I had a bit of a demonic harassment episode early this morning, when I was asleep. It was clear to me what was happening, and it doesn’t scare me, as I’ve experienced it on a number of occasions, but it is annoying. I started sayng the Hail Mary in my mind a few times, and the episode eased off.
Any other suggestions for these things that go bump in the night? This one started as a hijacked dream, followed by the usual heavy gripping pressure, unpleasant tingles, sort of a snarling sound etc. I’d be surprised if I’m the only one on this forum who’s experienced it. In the dream I made a statement about “Sooner than you think” about some trouble that I think is coming, and that’s when the episode started.
I’ve had similar experiences. One time when I was staying with my sister, I had an unusually menacing dream - one that seemed very demonic in nature. Later in the day, without mentioning anything to anyone, my sister mentioned how she also had a bad nightmare along with her husband. She also remarked how odd this was to her and to him. It was so peculiar, that she was the first one to mention this oddity.
I had no doubt that the devil was up to his old tricks. I just call out to Our Lord, Our Lady and St. Michael for help.
Don’t make too much of it. The devil is after you because you are a threat - just keep being a threat ;).
Personally, I don’t really get this whole demonic presence deal. I don’t want to belittle people for what they believe, but it’s just really hard for me to believe that you can actually feel a demonic presence. I mean, how do you really know? If you talk to a priest, can he tell you whether it is real? Probably not. So how can laymen know? I mean there’s special training that a priest needs to go through to do an exorcism, and many times, it’s not a demonic presence, but rather something psychological or psychiatric. I’m sorry, but this just feels weird to me.
Saint Benedict’s medal. Acquire a pack of them, already blessed if possible.
Wear the scapular and a blessed crucifix and/or medal.
Keep a jar of holy water and holy oil besides the bedside.
If it’s severe, annoint yourself with the sign of the cross, using the holy oil. Otherwise, be liberal with the holy water.
Make certain to say a set serious of evening prayers each night before bed for protection. I would include the 3 Aves, and St. Michael Prayer, but more than just this too.
Traditional house blessings are helpful.
Also, look to see if there is anything in your life that might be attracting this sort of trouble. Bad books, bad videos, games, etc. Occult items, mortal sins, near occasions of mortal sins… and dispose of them. In the literal or spiritual trash as the case may be.
Rule out a natural cause first. There are some sleep disorders, especially sleep paralysis, that have been known to cause people to think they’ve experienced a demonic attack. If you’ve experienced this on a number of occasions and the attacks only happen when you’re asleep or just waking up, I strongly suspect this is medical and not demonic.
There are some things you can do in the meantime while you rule out a medical cause:
Follow the Seven Steps to Self-Deliverance. Even if you don’t have a demon, these steps can help you grow in your relationship with God. (This link may be down due to a change in server, if so try again in 24 hours.)
Honestly, I believe that during sleep paralysis, this is the time demons do tend to attack and harrass people, because the period of time between waking and sleeping is more vulnerable and perhaps open to spiritual influence.
Not long after I first became a Christian, I got this sort of stuff more frequently. If you’re lying in bed, and something has you by the throat, with a heavy pressure bearing down on you, and the whole beds shaking, and you hear something like a growl, you know it’s not just your imagination.
You know all right. It’s also personal and unless you experience it yourself, there is no way that it can be accurately described. But as you are an atheist, the devil doesn’t need to disillusion you as to his reality. You’re in his camp, whether you feel like it or not. That doesn’t mean you’re bad and mean - you might be quite a good person as general moral behaviour goes. But it does mean he has a legal hold on you, even if you’re not aware of it.
So you’re not likely to experience such an attack. I didn’t get them in my atheist days either. They only started AFTER I became a Christian.
There’s also the other side of the coin, the angelic or perhaps the testimony of the Holy Spirit. I first became a serious Christian in late 1982, at the tail end of the worst four years of my life. A year later I went on my first “Scripture Union” camp, which is run by a sort of ecumenical Protestant outfit. I felt very much out of my depth, and I was not in a very good mood. I was going through a divorce, was depressed, had recently been chewed out by my boss at work and so on. And I was wondering “How do I know this stuff is real? How do I know this is not just a psychological prop?”
It was the habit of the camp to have a “Bible Study” every afternoon around 3pm for “leaders”. One afternoon, full of my cynical thoughts, but somewhat relaxed in the heat under a marquis, the leader read something about David. Just as he said the words, “man after my own heart”, I got hit immediately with what my Catholic psychiatrist called a “double whammy” (He called it that because he’s experienced them too). It was like a breath going through me in waves from head to foot, very strong, very pronounced, and it was certainly not from me.
I got such a shock I nearly fell off the seat. Obviously God knew my frame of mind, and had determined to make it clear it was NOT just a “psychological prop”. But when I looked at the others in the group to see what they were making of it, they weren’t taking the least bit of notice, for the simple reason that it wasn’t happening to them. It was a personal message to me. Yet God (or an angel possibly) remained perfectly hidden.
As it turned out I was to experience two more of these “double whammies”, one in relation to some words in relation to Paul, and another in relation to CS Lewis, the Christian apologist. Each time it had the effect of highlighting the message.
And I haven’t had another one since. I suppose God’s said all He’s going to say in that regard.
However once I had the first episode, I also then seemed to become fair game for demonic occurrences. By God crossing the normal boundary of sensory experience, He apparently gave the devil the same right.
Actually the obvioulsy demonic sensations are the least of my worries. It’s the ones where the devil poses as an angel of light that are by far the most problematic.
Whatever you do, do NOT challenge your tormentor in any way. It is said that few who challenge a demon, live to tell about it. It may not in fact bring about death, but could at least make things much worse. It is best, IMHO, for a lay person not to even speak directly to a demon.
Read the book ‘An Exorcist Tells His Story’, by Father Gabriele Amorth.
Pull as many of the adversary’s hooks out of you as you possibly can, and continue to look for others to rid yourself of. This includes any type of addiction, sexual fantasies outside of your marital status, use of profanity, heavy alcohol use, etc. Go to Confession once a week, and attend Mass and receive Communion at least twice a week. As others have said, pray before you go to bed. Also in the morning. Buy some statues of significant Saints, have them blessed, keep those statues by your bed, and PRAY to each of those Saints, morning and night. Pray to Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel. Keep a blessed statue of each of them by the bed also.
PRAY. The Our Father is highly effective, as is the Hail Mary and the Memorare. Demons HATE to hear the prayer to Saint Michael, so much in fact that you may experience demonic retaliation for doing so. If this happens, before praying the Memorare, ask Blessed Mary to protect you from any demonic retaliation from praying to Saint Michael. They all work for the same boss, and theirs is teamwork at is finest.
I would caution you against requesting the Anointing of the Sick, unless you are also anointed afterwards liberally with the Oil of the Catechumens. You may still need to see an Exorcist Priest if you receive the Anointing of the Sick, and they are not easy to find in some dioceses. If a demon attaches itself to you and you receive the Anointing of the Sick, it can actually wound your tormentor, causing it great pain. And also intense, brutal anger. So be careful with this.
Don’t take this lightly. It can turn ugly with no notice, and a demon can ruin you for life if things get to that point. This is your call to come to Jesus like few people could ever fathom. You may also experience wonderful things of a Divine nature now and then, that you may not even be comfortable talking about. Such events are known as ‘Consolations’. Make it your life’s work to come as close to Jesus and Blessed Mary as you possibly can. In the end, you may even thank God for letting this happen to you. That might sound strange now, but wait and see…
And remember, a demon can only do those things to us that God allows. The closer we stay to Him, the more protection He affords us.
Feel free to PM me if you have questions. And best of luck to you.
I agree with everything you said after your firsr sentence. What you are speaking of is basically by definition, resisting the will of the demon, and the adversary himself. I agree, this is imperative for us to survive spiritually. I was referring to verbally challenging a demon. There is a huge difference. It is my understanding that when a lay person converses with a demon, unless they really know what they are doing, they stand a serious chance of opening a door that may be extremely difficult to ever close again. Let’s just say that I may have some experience in this area.
I don’t think that there’s a ‘life threatening’ situation doing that normally, at all. Why do you? Maybe I’m not imagining what you are imagining.
But I do agree one should not generally do verbal challenges.
Not as an absolute rule, but generally, for a layperson, normally very probably not the best way to go about it. Focuses too much on the demon, in an external way, rather than on God, and just basically opens up an opportunity for the demon to respond and make a fuss, and it’s not going to respond in any way useful or make any sort of useful fuss.
Better to ignore it than respond on that level normally. Or simply say, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.” some vocal prayers, but no conversations. Conversations are normally only for exorcists and only when they are using their authority to find out what they need to, to get rid of the demon, not indulge whatever deception it wants to engage in talk about to misguide a person or draw that person’s attention to some horror rather than to God.
As far as I can think, I’ve heard no tell of it. I can imagine perhaps some idiot, in mortal sin, breaking up a gathering of Satanists and getting killed, and trying to authoratively command some devil, but unless it’s on that level, normally: no.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I have no doubt that you believe it to be true, but like you said, unless someone experiences it for him/herself, that person is likely to remain skeptical. There’re many converts to the faith, from atheism or another denomination/religion, but these types of stories are still fairly rare, as far as I know. I don’t want to dismiss it entirely, because it could very well be true. Have you spoken to a clergy member of the Church regarding this? Perhaps a Catholic psychiatrist, someone who is certified to diagnose such things? So far, what I’m hearing is personal diagnosis. I am by no means qualified to make any judgments regarding your situation, but I have heard that people may hallucinate when placed under great stress.
I’m an actually quite concerned that a lot of the previous posters are jumping on the bandwagon in reassuring you that it is some form of demonic occurrence, without having any qualification to do so. I would recommend that you go to someone who is qualified to make such assessments, instead of seeking advice on a public, anonymous forum for something you deem to be of extreme importance.