So you want to play Spirit of the Glass?
By engaging in them, innocent players become unwitting agents that allow harmful entities to oppress people and haunt homes
Oct 26, 2018
You have seen enough movies about the dangers of playing “spirit of the glass.” Or tinkering with a Ouija board. Keep in mind the perils involved are not as fictitious as the film plots.
Catholic priests warn that engaging in these activities could bring you trouble or make things worse instead of helping you discern personal issues as you hoped.
Fr. Armand Tangi of the Society of St. Paul has had encounters with evil spirits that tormented people and their unsuspecting kin after engaging in these sessions.
Little did they know that the spirits they summoned were not those of friends or loved ones but of evil spirits unwittingly provided with an “opening” through the seemingly innocent games.
In one instance, Tangi was still a neophyte priest in 1984 when asked to bless a bungalow located on a quiet street in Mandaluyong.
The priest initially wondered why he was asked to “bring a lot of holy water” for the blessing of a one-storey house.
Tangi recalled the hairs on his arms and neck suddenly stood on end upon entering the house. The bungalow was very cold even with all the windows closed on a rainy but humid afternoon.
The priest noted there were no religious statues anywhere despite the owners being Catholic. And an elderly man seated on a rocking chair in the living room would not acknowledge him at all.
Tangi said he began hearing a male voice moaning “as if in great pain” the moment he pulled out a prayer book. And the moans from the unseen source grew louder as he, the elderly man’s nephew and two of the nephew’s female officemates walked from one room to another as Tangi blessed the entire house with holy water.
The kitchen was the last spot for prayers and it was there that the party heard the loudest moans. Tangi realized they were coming from the refrigerator. He hesitated to open its door for fear that whatever the source was could lunge at him or “enter” one of his companions.
After summoning courage, the priest opened the fridge’s door and emptied a vial of holy water on the food and bottles of drinking water inside.
The moans began to faint and stopped completely when Tangi posted a card bearing the prayer to the Holy Name of Jesus on the fridge door.
The priest said it was only after the party left the house that the elder man’s nephew admitted why he was called to bless the house.
The nephew said all maids hired to look after his uncle left after a few days. All of them complained about chairs and slippers moving by themselves. The most disturbing story came from a neighborhood kid who once claimed seeing Uncle from the window watching TV from his rocking chair. There was a man “with horns and a tail standing beside him,” the young boy said.
Ouija sessions and tragic aftermaths
Turns out that that as a young man, Uncle used the Mandaluyong house as a regular venue for occult sessions, including use of a Ouija board. Uncle and his posse liked to call on spirits for fun and many of his guests were from well-off families back in the day.
As the years passed, many of the participants suffered bankruptcy or tragic deaths. Two years after Tangi exorcised the house, one of the participants—a very beautiful and well-known socialite—fell victim to a scandalous murder that rocked Makati’s gated communities.
The nephew said that in one session, Uncle’s group called on the soul of a colleague who committed suicide who answered, “Why are you mocking me?” when they asked where he went after dying.
The nephew said the glass used during the session flew and smashed against a wall and furniture moved as if being shoved by a violent but invisible entity.
Fr. Jose Francisco Syquia, director of the office of exorcism of the Archdiocese of Manila, explained these things happened because “occult and sinful activities” allow evil spirits to exploit a “spiritual opening” and terrorize the living.
Syquia’s book “Exorcism: Encounters with the Paranormal and the Occult” listed among “magic sessions” considered forbidden because they could lead to hauntings as “Ouija board, tarot cards, spell casting and the like.”
Unless these are stopped, the activities “can allow even more dominion within the home, as well as attract more evil spirits.”
In many cases, Syquia said simple house blessings do little to drive the evil away especially if the spirits have already “attached themselves to houses used for occult activities.”
Apart from dangerous games, Syquia said a house could also become haunted if “someone died, was killed, or committed suicide…and now needs prayers, sacrifices, and Masses.”
Before battling with spirits
There is protocol that needs to be followed before a priest can expunge unwanted entities from a haunted house. Tangi said the priest tasked to exorcise “has to fast, go to confession, and by the grace of God try his best not to sin before the exorcism.”
Fr. Jude Rebaldo of the Diocese of Kalibo said the house owners also need to become active participants. “They need to exhibit the desire to put an end to the haunting…they must also go to confession before the exorcism.”
And the work does not end after the spirits have left, Rebaldo said.
“The Holy Rosary is an effective protection. They must implore the help of the Blessed Mother and recite deliverance prayers addressed to the archangels, particularly St. Michael and St. Gabriel for protection,” he said.
Rebaldo said the prayers are necessary because the owners who asked for an exorcism become vulnerable to retaliation by evil spirits forced to leave the venue.
A house could also become haunted if “someone died, was killed, or committed suicide…and now needs prayers, sacrifices, and Masses.”
Tangi recalled another case where he performed an exorcism of a house in Tagaytay City that was also used for Ouija sessions.
The original owner of the Tagaytay house died and was buried in the property. Tangi said this is taboo among Catholics who “are supposed to be buried in a sacred place.”
An aunt of the heirs said the house was uninhabited for the longest time because relatives and house help complained of someone watching them while they slept.
Visitors would appreciate the architecture but refuse offers to stay because the atmosphere left them feeling ill at ease.
Prayers for protection
Before the exorcism, Tangi asked for protection from St. Michael and Padre Pio, the Capuchin monk who also suffered from tremendous demonic oppression for saving souls.
The priest waited until 3 p.m., the Hour of Great Mercy, to begin. He started with prayers as the heirs gathered around the dining table. Everyone heard a door opening and closing violently as they prayed.
Then a plate flew overhead as Tangi recited Pope Leo’s exorcism prayer to St. Michael, particularly the portion commanding “unclean spirits, all satanic powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies, and sects” out of the house in Jesus’ Name.
The eerie feeling disappeared when he finished.
Tangi made a follow-up visit two weeks after, this time with another priest who noticed an abstract painting in the living room.
“It was predominantly black and red. The other priest said the painting was actually an invitation to the devil,” Tangi said. The heirs immediately got rid of it.
Chief exorcist Syquia warned against calling on “agents of superstition” like arbularyo, magtatawas, spiritista and the like to exorcise a home.
He quoted Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich who said the use of superstitious means is condemned by the Church. Those who insist “enter, without knowing it perhaps, into communication with the powers of darkness, which then acquire fresh strength.”
Syquia said it is important that the faithful protect themselves with blessed objects like crucifixes, if possible posted on the door of every room, and images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the front part of the house. Daily recitations of the Holy Rosary also keep an atmosphere of peace.
“This manifests that the house belongs to God,” Syquia explained
That said, a final reminder if you’re still thinking of communing with spirits this Halloween:
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
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