Indiana exorcist fights the devil

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Vince Lampert grew up in the Haughville community on Indianapolis' west side. He said he saw a lot of things in his neighborhood as a boy, but nothing like he saw on a trip to Rome for study at the Vatican in 2006.

“Probably the most bizarre thing I witnessed in an exorcism was in Rome when I saw somebody actually levitate who possessed during the prayers of exorcism,” said the catholic priest. “The priest was not amused by anything going on and he just pushed the person back down and he continued to pray. My jaw might’ve hit the floor at that time, like, 'What in the world is going on here?’

“In the years I’ve been an exorcist I’ve witnessed many bizarre accounts that would lead me to believe I was in the genuine presence of evil.”

In 2005, Father Vince Lampert was approached by Archbishop Daniel Buechlein after the exorcist for the Indianapolis archdiocese passed away.

“The archbishop told me he selected me because he viewed that I was somebody who was well balanced enough, who believed in the reality of evil but would not be too quick to believe that everybody is possessed by evil because the exorcist is trained to be a skeptic.”

Lampert receives dozens of emails and phone calls seeking his guidance every week at SS. Francis & Clare in Greenwood. He said most of those calling him need counseling or psychiatric care or medication. But some need an exorcist.

“I worked with another priest here in Indiana with a person that identified seven demons inside of this person and the demons even named themselves,” said Lampert, “and usually if evil is present, it's sometimes clustered together so it's not just a question of one demon. It’s a question of many.

“In this particular person, the weaker demons, through the ritual, were quick to leave. They departed but it was the one more dominant one that identified itself as the demon Leviathon mentioned in the Book of Revelation that was the last to go.”

Lampert said it is in the Book of Revelation in the Bible that the story of Satan is told.

“And there was a war in heaven,” reads the scripture. “The great dragon was hurled down... His number is 666.”

“The devil wants to be God,” said Lampert, describing how Satan is the original fallen angel. “His own version of his own incarnation, if you will, is to take on human form by possessing a human person.”

The priest described four types of demonic presence: possession; demonic oppression, physical attacks against the host; demonic obsession, mental attacks against the host; and infection, presence in a location or object.

“The person is eyes rolling back in the head, foaming at the mouth, growling, snarling, swearing at me, doing anything to distract me from what it is I am doing,” said Lampert, describing the typical reaction of a host during an exorcism.

“The church says there are certain things you would look for such as aversion to the sacred... crucifix, holy water, Bible, these type of things.

“The ability to speak in languages the person should not be able to know,” he continued. “It could be superhuman strength beyond the normal capacity of the person or just their perception about things that the person shouldn’t otherwise know.

“There can be a drop in room temperature. There can be awful smells and then you see manifestations.”

Father Lampert said commercial films do a fair representation of some of the reactions he’s witnessed during exorcisms.

“Hollywood uses a little bit of license. They really want to scare you and give you the gory details,” he said. “I’ve never seen anybody’s head come spinning around or pea soup come flying out.”

Lampert said locations can’t be infested with evil.

A Carmel woman named Maggie believes Lampert’s accounts. As a paranormal investigator, she’s seen evidence that can’t otherwise be explained.

“I’ve heard some things like voices or just noises,” she said. “We’ve got photographs and audio recordings and some of the most amazing audio recordings I’ve ever heard.”

Among those are tapes recorded by Maggie’s husband and an associate inside a rural home in Southern Indiana where a family said its been tormented for years by a disembodied voice.

“The people that live in the house converse with it.”

Maggie said the family told investigators that the voice and entity began communicating with it in the aftermath of a son’s car accident death. The first communication appeared on a television screen as the elderly couple was watching a movie on its satellite system. What followed over the years is an on-going conversation that was repeated as recently as this past June.

“I’ve never heard another case like it where people just go back and forth.”

Maggie said her husband and his associate were aware of the family and its locations in the home and checked for any speakers or other devices when they tape recorded the encounter.

“That wasn’t nobody. That was God,” said a high-pitched voice audible on the tape after a scream. “I’m a monster. Every day is Halloween.”

The owner of the home argued with the voice.

“Why don’t you gather up all your goons and go back where you belong?”

“Why don’t you go to hell?” said the voice.

“There’s nobody bothering you, holding you here except yourself,” said the owner. “You can leave anytime you want to.”

“Yeah, I’d like to but you’re wasting my time, bitch,” said the voice.

“How do you do that, bitch?” asked the owner’s wife.

“I’m amazing,” said the voice. “Super amazing.”

In a whisper, the woman told her adult daughter, “Oh, now we’re in trouble. I’m in here and he’s out there and he just pulled my shirt.”

“If its an actual spirit in the room, I think they just want someone to recognize that they are there,” said Maggie, who prefers not to use her last name to protect her husband’s small business. “If its an evil spirit or demon, I think they are just out to ruin people’s lives.

"We’ve seen families torn apart, arguing, fighting. People moving out, people breaking up their families, just, I think, general chaos is what they’re trying to cause.

“When people have conversations, you’re inviting it in. You’re asking it questions and you're inviting it to communicate with you. You’re basically opening up your life to it.

“You really don’t want to open yourself up to that.”

Maggie and Father Vince said often the hosts have dabbled with a Ouija board before the presence was detected.

As an angel, albeit a fallen one, answerable to God, Lampert said demonic entity is bound by God’s rules.

“The prayers of the exorcism call for the demon to reveal itself because once it reveals itself then the battle will ensue.”

Lampert relies on holy water, a crucifix, a book of prayers and rites of exorcism and a conscience cleansed by confession before he enters into an exorcism.

“When we confess our sins, we place them in the hands of God. When we don’t confess them, the devil can use them against us.

“Anybody that does this type of ministry cannot allow themselves to be afraid of evil because if it's true evil, it will show itself, but you have to stand firm.”

Lampert said often family members or well-meaning amateurs attempt to tackle a possession on their own but can soon find themselves over their head and battling an entity they don’t understand.

“In the name of Jesus Christ you command the demon to name itself because once it names itself then its submitting to the power and the authority of God.

“I would say in the end God always wins.”

You can access Maggie's audio recordings online.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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