The Reality Channel were doing an evening of programmes dedicated to hauntings, possession and the like, so I tuned in (although I missed the first half of the programme on exorcisms, which was annoying as it looked interesting).
programme dealt pretty much exclusively with the Catholic rite, which I suppose was good as I've noticed that Catholics generally take the whole thing more seriously - investigating it fully before committing themselves to anything, eliminating all non-paranormal explanations to their satisfaction and suchlike, but it was also something of a disappointment as the exorcisms of charasmatic evangelicals are interesting to study as well. They also had Michael Cuneo, who wrote American Exorcism
(which I've read and think is a pretty thorough study of the exorcism phemomenon in America today) to offer his own, sociological views without putting the 'skeptic' spin on what he said.
annoyed by one of the cases I saw though. A young girl in the Mexican city of Juarez (which is a very poor city) was suffering from some quite bizarre physical and behavioural problems which her parents and doctors couldn't explain. The last straw for her parents, apparently, was when a big-city hospital (El Paso, Texas) diagnosed her with viral encephelomylitis. Yeah, that's a CFS varient. Because they were told there was no 'cure' for her condition, the parents decided that she must have been 'demonically possessed' and promptly took her out of the hospital and to their local priest. And not one person argued with them about this!
Arrgh.( Haunted Houses... )
An interesting few hours' TV.
Also, Richard Whiteley (of Countdown
fame, has died. He was 61.