A correlation between horror movies and demonic activity?

There are a lot of people out there (including some exorcists) who believe horror movies can open one up to demonic activity.

Where does this belief come from?

How can one become possessed by watching actors dress up like ghosts and goblins and demons pretending to do violent things?

Christian art is full of vivid depictions of demons and evildoing. Even the bible portrays characters possessed by the devil and even an encounter with satan himself.

2 Likes

If there’s any relationship at all, it’s probably more than people who are engaging in demonic ritual are more likely to watch lots of horror movies. Correlation not causation.

6 Likes

That is, as you say, “if there is any relationship at all.” I think some people just like a good scary movie, knowing they are safe (at home) while watching. That’s what Alfred Hitchcock said, by the way.

3 Likes

Their own suggestible minds.

People watch horror movies, they start focusing on demons, and this causes them to start seeing the demonic everywhere. In the worst cases, a person who dwells on the demonic ends up being susceptible to it.

7 Likes

To show I’m not making this up, here are some comments from CAF itself.

it’s true that horror movies give you demons that stay with you. (And I’m being serious. I don’t say this in jest.)

A priest I knew, retired now, was an exorcist and also celebrated healing masses. He said that a person can be cursed, even possessed through what they see on television/movies or even reading books, that demons can gain access through those medias. Don’t know if I believe it, but I wouldn’t test it. What would be different in using a Ouija board that the Church condemns the use of?

I would avoid them. I have been told by very religious and learned religious that they can be extremely spiritually damaging.

We were watching the movie “Dracula” when a large picture in the living room fell off the wall. The hook and wall hanger were intact.

“A priest I know, retired now…”
We have no idea who the priest is or in what context he made those statements, or if he even said them at all.

As for the person who had scruples by watching a movie with an uncomfortable symbol of upside down crucifix, obviously if he’s badly affected by watching such movies, he shouldn’t watch them. I’ve been able to watch various horror movies such as The Exorcist and The Sentinel and not have an attack over it. There are a couple of scenes in each that I don’t much like but it’s literally a minute or so apiece out of the whole movie. If a movie bothers me or I know from reading the synopsis or seeing a preview that it’s not something I want to look at, then I don’t watch it, but I don’t necessarily translate that into "it’s demonic and no one should watch it. " I’m also not scrupulous.

2 Likes

I’m not sure but I tend to give credence to what exorcists have to say. They’re on the front lines. They should know what’s dangerous and what isn’t. Just a guess here, but watching demonic movies could cause someone who’s imaginative to open their minds to evil, thus opening a door. Is it harmless to watch porn? Many people would say no. Don’t we feed our souls by what we think, watch, read? It’s worth considering. And, yes, the bible mentions encounters with satan himself…in the light of good vs evil…not just evil for the sake of evil. Some movies are just for the sake of evil.

Make sure the picture is properly seated on the hook is one possible lesson from that. If this kind of stuff is going to be used as proof we are well into the realms of superstition.

I can’t remember the sensationalized Bela Lugosi movie well–been a long time–but the novel is actually quite Catholic in its belief system, and worth reading as a tale about good vs. evil.

1 Like

Fr. Gabriel Amorth said The Exorcist is his favorite movie. So there is some inconsistency in this claim.

Only if Fr. Amorth has said that the movie The Exorcist is spiritually dangerous, which he hasn’t. I’m more inclined to follow the advice of an exorcist than I am to follow the advice from a lay person any day of the week. Are you claiming that exorcists don’t know what’s dangerous and what isn’t?

No. Not saying that.

You said you would take the word of the exorcist who claim horror movies are spiritually dangerous simply because they are an exorcist. I cited an exorcist who’s favorite movie is a horror movie (and I don’t think Fr. Amorth would like a movie that is spiritually dangerous, due to the nature of his occupation.)

So if two exorcists contradict each other, then there is inconsistency on simply taking the exorcist’s side on the matter.

2 Likes

It scared people back to church in droves, so it did some good for the world.

1 Like

I would say that anyone who is hooked into inviting evil in would do so anyway eventually.

A good friend of mine in the media once told me, “When you’re watching a movie, any movie, remember that besides the final product you see on screen, at that same moment, just out of sight, there will be a director, several producers and assistants, caterers, guys dragging cables, cameras, and mics around, lighting specialists trying to get the angle just right, and a myriad of others, bored with the 8th take and just talking by the door, not to mention other actors waiting for their own lines to come up.”

If anyone is concerned about how a movie might affect them personally, see it for what it is; a bunch of cooks putting together what they hope will be a palatable take out lunch.

3 Likes

I remember watching The Exorcist and thinking it a bit dated. The actual concepts they were going with are not but nothing dates quicker the special effects. By the time I saw it the film was pushing twenty years old and people found it not very scary, except in the intellectual sense if you thought about the issues but I’ve seen stuff that uses no special effects which I found genuinely far more scary.

I can see it being scary on a big screen,where I have never yet seen it. Georgetown U screens it every year at Halloween and I have wanted to go for years but never got there. Would have maybe done it this year but COVID probably cancelled it like it’s cancelling everything else.

But actually the most disturbing part of the film for me was the priest being upset about his dying and later dead mother. I remember seeing it when my own mother was in the last year of her life and I was thinking maybe it was good that I was unable to join the Jesuits when young because Mom like the mother in the film had no other family but me and I might have had to leave her alone like poor Fr. Karras. Although my personality is much more like Fr. Dyer.

The Exorcist is about fighting evil, not embracing it. Did the other exorcist mention this movie specifically or was he referring to movies that glorify evil? My bet is on the latter.

I generally find horror movies non-scary it must be sad and it is the genre I least watch. The Exorcist is okay but I can think of movies that deal with possession which are more disturbing because they suggest or deal with evil by showing it peeking out from under the edges of the universe as it were. That said at least it predates the current gory stuff, that’s ok even when it deliberately goes over the top but on the whole I’ve never been much for horror movies.

Me too. I remember watching The Grudge and thinking ‘this movie is so ridiculous’ then I turned around and my cousin was shaking like a leaf :innocent:

Hopefully not because I’ve been watching horror movies all month.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.