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3 Terrifying Accounts of Malevolent Spirits

As a horror fanatic, you’d think I’d have thicker skin about ghosts. Watching movies, I can eat chili while corpses are mutilated, fold laundry while witnessing demonic possessions, and sleep soundly seconds after a masked killer makes mincemeat out of some naughty teens. But the moment I turn off the light and the house starts to creak, I’m under my covers and doing my best to remind myself that I’m a full grown adult man.

So needless to say, real accounts of hauntings scare me the most. Behind all of the fun Hollywood magic, the tales of real people experiencing something unexplainable really gets under my skin. With The Conjuring 2 (review) premiering on June 10th, we’ll get to see visionary director James Wan bring to life one of the most well documented and debated hauntings in recent history. Based on the legendary Enfield Poltergeist, fans of the first film will once again join renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) as they once again use their unique talents to battle malevolent supernatural forces. The first Conjuring film is a modern classic, and with Wan once again at the helm The Conjuring 2 promises to be another epic installment.

So to celebrate, I wanted to share with you all my list of the Most Terrifying Accounts of Malevolent Spirits. Some of these can get pretty disturbing, so maybe make sure your night light is working before reading further…

3) Stoke Lacy’s Haunted Road:

There are always going to be sceptics, and for good reason. It’s easy to imagine someone desperate for attention claiming that they saw a spooky ghost for their 15 minutes of fame. Generally, I tend to assume most “hauntings” are just hoaxes. But sometimes, something so bizarre happens that you can’t help but wonder just how the hell there’s a rational explanation.

Such is the case with the reported Stoke Lacy road haunting. Or, by some accounts, a fence haunting. It’s hard to decide if the spirit had it in for drivers, or just a particular fence. For an 18 month period starting in 2002, no less than 26 people driving on a road in the English village of Stoke Lacy are confirmed to have veered off and into the same fence. According to the victims, it was as if a pair of hands had taken the wheel away from them. Though there were no casualties, many reported extensive vehicular damage and some injuries.

I know that a ghost crashing people into a fence sounds funny in a “Jesus take the wheel” sense, but anyone that has hit black ice can tell you that losing control of your car is terrifying. While people tend to think of long, gradually worsening affairs when it comes to ghosts, a single intense encounter with a spirit can be just as shocking. Just imagine going 50 around a winding country road and suddenly being unable to stop. That’s the stuff real nightmares are made of.

What gets me the most about this case is how unlikely it is that it was a hoax. I can understand one person faking a car accident for attention, but 26? And why would they lie? It’s not like the insurance company is going to reimburse them for “ghost damages.” You could always attribute country road accidents to inattentiveness/booze, but so many in such a short period all with similar stories is too much of a statistical anomaly to ignore.

stoke lacy haunted road - 3 Terrifying Accounts of Malevolent Spirits

2) The ZOZO Demon:

I’m always surprised by the number of Ouija board stories I hear, since everyone I know that’s versed in the paranormal agrees that messing with that shit is a bad idea. I’ve never personally communed with the dead for the same reason I don’t play around in abandoned meat packing plants or spend the night in condemned mental hospitals. I’ve seen those movies, I know how it ends. No thanks, I’d like to not be murdered.

Still, Ouija boards offer the unique opportunity for your average Joe to have some casual fun with spirits with only the occasional full-blown demonic possession. From an evidentiary point of view, it offers a unique opportunity to study how different people channel, manifest, and react to spirits, and what that can mean for the authenticity of certain claims. More importantly, any kind of repeatable experience across various isolated groups is incredibly compelling evidence of the existence of a specific spirit.

ouija - 3 Terrifying Accounts of Malevolent Spirits

One such spirit is known within the community as “ZOZO” (sometimes also “ZAZA”). It’s only a nickname, as the entity announces itself by oscillating rapidly between “Z” and “O” repeatedly. Reports of actual malicious activity vary, but it’s pretty much universally accepted that Z and O spells “bad time.” Some people report that the spirit was initially agreeable, and it was only after ending the session that the activity started. Footsteps, drops in temperature, and moving objects are all par for the course. Others report a much more violent and immediate reaction, resulting in immediate possessions, blackouts, and physical attacks.

There’s a lot of literature out there on it, and I highly recommend you check it out for yourself. Even if you don’t believe, the continuity between reported cases is fascinating. Like I said, I don’t mess around with that stuff, and ZOZO is a big example of why. Maybe after looking into it more, you’ll think twice before busting out the ol’ spirit board. Or maybe I just gave you the next item on your bucket list. Spirit diviners have some crazy ideas of fun.

1) Pat Reading:

There are many cases of reported possession, but none stand out to me as much as that of Pat Reading. In most incidences of possession, there is some kind of allegation of satanic collusion or other spiritual corruption. While no one is saying that someone deserves to be afflicted by a literal demon, there’s the implication that somehow a doorway was opened that allowed the entity into their life. More so, there is always the looming question of mental illness. Whether someone is genuinely possessed or just sick is an almost impossible question for even those that perform the ritual. When someone already has a history of mental illness, figuring out how best to treat them can become a life or death scenario.

Pat Reading, on the other hand, is an example of someone seemingly picked at random to have her life torn apart. A regular mother residing in the inauspicious town of Litchfield, Connecticut, Pat began experiencing malicious paranormal phenomena in the 1980’s. It was the beginning of an assault that would last until her death. Strange knocking sounds, moving objects, and various cuts, bites, and bruises would become Pat’s every day.

autumn in the litchfield hills connecticut usa sabine zehetner 1 - 3 Terrifying Accounts of Malevolent Spirits

After contacting her local Bishop, the Catholic Church investigated, and found that there was no rational explanation for her affliction. She had no history of mental illness, no signs of psychosis, and no chemical dependencies. According to her daughter, she didn’t even drink. Michelle Reading, who was just a teenager at the time, witnessed the whole thing. Michelle recalls that her mother would, “Scream, she’d jerk backward, I’d turn around and she’d be in pain. Of course, she would panic, she would cry, she was shocked.”

Paranormal investigator John Zaffis documented the attacks. He claims to have witnessed entire clumps of hair pulled from Pat’s scalp, and bite marks spontaneously appearing. After the Church decided that the possession was genuine, they attempted an exorcism. When that failed, they would try another. And another. Sixteen failed exorcisms later, and Pat was still well within the clutches of the demon. Should would continue to experience attacks until her death at the hands of colon cancer.

Given her complete lack of history with the paranormal or mental illness, Zaffis describes Pat as a “soul victim.” Innocent of even the whispers of fault, Pat was selected either at random, or by some infernal calculations beyond our understanding, to suffer an agonizing fate. As if that wasn’t enough, the treatment she sought was ineffective, giving her no clear solution. It’s these unanswerable questions that my mind demands answers to, and their lack of resolution is what makes her case truly terrifying to me.

So what do you think, fellow horror fans? What hauntings terrify you? Are you looking forward to The Conjuring 2? What haunting would you like to see brought to life? Let us know below!

New Line Cinema’s supernatural thriller The Conjuring 2, with James Wan (Furious 7) once again at the helm following the record-breaking success of The Conjuring, brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, portrayed by Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, TV’s “Bates Motel”) and Patrick Wilson (the Insidious films).

New Line Cinema’s supernatural thriller The Conjuring 2, with James Wan (Furious 7) once again at the helm following the record-breaking success of The Conjuring, brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, portrayed by Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, TV’s “Bates Motel”) and Patrick Wilson (the Insidious films).

Rounding out the cast are Frances O’Connor (TV’s “The Missing”) as the single mom, with Madison Wolfe (TV’s “Zoo”) and newcomers Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley, and Benjamin Haigh as her children; Maria Doyle Kennedy (TV’s “Orphan Black”); Simon Delaney (TV’s “Roy”); Franka Potente (TV’s “The Bridge”); and Simon McBurney (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation).

The screenplay is by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes & James Wan and David Leslie Johnson, story by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes & James Wan. Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, who previously collaborated on The Conjuring, are producing. The executive producers are Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter.

Expect the film in US theaters on June 10, 2016, and in the UK on June 17. For more info visit The Conjuring on Facebook, The Conjuring on Twitter, and The Conjuring on Instagram.

Synopsis:
The supernatural thriller brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.

conjuring 2 poster - 3 Terrifying Accounts of Malevolent Spirits

the conjuring 2 - 3 Terrifying Accounts of Malevolent Spirits

Written by Ted Hentschke

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