If there's something strange in your neighborhood and you think it might be because you were using a Ouija board or playing Charlie Charlie, who you gonna call? Over 70,000 people or their concerned relatives and friends reportedly called Father Gabriele Amorth, the chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, founder and president for life of the International Association of Exorcists, lover of The Exorcist movie and hater of the Harry Potter books and yoga. If you’re in line to see him, put down the Ouija board and call someone else … Father Amorth has passed away at the age of 91.

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The late Father Gabriele Amorth

From their mouths, anything can come out – pieces of iron as long as a finger, but also rose petals.

Father Amorth loved The Exorcist (the original 1973 film) and claimed it gave an accurate, though exaggerated, depiction of what happens during an exorcism – the practice of removing demons, evil spirits or other entities from persons who believe they’re possessed or show signs of possession. While primarily associated with the Roman Catholic Church, exorcisms are also performed in Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism and Islam. During his time as the world’s leading exorcist, he saw the numbers of exorcisms and exorcists grow dramatically (there’s over 200 in the U.S. – one for each diocese).

For example, I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed by the devil. If you think about what types like Stalin, Hitler did ... certainly they were possessed by the devil.

According to secret Vatican documents, Pope Pius XII tried a "long distance" exorcism on Hitler, which obviously didn’t work. Father Amorth says the exorcist has to be in front of the possessed, who must be willing and give consent to the exorcism.

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Photos from a possible exorcism

That's one of his less controversial statements. Father Amorth also said:

Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil.

And …

Practicing yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter.

He claimed in his 2010 memoirs that there are “members of Satanic sects” in the Vatican, including priests and cardinals. Not to leave anyone out, he also said this in 2015:

ISIS is Satan.

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Even the pope performs them.

It sounds like Father Amorth might have been declaring many things to be evil in order to drum up exorcism jobs, but he claimed in an interview that he only performed them on those he truly believed were possessed and sent most people to seek medical and psychiatric help instead, telling them:

You have no Devil. If you have a problem, talk to a good vet.

Vet? Well, Father Amorth isn’t here to clarify that one. However, it seems like better advice than giving up yoga.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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