Real Exorcist Jason Bray Reveals What It's Like Fighting Evil
October 21, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ Demonology
The idea of exorcism frequently evokes dramatic imagery inspired by Hollywood blockbusters and ghost-hunting television programmes. To shed light on the reality behind these perceptions, we spoke to Reverend Jason Bray, who describes himself as a 'bog standard parish priest,' who revealed a far less sensational picture."
The notion of exorcism often conjures up sensational images fuelled by Hollywood movies and ghost-hunting TV shows. But the truth of the matter is far from this exaggerated perception, as explained by Reverend Jason Bray, who describes himself as a "bog standard parish priest."
Jason is the vicar of St. Giles in Wrexham, North Wales, but beyond his duties at the church, he also serves as an exorcist, a role he describes as "deliverance work rather than exorcism." The Anglican priest writes about his everyday investigations into the supernatural in his book 'Deliverance', which is available from Amazon now.
Contrary to what many might assume, being a deliverance minister doesn't necessarily mean you're always on the hunt for demons. Jason argues that skepticism is useful in his line of work. He explained, "Being a healthy skeptic really helps, so that you're not immediately looking for, you've got a ghost, or you've got a demon or something like that. But on vanishingly rare cases, somebody might actually be possessed, and knowing that that's a possibility, once you've excluded absolutely everything else, you need to know how to deal with that."
Much of what people perceive as supernatural often has more straightforward, earthly explanations. For instance, Jason discusses the case of a mother and son experiencing unusual occurrences in their home, which they attributed to the paranormal. After an assessment, it became clear that the issues were relational rather than otherworldly. Jason suggests that "sometimes it's easier to look for a paranormal explanation" than confront real-world difficulties like relationship building or navigating the mental health system.
While popular media might suggest otherwise, Jason emphasises that demonic possessions are incredibly rare. He confesses, "I have never really come across a case that I could say, hand on heart, is a demonic possession." Major exorcisms, in which a minister directly addresses and expels the demon, are seldom called for. Jason also points out an interesting paradox: when someone claims to be possessed, the very act of communication with a representative of the church can serve as a counter-evidence. He explains, "if your entire entity or being was taken over by something that was controlling you, that entity would not allow to have this conversation with me."
The notion of a 'spiritual placebo' also comes into play in Jason's work. "One of the things that we do is we pray with people, we bless their houses. So nine times out of 10, actually just going and blessing the house and saying 'it's gone' works," he admits. But don't be too quick to dismiss the power of faith; Jason adds, "Although, as a Christian, I believe that God has some sort of say in that sort of thing."
"When I get to see people, they're usually frightened. So actually, my walking in and saying 'Okay, we've got this,' they can relax a bit more," he explained. While you may spot Jason in his parish in a long black coat and trilby, he clarifies, "I don't usually turn up in that gear and say 'I am the exorcist.' I just say 'Hi, I'm Jason. I'm the person who's been called to fix the tear and the fabric of reality that you've got in your house somewhere can you show me where it is, please?'"
Discussing the Church's stance on paranormal practices like the use of Ouija boards and ghost hunting, Jason acknowledges, "The church has consistently frowned on necromancy. It's not so much communicating with the dead, but sort of manipulating the dead into giving you some sort of answer." He warns against Ouija boards, recounting his experiences: "I have actually sorted teenagers who basically spooked themselves out really badly doing it." Although he doesn't believe these boards serve as portals to other dimensions, the psychological impact can still be significant.
As Halloween approaches, you might assume that paranormal activity — or at least reports of it — would increase. However, Jason busts this myth. "In terms of actually increasing cases, no, there isn't. They're fairly evenly spread throughout the year," he says, although he concedes there's a rise in media interest during this season.
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