(Part 5 of 5)
With Hurricane Betsy (1965) bearing down on New Orleans, our family left to stay at my grandparent's home where we rode out the storm without much consequence. There were downed power lines, branches everywhere, roof damage, but thankfully, not much flooding. When we returned to our home however, we had not fared so well. There was major damage. Much of the roof had blown off and there was extensive water damage to the walls, floors, furniture--everything. We were without power for weeks on end, conserving food and water. We found splinters of wood embeded in fence posts--such was the strength of the wind.
Instead of simply repairing what needed to be fixed, my parents decided to add on to the house and do some remodeling--in this case--a major remodel. They decided to add on an entire second floor.
So for the next 5 or 6 years, things were fairly quiet around our house, except for all the sawing and hammering going on. Progress was slow as my father kept getting new ideas and inspirations. Besides that, he was both a perfectionist and procrastinator--not a good combination for an efficient remodel:)
Finally though, the rooms were ready. Our bedrooms were now upstairs--my parents had one room, my sister and I shared and my brother had his own room situated at the end of a long dark hall.
Shortly after we moved to our new quarters, my brother began to behave strangely. In the middle of the night, every night, he bolted down the hall and jumped into bed with my parents. He was terrified of something, though he couldn't tell us exactly why or what he was afraid of.
Over the years, his night terrors grew worse. I'm sad to say my sister and I used to make fun of him for being a "baby" and not being able to sleep in his own room like a big boy. Why didn't it occur to us, especially me, give my experience, that he might have been afflicted by the same spirit we had encountered years before?
As I said earlier, my mother was fully convinced that the whatever had plagued her before was gone. That said, she was still afraid to talk about it. I believe she feared talking about what happened might cause its return. The rest of the family (with the exception of my father) had no idea my mother had experienced anything similar to mine until we finally sat down and talked about it.
Finally, things began to happen in front of people other than my brother. Once he had a friend over. They were playing a board game on the floor in his room. His friend threw a ball into the closet. A couple of minutes later, the ball hurtled out of the closet at his friend. Mind you, the ball didn't simply roll out of the closet from an unstable position.
We started listening to my brother. He told us about the spirit. When he crawled into his bed to go to sleep, he would often feel something else lay next to him. He would see the mattress press down, as if under an invisible weight. And the spirit would talk to him--urge him to engage in evil acts toward his family, to others, to himself. Though terrified, he resisted.
Eventually, he moved out of that room and to a downstairs bedroom. We closed the door on his old room and used it for storage. The truth is, we avoided it. Sometimes we'd hear noises coming from the room. Other times when were pulling out the driveway, we could see what looked like a woman or a man at the window. No one wanted to be alone in the house because you knew you weren't alone. The way you feel when you know someone is watching you.
The years went by. In my twenties and no longer living at the house, I was visiting one weekend and went upstairs to look for a bolt of material in the room. It was pretty much sealed off and though we had central air, the vents were closed. In the middle of summer, I dreaded the prospect of searching for my sewing materials in the heat, but I mainly wanted to get in and out as soon as possible. I looked around and found the bolt, but as soon as I grabbed it, a chill wind passed through my body. A chill as cold as winter--as cold as the wind that first blew through the house that summer's day so long ago. I could feel it pass through me. I've never felt anything like that before or since. Shaking, terrified, I dropped the bolt and ran. That was my final encounter in the house. I never experienced any other manifestion of the demonic presence again, nor did I ever desire to.
Through a series of divine appointments with born-again believers, my brother decided to give his life to Jesus. He was the first in our family to do so and began to pray and witness (share his testimony) with the rest of us. In time, we all accepted Christ as well. Though we didn't know or understand the full significance and authority given to believers at the time, that decision was the first step to our deliverance from the demonic presence in the house.
We used to watch as my brother walked through the house with his Bible, speaking over each room with authority. An eager prayer warrior, he rescinded the invitation to the demon(s) and closed the open door originally offered by the Ouija board. He searched through the house and collected occult material--incluing the original Ouija Board which was stored on the top shelf of my closet for some odd reason. He also collected items none of us had ever considered to be occult material--books, tapes, even movies and removed them from the premises. We began to join him in those prayer sweeps, concentrating God's Word in faith on casting out that awful spirit for good. And though a few more rather unsettling occurances happened over the years, this time again involving my mother, the reign of terror welded by that demonic spirit over the house and over our lives was over, broken!
My father went to be with the Lord in 2004. A year later, in 2005, Katrina flooded the home with six feet of of water. Since no one was allowed back into the area right away, the house overcome with black mold, the interior downstairs gutted and destroyed. The home was eventually reduced to a bare skeleton inside. (See photos below). The city finally bulldozed the house in 2010. Now there is nothing left but an empty lot.
The hurricane also destroyed my brother's home but the storm left in its wake, a desire to serve God in a new way. My brother became a pastor.
There are those who still play with Ouija boards or dabble in the occult in various other ways, people who think there is nothing wrong with doing so. But experience is something you get when you were expecting something else.
We expected to play a board game.
Instead, our family was tormented for many years by a demon or demons.
The experience changed our lives. We were tormented and afflicted, but now we are free. For years we remained silent about it. But now it is part of our testimony. And because it is very much a part of my personal testimony, I finally felt ready to share this true story about overcoming victory in Christ Jesus. The blood of Jesus set us free from the law of sin and death. Jesus saves, heals, protects and delivers!
It is my sincere hope that this testimony will help others who might find themselves in similar situations or those who have lived through it as we did, but chose to keep silent.
Deuteronomy 18:10 "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead."
Hebrews 9:27 "It is appointed unto men but once to die and then the judgment." Reveal the lies and lead them to Your Truth Lord."
The home AFTER Katrina
1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour."
Matt. 16:19 "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
"Ghostly Orbs" There are some plausible explanations for orbs--moisture, camera lens issues, etc. but this was the room with the greatest activity.
Downstairs completely gutted after the Hurricane.
Luke 10:19 "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
Acts 10:38 "How God annointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil..."
Matt 8:16 "...He cast out the spirits with His Word. . ."