Sunday, September 25, 2016

Paleo-Orthodoxy: The Lesson of Sedamsville Rectory

Myself and the cast of Ghost Adventures
A number of years ago I was contacted by the production staff of Ghost Adventures, a paranormal television program airing on the Travel Channel, regarding a case in Cincinnati, Ohio. This turned out to be the well known Sedamsville Rectory case. I feel there has been much misunderstanding of this case, and as I am the person who performed the blessing of the property, which included a minor exorcism, I should at least share what I feel to be a more rational view of the situation there at the time. I've not spoken publicly on the case until now. Zak Bagans and Nick Groff met with me before we went to the rectory itself. They presented me with a fairly good and detailed case history, which included the testimony of everyone involved and photographs. Based on the case history presented I agreed to do the blessing and minor exorcism of the property. 

When we arrived at the property it honestly didn't have any oppressive atmosphere that was noticeable. It was your run of the mill old home in an even older neighborhood. I met with the clients who briefly explained their experiences and fears. We then proceeded with the blessing, which took far more time than what you saw on the episode. The inside of the rectory was extremely hot, and the temperature outside not much better. As I moved up the stairs while praying out loud, I did catch a quick glimpse of what I thought to be a dark shadow moving from left to right. I moved quickly up the stairs to see if any trace of this remained, but to no avail. Is this evidence of a demonic presence? Absolutely not. It could have been a trick of light, or simply my own faulty perception. Thus I do not consider that as evidence.. It is very important with any case to understand the difference between evidence and experiences/perception. Evidence is something of an objective nature. A clear photograph, a clear recording-either audio or video- these are evidence. My thinking I saw a shadow is not evidence, as my senses are quite capable of fooling me, and Nick Groff, who had been behind me the whole time, saw nothing. In other words, that isn't evidence. 

It wasn't until we entered the dining room that anything substantive emerged. A very strong sulfuric odor was heavy in the room- such that everyone noticed it immediately. Once I entered the room and began the prayers of exorcism, the odor simply vanished. Not gradually, but immediately lifted. Now, while this is experiential, it was a shared experience by myself and the entire crew present. A search was conducted to see if any potential source for the odor could be found, to no avail. Is it evidence of demonic activity? Let's just say it is a common occurrence and certainly pointed to a demonic presence. I want to be clear here- at no time did the Ghost Adventures production team or Nick and Zak ever leave my side. I consider the opportunity for hoaxing to be almost zero percent. I say almost only because I must leave room for some doubt just as a matter of course. That doubt is negligible though and should not be taken as having any impact on the truth of the case. We did experience something quite strange in that room that had no reasonable explanation we could find.

My take on this case is that we indeed encountered something malevolent that evening,, and despite the naysayers who do not like Ghost Adventures, Zak and Nick were sincerely concerned with helping their client and arranged for after care when they left town. This is a part of their work I think few see and even fewer appreciate. 

The subsequent claims regarding ongoing activity at Sedamsville Rectory aren't something I can speak to with any degree of certainty. Anything I would say would be mere opinion, so I will refrain from speaking to that. I will, however, say that with any case, if the client involved does not have a substantive relationship with Jesus Christ, there is nothing any priest, minister, or paranormal investigator can do to help them. If they continue, for example, to use Ouija boards to contact the dead, invite various practitioners of occultism in to investigate or "help". etc. they will simply open the door for more demonic activity. Christ spoke to this.

"Then it (the demon) goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first."- Matthew 12:45

The real lesson of Sedamsville Rectory isn't about demons or ghosts, but about the need for a relationship with Christ. If the priest who allegedly abused children there had a relationship with Christ we wouldn't even need to discuss the rectory today. And if you have a relationship with Christ you have nothing to fear from the demon of Sedamsville Rectory or any other demon.

I invite you to view our page titled The Message for more on this.

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