6 Types of Extraordinary Demonic Activity

In An Exorcist Tells His Story, the Chief Exorcist of Rome, Fr. Gabriele Amorth categorizes demonic activity into ordinary and extraordinary. The former is simply temptation, while the latter is broken down into the six main categories listed below…

Anónimo Inferno (ca. 1520)

In An Exorcist Tells His Story, the Chief Exorcist of Rome, Fr. Gabriele Amorth categorizes demonic activity into ordinary and extraordinary. The former is simply temptation, while the latter is broken down into the six main categories listed below. Fr. Amorth’s work strives to remind everyone – especially priests and bishops – that demonic activity is real, and those suffering under its effects should be able to find help within Holy Mother Church. He calls upon the Church to restore the Office of the Exorcist to every diocese, and he reminds the faithful that the best defense against the demonic is the sacramental life.


1. External Physical Pain Caused by Satan:

As its name suggestions, demonic activity can manifest as physical pain. Fr. Amorth points to Saint John of the Cross, the Cure of Ars, and Padre Pio as historical examples of those who suffered physical beatings and torment by demons. However, since this “external form of persecution does not affect the soul,” it is understood that “there has never been the need for an exorcism, only for prayers.”

2. Demonic Possession:

“This occurs when Satan takes full possession of the body (not the soul); he speaks and acts without the knowledge or consent of the victim, who therefore is morally blameless.” In reference to the question, is there a stereotypical possession or referential model, Fr. Amorth advises the following, “to fix a set ‘model’ for demonic possession would be a serious mistake; the affliction runs the gamut of symptoms and severity.”

3. Diabolical Oppression:

“There is no possession, loss of consciousness, or involuntary action and word,” just severe to mild events that plague the individual. Fr. Amorth points to Job’s severe afflictions and St. Paul’s thorn in his flesh (II Cor 12:7). Whereas “possession is rare,” Fr. Amorth reveals that he and his fellow exorcists “run into a great number oif people who have been struck by the devil in their health, jobs, or relationships.”

Detail of painting depicting Harrowing of Hell
Harrowing of Hell

4. Diabolic Obsession:

“Symptoms include sudden attacks, at times ongoing, of obsessive thoughts, sometimes even rationally absurd, but of such nature that the victim is unable to free himself.” Moreover, “the obsessed person lives in a perpetual state of prostration, desperation, and attempts at suicide. Almost always obsession influences dreams.”

5. Diabolic Infestation:

“Infestations affect houses, things, or animals.”

6. Diabolical Subjugation, or Dependence:

Fr. Amorth explains, “people fall into this form of evil when thy voluntarily submit to Satan. The two most common forms of dependence are the blood pact with the devil and the consecration to Satan.”

  • Thanks you for posting! I am becoming a Catholic priest so please pray i grow in knowledge of these things.

    • Claudia

      In Prayers!

    • maria

      God be with us :) priests are awesome

  • Kevin Crandall

    I have witnessed an exorcism first hand. I also work on a psych ward, and can say in my experience there really is no comparison between a totally delusional psychotic, and someone who is possessed.

    I came away from the experience a great believer in the Sacramentals like blessed oil, holy water, and blessed salt, but especially blessed salt. Seeing the power of blessed salt in that exorcism and how much the evil spirit hated it was extraordinary. This is a Sacramental I highly recommend you become very familiar with.

    Here is the prayer for blessed salt, “Almighty God, we ask you to bless this salt, as once you blessed the salt scattered over the water by the prophet Elisha. Wherever this salt (and water) is sprinkled, drive away the power of evil, and protect us always by the presence of your Holy Spirit. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen” I will pray for you.

    • MD

      yes, exorcised salt is very powerful.

    • thecla

      thanks for the prayer and testimony.

  • Leonila

    Kevin Crandall, where can we get Blessed Salt?

    • Benedicta

      You can buy salt and get it blessed by a catholic priest Leonila

  • Diane

    Leonila, there is a special blessing for the salt though. It is not the blessing used by priests to bless things after Mass. I believe the Cukierski Family Apostolate sells blessed salt. You can google them.

    • MD

      you cannot purchase blessed salt or blessed anything. That is simony. You must buy the salt and then bring it to a Traditional Catholic priest and ask for the salt to be EXORCISED in order for it to be efficacious. God bless you.

  • Nan

    I was recently told I had three entities in my being and one was demonic. I am an spiritual educated professional so this was hard for me to wrap my brain around but what she told me seemed to be on track with my life and the blockages and pain I was starting to experience more and more. The woman is a Catholic psychic. She took me through various blessed salt baths, candles, incense, prayer for several months. I was terrified but stood fast. She also informed me that she needed to buy 54 amethyst crystal towers blessed for 23 years which is where the demon was forced into. After two months, she informed me that it was gone. i never felt anything unique other than my life has changed and it still re-forming. It was nothing omnipotent or even relieving as I felt nothing different. I am concerned for many reasons as I am still challenged. Was it real, is it gone, will it or did it come back. It was not cheap at all due to the crystal purchase. suggestions?

    • MD

      Dear Nan, seek the help of a Traditional Catholic priest, because I am afraid that that “catholic” woman put demons into you rather than taking them out. What she did was against the teachings of the Church and the warnings found in the Old and New Testaments. God bless you.

    • J N Kujawa

      There are NO such things as a Catholic psychic – you’ve been “had”. She probably caused some of your problems.

    • Lori M. Quinn (waters)

      Dear Nan, Catholics Don’t Instill Fear, or Charge Money To Help Another. Possibly You Were First Hoodwinked, Then Taken For A Money Ride. The Mind, Body, and Soul Are All Important, That I’d Recommend Mass and Maybe Volunteer Work At Your Local Church. God Bless You

  • Bruce

    You were ripped off. Nothing Catholic about the practices, either new age or silly. First she tells you that you have three entities, that she’ll fix you up, and then at the end, that you are cured. Scam, beginning to end.

    Put it behind you and build a real relationship with Jesus Christ through the sacraments and prayer.

  • John

    @Diane: My understanding is that– in order to prevent simony, etc.– the regulations of the Church stipulate that when a blessed item is sold, it loses its blessing. Therefore, if you want blessed salt, you should buy ordinary salt, and ask a priest to bless it for you. It is up to the priest to use the proper blessing.

    If you wish, you can go to a traditionalist priest (FSSP, ICKSP, etc.), who will likely use an older and more elaborate form of blessing. I think that in the old rituals, the priest actually exorcises the salt, but I’m not an expert.

    You may find the following article to be of interest:

    • Erlich Phua

      I brought 6kg of salt and a huge bowl of water and asked for this ritual to be used when we gathered for a meal with a Catholic priest. He obliged and it turned out to be a wonderful gathering. I also brought small airtight containers so we could distribute the salt & holy water. Always remember that the salt itself has no value, it is the power of the Holy Spirit that does the action. http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2013/04/25/traditional-holy-water/

  • Marion Marsico

    I have no evidence that the Cukierski Family Apostolate is actively participating in simony. I do know that any blessed items are packaged, like the salt, with prayer cards and in a pouch; shipping has to be accounted for as well. There are many who do not have access to a priest and some are non Catholic Christians. I would not make a prejudgement on this mail order ministry. Seems to me they are collecting for the pouches and various containers just as many religious houses do.


    La actividad diabólica en el mundo y en los seres humanos es patente e innegable.
    Ahora estoy estudiando un versículo muy interesante de la Epístola de Santiago: “También los demonios ceren y tiemblan”. He he encontrado una respuesta parcial en Summa Theologiae, pero sigo estudiándola.

  • Michael

    http://www.thewarningsecondcoming.com Maria Divine Mercy is God’s End Time Prophet. We are the generation that shall see the second coming of Jesus Christ! Pray pray pray for discernment!

    • J

      Maria Divine Mercy is a fraud and has been condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

  • maria sdd

    Divine Mercy is not a fraud, I can prove it, however, I will not and simply pray for your soul.

    • Jean

      Maria DIvine Mercy, is not the same as the Divine Mercy revelation of Saint Faustina.

  • Richard

    please help me to remove witchcraft and all evil activities I from so many year we are bean under this evil energy . and spritual cage . tell me how I can get rid of this evil things . please help
    thanks god bless u

  • Rose

    I believe we can get far too involved in the demonic world and allow fear to overcome us.His Holy Word is perpetual, as is continuous daily prayer, fasting and giving up things that distract us from the Lord, his saints, Jude, Pio, Anthony, Francis, etc, and keeping in mind that the devil and his demons can do nothing that God does not allow them to do to an extent without coming to our aid.Delving into the unknown can draw us into darkness and God is power, Light, and Satan and his demons cannot go beyond God’s Divine love and care for us.Just stay away from the ocult, the vulgarity of hollywood, keep our eyes, lips and ears pure and use the powergul name of “Jesus” to come to our aid.Satan is terrified of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for remember how Our Lady of Guadalupe has it undere her feet as does St Michael, Archangel.I shall pray for this website and all here in the name of Jesus.

  • The distinctions drawn by the chief exorcist of Rome seem clear and of great use to anyone seeking to understand demonic influence. The church needs to restore the practice of having an appointed exorcist for every diocese in the world. Christian psychiatrists and psychologists especially need to inform themselves and take demonic influence into consideration. One of our great fallacies is the “either/or” trap. We decide that such and such is either: a mental illness, such as schizophrenia or obsessive compulsive disorder or ADHD, or else it is demonic influence. Wisdom is understanding tht there is no reason that it cannot be BOTH a mental disorder AND ALSO a measure of demonic influence (whether oppression, obsession, affliction or even possession). We need more attention to the gift of discernment of spirits (1 COr 12). By this gift an individual is helped to understand what may be of demonic influence and what may not be. Studying good teachings on the gift of discernment would take an individual far. Also, invoke the intercession of saints who have been troubled by demonic afflictions, such as John of the Cross, St. Dominic, Padre Pio, St. John Vianney (the Cure’ of Ars), and Teresa of Avila. Frequent the sacraments, Reconciliation and Eucharist, pray the rosary, invoke the name of “Jesus” against Satan. Hope the above is helpful to readers. God bless you & keep you in His mercy.
    John Patrick Grace
    Huntington, West Virginia

  • Green_Scapular1

    St. Benedict Medal. Holy Water. Miraculous Medal. Rosary. St. Michael the Archangel prayer. Arm yourselves with all of these things.