Spirit Exorcism

Spirit exorcism is the dismissal or expulsion of an interfering spirit. Spirit Exorcisms are performed in many cultures when human problems are deemed to be caused by spirits, including the dead. “Spirit releasement” is a modern term preferred by many in the West, as it avoids religious connotations. Spirit exorcists may perform several “persuasive departures” in one day, depending on the intuitive ability and strength of the exorcist. Working with spirits, the exorcist comes to realize the sensations associated with such restless entities, usually described as vibrations or a feeling of cold. Some entities emit odors, like stale flowers or worse. The late Dr. Carl A. Wickland was one of the most famous Western practitioners of persuasive exorcism. Wickland believed that possession occurred when a discarnate entity blundered, confusedly, into a living person’s aura and became trapped. Using the services of his wife Anna, a medium, Wickland coaxed the spirit out of its victim and into his wife, through whom he communicated with it. Witches sometimes are called upon to perform releasement, of ghosts and remnants of unwanted psychic or spiritual energy. Spirit exorcisms, as cures to illness and solution to a wide range of personal problems, are common throughout the world.


  • Crabtree, Adam. Multiple Man, Explorations in Possession and Multiple Personality. New York:Praeger, 1985.
  • Rogo, D. Scott. The Infinite Boundary. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1987.
  • Wickland, Carl. Thirty Years Among the Dead. 1924; reprint, N. Hollywood: Newcastle Publishing Co., 1974.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.


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