Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tap, Tap, Tap

I was in New York over the weekend and I went to the Strand to look for some books. I couldn’t find my top two choices – The Night Watch by Sarah Waters and a new biography of the British scientist J.D. Bernal by Andrew Brown. I did find three books that I had previously been unable to get anywhere else (library included) and bought them. They were Kiss It Goodbye by John Wessel, The Wrong Kind of Blood by Declan Hughes and Come Closer by Sarah Gran.

I wanted to get the Declan Hughes book when I was in Ireland but it has yet to be published there. It hasn’t been officially released here either – I got a reviewer’s copy. The John Wessel book is the third in what had been a series of crime novels set on the south side of Chicago. I thought the first two were okay and I liked the Chicago stuff. He seems to have disappeared after the third book – which was nearly impossible to find.

The coolest book I got was Come Closer by Sara Gran. I scored a copy of her new book, Dope, from the library last week. I’d heard some great things about Come Closer but had never seen a copy before. The book is about an architect who may or may not be possessed. While I generally hate anything to do with the supernatural, this book rocks. She’s a brilliant writer. Uncluttered prose that flows smoothly. Very economical yet nothing important gets left out. Tremendously entertaining.

The book is also a great primer on what to do if you or a loved one is suffering from demonic possession. Here’s a simple 10 point diagnostic tool from the book:

Are YOU Possessed by a Demon?

1. I hear strange noises in my home, especially at night, which family members tell me only occur when I am present.

2. I have new activities and pastimes that seem "out of character," and I do things that I did not intend and do not understand.

3. I'm short and ill-tempered with my friends and loved ones.

4. I can understand languages I've never studied, and have the ability to know things I couldn't know through ordinary means.

5. I have blackouts not caused by drugs, alcohol, or a preexisting health condition.

6. I have unusual new thoughts, or hear voices in my head.

7. I've had visions or dreams of personalities who may be demons.

8. A psychic, minister, or other spiritualist has told me I'm possessed.

9. I have urges to hurt or kill animals and other people.

10. I have hurt or killed animals or people.


0-3: You are probably not possessed. See a doctor or mental health professional for an evaluation.

3-6: You may be haunted, or in the early stages of possession. Do not be alarmed. Seek a spiritual counselor for assisstance.

6-10: You are possessed. Consult with your spiritual counselor immediately. You may be a threat to the safety of yourself and your family.

Possession usually begins with a preliminary stage called "obsession"- the obsession of the demon with the victim. In this stage the victim is still alone in his body but all five senses, and in addition the memory and mind, can be manipulated and disturbed by the Entity. The victim may feel lust, envy, greed, or urges towards any of the sins with stronger force than ever before. It is common for the victim to hear the demon in the form of rapping, tapping, or scratching that seems to follow them around; also common is for the victim to have their dreams infiltrated by the Possessing Entity.

I gave the test to my traveling companion on the bus ride back to Washington. To protect that person’s privacy, I won’t reveal the outcome of the test – but let’s just say it explains a few things. Especially the tapping.


I got Dope from the library. I didn't think I'd be able to score my Dope there - I figured I'd have to buy it on the street. Let me tell you, this is some good stuff.