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Lhermitte, Professor Jean - Diabolical Possession, True and False – Out of body from terror and torture



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Diabolical Possession, True and False – Jean Lhermitte

In time of trial and especially in imprisonment, the demon's visits become more frequent and painful. Its influence over the prisoner is such that the latter can transport himself in spirit to another place, crossing the walls of the prison, to visit distant persons and places.

It was by such a satanic intervention, Delcambre reports, that the magistrates of Charmes explained the apparition of a witch: the demon, in the judges' opinion, must have transported her in ecstasy outside the prison. How else could it be explained, they said, "that being a prisoner in this castle, she can see a woman who is in her home or elsewhere "?

The hypothesis of a dream or rapture in spirit being discarded, the fact of a bodily transporting seemed to the magistrates the only plausible explanation of such an appearance in such a place……………

With great good sense, Etienne Delcambre considers that the myth of internal visions, in all periods, arises from a pathological deviation of the mental functions, whether it is a case of obsession, of persecution-mania or of simple hysteria, and that all the strange phenomena we have reported can only have been aggravated during the imprisonment and the trial and during the pangs of torture.

The source of the experience

Lhermitte, Professor Jean

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Science Items

Activities and commonsteps