Lhermitte, Professor Jean - Diabolical Possession, True and False – Ten year old girl sees hell
Type of Spiritual Experience
One can only assume that the images to which she was subjected in the home, in Church and in books, came back to her as hallucinations.
The demons had thus been inflicted on her.
A description of the experience
Diabolical Possession, True and False – Jean Lhermitte
A little girl of ten was going on pilgrimage to a celebrated chapel in her district, when she thought she saw in front of her the figures of our Lady, the Child Jesus and St Joseph.
The image was so clear that the child was afraid to go forward on the path for fear of hurting the Child, who was playing in front of his parents.
Later on, she saw demons, the damned, the flames of hell; she described them very well and in perfect sincerity, sharing these visions first with her brother, then with her mother. We note that this child, devout and well balanced [sic], was so surprised to find herself favoured with such visions that she asked, at first, if she had not been dreaming.
In fact, the sight she saw was like the most appalling nightmare: she says that after seeing Jesus hanging on his cross, near his mother, she saw the ground open, and a great billow of smoke appeared, mixed with flames. There she saw people in heaps, weeping and groaning, all mixed up together, and if any of them tried to rise, the devil, seated on a throne, armed with a long fork, pushed them back into the fire. The devil was all red, with red eyes, a red tongue, etc. . . . pointed wings, and horns.
The child was very frightened and disturbed for days after this vision of devils and hell.
But it must be added that although this child, whose visions went on for a long time, preserved the clearest possible recollection of the scenes which had impressed her, sometimes the cataleptic attitude disappeared suddenly: the child fell to the ground, seeming to sleep, for so long that one day she was found on the ground by some workmen who were passing that way; she would remain like this, her mother said, for hours, unable to say how long this state had continued.
In spite of the great frequency of the apparitions, this child was not deeply disturbed in her conduct [sic], but the influence of these visions on others was not long in taking effect and even became alarming.