Frequently Asked Questions

What are demons?

The Catholic faith tells us that demons are fallen angels who chose to turn away from God.  Demons interfere with human beings through the ordinary action of temptation which everyone faces. Demons may also cause problems for us through the extraordinary means of diabolical infestation, oppression, obsession and (very rarely) possession.

What is demonology?

Demonology is the study of demons.  As Christians, we should keep in mind that demonology can't be understood in isolation.  In order for it to make sense, we need the greater context of the supernatural which includes God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, our Blessed Mother and the entire multitude of angels - not just the fallen.  Even when focused on the demons themselves, religious demonology, is not an unhealthy fascination.  It is a study of the enemy and how we can withstand him.

Why did you call your site Practical Demonology?

Practical things have to do with action as opposed to theory. I like using the word practical because I think we should apply what we learn, whatever the topic.  Demonology (as defined above) is the primary focus of the site.

How can studying demonology be a good thing?

As Catholic writer and professor, Peter Kreeft, says, "If demons are real, spiritual warfare is real."  In warfare understanding the enemy (not over or under estimating him) is important.  Learning about demonology has given me a better understanding of spiritual warfare.  Because of the many doors I opened during my time in the occult, spiritual warfare is an ongoing part of my life.  But I think all Catholics should know about it.

Spiritual warfare, and by extension demonology, has also helped increase my faith.

How can spiritual warfare increase faith?

For Catholics, the weapons of spiritual warfare include the sacraments - especially the sacrament of penance and the eucharist - the Rosary, other traditional prayers (both spoken and meditative) and more.  In addition to defending us from evil, these practices bring us closer to God.  This closeness leads to an increase faith - which may be one of the reasons why God allows the demonic to interfere with us in the first place.

Are there other benefits to learning about demonology?

In world where modern health care providers routinely recommend Eastern meditation and yoga as a form of stress relief, a Catholic approach to demonology can help us understand what is, and isn't,  good for us.  

Do you consider yourself a demonologist?

A demonologist is actually anyone who studies the demonic so it's not necessarily wrong for people to use the title.  To me, however, the title implies that someone is an expert in the field.  Since I am not an expert, I don't call myself a demonologist.  It's also worth noting that there really isn't any way to become a professional demonologist.  While a biologist or archeologist, for example, can attain professional status by getting a degree in their field, no legitimate degree programs exist for demonology.  

On rare occasions, the Church grants a lay person or religious the title of peritus (or expert) in demonology (commonly referred to as a religious demonologist).  The title demonologist has also become popular among paranormal investigators, though the two terms are not synonymous.

Why are you qualified to write about the demonic?

I have had direct, practical experience with the demonic, through my involvement in paranormal investigation and the occult.  I feel that this qualifies me to write about my experience in a way that may be helpful to others who have traveled a similar path. 

I left the occult in late 2017 and formally renounced my involvement in early 2020 under the guidance of a Catholic priest.  I am now a member of a local parish with a deep love for Jesus and His Church.

Why did you first develop an interest in demonology?

I left the Church after a family tragedy some 20 years ago and became deeply involved in the occult.  During that time, I had many compelling paranormal experiences - including visions, apparitions, verifiable received information, clear EVP recordings and more.  

As I learned about demonology I began to see these experiences for what they really were. Demonology also helped me understand how to break my remaining spiritual connections to the occult and helped me learn how to protect myself from further demonic influence.

Is paranormal investigation safe?

While the Catholic Church has no hard and fast teaching on ghosts, I believe that most hauntings are demonic (as opposed to ghostly).  While it may be safe for some individuals to assess a site and make needed referrals, interacting with demons in any way is dangerous.  So-called "clearing work" and even some prayers can be dangerous too. 

Is it okay to ask a psychic or medium to help me connect with departed loved ones or better understand a presence in my home.

Absolutely not.  Necromancy is expressly forbidden in the Old Testament (Lev 19:31 and 20:6 2 Kings 21:6, Isaiah 8:19 and 19:3).  In the New Testament it is made clear that the so-called psychic abilities are caused by a spirit who can, and should, be cast out (Acts 16:16-18).  I was deeply involved in mediumship and spirit communication during my time in the occult.  I learned the hard way that the spirits involved were demonic.  And this is always the case - though many psychics and mediums are themselves deceived.  An individual medium psychic may be kindhearted and well-meaning but I can guarantee you that the spirits they are working with are not.

Seeing a psychic or medium; using tarot cards, Ouija boards or other forms of divination; going to a séance or calling on the dead during a paranormal investigation make a person a target for the demonic.  The information received will never be reliable and the activities themselves are not worth the risk.

What about Catholic paranormal investigators like the late Ed and Lorraine Warren?  Wasn't Lorraine a psychic?

As someone who had experienced (and investigated) a fair amount of paranormal phenomena, I was quite interested in Ed and Lorraine Warren at one point in my life.  I will be reviewing books by the Warrens and Ralph Sarchie in the blog (and writing about measures I take keep my own home free of demonic influence).  

Lorraine Warren did consider herself a psychic medium.  The Warrens began investigating the paranormal at time when there weren't a lot of readily available Catholic references on demonology and the occult.  Unfortunately, like many people even now, they mixed occult beliefs and practices with their Catholic faith.

What kind of information does this website offer?

In addition to this FAQ, I have a Paranormal Phenomena section which includes a possible spirit photo, EVP (recorded when I was away from the faith), dream that may have been a visitation from the departed and further info on paranormal investigation.  There is also a blog which includes posts on faith, demonology, spiritual warfare, Catholic books and my own experience of the occult.  I also blog about how Catholicism, cultural issues and the demonic are portrayed in popular media.  You can get my blog posts in a weekly email by signing up for my elist

Why do you talk about the media?

I believe that the enemy makes excellent use of the popular media and that this is something that shouldn't be ignored.  I also feel that people should be made aware of popular novels and films that do align with the faith.  Most of my media posts are cross posted to the blog on my author website.  I also will be including excerpts from my upcoming Catholic friendly paranormal fiction on this blog, so please feel free to check it out if you're interested.

What should someone do if they think they may be dealing with a demon or demonic influence?

Your first and best resource for any kind of spiritual problem is a Catholic priest or the faith leader of your particular denomination.  If you are Catholic, consider making a good confession, and if necessary, a follow-up appointment with a priest from your parish.  You may also choose to work with Fr. Chad Ripperger's book Deliverance Prayers: For Use by the Laity (affiliate link).  

How can I protect myself from the demonic?

The number one thing we can do is to live a good Catholic life.  This includes receiving the sacraments on a regular basis - especially the Sacrament of Penance and the Eucharist - and doing our best to avoid sin (which includes all forms of occultism).  You may also consider saying the Rosary daily and consecrating yourself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  There is much more, but that is a good place to start.

What prayers do you recommend? 

My number one recommendation is the Rosary.  I also recommend prayers to the Sacred Heart, the St. Michael Prayer, the Litany of the Saints and other traditional Catholic prayers and meditations, including Lectio Divina and meditative prayer.  I will be creating a resource section that includes the prayers I use very soon.

I also offer inexpensive printable prayer cards and pamphlets, including two Rosary trifolds, though my Etsy shop.  If for any reason, you can't afford one of my Rosary trifolds please message me through my shop, Catholic Book And Card, and I'll send you the PDF for free. 

Is that it?

For now, yes.  Please up for my elist to stay in the loop!