Demonic Possession and the resemblance to Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis

Demonic Possession and the resemblance to Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis.

By Holly Moreland


Lets talk today about “demonic possession” and the resemblance to Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. What is Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis you ask? I will get to that in a minute. I first want to tell you what originally sparked my interest in this particular subject. I am guilty! My interest did not come from the very well known movie “The Exorcist”, but came from watching a movie “Exorcism of Emily Rose”. Many of you may have watched this movie based on the case of Anneliese Michel. Now I am not saying that Anneliese suffered from this disease. Only that it peeked my interest and some of the symptoms are so similar. Makes one wonder if this disease had been discovered back then if it was possible it could have been the cause and had a different outcome.

I came across an actual case of Susannah Cahalan. A healthy 24 year old reporter for the New York Post. She was the 217th person to be diagnosed with this disease in 2009. The disease was first identified in 2007. I have attached a link to one of many articles telling her story.

Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is a rare autoimmune disease that can attack the brain. Antibodies turn on the brain its self and causes it to swell. The disease mostly infects young women and is often mis diagnosed as psychological disorders, and possibly demonic possession. Although extremely rare, you can see why asking the tough questions and searching for all answers is crucial to the paranormal community.

Main symptoms

Flu-like symptoms

Memory deficits, including loss of short-term memory;

Sleep disorders;

Speech dysfunction – the patient is no longer able to produce coherent language or may be completely unable to communicate

Cognitive and behavioral disturbances – confused thinking, hallucinations, delusional thinking, dis inhibited behaviors;


Movement disorders – usually of the arms and legs and the mouth and tongue, but may include full body spasms. These types of movements are very common in Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis and the patient is unable to control them. They are often quite severe, requiring the patient to be restrained and sedated for their own safety and those of their care-givers. Sometimes patients are unable to move, and may appear like a statue, holding the same position for hours or days (catatonia);

Loss of consciousness – The patient may be semi-conscious or may slip into a coma;

Autonomic dysfunction – erratic breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure; loss of bladder control and bowel movements;

Central hypoventilation – the patient may stop breathing, and may require a mechanical breathing machine.

Vision and/or hearing may also be impaired.

I encourage you to read Susannah’s story! How her life was turned upside down! Her symptoms were mimicking that of what some people believe to be demonic possession. Also read the article attached on the disease. What are your thoughts? What might we ask or do if we come across such a case this extreme?…/what-is-anti-nmda-rece…/

Holly Moreland

Holly Moreland

Director - Div 2 at National Paranormal Society
Hi, My name is Holly. I live in the middle of Michigan on a small quiet lake with my significant other. I have 2 children, and a couple I choose to also call my own! I have had a few experiences that have made me scratch my head about so I reached out to see what others have encountered! I love to research and communicate what I find in any aspect of life! I also seem to have a need to help others or I could say others seem to seek me out for help! Happy to be part of the group!!.
Holly Moreland

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