Signs of a Demonic Haunting

image of person holding crucifix - signs of a demonic haunting

What are the signs of a demonic haunting?

According to paranormal investigators, the vast majority of hauntings are related to human ghosts. In rare cases, however, a haunting can be demonic.

There are a wide variety of ideas among ghost hunters about what demons are, but a common idea is that they are inhuman spirits – spirit beings that have never walked the earth in human form or in the flesh.

Demons are generally understood to be evil and more powerful than other types of spirits. The Christian tradition holds that demons are fallen angels at war with God and humankind and in service to the devil. 

Much of what paranormal investigators believe about demons and demonic hauntings comes from the work and teaching of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a Catholic demonologist husband-and-wife team that rose to prominence beginning in the 1970s.

If you want to go to the source of contemporary demonological thought, I suggest you read The Demonologist by Gerald Brittle. Published in 1980, it is a book about the Warrens’ demonic cases, including the famous case surrounding Anabelle the possessed doll. 

How to spot a demonic haunting

According to the school of thought that developed from the Warrens, demonic haunting may start out much like a conventional ghost haunting. Objects might be moved, strange sounds might be heard (such as whispers), electronic devices may behave strangely.

In fact, one may even see the apparition of what appears to be a human. Demons are deceptive and may pretend to be harmless spirits. They can even pretend to be a dead relative. In the famous Anabelle case, a demon pretended to be the spirit of a little girl who died tragically.

Many demonologists trace out four stages of demonic activity: infestation, oppression, obsession, and possession.

Different demonologists differ on what exactly each stage entails, but infestation is always the beginning stage and possession is the final and most intense stage. Infestation is generally the phase when a demonic haunting might be confused with a conventional ghost haunting. Possession is when a demon takes control of a person, sometimes completely.

Generally, demons are thought to be more powerful than ghosts. If haunting phenomena are particularly intense, the haunting may be demonic. Also, demons aim to frighten and disturb and, according to some demonologists, they are sacrilegious with a desire to profane divine symbols. Demons also prey on the emotions, causing strife, depression, and anger, especially in the person they are targeting.

Signs of Demonic Activity

Overall, the following are signs of demonic activity.

  • Large objects being moved
  • Bodily fluids, such as blood or excrement, appearing out of nowhere
  • Horrible smells, such as the stench of sulfur or rotting meat
  •  Bestial growls and frightening voices
  • The onset of depression or other negative emotions in people
  • The appearance of monstrous apparitions, shadow figures, or black masses
  • Scratches appearing on human skin, especially in sets of three marks
  • Heightened activity at around 3:00 am
  • Profaning of holy symbols, such as crosses flipping upside down

Basically, a demonic haunting seems dramatic, disturbing, and malevolent. Paranormal investigators will warm that there are such things as malevolent human spirits, so one has to carefully distinguish between a haunting by a bad or cruel person and a demonic haunting.

How to resolve a demonic haunting

If one encounters a demonic haunting, investigators can recommend a variety of tools to resolve the issue.

One can ask a clergy person for a house blessing or, if these get bad enough, an exorcism. Even non-Christian clergy and religious specialists can perform these services.

Sometimes ghost hunting teams themselves can perform house cleansings. This can involve many things, from prayers and invocations, to smudging with burning herbs, to reiki movements, to visualizations.

Often the method of house cleansing or blessing can be tailored to a person’s individual religious beliefs.


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