Thursday, April 22, 2021

An Exorcism With a Full Stomach? An Incident from the Life of Elder Gervasios Paraskevopoulos


Father Ephraim of the Skete of the Holy Apostle Andrew in Serai near Karyes of Mount Athos recalled the following story from the life Elder Gervasios Paraskevopoulos (+ 1964):

On one particular Easter Sunday evening, Father Gervasios Paraskevopoulos retired to his room to break his long and strict fast of Great Lent and Holy Week by eating some avgolemono soup, cheese and a paschal egg. Suddenly there was a knock at the door, and it was a certain mother who came to him seeking help for her daughter who was demon possessed. Having eaten half of his soup, he took his epitrachelion and followed the mother to her house.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Horror Movies and the Cross - Censored Cemetery Crucifix Scene from "Bride of Frankenstein"

Screen shot of the censored scene.

Bride of Frankenstein is the 1935 sequel to Universal Pictures' 1931 film Frankenstein, both directed by James Whale and star Boris Karloff as the Monster.

Whereas little was censored in the first Frankenstein, by the mid-1930s the rules about violence and other potentially offensive content in public entertainment were strict.

Joseph Breen, director of the Production Code Administration, and an Irish Catholic, made many recommendations regarding what was appropriate and what wasn’t for Bride. At this time, if a script didn’t receive the PCA’s seal of approval, it simply wasn’t getting produced.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Horror Movies and the Cross - Five Favorite Scenes Displaying the Power of the Cross

Many horror movies especially of recent times downplay the power of the Cross to give more of a sense of the unstoppable power of a particular evil entity, but there are still many horror films that offer displays of its power in the face of an encounter with evil. Usually these scenes are dealing with vampires and demons. Below are five of my favorite scenes among many that I was able to locate online (*be warned that some of these scenes may be viewed as scary by certain viewers*):
1. Dracula (1931)
2. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) 
3. The Devil Rides Out (1967) 
4. Fright Night (1985) 
5. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Horror Movies and the Cross - The Cross in the Very First Horror Movie from 1896

Horror movies go back to the very origins of film, specifically to 1896, when French special-effects genius Georges Méliès made the three plus minute short, Le Manoir du Diable (The Manor of the Devil, otherwise known in English as The Haunted Castle).

Méliès, known for his silent sci-fi fantasy A Trip to the Moon — and for the tribute paid to him in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo — used his innovative methods to tell a story of “a large bat that flies into a room and transforms into Mephistopheles. He then stands over a cauldron and conjures up a girl along with some phantoms and skeletons and witches. Two men then enter the room to examine the matter, and are soon frightened and tempted by the conjurings of Mephistopheles, until finally one of them grabs a large crucifix from the wall and the devil disappears.” Though a quick and concise story, and as scary as a walk through a very short haunted house with a bunch of frights flying at you from all directions, still it is an excellent example of a technique Méliès supposedly discovered that very year. According to,

Friday, April 2, 2021

Elder Ephraim of Arizona and the Demon Possessed Canadian Woman


Elder Ephraim of Arizon gave the following testimony of an exorcism he performed for a Canadian woman:

"I had gone to Canada and there I spoke to the Greek community about the devil, about how he deceives us and leads us to sin. When I finished the speech and the people left, there was a big uproar. Some ladies then came and informed me that some old lady had been demonized. The demon-possessed woman was shouting and screaming, saying words about me:

'This man has revealed me, he brought me out! What are you looking for here in Canada? He came to take what was mine, which I had bound tightly. I will hurt him and take revenge on him!'