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Hostage to the Devil: Catholic 'Exorcist' priest's death involved possessed child and invisible force

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Fr. Malachi Martin was attacked by a possessed 4-year-old boy.

Friday the 13th is a day of suspicion, horror stories and the harbinger of bad luck. This Friday the thirteenth, however, brings with it new details of a famous priest who died of injuries sustained at the hands of an evil spirit.

The priest who inspired 'The Exorcist' died due to injuries sustained during terrifying exorcism.

The priest who inspired "The Exorcist" died due to injuries sustained during terrifying exorcism.


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Father Malachi Martin was an Irish Catholic priest, a bestselling author and a professor at a Pontifical Institute in Rome.

He was also an exorcist.

Fr. Martin inspired the cult classic "The Exorcist" and has been at the heart of several conversations lately.

Netflix is releasing a documentary of exorcisms named for Fr. Martin's book, "Hostage to the Devil," in which writer and producer Rachel Lysaght attempts to reveal whether the devil truly exists.

According to the Irish Times, the documentary is based on Fr. Martin's book "Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans."

Within its pages, Fr. Martin describes the four stages of the "process of possession:"

  • "First, the actual entry point, the point at which Evil Spirit enters an individual and a decision, however tenuous, is made by the victim to allow that entry."
  • "Then, a stage of erroneous judgments by the possessed in vital matters, as a direct result of the allowed presence of the possessing spirit and apparently in preparation for the next stage."
  • "Third, the voluntary yielding of control by the possessed person to a force or presence he clearly feels is alien to himself and as a result of which the possessed loses control of his will, and so of his decisions and his actions."
  • "Once the third stage is secure, extended control proceeds and may potentially reach the point of completion-perfect possession."

He explained these stages do not always appear in this order but ultimately do appear over a length of time.

According to Mirror UK, the feature-length documentary of Fr. Martin, and the dangers of exorcisms, includes interviews with exorcism witnesses.

One such witness claimed injuries from an exorcism conducted by Fr. Martin in 1999 is what really caused the priest's death.

Allegedly, Fr. Martin shared details of his final exorcism to a friend, who explained the series of events.

Lysaght explained: "We filmed with one of Malachi Marin's very close friends, a former CIA agent called Robert Marrow, who's an amazing interviewee because he has such excellent recall."

Marrow shared how Fr. Martin heard a possessed 4-year-old speak to him during an exorcism, then an invisible force pushed him down.

He suffered serious head trauma as a result of the fall, leading to his death at 78-years-old.

Marrow drove to the girl's home with Fr. Martin and was present when she said, "So you're Malachi Martin and you think you can help her!"

Marrow may have been a former CIA agent but he admitted it was the most disturbing thing he'd ever witnessed.

Time and time again, exorcists warn against attempting to handle possessed people. It is not a game and it most certainly can be deadly, as evidenced by the death of Fr. Martin in 1999.

The documentary will be available to stream from Netflix on Sunday, January 15.


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