A Paranormal Library – The Dark Sacrament

Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2007

The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism , by Richard Kiely, was one of the first books I downloaded to my Nook from the Paranormal Podcast .  I was attracted to the idea of exorcism, mostly because of the freaky 1973 The Exorcist, and that there was a weird blurb in the podcast, but more on that later.

The book revolves around several cases in Ireland of either possessions or cursed land.  The cases are separated between two men, Reverend William H. Lendrum and Father Ignatius McCarthy.  The two men are highly sought-after exorcists who work in two completely different ways to rid evil Spirits.  While Reverend Lendrum discusses the different ways he expels spirits, Father Ignatius keeps his solemn oath to make sure that only those deemed an Exorcist by The Church keep the holy rite secret.

Before I go into my review, I would like to address something.  There are those who prefer to have scientific proof of these events happening, I am one of those people as well, while this book is NOT one that is based on science.  There are people in this book who did consult other professionals before contacting the two exorcists, so I took this as positive feedback towards the cases that are presented.

Now, since I was very little, I have always had an interest in the paranormal-that and I grew up in a very superstitious Catholic household.  Trust me on this, when you say the lord’s name in vain, my grandmother would cross  me, turn me around three times and spray holy water on me to prevent the devil from coming in. Interesting times!  So as I grew up learning about the paranormal, my parents would try to deter me because they didnt’ want me to get possessed, a very real possibility for a child of 10, not so much for a woman of her late twenties.

Fast forward to now, I’m not as scared about being possessed, but with a family like mine, I kind of wonder if they’re possessed or not, they tend to be on the weird side, but aside from the fact.  These superstitions that were placed in me are still around, and listening to the podcast episode regarding the book, doing my hair in the near dark climate of early February 2011, I was getting on edge a little bit, and I had turned on all of my lights due to the subject, and around half way through the discussion, I heard something whisper behind me.  It was too soft for me to hear what the whisper was saying, but loud enough to know that there was a whisper and right behind me.  Scaredy Cat me, looked into the mirror to make sure no one was behind me, and then I looked into my room.  At that point my rational mind kicked in, and I went to my phone to make sure that the phone downloaded the file weird and that was the noise that I heard,  sure enough, I heard something all right, but it was just the file, it had corrupted somehow into what sounded like a loud whisper.  I’m a weirdo I know.

The book is essentially about families, who at one point had a traumatizing event upturn their lives, and the book is about these two men who came in and helped work out these demons, angry humans, and strange what nots that occurred.  I do want to say, that while I read this book for pleasure, I in no way want this to happen to people, the pain and suffering some of these people have had in their past is something that I do not wish on my worst enemy, I also send my heart out to the people who were effected by these possessions.

One story to me stood out the most, it was about a family who had lived and owned an orchard farm in County Wexford, Ireland.  The family had lived on this property for several generations, and no one had really liked the land because of it being cursed.  In 2003, the current owner who had lived in the 200 year-old cottage that resided on the property, wanted to build a new house for his family.  Once construction was finished, and after the death of a loved one, the family started experiencing strange incidents that seemed innocent at first, but started getting more and more malevolent.   The incidents started effecting the whole family, but especially that of 15-year-old Katie, who was being attacked physically by the evil entity.

The Family had asked the Parish Priest to bless the house, but things go awry even further, and that’s when they had to call in Father McCarthy.

While I did enjoy the book, it was written as a cautionary tale for those who like dabbling in magic and playing with Ouija boards (I swear I’m not going to preach here, because I like reading about these things, so I’m very guilty).    The book is basically a discussion of how more and more people are becoming possessed in this time because we have pretty much debunked every form of possession as Schizophrenia or some other form of mental illness.  As the Reverend and the Priest have said, “The Devil is the master of disguising, and he has disguised himself under Mental Illness and false promises of richness and greed.”  Basically saying, our society has completely dismantled the idea of Possession as a form of Mental illness or other mental problem/disease.

In following with this idea, they said that as a society, as we devalue the idea of Possession, we have devalued the fear of playing with oracles (the Tarot, Ouija boards, seances, etc.), put more value on things that devalue our soul (money, sex, food, etc.), and that leaves us open for Possession, or easily influenced by things that are evil.  The two men are basically saying that everything we do in our society is making it easier for the devil to influence us.  That’s why the majority of the book discusses this subject, and at the end of the book there are four Appendices that discuss the history of exorcism in detail, The Prayer to Archangel Michael, The Lorica of St Patrick, Prayers of Exorcism and a Bibliography.

While I really don’t agree with what the book was discussing as far as our souls, I do agree with the fact that maybe we do need to take sometime and look at what is really important to us, I really can’t believe that the majority of our lives should be about money, that’s just really sad for those of us who had a job that wasn’t a really good paying one to begin with and then lose it because of saving money…makes you think that money is the root of all evil (messing by the way).

This is my first review for my Paranormal Library, I hopefully will get the better hanging of this after a while.

Dreamers, do you believe in Possession? Do you agree with what Reverend Lendrum and Father McCarthy had said about our lives today and possibility of Possession?

The ever confusing, Oracle of Dreams


About theoracleofdreams
The Oracle of Dreams is a High School teacher, who spends a great deal of time outside of school watching movies, listening to music, and various other artistic ventures. The Oracle of Dreams is a pseudonym for reasons beyond her knowledge, and wishes to keep her identity secret...or until she makes big bucks and can leave the teaching field...one can always dream bigger right?

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