Category Archives: History

Exorcism in Christianity and Catholicism

The United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio is one of the official U.S. seminaries that treats supernatural aspects as real and even have multiple conferences that focus on divine healing. This tends to go against the common upper-middle class American Protestantism belief. Non-Catholics refer to casting out demons as “spiritual warfare and deliverance” and Catholics refer to this act as “Exorcism.”

I was taught that there are invisible and spiritual forces out there that are undetectable by any scientific instruments. It is a general Christian belief that demonic activity occurs regularly and that there is a constant battle against evil. The phenomena has been documented across cultures and across time. There are many biblical mentions of demons and exorcisms. The New Testament even commands believers to battle demons.

I was always taught that the Methodist Church has appointed people to handle deliverance or exorcisms and that they have strict guidelines about determining whether or not an exorcism is actually necessary. My father always remained adamant that the need for an exorcism is actually very rare. For the purpose of this blog post, I want to be clear that this post in based on my personal opinion gathered from information that I was taught. Please feel free to do your own research and come to your own conclusions on the subject.

The Roman Catholic Church is more commonly known for performing exorcisms. Despite what you see in the popular films, it is not done on a regular basis. The guidelines are very strict and each case is investigated thoroughly. It is very rare for an exorcism to be authorized and exorcisms are not considered a Sacrament. Unlike Christians, most Catholics believe that if a priest did not obtain special permission from the bishop, he can still perform a prayer of deliverance but it is not considered to be a full exorcism. It also does not include addressing the evil spirit directly. Therefore it is not recommended for cases of possession. However, in cases of a real possession, priests must never conduct solemn exorcisms without the permission of a bishop. They can only assist in exorcism through prayer and helping the exorcist. The only formal exorcism rites sanctioned by an established church can be found in the Ritual Romanum.

In Christianity, exorcism is better known as “casting out” or “spiritual warfare and deliverance.” It is the practice of casting out demons from someone who has been deemed to be possessed. The person who is performing the “exorcism” or “casting out” is commonly known as the exorcist. The exorcist is usually a minister, a lay person, or an individual who is believed to have special powers or skills. However, it is common for many Christians to believe that any mature Christian can perform an exorcism, not just members of clergy. Most Christians believe that the authority to cast out demons is given to them by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (also known as the Holy Trinity).

My father stressed that before determining that a person is suffering from a spiritual issue, the person should be assessed by a medical doctor to rule out any medical or psychological conditions that may be causing the symptoms they are experiencing It is also important to make sure that the person is not experiencing symptoms caused by medications, alcohol or drugs.

Exorcisms should never be performed on someone who has not been properly examined by a medical doctor first.

After all medical and psychological conditions have been ruled out by a medical doctor, the “possessed person” is not labeled as “evil” or held wholly responsible for their actions. The possessed person is considered to be an unwilling person who is manipulated by a demon. This usually results in harm to self or others and for this reason, exorcism is believed to be a cure instead of a punishment. the Exorcist and their assistants must do everything possible to ensure that proper precautions are taken so that no one (including the possessed individual) is harmed during the exorcism.

The majority of exorcisms usually include at least one or more of the following: prayers, scripture, gestures, symbols, sacred or blessed religious items. God, Jesus and archangels are invoked and asked to intervene during the exorcism. My father also stressed the importance of having at least two spiritually mature adults, preferably clergy or laymen, performing the exorcism.

 

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency or religion. Recommendations within this article are only recommendations. They should not be utilized in real-world scenarios unless advised by trained and experienced persons. Assumptions made within the articles are not reflective of all Christians or Catholics or any other religious organizations. The author advises you to exercise your own judgment and to seek out your own answers through research and guidance from experienced and educated leaders. It is the authors’ opinion that there is no such thing as a demonologist and if there is, they did not take an online class to receive this certification. Demonology is not a subject to be taken lightly or without in depth study. The author also recommends that proper education and experience certifications should be requested from individuals claiming to possess such skills. No pun intended.

 

The Duppy and The Jumbee 

In the islands of the Lesser Antilles, ghosts and spirits are called the Jumbee. The Jumbee  are usually regarded as being malevolent and are also called Mendo. They are mythological spirits or demons originating in Caribbean  folklore. It is believed that people who have been evil during their lifetime are also destined to be evil (Jumbee) in death.


While I was visiting the West Indies this past September, I was able to spend time with many of the locals. Of course we discussed spiritual beliefs and I was able to participate in a few spiritual experiences.

The locals explained to me that they use the word Duppy to describe a ghost or spirit. Most of the folklore in the Caribbean involves Duppies. Duppies are generally considered to be malevolent or restless spirits and can be very harmful. They can also be sent to others by using Obeah.

Good Duppies usually appear to you in a dream as a deceased family member or friend and generally give you advice or information.

The general consensus was that Duppies speak in high pitched, nasal voices and may make you feel like your head is expanding.  You also may become unexpectedly hot.
A Duppy can be chased away by eating salt, wearing your clothes inside out, or by cursing and exposing your private parts.
Many of the locals say they have seen them at night. Three of the most malicious spirits that were described to me were: the rolling calf, three footed horse, and the old higue. The Duppy originates in Bantu folklore. A Duppy is described as a manifestation of the soul of a dead person. They can manifest as a human or animal and are generally considered to be malevolent.


In Jamaica, the word Duppy comes from African folklore and the Ashanti people. The locals explained that in Obeah, a person is believed to possess a good soul and an earthly soul. When a person dies, the earthly spirit stays on earth for three days and the good soul goes to heaven to be judged by God.


During the three days after death, the earthly spirit remains with the body in the coffin, it can escape and appear as a duppy if the proper steps are not taken.

By: Cindie Harper

 

Anchorage Putnam Villa House in Marietta Ohio

the-anchorage-putnam-villa-entrance-outside

The Anchorage is a historical home in the Harmar neighborhood of Marietta, Ohio, United States. This house is also known as the Putnam Villa, it was built in 1859 by Douglas Putnam for his wife Eliza. Douglas was the great grandson of General Israel Putnam. Douglas’ brother, David Putnam, Jr. was the leading abolitionist in Marietta. It is believed that David frequently visited the home so many people believe that the home was used as part of the Underground Railroad.One of the last private residents of the Anchorage, Eddie MacTaggert, claimed that his grandfather was active in the Underground Railroad and was told that the home was used for it. That was the main reason that Eddie wanted to purchase the home.

the-anchorage-putnam-villa-entrancethe-anchorage-putnam-villa-entrance-window-artthe-anchorage-putnam-villa-entrance-lighting

In 1894, the Knox family bought the house from the Putnams. The Knox family was involved in boat building and gave the home the name of The Anchorage. From 1960 to 1986 the house served as a nursing home called The Christian Anchorage. Since 1996, the  the Washington County Historical Society has owned the home.

the-anchorage-putnam-villa-stair-towerthe-anchorage-putnam-villa-library-books

There are many claims that Eliza Putnam is seen looking out of the windows of the house. There are also many rumors of tunnels and secret rooms in the house. There are tunnels in the basement of the Anchorage that lead into the surrounding hillside. Geologists and many other experts believe the tunnels were designed for drainage. Without them, the weight of the enormous house would cause the ground to slip and possibly cave in. 

the-anchorage-putnam-villa-chandelier

There is a tiny room directly beneath the kitchen in the basement of the Anchorage. You have to squeeze through a concealed opening to get inside. It’s little more than a large crawl space and no one has an explanation for it.

the-anchorage-putnam-villa-stairway

Photos taken by Cindie Harper

 

Madison Seminary Camera Issues

Madison Seminary SB7 sessionMadison Seminary in Ohio did not seem to appreciate my cameras. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many camera difficulties across all of my devices at one location.

I was the first one to arrive at The Madison Seminary in Madison, Ohio. It was dark already and I figured I would make the best of my alone time there while waiting for everyone else to arrive. I grabbed my iphone for some quick photos and for some reason, my flash would not work at all.

Sometimes seeing a black screen in the Camera app instead of the image you’re trying to photograph can be a software  or hardware issue. If the problem is due to the software, because of a bug in iOS, you can usually remedy the problem by switching between the front and rear-facing cameras. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then stopping the Camera app and restarting it may fix the problem. The other option is to force restart your iPhone. If the problem isn’t the hardware, it’s a good idea to make sure that something isn’t blocking the camera so make sure that the lens isn’t covered. Which makes the photos that I took even more strange. My phone did not have any of the above mentioned issues and I could see Madison Seminary on my screen. However, when I took the picture, the photos below are the result.

madison-seminary-outside-panorama-iphone-not-working-weird-orb

I was able to see a bright red orb (I am not really a fan of orbs) but I attributed this to the red exit signs illuminating the ends of the halls in the building. (See below).

madison-seminary-outside-red-orb-camera-iphone-not-working

I checked all of my settings and even turned my phone on and off but that really didn’t seem to help.

madison-seminary-outside-creepy-iphone-not-working

It was very dark outside but I was able to at least see the building in the photos.

madison-seminary-ohio-outdoors-paranormal-cindie-harper-haunted

So I drove around to the back of the building thinking that I may have more luck back there but that seemed to make it worse.

img_9944

img_9945

I realize that this does not mean that it’s a “paranormal” problem but I rarely have this much trouble with my iPhone camera. Being the resourceful person that I am, I put my iPhone in the car and got my digital Canon Powershot out and took a few photos with it. Guess what? I had the same problems.

Here are the photos taken with the Canon.

Here is the back of the building:

back-of-madison-seminary-ohio-cindie-harper-camera-canon

Finally….I got it to work after about 8 million attempts and getting nothing but photos similar to the one above.madison-seminary-back-cindie-harper-canon-camera-haunted

So after getting one successful photo of the back of the building, I went around to the front. This is what I got.

madison-seminary-front-ohio-haunted-cindie-harper-canonmadison-seminary-haunted-ohio-femme-force

Now, my iPhone camera and Canon weren’t the only cameras that were not working properly. My handheld Sony video camera’s batteries kept being drained after about an hour of use and the camera would shut off on it’s own even when the battery was charged.

I will post more about that in another blog. I just wanted to share these photos with you so that you could see what I am referring to when I discuss camera issues.

Most of you who know me know that I am not new to the paranormal or visiting old, allegedly haunted locations and I am definitely not new to traveling and photography. I have traveled the world using many different cameras and devices and I rarely have trouble. If I do, it’s usually only with one device or camera but not all of them at one place.

I’m not claiming this to be paranormal. This blog was meant to share this observation with you. That’s it. I am not the first person to have this problem at this location and it’s highly unlikely that I will be the last.

By: Cindie Harper

 

Check out the shadow figure that Todd Bonner of Detroit Paranormal Expeditions (DPX) caught on video at Madison Seminary. It appears to be running away from me while investigator Jeff Adkins of Detroit Paranormal Expeditions (DPX) is sitting on the floor in the middle of the screen below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overnight Stay at the Haunted Nemacolin Castle

Nemacolin Castle (also known as Bowman’s Castle) is located in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. It was built by the Bowman family in 1789 and demonstrates Colonial and Victorian styles of architecture. It is believed to have been a stop along the Underground Railroad. It has been owned and maintained by the Brownsville Historical Society since the 1960’s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

cindie-harper-nemacolin-castle-pennsylvania

There have been reports of at least ten ghosts witnessed at Nemacolin Castle. There are reports of a ghost named Elizabeth who wears a white dress, a ghost named Mary who is a seven-year-old girl with dark curly hair, a ghost of a woman wearing a dark dress seen frequently in the second floor hallway, and the ghost of a man who is believed to be  Jacob Bowman himself. There have been numerous reports of paranormal phenomena to include: odd photos of orbs, disembodied voices and laughter, knocking sounds, cold spots, light anomalies, flashlight manipulation, EVP’s and personal paranormal experiences. Law enforcement was called out after motion sensors alerted them that possible trespassers were on the property. When police arrived they saw a little girl upstairs waving to them. They assumed she had gotten locked in somehow. When the door was finally opened by owners, no one was found inside.

I explored this haunted castle this past weekend and was lucky enough to have a few paranormal experiences while visiting. Not only was the location filled with beautiful and intriguing antiques but also seemed to be filled with paranormal activity. Most museum houses that I visit are filled with furnishings that are brought in from other locations but Nemacolin Castle is filled with furnishings that belonged to the Bowman family dated as far back as 1787 when Jacob Bowman built a trading post there.

I would have to say that my favorite room was the nursery. I am not really a fan of creepy dolls but the creepy factor was elevated in that room.

creepy-doll-nemacolin-castle-bowmans-castle-haunted-ghosts-paranormal

bowmans-castle-pa-nursery-room-creepy-dolls-haunted-cindie-harper

It could have been the abundance of creepy dolls or maybe it was a combination of the dolls and the antique Ouija Board whose former owner was actually a resident of the home. I’m not sure. Either way, that room was my favorite room in the castle.

ouija-board-nemacolin-castle-occult-creepy-doll-hauntedouija-board-antique-nemacolin-castle-cindie-harper-paranormal-travel

My second favorite room was the Bishop’s room where you can actually see your aura in a giant antique diamond backed mirror above a mantle. This mirror is absolutely breathtaking and is believed to be worth more than the house and it’s belongings put together.

nemacolin-castle-mirror-ghosts-paranormal-cindie-harper-travel

nemacolin-castle-pa-bishops-bed-antique-ghosts

Renee Kruse was my tour guide for the evening. She is also a Nemacolin Castle Board Member, Paranormal Investigator and very knowledgeable about the history of the area and property. She graciously shared her knowledge and experiences with me and I enjoyed my visit to this amazing location. I highly recommend visiting this beautiful, and in my opinion, haunted location. I will be posting videos and photos of my experiences here in the near future.

If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend that you visit this amazing historic and HAUNTED location. If you are into helping with Historic Preservation, please consider donating your time or money to the preservation efforts.

By: Cindie Harper

http://www.femmeforce.org

Twitter: @thefemmeforce

Instagram: @hella_harper

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/femmeforceparanormal/

 

The Madison Seminary: One of Ohio’s Most Haunted Places

The Madison Seminary in Madison Ohio. This location was dubbed “One of Ohio’s Most Haunted Places.”

The Madison Seminary started out as a small, frame building when it opened in 1847. It served as a high school and college. The buildings were used for education until 1891, when the property was purchased by the Ohio Woman’s Relief Corps. The Civil War Army nurses, wives, sisters and mothers of soldiers used the facility and it became known as the National Relief Corp Home. The building that stands today was built on the site of the original small frame wood structure and was added by the Woman’s Relief Corps  in 1891. By 1904, the WRC could not maintain the facility so it was donated to the State of Ohio. The property changed hands and functions several times over the next few decades. The building was used as the Ohio Women’s Reformatory and by various medical facilities. It also served as an extension of housing for mentally disabled, aged or senile women.

In the 1970’s, the Lake County commissioners acquired the buildings from the state and leased them to Madison Township for administrative offices until a new facility was built. The building is on the National Historic Register and in 1993, the building was advertised as “can be leased cheap, caution — building may be haunted.”

Previous paranormal teams claim to have made contact with the ghost of a young boy named Steven, odd photos of orbs, disembodied voices, knocking sounds, cold spots, light anomalies, flashlight manipulation, EVP’s and personal paranormal experiences.

By: Cindie Harper

Twitter: @thefemmeforce

Website: http://www.femmeforce.org

 

 

Stingy Jack and the Jack O’Lantern 

cindie harper halloween jack o'lantern pumpkin carving tradition historyPeople have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him but didn’t want to pay for his drink so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Jack decided to keep the money instead of paying for the drinks so he put it into his pocket next to a silver cross to keep the Devil from changing back. Jack eventually freed the Devil if he agreed not bother Jack for one year. The next year, Jack tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack he would leave him alone for ten more years. Jack died shortly after this. God would not allow Jack into heaven. The Devil wouldn’t allow Jack into hell because of the tricks he played so he sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth. He has been called “Jack of the Lantern,” and “Jack O’Lantern” ever since.

pumpkin-carving-halloween-2016-ghost-skull-cheshire-cat-jackolantern

 

Facts:
The original jack-o’-lanterns were carved from turnips, potatoes or beets. People began making their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips, beets or potatoes and placing them in windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits.

ghost-pumpkin-carving-jack-olantern-creepy-cindie-harper-halloween-samhain
The jack o’lantern tradition was brought to America by immigrants from Scotland, Ireland and England. This is where they discovered that pumpkins made excellent jack-o-lanterns.

skull-pumpkin-carving-halloween-cindie-harper

Written by:

Cindie Harper

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Femme-Force/251139875064663

Website: http://www.femmeforce.org/

Twitter:

@thefemmeforce