This Is What It’s Really Like to Be An Exorcist

As a little girl, Rachel Stavis saw "monsters" floating around her bedroom or attached to other children. Now she slays them for a living. Here's what she wants us to know.

I did my first “real” exorcism when I was 31, and I’m 38 now. For almost six years, until NPR aired a story about me, my only advertisement was through word of mouth, but it was all the public relations I needed because right away people began spreading the word. When I first started up, I averaged one to two exorcisms a week. As the years passed, I worked up to one or two a day. Now I have a waiting list.

I may be the only person in the world who can identify an entity—what most people through history have called a demon—and make it disappear. From my experience, I believe that an entity attaches itself or burrows into a person’s body and feeds off them. It lives off their fears, depression, anxiety, and a host of other negative energies and emotions. They may have had this entity with them for ten years or ten days, but it’s interfering with their lives and until it’s gone, things aren’t going to get better. That’s when they find me. Here’s what I know about exorcism that most people find shocking.

Possessions are super common

That’s because every single person on this planet has probably been possessed at one point or another in their lives, and 99 percent of people are walking around with entities now, totally oblivious to them. They may suspect something is wrong, but they may attribute it to stress, a bad boss, or the fight they just had with their boyfriend. These traumas—big or small—may have triggered the initial possession, but they’re only symptoms, not the cause. Like a good mystery? Check out these haunted houses that no one can explain.

The possessed don’t usually projectile vomit

In spite of the images you’ve seen in movies, the majority—probably 60 percent or more—of my clients don’t look unusual or have heads that spin 360 degrees. They’re people you would recognize. They aren’t necessarily celebrities—some are high-profile managers, agents, or studio heads, whose names you see in Variety—but others are household names: famous politicians, actors, or musicians.

I can ID your “frequency”

“Frequency” is your energy signature or the mirror of your emotions; if you’re feeling angry or emotionally heavy in any respect, you have a low frequency. If you have a high frequency, you’re likely happy, with a feeling of lightness. Most entities are attracted to specific frequencies that match their own. Some are drawn to depression, anxiety, or anger, and others to many different low-resonating emotional energies. I can typically sense who is and who isn’t high frequency just by looking at them. Sometimes it’s obvious because they’re covered with entities.

Some people can sense that they’re being possessed

There are also people that I call “energetically sensitive,” which means that they easily pick up the moods or energies of those around them. A subtle shift in energy, whether from a situation or another individual, makes them feel something more than others. These people include empaths, or those who suffer from social anxiety. When an entity tries to attach to them, they may actually sense it just outside their body or trying to burrow inside. No, they won’t feel like they’re being bitten or drilled into; instead, they may suddenly become nauseated or feel “off.” In fact, they’re sensing how an entity has latched on to their frequency.

I can actually see the entities

Just because I understand what entities are and what to do with them doesn’t mean they’ve stopped harassing me. I witness them attach to people in public spaces; I see them floating through the air looking for their next victim. And they visit me, though they typically do it in one of two ways. The first is the “Hey, I’m an entity, here I am!” visit, which happens when an entity approaches me with a stare-down, yet doesn’t try to attach. The second occurs when an entity attempts to push itself inside me. My sense is that they do this to suss out what I am, and how and why I’m so different from most humans.

Not all entities are evil

No entities—except the highest order (and most malevolent) ones like Realm Walkers—are out to kill you. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to feed off you anymore, so the entire point of their existence would be null and void. The only time an entity could kill you—and it would be indirectly—is if it saps your energy completely. Even if entities don’t kill you, they can cause physical problems that range from mildly irritating to downright debilitating. In fact, a lot of people who come to me do so because they’ve heard I can help cure their illnesses, alleviate their symptoms, or undo the damage caused by a sickness. What they may not realize, though, is that their issues stem partly from another problem: the entities attached to them.

Being possessed has common symptoms

My clients’ most common physical complaints include arthritis, headaches, nausea and other gastrointestinal issues, or infertility. But I also see clients with major life-threatening illnesses like cancer or AIDS. I may not be able to save these people’s lives, but every single time, removing their entity helps lessen their suffering. Why? Because not every physical sickness is just physical. There are many energetic reasons why, but joint pain is probably the most common issue entities cause, and typically, my clients will have visited a doctor to alleviate their symptoms, only to be given a prescription for pills that helps for a short time but never fully cures them. The reason modern medicine doesn’t, of course, is that the problem is entirely linked to entities. Take a look at a few of those symptoms in these real life exorcisms that actually happened.

There are specific types of entities

Common major entities include Clives, Wraiths, Sandman, Tricksters, and Neutral Entities. Clives are the smallest, least harmful entities out there, and each and every one of you has had one attached to you at some point in your lives. Wraiths are attracted to sexual dysfunction, so they attach because of any sort of sexual trauma that occurs in a person’s life. Tricksters are pretty much exactly as they sound: When they attach to you, they start playing little tricks and messing with your head. Sandman focuses not on people but a large area like a city block, a building, or even an entire town. When as many people as possible are asleep, the Sandman begins to pull energy from everyone under his web. The less energy each person has, the lower their frequency, and they begin having nightmares—they’re endlessly long, detailed dreams that leave you feeling spent when you wake.

There are specific ways to prep for an exorcism

Depending on the client and the issues they’re facing, as revealed by the messages I’ve received from Spirit, I’ll give instructions about what to do before an exorcism. I tell people to meditate beforehand, and I tell others not to eat meat. I insist that a lot of my clients fast the day before, and I tell others to not wear metal because it emanates a particular frequency.

I don’t use big crosses or holy water

I’m a nondenominational exorcist. During exorcisms, I call in Spirit Guides, Master Teachers, angels, my ancestors, even gods and goddesses, all of whom come from and are part of Spirit. Spirit is often called Source and it’s where all good and bad things come from and return to.

I pay for a special exorcism space

When a client comes over, I take them out back to my Spirit House, which is where I work even when I’m not performing exorcisms. Los Angeles is an expensive place to live, and for me, even more so because exorcisms have to occur in a space with a separate entrance. My work is dangerous, and I don’t want to subject my pets—or my home—to other people’s low frequencies or the dark energies of entities during an exorcism.

I’m just the messenger

I need to be as egoless as possible in everything I do because if I am, I’m more likely to be guided by Spirit/Source. Source holds the essential truths of how to better a person’s life. It wants my client—and me—to embrace what will help him or her improve, heal, and thrive. If I can’t be an egoless vessel who connects to Spirit without interruption, I’m not doing my job successfully, and I’m not going to be able to clear out entities. Authenticity isn’t just about being spiritually fit, though. I also need to feel physically well, but that doesn’t mean treating my body like a temple. So while I eat well and exercise, I’m human. I just try to keep myself generally healthy so I’m clearheaded. That also goes for sleep. I won’t do an exorcism late at night—or, God forbid, in the middle of the night—unless it’s an emergency.

Exorcism is not one-size-fits-all

Everyone’s exorcism is completely different. I’ve done some exorcisms that lasted less than half an hour and took only a little of my energy, and some that spanned two days and left me utterly spent for more than a month. Most last about an hour, however, and all end with the glorious destruction of an entity. Next, be sure to read about these signs that your house is haunted.

Rachel Stavis, who has cleansed thousands of tormented people, from small children and Hollywood moguls to stay-at-home moms and politicians, is co-author of Sister of Darkness: The Chronicles of a Modern Exorcist, a best-selling memoir that chronicles some of her most extreme cleansings cases, including ones that put her and her clients in peril. 

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