Vampires, witches, Ouija boards, Satanic rock music and video games — innocent fun? I don’t think so. The proliferation of these dark forces is creating a subculture of youth who are suffering the effects of occult involvement. The sheer magnitude of these demonic influences has already left us with a wounded generation of youth, many of whom will receive liberation and healing only through the priestly ministry of exorcism. The problem of demonic infestation has already become, shall we say, “legion” in our culture, and priests need respond to it with the love of Christ and the authority of the Church militant. Fr. Tom Euteneuer, President of Human Life International I learned this firsthand in 1995 when I was assigned to a large urban parish in Florida. One day, a young man walked into the parish office and sat down. He did not even ask to speak to a priest. I happened to be on duty at the time, so the nervous secretary asked me to meet with him right away. He said he did not know why he was there, but that “something” had led him there. That “something” might have been a demon, but more likely it was the Spirit of God leading him to the Church for deliverance from the demon. Matt (not his real name) was obviously seriously disturbed. We talked, and he told me a tale of woe that was hard to believe. He seemed to have no father or mother and had never been baptized. He was living a life of rampant chaos in the house of his uncle and immersed himself almost constantly in Satanic music. The only social contacts he had were some really, really bad “friends,” so-called Goth types, devotees of the hideous rock star Marilyn Manson. He admitted to doing drugs with them and experimenting with all kinds of occult matter that glorified Satan in both overt and indirect ways. He was fond of violent movies and video games — or more likely they were fond of him, a basically soulless cyber-addict. One day he was with his “friends,” and he overdosed. He ended up in the hospital and had an experience he could not forget. In a coma on the hospital bed, he felt like he was descending down a long, cold, and dark corridor. Fear began to grip him as he clearly understood just where it was he was descending to. So he put his hand out to touch a wall or something, thinking that he could stop his descent, and as he did that, he felt something grab his arm and enter into his chest. He was never the same after that. From that point on he was demonized. Sadly, I was transferred from the parish soon after that and was not able to help him further, but I often pray that he met another priest who gave him the spiritual care he needed. Priests in pastoral ministry — that is, those on the front lines of the Church — will have to deal with this growing problem of occultism sooner or later, most especially among our youth, who are the prime target of Satan’s wiles. Every manner of dark seduction now pervades our culture. In its soft form we see the proliferation of filth and blasphemy cleverly packaged and sold to spiritually stunted souls as entertainment or self-help services. St. Paul tells us that the Devil and his servitors come dressed as “angels of light,” and there are thousands of kids being seduced by them as we sit in our rectories pondering the flower arrangements for Advent… A whole generation of teenage girls is absolutely swooning about the new vampire flick, Twilight, and its sequel, New Moon. Some are going to this movie in prom dresses, fantasizing about what it would be like to fall in love with a vampire! This is anything but a fantasy. It is a potential gateway to grave spiritual danger for lonely, isolated kids who are “spiritually hungry” enough to explore the occult… The number of lost sheep is increasing. In one exorcism I performed, the demon screamed out from the mouth of the young woman it had possessed, “Lost! Lost! Lost soul!” Ah, I countered, she was lost, but Christ found her and sent her to His Church… Priests who have performed actual exorcisms will tell you that it is one of the most spiritually vivifying ministries that a consecrated man can possibly take up. The effect on his priestly soul is even more potent than hearing confessions, which most priests will admit is where they “feel their priesthood” most deeply. Why is this so? Because exorcism is a field of battle — only men enter there. It is a place of testing where light meets darkness in mortal combat, where pure goodness clashes with pure evil. Into this arena an incarnate priestly spirit throws himself with prayer, fasting, and a little ritual book against a purely evil entity who dares to violate the temple of God. Roman gladiators and modern metro cool guys haven’t the courage to go there, but priests do. I would say that it is our natural field of battle — for the souls of God’s people…” : eclipse, Euteneuer, exocism