By: Richard Gallagher
The world's leading psychiatric authority on demonic possession delves into the hidden world of exorcisms and his own transformation from cynic to believer over the course of his twenty-five-year career.
“An unsettling, absorbing account of the phenomenon of demonic possession by a medical expert. Believers will love it, unbelievers will relish an argument with its premises, and even the most skeptical will marvel at the mysteries of human behavior it investigates.”—Kirkus Reviews
Successful New York psychiatrist Richard Gallagher was skeptical yet intrigued when a hard-nosed, no-nonsense Catholic priest asked him to examine a woman for a possible exorcism. Meeting her, Gallagher was astonished. The woman's behavior defied logic. In an instant, she could pinpoint a person's secret weaknesses. She knew how individuals she’d never known had died, including Gallagher's own mother, who passed away after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. She spoke fluently in multiple languages, including Latin—but only when she was in a trance.
This was not psychosis, Gallagher concluded. It was, in his scientific estimation, what could only be describe as paranormal ability. The woman wasn't mentally disturbed—she was possessed. This remarkable case was the first of many that Gallagher would encounter. Sought after today by leaders of all faiths—ministers, priests, rabbis and imams, Gallagher has spent a quarter-century studying demonic activity and exorcisms throughout history and has witnessed more cases than any other psychiatrist in the world today.
In this eerie and enthralling book, Gallagher chronicles his most famous cases for the first time, including:
A professional who claimed her spiritualist mother had “assigned” her a spirit who “turned on her.”
A petite woman—“90 pounds soaking wet”—who threw a 200-pound Lutheran deacon across the room to the horror of onlookers in a church hall;
And “Julia,” the so-called Satanic queen and self-described witch, who exhibited “the most harrowing” case, a “once-in-a-century” possession.
Going beyond horror movies and novels, Demonic Foes takes you deep into this hidden world. As he shares in full these true-life tales of demonic possession, Gallagher also explains his own change from doubter to believer.