Once again we are gathered tonight to read of the horrors of another real-life possession. This time, we will be speaking about Julia… Just “Julia”. What drew me to this story was the anonymity of the girl it involves and my curiosity as to where she is today. I think it is also necessary to note that this is the most recent case covered thus far. Without any further ado, I present, “Julia”.
In March 2008, an article was published in the New Oxford Review about an American Psychiatrist’s modern-day run in with demonic possession. No one knew that this article would spark such high interest from the public, but it has become one of the most well documented cases of possession and exorcism in history.
Dr. Richard Gallagher, a psychiatrist and professor at New York Medical College, has gone on record to say what many psychiatrists and psychologists believe is simply impossible, that he has encountered a patient that shows convincing signs of demonic possession that could not be explained through psychiatric medicine. The patient in question, simply known as Julia (a pseudonym given for her privacy), grew up in a Catholic family, but fell out of her religion as she aged. One day, she went back to her roots and sought out a Catholic Priest as she believe she was being attacked by demons. She was then referred to a Catholic exorcist for more guidance.
Clearly, a professional exorcist is not going to exorcise any random person that comes off of the street stating that they are possessed, so first, she was brought to Dr. Gallagher for a mental health examination to determine her mental state. After just a few sessions together, Dr. Gallagher had no medical explanation for her current situation and established that she seemed to be, in fact, possessed. The article in the New Oxford Review states all of the nitty gritty details of the case, but I am going to share the most enticing facts here with you today. However, I do encourage you to do your own research as well (and do let me know if you find out more information on the case, I would love to hear it!).
Throughout Dr. Gallagher’s time with Julia, she would often enter a trance like state, in which it seemed that someone was taking over her mind, often like something you may see in a patient with Dissociative Identity Disorder. However, Julia herself (personality wise) would never fully go away, it would just seem as though there was someone speaking over top of her from inside of her body. In Dr. Gallagher’s words, what made Julia’s case so convincing, was that she “not only exhibited, in a highly dramatic fashion, the classic signs of possession, but, having been an avowed and prominent Satanist in her life, also seemed to display ‘special occult powers’ even outside of her trance states…”
What Dr. Gallagher is saying here is that not only is she speaking in voices that are not her own and levitating (common signs of possession), but she also had the phenomenal ability to throw objects across the room with only her mind, and to also know facts about the people immediately around her that would be impossible for her to know as they had simply never met before. Not only did she know exact information (time, type of cancer and location) about the death of one patron’s loved one, but she also knew the location and even the exact outfit of one of the Priests involved in the case when he was no where near the residence where the exorcisms were taking place.
Upon concluding that Julia was certainly experiencing some type of paranormal possession, she herself requested two extensive exorcisms to rid her body and mind of the evil that had taken over. During the exorcism rites, the temperature in the room dropped, her body began to convulse and she began to speak in multiple voices. Everything from growling, animal-like sounds to shouting in Spanish and Latin were heard, although Julia herself only knew how to speak English. It was even documented that despite up to five people holding her down, she levitated approximately half a foot (six inches) off of the ground for an entire thirty minutes without wavering.
Unfortunately, that is where my trail of evidence ends. No where in my research was I able to find how all of this ended, although one source states that “although the exorcisms were helpful, they have not yet resolved the matter of the woman’s possession, Dr. Gallagher says, and may or may not be repeated in the future.”
I don’t know about you, but the fact that this case is still unresolved to this day (as far as we know), makes me a little bit uneasy. If she sought out help initially, why would she stop before she was entirely cured of her ailment? That’s almost like someone completing four out of five rounds of chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer and then saying “No, I’m good,” and not returning for the final dose. I hope one day to find more information regarding this case, and I hope some of you can share new information in the comments down below.
This concludes my second mini-series entitled Possessed. I hope you learned a little something on this journey together and I hope I have inspired you to continue researching on your own. If you find anything interested, please tweet me @kelsimarie1330, I would absolutely love to hear about any cases that were not covered in this series.
Until next time… Keep it spooky!