Today let us look at an account of an 18th-century Protestant exorcism. It may be difficult to look beyond the conventional religious sentiments in the following passages (which I do not mean to ridicule), but I was struck by the paranormal elements and parallels to some poltergeist cases. The story comes from the Rev. John Wesley’s journal dated 1 October 1763 [Vol. iii, p. 149]. The location is London: Wesley writes that he was in town on this date and Rosamond’s Pond is mentioned, a pond in St James’s Park, near what is now Buckingham Palace, and, at the time, an unsavory site, notorious for crime and illicit assignations. The persons named are associates of Charles Wesley, but if the narrator was actually Charles, I would have expected John to name him in this, his own private journal. The narrator seems to be a fellow Methodist enthusiast. If he had been a Church of England clergyman, he would have had the service of exorcism provided in the Book of Common Prayer at his disposal instead of offering prayers and hymns. Perhaps the case, being both “natural and diabolical” did not seem to warrant a full exorcism or perhaps there was no time to apply for a license from the bishop?
October 1, 1763.
I now received a very strange account from a man of sense as well as integrity.