There seems no doubt that exorcism is a growth industry these days.
Not only are exorcists working for the Catholic Church reportedly overwhelmed with all the exorcism requests they have been receiving, but most mainstream churches are reporting the same. Fundamentalist religious leaders worldwide are also claiming to cast out demons supposedly responsible for a wide range of complaints, including physical disease and homosexuality. And then there are the "demonologists" (yes, that is a thing), who claim to be able to cast out demons without having any formal religious credentials. As I said, it's a growth industry these days with nothing that even remotely resembles government regulation.
To keep up with the demand, and to help avoid the often-hefty fees many exorcists charge for their services, some enterprising developers have come up with digital apps that allegedly allow users to cast out demons on their own. According to a new report by the business website Compelo, there are already four apps that can be downloaded for use on iPhones and Android phones and more are likely already on the drawing boards. With more than 66,000 downloads so far, there's no disputing their popularity. Here are some of the leading candidates:
- Exorcism - certainly the most popular exorcism app with more than 50,000 downloads, Exorcism was created by a Spanish developer and already boasted a 4.5 rating with hundreds of reviews attesting to its effectiveness. Along with information on exorcism and a litany of prayers to be used against demons, this app also contains an image of a St. Benedict's medal. According to the description given, "this application introduces us to the world of exorcism and its basic concepts and provide protection prayers." While the reviews fail to provide real details, the barrage of 5-star reviews attest to the satisfaction of its users (no word on actual effectiveness given, though).
- Exorcism and Deliverance - Billed as a "FREE Catholic Android app providing info on how to handle demonic attacks", this app isn't quite as popular as Exorcism but still boasts over 10,000 downloads and a 4.5 rating on the Google store site. Along with various deliverance prayers to be used by priests and the laity for defense against evil, it also features what is allegedly the formal Rite of Exorcism used by Catholic priests as well as information about "signs/symptoms of demonic attacks" and tips about how to "prepare for the spiritual battle." While the reviews are generally positive, a few reviewers warn about the dangers of using the exorcism rite without proper authorization.
- Exorcism Against Supernatural - Obviously not written by a native speaker of English, the description of the app says it can "help you performing real Latin exorcism with audio and text tips. Professionally recorded high quality Latin pronunciation of the exorcist with mysterious music background from our studio". Despite a 4.2 rating, this app has only been downloaded 1,000 times and the reviews are generally not that informative.
- Ghost- Detection and Protection - While not an exorcism app as such, the description states that the app "contains all information about ghosts. You can be a Ghost detector after reading this app. You can protect yourself from ghosts by this app." Offering "the best from the world of astrology and darkness," the app is said to feature "tricks to save you from ghost evil spirits, their detection and protection in emergency situations. Despite a 4.1 rating, 1,000 downloads, and generally positive reviews, some reviewers express misgivings about this app (including disappointment that it doesn't feature a "ghost detector").
As you can see, exorcism and demonology apps seem to be popular these days and there are many more that aren't as highly rated. While apps such as these aren't likely to put professional exorcists out of work any time soon they do reflect the very real fears about demonic possession and spiritual attack that people seem to have. Fueled by the numerous exorcism movies and television shows that continue to present these possessions as real, the demand for exorcism services, both from professionals and wanna-bes, is only going to increase in the years to come.