Army machine-gunner Caleb Daniels lost his best friend and seven other members of his unit when a Chinook helicopter — one he was meant to be on — crashed in Afghanistan.
The 2005 tragedy haunted him when he returned to his home in Savannah, Ga. At night, a tall, shadowy figure crept into his room. Sometimes the Black Thing would threaten to kill him; other times it would choke his dead best friend.
The dark figure, a “Destroyer demon,” punished him, he said, “for killing and for living.”
Without answers — his PTSD diagnosis offered little explanation — he went to the one person he felt could save him: a minister who offered $199 exorcisms out of his trailer.
Daniels, profiled in the book “Demon Camp” by first-time author Jennifer Percy, is just one of many deeply troubled soldiers suffering from the after-effects of war who are so desperate for respite they undergo exorcisms at a fringe Pentecostal retreat.
Bear Creek Ranch, in Portal, Ga., is ministered by Tim and Katie Mather, a husband-and-wife team that has conducted over 5,000 exorcisms, some of them on veterans.
Written By: Susannah Cahalan
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