In ancient times, exorcisms used to happen with surprising frequency because many ailments and sicknesses were said to be caused by demonic possession.
While the practice of exorcism has mostly gone away in much of the world, there are still places where they happen. They might be rare occurrences, but they're just as freaky as you might expect.
In the South American country of Colombia, the practice of exorcism is alive and well. In the photo below is young Diana R. This was taken at an exorcism ceremony for Diana, who claimed that she was possessed by spirits.
The elaborate ceremony was performed by a 52-year-old exorcist who goes by the name of Brother Hermes.
Hermes has been performing exorcisms for 20 years.
His particular ritual uses fire, dirt, candles, flowers, eggs, and other natural items, as well as Christian prayers and incantations.
Normally, the Catholic church forbids anyone but a priest from performing the exorcism ritual.
While Brother Hermes certainly has flair, it's unclear if he's ever formally been trained as a priest.
(via Getty Images)
Personally, I don't believe in demons or see the need for exorcisms. But I also understand that for many folks, this belief system is a big part of life. For that reason, I respect it immensely.