KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — The movie The Exorcist was one of the scariest films of all time. Many have seen it, but some may not know that It is based on a true story out of St. Louis where Knoxville Bishop Richard Stika used to live.
Although he says the story line was different than the real incident, he says the issue of exorcism is more true today than ever before.
“It was a young boy, wasn’t a girl, and nobody died. It had to do with a writing of an ancient language, but it was like it was being written on the inside of the stomach so you saw the reverse on the outside,” Stika said.
“The bed did levitate a bit. When you entered the room, it was very, very cold.”
Though the film was an exaggeration, Stika says the world is more evil than before, and the Catholic Church is taking drastic measures to drive it out.
In 2005, the Vatican began offering training in exorcism.
Recently, more than 250 priests from 50 countries went to Rome to learn how to identify demonic possession.
Bishop Stika says playing with the occult is not something to take lightly.
“Don’t play with Ouija boards because it opens the possibility of the devil coming into the world, ” explained the Bishop.
The Bishop says there have been exorcisms in East Tennessee; he was a part of one in Newport, Tennessee.
However, he is not sure it was true possession. “I think it was more of a displaced spirit than an actual possession.”
Exorcisms are not like what we typically see in Hollywood films, the bishop says, but often involve “simple people who have lives that have been, in some ways, almost ruined by unexplainable things.”