Vatican’s top exorcist who performed thousands of rituals saw devil face to face

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The Vatican's former top exorcist who personally oversaw tens of thousands of possession cases before his death in 2016 had one encounter that was so terrifying it went on to inspire a series of Holywood films including The Conjuring.

Father Gabriele Amorth spent 30 years looking into possession cases around the world and specialised in exorcism – the process of removing unholy influences from people's bodies.

A former soldier who fought off fascists during World War Two, there wasn't much that phased the spook hunter – save for one exceptional case.

In 1997, said he met a “peasant” who shouted abuse at him in perfect English before spitting at him and attacking him – just like in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist.

Apparently Fr. Amorth managed to calm the “demon” with a prayer but that was far from the end of things.

Catholic priest Marcello Stanzione documented the phenomenon in a book on Fr Amorth.

He wrote: “But then, screaming and howling, the demon burst forth and looked straight at him, drooling saliva from the young man’s mouth.”

The book, The Devil Is Afraid Of Me, then claims the possessed peasant’s body stiffened and he began to levitate – hovering three feet in the air for a few minutes before falling into a chair.

And then the devil apparently announced the exact day and hour he would leave the man’s body.

This scene is replicated in 2013's The Conjuring which sees a quiet housewife possessed by the spirit of a malignant witch.

On how to spot a devil, Fr Amorth attributed many symptoms including spitting, vomiting shards of glass or pieces of iron and even rose petals.

On one occasion, he claimed a woman spat pieces of a transistor radio at him after vomiting it up.

And the priest said many assumed supernatural strength – including an 11-year-old boy fighting off three policemen and a 10-year-old lad picking up a massive table.

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Interestingly he also claimed the people he managed to “save” often spoke English while possessed.

Even Italians he met while apparently under Lucifer’s spell would “yell threats and curses” in English despite not knowing a word of it.

He claimed the devil hated hearing Latin and preferred speaking our language.

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  • Exorcism

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