“Look,” he said, “you answer it and see for yourself if I’m making something up.” 

While we had debated whether he had actually talked to a demon Rick had told me that the call he took was from a 16-year-old girl named Lacey. She felt her life was in danger and was desperate for help. That’s when the demon broke in and said he would kill her if Rick tried to help, and seconds later the line went dead. This flashed through my mind as the phone continued to ring. I just stared at it. We didn’t have an answering machine on it, so it rang until you picked it up. I have to admit; now I was a little scared. Rick looked at me, maybe with a little triumph in his expression, as I stared at the blinking request line. 

Finally I gave my head a shake, told myself it was no big deal, and answered the phone. Little did I know that by answering that phone call that day my life would be changed forever. It was like opening Pandora’s box. 

I picked up the receiver and said simply, “Hello?” 

The voice I heard was weak, timid, and very scared. What sounded like a little girl began to talk to me. Rick, who had put his ear as near to the outside of the headset as he could, was listening intently. He looked at me and soundlessly mouthed, “That’s her.” 

I asked who was calling and what I could do for her. She told me her name was Lacey and that she needed help. For the next few minutes Lacey told me things that were shocking and just couldn’t be true. She told me that she was living in a coven under strict watch and control. She described her life as if she was a prisoner. A prisoner being held by witches in 20th Century America? 

What I knew about covens came from literature and movies, but like the idea of present and active demons, I had never given any thought to them as something real. I read later that a coven or is a name used to describe a gathering of witches or in some cases vampires. Vampires? I had watched some old Count Dracula movies in black and white as a kid. That’s all I knew about vampires at the time. Vampires weren’t the literary rage they became later through popular fiction authors. 

I asked Lacey how old she was. She said that she was 16. After a pause, she told me the same thing she had told Rick; that she was very scared for her life. She went on to say the most horrifying thing imaginable. She said that she was to be sacrificed on Halloween and she didn’t want to die. I was looking at Rick as I talked to Lacey on the phone in absolute disbelief. A part of me was very frightened but I also had a fleeting thought that this was nothing more than a pre-Halloween prank from a teenager who liked to watch scary movies. But listening to her speak I knew that this was not someone trying to pull a hoax on us. I put Lacey on a speakerphone so Rick could hear every word, too. 

I don’t know if I believed Lacey lived in a coven but I believed she was frightened for her life. So I told her how much we cared for her and that we could get her the help she needed. I told her we could begin working to get her into a safe house. It was at that point that I almost wet my pants. At first it sounded as though she was gagging on something. But then I heard a voice that was clearly not human. I don’t have the words to describe what it sounded like. But like Rick, every hair on my body was standing on end. He and I looked at each other with eyes as wide as saucers. I had just heard the voice of a demon. Rick had been telling the truth. He was right. 

You might wonder if I had never heard a demon speak how did I know I just heard one? All I can say is when a demon speaks to you there is no doubt in your mind that you are in the presence of evil. It’s more than the sense of sound. Every part of you experiences it physically and emotionally. Your mind does a somersault and both sharpens and blurs; your heart races but feels like it might suffocate; you can feel a palpable presence of evil tingling in your knees and elbows; your breathing becomes very shallow; a heaviness settles over your thoughts.