Welcome back to another episode of Into the Void, where I interview and have discussions with people about real life experiences with the psychic and paranormal. In today’s post, I have an excerpt of an interview I did with a couple who went through an encounter with the demonic. The full interview is included in the latest edition of the House of Stitched Magazine, which you can find here.
In this issue of The Paranormal Pastor, I’m going to pause our series on Rethinking Satan to bring you something raw, gritty, and down right spine tingling. Not too long ago, I was contacted by a couple who I’ll call Luke and Dianna Pratt (names changed for privacy). This isn’t anything out of the ordinary for me, given my background as a pastor and interest in the paranormal. I get emails and messages asking me about ghosts, demons, psychic phenomenon, and everything in between.
What struck me about this couple was I could relate to their plight all too well. Like Luke, I had narrowly escaped an abusive relationship. Also like Luke, I’m an addict in recovery. There were other similarities I discovered along the way, which made my heart go out to him even more. Needless to say, when they messaged me, I decided to hear them out. And I’m glad I did.
I was able to sit down with the couple face to face and let them tell me their experience with Luke’s demonic possession. After talking with them, they asked if I would share their story with others. Not to sensationalize it but to serve as both a warning and a testimony of the dangers of opening oneself to unseen forces and the power of God to deliver a tormented soul.
I agreed to share their story. I’ve also decided to change the format of how interviews are normally printed. Usually, it’s just the run of the mill Q&A format. But when you sit down and interview someone face to face, so much is lost when you go that route. As a reader, I want to take you there to that room. I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to experience their angst and see their expressions in your mind. With that said, I am presenting the interview in “story” format. Please, don’t misunderstand me. This is not a fictional story. To Luke and Dianna, the experience was very real and terrifying, and as you will read, has all the marks of an authentic case of possession.
Am I trying to force an opinion or worldview on you, the reader? By no means. If you’ve been around me, you know that’s not my style. My job is to simply present things as accurately and truthfully as I can, and let you make up your own mind.
Without further adieu, here is their story.
I sat down in the wingback chair in Luke Pratt’s study. The room was lined with bookshelves from top to bottom and a sturdy, antique desk sat against the back wall. The shelves were filled with theology books, old paperback horror novels, and an array of VHS tapes. This was definitely my kind of environment.
Luke and Dianna sat across from me in an old, green, 1970s loveseat. Dianna twitched nervously in her seat, offering a half smile. Luke sat forward, elbows on his knees and fingers interlocked. He stared out at me through his long locks of black hair.
“Thank you for coming, Zeke.” Dianna said. She tucked her red hair behind her ear and gazed at me through her solemn, green eyes. “Can I get you any more coffee before we start?”
I glanced down at my cup. It was half full and tentacles of steam swirled from the dark abyss of the black mug. “No thank you. I’m good right now.”
“Where do you want to begin?” Dianna asked.
I took a sip of coffee and set it on the table next to me. “Well, first things first.” I looked at Luke. “I see all the theology books. Can you tell me a little bit about your background?”
Luke sighed and sat upright. “Yeah…yeah.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Like you, I was in full time ministry for a while. Got some degrees. Served in some churches. Too many bad experiences so I got out.”
I gave him a sympathetic smile. “I can relate all too well.”
“I know you can,” Luke said. “That’s why we wanted to talk to you. But it wasn’t just your background in ministry. It’s your interest in the paranormal and supernatural. It’s you having been through an abusive relationship. It’s you having been an alcoholic. When I read some of your stuff and your background, it was like I was staring at my own life. I figured if there was anyone who understood what we went through, it’d be you.”
And Luke was right. I felt like I was sitting across from a thirty something year old version of me. “I’m glad you reached out. I’ll do my best to listen and offer any advice along the way. What really interests me is when this all started. Can you tell me?”
“Yeah,” Luke said. “Dianna and I just got married about two months ago. Moved into this house about a month ago. But the possession? This was last year and the things leading up to it about a year before that.”
“Okay, then why don’t we start with the year leading up to the possession. What was that like?” I asked.
“It started with visits.”
“What kind of visits?”
“The ghost of a little girl.”
Cold chills snaked up my spine and I paused. “Luke, you know I had visits from the ghost of a little girl, too.”
“I know,” he said. “Your ghost was named Theo. Mine was named Emile.”
I leaned forward. “What? Emile?”
“Yeah.” He nodded.
I wasn’t going to say anything yet because I needed more information to see if my initial feeling was right. “What did she look like?”
“At first she was sweet looking. About seven years old with red hair and green eyes. Looked like she lived in the eighteen hundreds or something like that. Then she would change into this evil, demonic looking form. Her face peeling all off and her eyes all white.”
My cold chills turned to goosebumps, tingling all over my body. “Luke, I want you to hear me out but I’m pretty sure this was the same ghost who visited me.”
Luke and Dianna gawked at each other, wide eyed and gaping mouths.
“What,” Luke asked. “How?”
“I’ll tell you. The description? That’s Theo to a T. She would do the same thing, too. Appear all sweet and innocent then change forms.” I leaned back in the chair. “And the name Emile. That was the name I gave her when I first wrote about her. I had changed it because I didn’t want people to know her real name then.”
Luke and Dianna didn’t say a word. I continued. “And let me guess? She would come to you begging for help. Sweet one moment and in the next, a hell spawn as evil as the day is long?”
“Yeah,” Luke said. “She said she was being tormented by something evil and needed my help to set her free.”
“That’s how she gets in,” I said. “She plays off your pity and compassion.” I took a sip of coffee and set the cup back down. “Let me ask you this: Do you have a soft spot in your heart for little girls?”
Luke’s eyes glossed over and a tear trickled down his cheek. “I do.”
“Tell me what happened with that?”
“It was my ex-wife. She tried to destroy my relationship with my children, especially my youngest daughter. My ex was a professionally diagnosed narcissist and it just got worse the longer I was out of full time ministry.” He glanced over at Dianna. “Her hyper religion got extreme as well. She resulted to physical violence whenever she couldn’t control me anymore. I got a restraining order on her and then things went to shit. She lied to the social worker about me, telling her I beat the kids, even though my oldest two said she was lying. But because of the accusation, I couldn’t be around my kids for months until I was proven innocent.”
“Good God.” I whispered. I didn’t let them know it at the time but this was almost exactly what happened to me. The similarities were getting more and more eerie. “And when your kids were taken away, this was when Emile moved in. Said she would be your daughter now and comfort you.”
Luke’s lips quivered. “How did you know?”
“Because she did the same thing to me.” I leaned forward and placed my elbows on my knees. “Luke, I’m not gonna go into any details, because this interview is not about me. But I went through a very similar situation, and Theo did the exact same thing. It was how she got close.”
“Oh my God,” Luke said. “It was her, wasn’t it?”
“Seems like it was,” I said. “What happened after that?”
Luke looked over at Dianna. “The details are fuzzy for me, and there is so much I don’t remember. But Dianna was there for it all. She’ll have to tell you.”
I turned my attention to Dianna. Her face grew pale and her hands trembled. “Dianna, tell me what happened?”
Dianna placed her hands in her lap. She breathed in deep and exhaled. When she spoke, her cheeks burned red and tears clouded her eyes.
“Before we were married, we lived apart in separate states. We would video every night. By this time, I was very familiar with Emile. I had even seen her myself a few times. Also, by this time, Luke’s ex had done severe psychological and emotional abuse to him and he was in the depths of his alcohol addiction.” She glanced over at Luke.
He gave her a nod to continue.
“Before we were married, we used to video every night before bed and sleep together until morning. This is how I witnessed everything…night after night…” She stared behind me, an expression of remembrance on her face.
“Sometimes, when it was early on in the night, Emile would overtake his mind and body. It was this haunting voice of a little girl that would call to me and talk about how I had to be good to her and to Luke, or she would take him away. She said she was his protector. She was going to watch out for him. If I hung up she would text through him, saying she loved Luke and thought of him as her daddy. Asking if I could be her mother. Sometimes she would talk about the dirty things Luke and I had done. You know, adult things, and said I was a whore for giving myself so freely especially because we weren’t married yet. For weeks leading up she would voice her concerns, saying Luke wasn’t going to make it and that I was a failure for not trying to save him.
She glanced over at Luke. “She would say you were a failure. That you weren’t going to make it either.” Dianna swallowed and fiddled with her fingernails. “Then there were others who came to speak through him.” She looked up at me. “A man who died during a drug deal, Rachel, a girl who died of suicide, They all came through and said, ‘Hate to tell you this babe but he ain’t gonna make it. Be prepared. He’s going to die.” This went on every other night or so for weeks, with a blaring television always set in the background. So incredibly loud.” She shook her head. “And if I hung up, they would text or message in Hangouts through him until two or three in the morning or until I messaged back.”
Dianna grabbed a tissue from between her and Luke and wiped her eyes. “The last two weeks before rehab, something happened. It was like a switch. Gone was the sweet, funny, gentle man with hints of wildness. In his place was an enraged, desperate man. I remember it was a Tuesday, about a week or so before Luke went to rehab. He told me that he knew that I knew he was still drinking, and that he hadn’t stopped.” She crumpled the tissue in her hand and stared at me. “And that’s when the real nightmare began.”
“Luke,” I asked. “Do you remember any of this?”
“No,” he said. “Not the stuff at night. Some of the things during the day I do. But everything that she said that happened on video? I don’t remember any of it at all.”
“Dianna, please go on.” I took a sip of coffee and listened.
“Luke wouldn’t leave his room,” she said. “He began to sleep all day long, and if I weren’t there, he would continuously call or try to video so I would be. And the television, constantly on and blaring. Silence through the day from the voices. But at night? That was when it got worse.”
I set my cup down. “Luke? Anything?”
He shook his head. “I remember calling her during the day at times but that’s it.”
“It began every night around ten or so, maybe eleven my time.” Dianna said. “At first it was Emile, that spooky high pitched voice, calling for me. Telling me that she was Luke’s daughter now, especially since his youngest daughter picked his ex and his oldest daughter was having a hard time. Emile said she was the perfect daughter, and that her and Luke only needed each other. She said I was either with Luke or against him. Then, Emile would go on and on how she loved him and she was never leaving. That she was finally living through him. She would know what it was to have sex, live, and have a life.”
I went to interject something but paused. There was so much racing through my mind. I decided to save my comments until after I heard more.
“Then a deeper voice began to boom at me, especially if I started to drift off to sleep,” Dianna said. “It was so deep…so loud. I’d never heard anything so menacing in my life. Then it began to cackle, especially if I asked what it was. It would sometimes even talk in tongues. Russian, Polish, Serbian, languages I could make out. Sometimes German. Shouts. More and more shouts. And screams if I started to drift off. It would scare me so bad I would wake up screaming. Then I would see him staring at me. Growling or laughing at my tears. This would last until the wee hours of the morning–the talking in many tongues and the shouting of my name in a demonic voice.”
“Luke?” I interjected.
He cut his eyes at me. “Yeah?”
“Are you fluent in any foriegn languages?”
He held out his hands and shook his head. “No. I mean, I can read a little bit of Hebrew and Greek from my Biblical studies but that’s it.”
I looked at Dianna. “How do you know these languages were Serbian, Polish, Russian, and German?”
“Because my family is of that descent. I’m a third generation Serbian. My grandparents and other family members moved to the States. At family gatherings, I would hear them speaking all these languages. That’s how I recognized it.”
I nodded. “What were the demons saying?”
Dianna turned as white as a sheet. “I…I don’t want to say.”
Luke placed an arm around her. “It’s okay. You can tell him.”
Dianna sighed. “Some of it I recognized. Other words I had to look up. And the ones I looked up? They were all names of demons. Demons of children. Demons of women. Demons of suicide. It made me sick to my stomach.”
“These things are parasites,” I said. “They like to isolate and get a person alone. Once that happens they really begin the torment. They deal in absolutes as well, like what it told you about either being for Luke or against him. They deceive and manipulate their way in. Once they have a person they begin to try and separate them from everyone who cares about them so that they can destroy that person.” I looked at Luke. “That’s what it was doing. It wanted to kill you.”
“I know,” Luke whispered. “I know.”
“The demon would appear if I began to pray or cast out in the name of Jesus or God,” Dianna said. “I even tried casting it out in the name of Emile but that didn’t work. It got so I wouldn’t let Emile speak and began to pray when she started to show herself. When I did, the demon would come forth, laughing, taunting, angry and snarling. I didn’t believe that Emile was an innocent girl. Like you said, Zeke. She isolated Luke and said they only needed each other. That he didn’t even need his kids anymore. That Luke and her could be together forever.”
“Did you keep trying the prayers and exorcisms?” I asked.
Dianna nodded. “Luke would call at night. Demand that I get on video. But when I did, he would be asleep with the television blaring… and then… always Emile. That damn creepy high pitched effeminate voice. Saying how I hurt her daddy and she would look after Luke now. So I began to perform exorcisms. The Catholic ones that I had found.”
“What happened then? Did you get the same reactions as before?” I asked,
“Luke would wake up. He would snarl and growl. Laugh at me and say, ‘There is no God to protect. We have him now.” Then the tongues would continue again. Like I said, in languages I recognized. Names of demons came through. Over and over. if I hung up, he would call back, enraged. The deep booming unnatural voices that came through and would snarl at me…” Dianna paused in remembrance. Her eyes glazed over and she stared. “I didn’t know if Luke was losing his mind or if it was real.”
“Rest assured,” I told her. “This was all real. Very, very real.”
“They would speak through Luke about how his kids were fucked,” she continued. “How they had his kids. They said they had his whole family and now they had him.” Dianna burst into tears and buried her hands in her face.
Luke placed an arm around Dianna and pulled her close. She buried her face in his chest and wept.
I didn’t say a word. I let her cry. I let them have their moment and waited. Waited to see if she wanted to keep going.
Dianna lifted her head and wiped her tears. “I’m sorry.”
“There’s nothing to be sorry about,” I said. “You two have been through literal hell. It’s hard to talk about things like this. It’s like reliving it all over again. It takes a lot of courage to do what you two are doing today.”
“Thank you.” they both said in unison.
“Is there anything else?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Dianna said. “There’s more. When I prayed, it spat it back and started to laugh and groan and scream. As I would drift to sleep, the taunting became worse. ‘I am using your reach, Dianna. I can feel you.’ It would say.”
I held out my hand. “Hold on. What was it talking about when it said ‘your reach’?”
“It’s what Dianna and I named our psychic bond,” Luke said. “Being in a long distance relationship for so long, we developed a way to connect and communicate on a psychic level.”
“Okay, I understand.” I said.
“But it wasn’t Luke reaching for me,” Dianna said. “It was whatever was possessing him. Then it would describe my burying toys to hide from kids who bullied me. My walking down the stairs at school and a lock being hurled at me. My father’s red thermos that I used to put his coffee in. How I would wake up each morning before he left for work and wave at him from my window. These demons saw everything, and knew everything about me. My stuffed animals. Memories Luke never knew about.”
“This is not uncommon for them to do stuff like this,” I said. “It is a literal mind game for demons. They do this to scare you and intimidate you. It’s a power play.”
“It worked.” Dianna gave an uncomfortable laugh. “I would wake up when this would happen and try to pray. Casting out what was in him in the name of Jesus. One time it said, ‘That only works when you believe. Trust me, he doesn’t believe anymore.’ It would snarl at me and growl like an animal. ‘You still believe in that shit,’ it would say. “Tarot? Meditation? You’re into that shit? You’re fake! It doesn’t work! Your faith is fake! You’re a fake!” It would shout until its voice was deep, booming, inhuman. All night, until three in the morning. Then it would stop. One night it said it was the devil itself.”
“That’s how they operate,” I said. “They create doubt when there is none. They shame and condemn and lie. Sometimes, and forgive my language, it becomes a dick measuring contest.”
“The appeal to the Devil is just a way for them to try and make themselves more than what they are,” I said.
“I figured that,” Dianna said.
“Whatever happened to Emile?” I asked.
“She quit showing up. One night, she came to say goodbye. Saying that she knew Luke was going to die and she had no use for him anymore. That he was pathetic and a failure and that she should have known he would fail. After she left, I thought Luke had come back to me. He woke up, excited. I asked who or what was with him and he said, ‘It’s just me.’ Then he stared at me angrily, almost evil looking through the screen. He smiled at me with a sinister smile and showed me the sleeping pills.”
Dianna’s face went pale again. “He turned away and swallowed them right out of the bottle then took a big swing of alcohol. He started to sing to me. ‘Remember me, Dianna? How much you love my singing?’ Then he sang, ‘Goodnight sweetheart, it’s time to go!’ I cried softly and pleaded with him. He said, ‘Well, if you really love me you will go get your gun and join me.’ The demonic laughter began and he said, ‘Think of it! You won’t know if I will be alive or dead in the morning!” The laughter kept going and the demonic voice came through and said, ‘He’s ours now!’ It laughed and laughed. That was the last time, that last night, when they were there. At this point, I was terrified of Luke. I had lost twenty pounds in about three weeks. Wasn’t sleeping. Sobbed most of the time. I was heading for a breakdown.”
“What happened after the demons stopped showing up?” I asked.
“The Tuesday before Luke went to rehab, he asked me what day it was. He said he didn’t remember anything from the past week. Couldn’t even remember when he showered last. Then, he told me something I will never forget.”
“What did he say?” I asked.
“I looked at her and told her,” Luke said. “Baby, I’m coming back to you.”
If you want to read more and find out how Luke’s story ends, click the link at the beginning of the article and grab the latest edition of the House of Stitched Magazine.
Until we meet again,
The Paranormal Pastor