Throughout history and media, in times of fear and darkness, humans have called upon spiritual experts and defenders to protect people from what “goes bump in the night.”
Sean Fitzgerald-Fye is one of those specialists, and he gave an open panel on his other job on April 23 in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Building Room 219. His day job may be working for Aramark’s Subway in the HSS Building, but when not on sandwich duty, Fye works as an exorcist, one who is called on to remove and banish demons and spirits out of peoples’ home.
Exorcism is a diverse and complex subject, depicted throughout history, media and modern-day coverage as several different styles. Fye considers himself a relatively simple exorcist and leaves all the heavy lifting in exorcisms to the man upstairs.
“I had read about the authority, through God, we have over demons,” he said, explaining his methodology on how to deal with demonic entities.
Prayer is at the core of his “fighting” style and is a central focus throughout each exorcism. Whenever he is called to a house to exorcise, he starts with a prayer for the protection of himself in the home and the family affected by the entities. Then he says a harsher prayer for the binding of any demons and entities in the home, a plea for God to render the entities vulnerable to Fye’s prayers, unable to hide or disappear temporarily.
Next, once in the home, he conducts an interview with the affected family/caller to assess and study the situation. After the questioning, Fye asks for a tour of the house for both clarification on entity activity and assessment of any dangers in the house (such as a dark basement or slick staircases).
Following this is the beginning of the spiritual battle.
Fye lathers a slight amount of anointed oil on segments of the walls and places small crosses above doorways. Then, he enters a near-meditative state of prayer, in which he asks God to remove the entities from the home, so that the family may have peace and that all parties involved be shielded from the darkness of the entities removed and their allies.
Fye admitted in the past he took a more vengeful prayer, asking God to “toss the demons into a burning lake in Hell for their sins.” He since regrets trying to command God on what to do with sinners.
Fye describes the attacks from demons, both as they struggle against his binding and banishing prayers and in the haunting and miserable nights that follow a difficult exorcism, as primarily “mental.” The demons target three human weaknesses, encouraging “doubt, fear and sin.”
The most common attacks Fye has witnessed and suffered have been invasive thoughts, such as the inputting of violent desires or uncomfortable images into one’s mind to distract or corrupt the exorcist, as well as recurring night terrors.
Fye said he struggles the most with thoughts of doubt and self-worth, as tough exorcisms leave him feeling worried that he hasn’t done enough or that God does not prioritize helping him and therefore heard nothing of his prayers. However, Fye’s faith is strong and what he credits as his greatest strength in these exorcisms.
Fye remains convicted in his faith and his desire to root out evil and help innocent people.
After every successful exorcism, Fye informs the affected party that they do not truly need him and tells them about the prayers he performs and that their faith will shield them from darkness.
His presentation ended with a slideshow of his favorite photos he has taken of spiritual encounters at homes. While he may be a paranormal fan at heart, with photos of light anomalies and shadows filling his collection, his conviction to faith, God and following the light is displayed in his favorite photo of what appears to be a brightly illuminated cross.
According to Fye’s beliefs, with God protecting him, “the Devil has already lost.”