "place of the evil winds"). Near Orlando, Indian mounds are near what is now a community of spiritualists where there is the "seat of Satan" (where people are told they can make wishes known to the devil every Halloween). In Miami, it's Santeria. Just today, a report of eerie lights over a place in the northeast of England called Eston Hills. When one does a quick search, one finds that Eston Hills is known for its "Iron Age hillfort and burial mounds."

Similar lights have been reported in places like Maine and New Hampshire.

What is the spiritual baggage of your area, or neighborhood? Has it been treated with Holy Water or blessed salt? Are there unusual occurrences (particularly negative ones) around particular areas?

Cleansing an area keeps it safe and should start with cleansing our homes.

Ask the Blessed Mother to "sweep" your home or area. She will remove "debris." Ask Jesus to stand there. Invoke the saints. Fill the area with angels.

Back to Italians and malocchia: watch for that practice of warding off evil, because really it does two things for the devil -- first by way of the person leveling the "curse" (usually this is simple envy, which does have an effect), and the second is by means of getting the target to use superstition in an attempt to ward it off. Is it not dangerous when people wear the malocchia "horns" (some of which look like simple peppers) that stand for the horn of the devil (and are meant to fool the devil into thinking the person wearing them is on his side, so he won't attack him, as if he is fooled)?

It is foolishness with a dangerous underside. The same is seen in Halloween: there are parts of it in which we can participate when we focus on the celebration of the harvest and God's plenty or the All Saints Day that follows (why not dress kids up as saints and angels or biblical figures, taking this "holiday" back), but when there is evil imagery -- demonic imagery -- it has the power of a statue (the wrong kind). The same is true of occult books in our homes. Can we not put a pinch of blessed salt or plastic rosaries or a holy card in with the Nestlé Crunch bars?

[see also: Will they never learn? 100,000 expected at New Orleans voodoo bash, Occult watch: 'village of damned', and Archeologists find 'spirit bundle']

[resources: Onward Catholic Soldier and Catholic Warrior]

[Michael Brown retreats, spiritual protection and hope in a tumultuous time: Nevada]

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