How Can You Tell if Someone’s Possessed? (The Drew Mariani Show)

If you’ve seen “The Exorcist,” you may wonder what’s factual and what’s Hollywood sensationalism. You may get scared when it comes to this topic.

What’s the truth amidst all the noise?

Drew Mariani and guest Adam Blai discuss the topic of exorcisms within the Catholic Church. They touch upon several key points:

  1. The Reality of the Demonic: The Church acknowledges the existence of the demonic and the need to confront it. Adam Blai works in the Chancery and the Tribunal for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and they discuss the unique authority of the Catholic Church in dealing with exorcisms.
  2. The Authority of the Church: Blai emphasizes the importance of having the authority of the Catholic Church behind exorcism efforts. He compares it to a citizen’s arrest, explaining that attempting an exorcism without proper authority and support from the Church can be risky and ineffective.
  3. Distinguishing Between Mental Illness and Possession: They discuss the challenge of distinguishing between mental illness and possession. Blai explains that while temptation and influence from demons can be normal, possession involves specific signs that cannot be explained by medical or psychological conditions.
  4. The Role of Holy Objects: Demons perceive blessed and holy objects as painful. They can identify such objects and react to them negatively, which helps in the diagnosis of possession.
  5. Addressing Addiction and Spiritual Affliction: Blai discusses the link between addiction, particularly to pornography, and potential spiritual affliction. He suggests that while it can be difficult to determine the exact cause, a combination of psychological and spiritual factors may be at play.
  6. Possession at a Young Age: Blai explains that in theory, someone could be possessed from birth if their parents consecrated them to the demonic. However, he notes that possession typically becomes active when a person reaches an age where they can make choices about sin.
  7. Receiving the Eucharist: Possessed individuals often flee the church before receiving the Eucharist, as they cannot tolerate the presence of holy things during Mass.

The episode provides insights into the Catholic Church’s approach to exorcism, the importance of proper authority, and the complexity of discerning possession from other conditions. Adam Blai also mentions his book “The History of Exorcism,” which is available online and in major bookstores.

Check out the entire interview!

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.