One of the things I love about my job is that no matter how long you’ve been there (almost 16 years now for me), you can never say “now I’ve seen everything!”  Last week provided another example of just how odd things can get on the other end of the 9-1-1 line.  Just what the caller thought WE could do, I’m not sure.  If Jesus is your first line of defense, and that fails, can the Sheriff really solve the problem??

It was late night, cold, damp and before payday.  Not much was going on,  and most of the trouble makers were staying in, or at least staying below everyone’s radar, with the exception of one hell raiser.

We got the call from a frantic family member.  They were worried that the exorcism wasn’t going well, and the possessed relative was getting out of control.  Grandma, the family demon ‘caster-outer’, was apparently not having her usual success, and the possessed agitated relative was still in full demonic mode.   Demonic possession is an ongoing issue for this particular person, according to our caller, and Grandma was usually successful in her casting-out skills, but not this night.

I’m guessing that this demon must have been a particularly stubborn evil spirit, enjoying his stay in that poor victim.  Grandma’s attempts to invoke Jesus’ name and cast out the evil just didn’t seem to be working, and of course everyone knows that a demon doesn’t take kindly to being ordered around by little old ladies with crucifixes and holy water.  I can just imagine the turmoil going on in the house.  Can’t you just see it?  Grandma armed to the teeth with her religious icons, the Holy Book, and chanting the appropriate phrases in spanish.  The demon being stubborn and causing all kinds of hate and discontent.  Grandma was giving it her all, but maybe something stood in the way of success in this casting-out…  perhaps the demon didn’t understand spanish!

At any rate, we get the call, and send a deputy out to ‘handle’ the situation.  After about 30 minutes on the scene, the deputy calls in, asking if we can get ahold of a chaplain!  Now, this is clearly a job for the dispatch supervisor, so I immediately turn our frazzled new deputy over to her to deal with.  The room is abuzz as soon as I tell everyone what’s going on.  We decide that only a catholic chaplain will do, but we’re not even sure there ARE any in our chaplain corps!  After making a few calls, and determining that we just don’t have the resources to handle such things, we refer the family to their own priest, and, after making sure the demon-agitated relative is calmed down, the deputy leaves.

I think churches who believe in these sort of things should have an emergency number available.  Sort of a demonic heavenly 9-1-1 available 24/7 to help those who are possessed afflicted with such problems.

Other than calling mental health, we can’t do much for them.

Cross posted at Tulare County Atheists.