How do we understand the story of the Witch of Endor and Samuel?

I’m in a Christian debate about Saul, the witch of Endor and Samuel and would appreciate any thoughts on this.

My first thoughts were adamant that this wasn’t Samuel but the witch’s familiar spirit as it is an abomination to conjure up the dead. Then another posted who is strong in his faith said that God can do anything, and that when Samuel came the witch screamed and was very afraid, suggesting that she didn’t know the spirit, therefore it may indeed have been that of Samuel. That the message given was bad for Saul who had lost favour with God. That it was God this came from.

Now, I believe that our Lord God can do anything but do you think that this was in fact the spirit of Samuel in a unique and one off situation or was it a demon?

I ask myself now how could this be God who, in allowing Samuel to come back to speak to Saul in such a way, is basically condoning the very thing he detests.

Thank you.

The following link should help you better understand the story of Samuel and the Witch of Endor. If you have any further questions, please contact Catholic Answers directly.

Recommended Reading:

What is the difference between talking to a saint and talking to a ghost?

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