By Theresa Anthony, author, My 13th Station
For most of us, our introduction to the concept of the devil was probably a cheesy red costume complete with pitchfork and a creepy horned mask that we saw parading around the neighborhood on Halloween. Some kid chose the devil costume instead of Batman.
In Sunday school or CCD classes kids were taught about the forces of good (God) and evil (Satan) and these lessons were clearly designed to nudge us toward the good side of that coin. We learned that the devil was a constant nemesis, a force to be reckoned with. God’s timeless foe that was still mad about being kicked out of heaven back at the beginning of time, and still sought perpetual revenge through tempting unsuspecting souls away from God’s path to heaven, and rerouting them to hell.
As children our consciences were formed through the diligent efforts of parents, teachers, and pastors—acting as a barometer inside that guides us toward goodness by zapping us with feelings of guilt and remorse when we stray off course. Eventually we figure out (if we’re smart) how to mind our conscience to avoid making devastating mistakes in life.
Okay, so admittedly, the devil is not the most uplifting topic to blog about, but it is an important one…to me, anyway. Why? Because I have a pretty good idea of how the devil and his ugly little minions, those demons that seek to stealthily inflict harm, operate. No, I have never ventured down into the fire and brimstone personally, however I do have a very compelling story to tell about the supernatural based on my own personal observations.
I realize that a lot of intelligent people totally blow off the idea of the devil, or hell, thinking it was just a figment of Dante’s vivid imagination. Our current culture is hell-bent, pardon the pun, to dismiss all things religious, sadly, even God Himself. But then I wonder, if so many people discount the existence of an evil force in the world, then why do so many people get totally freaked out when they watch scary movies about such topics??
Consider the mid-70s. People went to see such thrillers as The Exorcist and The Omen and left their teeth on the floor they were so frightened. I, myself, was very lukewarm about God stuff at that time, at age 18 or 20. I had stopped going to church because I “didn’t need no stinkin’ church to tell me how to live my life.” In college, I was morphing into an avowed secular humanist, aligning myself with the hip new post-Christian culture.
I was absolutely terrified when I saw those two movies. I mean, afraid to enter my dark house—with my parents right there down the hall—after seeing it. So I ponder the question, why was I so impacted by these films? After all, I was above all that religious hocus-pocus, so what exactly was I responding to?
I now believe that I was, as were millions of other self-described non-religious types back then, deeply affected by the movies that vividly depicted Satan at his worst because on some subconscious level we really did believe that evil exists. The fact that I was baptized meant the Holy Spirit was still in there, trying to wake me up, “The evil one is real, DO NOT ABANDON GOD.”
So, why all this talk about the devil? I have written a memoir about my son and his sorrowful final six years of life. Woven into the story is a sub-story about paranormal activity experienced in a specific area of our neighborhood. While it would be much easier to attribute this to ancient Indian burial grounds, the fact is that there was a woman practicing occultic rituals N E X T - D O O R.
Scoff, laugh, snicker….it won’t phase me in the least. I know what happened…and you will just have to read the book to learn all about it. Documented, corroborated—even had to have our home exorcised, if you can believe it. My story is not for the feint of heart, I will warn you, but it is an amazing read for not only believers, but for the curious.
So, the next time someone makes a snide remark about the backwards beliefs of Christians—those old fashioned idiots who still believe in a God and a devil—just pass my book on to them. My guess is they might have to open up their minds to the disturbing possibility that those Sunday school teachers were right all along.
My 13th Station is now available on Amazon!