A prominent psychiatrist with decades of exorcism experience has shared details behind the “creepiest” case of demon possession he witnessed, in which a woman displayed unnatural strength and levitated from her bed.
Dr. Richard Gallagher, a board-certified psychiatrist who teaches at Columbia University and New York Medical College, said in an article published Tuesday in the National Catholic Register that in his 25 years as a consultant for a network of exorcists in America, the case of a woman named “Julia” remains the most disturbing.
Gallagher said that most reports of possession turn out not to be the case of actual demonic work, and that out of thousands of consultations he has done, he found that only about 100 were actual possessions.
Thirty-nine-year-old Julia, however, referred to herself as “the high priestess of a satanic cult,” and dressed in dark flowing clothing and black eye shadow.
“Her life was filled with the paranormal,” Gallagher recalled. “The night before I first saw her, our cats went wild in the middle of the night. When I met her the next day, she asked me: ‘Dr. Gallagher, how did you like those cats?”
He shared another instance when he was on the phone with another priest talking about her case, when Julia’s voice “came over the phone, screaming at the priest in a demonic voice,” despite her being thousands of miles away.
Gallagher noted that the woman, who only spoke English, used voices in Latin and Spanish, insulting the participants in crude ways.
“Julia also exhibited enormous strength. Despite the religious sisters and three others holding her down with all their might, they struggled to restrain her. Remarkably, for about 30 minutes, she actually levitated about half a foot in the air,” he shared.
After eight exorcism sessions, Julia remained possessed. Ater a pause of one year, she said that she wanted to continue the sessions, revealing that she was dying of cancer.