The Stages of an Exorcism

My novel “29 Argyle Drive” contains an exorcism.


In his book titled “Hostage to the Devil”, Fr. Malachi Martin identifies six distinct stages of an exorcism.









He writes of the first stage that it is the awareness that something alien and evil is in the room.


“…Invisible and intangible, the Presence claws at the humanness of those gathered in the room. The Presence is an inaudible hiss in the brain, a wordless threat to the self you are…


“…In early stages, the evil spirit will make every attempt to hide behind the possessed – to appear to be one and the same person. This is the Pretense. The spirit uses the voice and characteristics of the possessed as its own camouflage…”


The exorcist must destroy the Pretense and bring the Evil Spirit into the open. As the exorcist breaks down the pretense, the possessed person becomes even more violent.  


“…As the Breakpoint nears, the exorcist must undergo confusion. His ears seem to sell the foul words, his eyes seem to hear offensive sounds and obscene screams. His nose seems to taste a high-decibel cacophony. Each sense seems to be recording what another sense should be recording…”


The break point is reached when the pretense collapses – the voice of the possessed is no longer used by the Evil Spirit, which begins to speak of the possessed person in the third person.


And so emerges the Voice of the spirit itself – “a disturbing and humanly distressing babel” – of echoes, prickly voices that scream, whisper, laugh, sneer and groan. Martin writes, “Using his will in the name of and authority of Jesus Christ and the Church, the exorcist must command the Voice to be silent and to identify itself intelligibly… 


“…As the voice dies out, tremendous pressure of an obscure kind affects the exorcist. This is the first indication of the direct and personal collision with the evil spirit – the Clash


“The clash is the heart of a special and dreadful communication, the nucleus of this singular battle of wills between the exorcist and the evil spirit…


Expulsion calls finally on the evil spirit to desist, to be disposed, to depart and to leave the possessed person. When this is achieved the exorcism ends…”

Comment /Source

David Turri

Although I was born in England, I have lived in Japan for the past forty years. That’s why this country, its people and history, form the backdrop to many of my novels. I have no big ideas to peddle; I consider myself a simple story-teller and work hard at my craft. I spin my stories in such disparate genres as horror, espionage, war, occult - and humor. I live in Osaka with a wife, two grown daughter and two young grand-daughters – the whole catastrophe, as Zorba describes married life.