Destination America: An exorcism

Some are opposed… others are non-believers. Regardless, the live television exorcism set to premiere tonight–Halloween Eve 2015–is making a number of headlines.

The WASHINGTON POST profiled hell night 

 in an article about the DESTINATION AMERICA live show..

Emily Yahr wrote,

All reality TV producers have to prepare for worst-case scenarios when they air a live event. Jodi Tovay’s worries are a bit more unusual, because she is sending paranormal investigators into a house they believe is infested with demonic spirits.

“The worst-case scenario is that one of these entities will attach to someone,” Tovay said. “It is dangerous.”

Luckily, Tovay says, the physical symptoms are usually obvious when an evil spirit attaches itself to a person: nausea, scratches, superhuman strength. A team of paramedics will be on standby, as will police. She’s ready.

But if you believe that exorcism is real, that demons are not just imaginary devils of our wild antiquated religious imagination, then how can anyone be ready? How could one prepare for the battle against evil. All while the rest of the world watches..

More from the POST report,

Welcome to “Exorcism: Live!” airing at 9 p.m. Friday on Destination America, a cable channel owned by Discovery Communications. The two-hour telecast tasks a clergyman, a psychic and the team from the network’s “Ghost Asylum” series to go into the spooky suburban St. Louis home that inspired “The Exorcist” book and movie. Ghost hunters insist that the house is filled with a dark, sinister energy, and “Exorcism: Live!” is determined to cleanse it.


 prepares witnesses to the live event for the story.

Maryland’s famed Roland Doe–the subject of reality who was played by the fictional Linda Blair’s Reagan in THE EXORCIST horror movie–traveled back and forth between the state and St. Louis in the 1940s. The house Doe stayed at in Missouri is the house where Destination America will attempt to propel out demons tonight. Even more, Doe underwent an exorcism on the second floor of the home. The rumor, the legend, the story: The house has been possessed every since then by an evil entity..

The Washington POST story points out something that many have thought of–and something Destination America has bragging rights about:

The most thrilling aspect for Tovay is that this will be live. No one can accuse them of manipulating anything, she said — a criticism often leveled at paranormal shows.

“We can’t fake it on live TV. We can’t fake evidence or pump in sound effects. The drama is unfolding right in front of you,” Tovay said.

But what about the people (okay, lots of people) who believe that this is all completely made up? Long, the clergy member who will accompany the group, is used to that. He just doesn’t have time to worry about it anymore.

“I’m not here to prove that demons exist. I am here to help families who know they do,” Long said.


The St. Louis DISPATCH gave an interior look into the house. 

 Peeking into the hallways and lighted home, it’s actually remarkably lovely.. Even the aged basement and attic are both well maintained. A visual peer would prove no spirits, no devils, and no darkness besides the normal shadows that would accompany any sundown.  The exact opposite of what we are being told by psychics and priests, ghost hunters and television executives.

But some are not so kind.

Pre-reviews are coming in. Without the event able to have taken place yet, we are relying on the mystery that will unfold. VARIETY for one is not impressed..

Columnist Brian Lowry labels the event a stunt.

 From his article:

Discovery group president Henry Schleiff, who counts Destination America among the networks he oversees, along with the higher-profile Investigation Discovery, has a bit of P.T. Barnum in him, but he’s much too polite to ever suggest that those people tuning in expecting to see glasses fly around the room might be suckers.

As for the likelihood that “Exorcism Live!” will deliver anything dramatic enough to require steam-cleaning the carpet, he says, “I don’t think we will have Geraldo Rivera and the empty vaults,” referring to the much lampooned but highly rated 1986 special devoted to opening Al Capone’s “secret” vault, which spurred a wave of copycats before the trend cooled. “The people we’re working with really believe in this,” Schleiff adds, noting that much of the public does as well.

Not kind words. There are equally unkind words from other pundits in the online peanut gallery.

The truth is, we don’t know what will happen until tonight. If producers are planning up some trick to ensure we get our money’s worth, then it’s yet to be seen.. Or on the other hand, if reality will prevail and either nothing at all (if that’s your reality) or something strange (if that’s your reality) then we will have something to talk about on Halloween morning.

And if nothing else, Destination America has already won.  The buildup has been spectacular–almost a year long, I heard about this first months ago back in the spring time warmth, long before the leaves changed to their vibrant colors of death.  The network has conjured up attention from mainstays of media and alternate sources as well. They won. Even if they don’t conjure demons or ghouls..