Demonic oppression may be seen as a stepping stone on the path toward demonic possession. While possession is a separate topic in and of itself, the course it takes is said to involve at least three major stages.
- Infestation. There may be signs of nearby demonic or otherwise paranormal activity.
- Demonic Oppression. A sufferer may feel targeted by the presence of a demonic entity. This may include paranormal attacks in the form of unexplained bites or scratches, emotional disturbances, strange dreams or nightmares, or even bad luck. Some of the potential causes and signs of demonic oppression can be found below.
- Possession. At this point, it is said a demon attempts to take control of an individual, who then requires exorcism to cast the demon out.
Whether or not you believe demons exist, or that they have any power, depends on your personal faith and beliefs. The following is simply an overview of things said to be true about the second stage of demonic influence, known as oppression.
Causes Of Demonic Activity Leading to Oppression
As mentioned above, demonic oppression is said to be a separate stage leading to full possession. In the beginning, the demonic entity may seem ambivalent or harmless, lying to gain a human’s trust. However, the ultimate goal is possession.
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren often spoke about the stages of this process: “Invitation, Obsession, Infestation, Oppression, and Possession.”
The movie The Conjuring features a recreation of a short lecture by the Warrens where they discuss these stages.
An example of Possible Demonic Influence
Consider the story of Annabelle the doll. According to that account, an unremarkable Raggedy-Ann doll began moving around an apartment on its own, leading its owners to seek out the help of a medium. The medium informed them that the doll was inhabited by a little girl named Annabelle, who wanted to live with them.
The two women agreed (invitation).
Only later, after growing instances of strange and terrifying paranormal activity, including supernatural attacks involving claw marks (oppression), did they discover the doll was actually attached to a demon.
The demon had been deceiving the two women in an attempt to eventually gain control, or possess, one of them. In this case, the final stage of possession was never achieved.
Just as well, the alleged demon Zozo is said to appear often in the guise of a deceased relative or friend through communication via a Ouija board. The demon will pretend and lie, worming its way into your life by playing with your curiosity. There are many tales of individuals who have been haunted by the demon Zozo long after putting their Ouija board away.
With the above, we can see at least two potential causes for encroaching demonic influence: Conversing with and allowing a “spirit” into your home; and using Ouija boards recklessly (though many would say there’s no other way to use a Ouija board).
Other alleged causes include:
- Lack of sleep. This cause seems to be mentioned quite often in various literature. The idea seems to be that anything that might lead to the wearing down of a person, be it lack of sleep, stress, or other factors, may make an individual more susceptible to demonic influence.
- Use of the occult or occult instruments, including Ouija boards. Many believe the use of any occult tools or activities opens the proverbial door for negative entities to enter your life. This includes anything involving astrology, divination, tarot, etc.
- Attempting to converse with “the dead.” Related to the above, many paranormal experts, as well as the Catholic Church, warn against any attempts to speak with the dead through Ouija boards or other conduits. Such tools are viewed as gateways to possession. In some cases, demons are said to pose as deceased loved ones or simple ghosts as a way to gain a foothold.
- Exposure to demon-attached objects. As mentioned in the anecdote about Annabelle the Doll, demons are said to occasionally “attach” themselves to inanimate objects. Several years ago, Pat Robertson was asked about the potential for demons to attach themselves to thrift store items — his answer was yes!
Signs Of Demonic Oppression
The alleged signs and symptoms of demonic oppression are vast, ranging from the very minute to the outright ghastly. Some of them are said to include:
- A string of terrible luck. An example of this may come from the Bible itself and the Book of Job. Job found himself tormented by Satan with bad luck and poor health as a test of faith. (This was depicted in an artwork by Peter Paul Reubens. See also The Temptation of St Anthony by Martin Schongauer.)
- Demonic scratches that often come in threes. These scratches are said to be a demon’s way of mocking the Holy Trinity. In many reported cases, the scratches appear upon waking as red claw marks, or may even occur spontaneously.
- Bite marks and other physical occurrences. Along with scratches, there have been reports of physical altercations with alleged demons, including the appearance of bite marks on the skin. Some have reported waking up during the night with a feeling of being crushed. (Some of these cases may, however, be related to sleep paralysis.)
- Health-related issues. These are said to include strange illnesses, irritability, and depression.
- Strange dreams. Individuals may suffer nightmares in which they encounter demons.
- Other paranormal activity. Sufferers may experience the signs of demonic infestation, which may include unexplained noises, damage to religious symbols in the home, and bad smells.
The apparent goal of oppression is for a demon to wear down its target for the eventual purpose of full demonic possession.
However, warnings abound that individuals should not confuse the above causes and signs with potential mental illness or simple random happenstance. Faith leaders warn against blaming all your ills on concepts like demonic oppression, whether you believe they are true or not.
Further Reading On Demons
- A Demonic Presence in the Home – An examination of the reported causes and signs of demonic infestation, which include the occurrence of strange noises, bad luck, and visitations by alleged spirits through Ouija boards.
- Sightings of Real Gargoyles – A collection of alleged sightings of “gargoyles,” or demonic-appearing entities, in locations ranging from the United States to Spain.
- Why Demons Choose Dolls As Conduits? – A brief look at the tendency for demons to reportedly attach themselves to dolls, as in the aforementioned case of Annabelle the Doll.