Get Access to Print and Digital for $23.99 per year..
Subscribe for Full Access
December 2004 Issue [Readings]

The Telly of the Beast


From an interview with Father Gabriele Amorth, honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists and the most senior exorcist for the Vatican. The interview was published on February 10 in the Italian newspaper Roma One, which had previously reported on a series of mysterious electrical fires in the small town of Canneto di Caronia, in Sicily. Translated from the Italian.

Father Amorth, flames appear for no reason, residents are forced to leave their homes, and experts grope in the dark. What is happening in Carania?

This is what happens when the devil enters the lives of those who permit him to enter. Someone may be playing with black or white magic, and that is Satan’s preferred point of entry. Occultism has always been widespread and at the moment it is particularly in vogue. Today’s world, where a judge dares to order the removal of crucifixes in classrooms, has abandoned God.

What should the authorities do?

The first thing is to call a priest. This very day, the parish priest should bless all the houses where the paranormal events took place. If nothing else occurs, that would prove it was the presence of Evil. If the phenomena continue, then an exorcist must intervene. He alone is able to drive away the diabolical spirits.

Have you ever seen this on such a large scale?

No, never. I have seen all kinds of manifestations, but I have never come across the affliction of an entire town. It is rare, but when the family of one house is possessed, the phenomenon can spread to others. The Devil strikes wherever and however he wants whenever he is given the opportunity. That is, he strikes where the presence of the Lord is weaker, or where—as I was saying—individuals engage in practices that are ill-advised.

Why electric appliances in particular?

It’s typical. The Devil often reveals his presence through electric devices. I have seen televisions, dishwashers, washing machines, and even telephones burst into flames—in short, anything that operates electrically.

Even chairs and mattresses went up in smoke . . .

Sure, even non-electric materials. Let’s not forget that Satan and his spirits have immense power. If I told you about the things I have encountered during my exorcisms, the movies you have seen would certainly make you laugh.

More from

| View All Issues |

April 2011

“An unexpectedly excellent magazine that stands out amid a homogenized media landscape.” —the New York Times
Subscribe now