The Day Satan Called
- Monday, October 17, 2011
Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Bill Scott's book, The Day Satan Called: A True Encounter with Demon Possession and Exorcism (FaithWords, 2011). As such, this article will not here complete the tale Bill has to tell. We appreciate your understanding that it's not in FaithWords' or any publisher's best interests to allow us to run the book in its entirety. Click on any of the links to purchase a copy from Christianbook.com.
I’m Not Really Crazy
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.
I never planned—or even wanted—to write this book.
It’s been years since this event happened—an event that covered eighteen excruciating months of my life. I’ve only shared it with a few trusted individuals over the years. Frankly, I have been concerned that if people who don’t know me well heard me tell this story they would think I was crazy or mentally unstable. But my reluctance to share what happened to me was not just based on a fear that I wouldn’t be believed.
During this event there were death threats that both the police and I took seriously. For eighteen months my home was no longer a sanctuary. I lived in constant fear but especially dreaded nightfall each and every day. Human and inhuman voices. Noises. Threats. Cursing. Blasphemies. Objects moving. Doors opening and closing. Strange calls and visitors at work and home. The experience was simply too surreal and too painful to want to relive. For two decades I have felt it was best not to talk about my experiences to anyone outside of a small circle of friends.
You would have to be crazy to try and tell others about something this bizarre—and I’m not crazy.
I understand if you are skeptical already. You might be thinking it’s convenient that I shared my story with only a few, select individuals—and then waited more than twenty years to put it in book form. True, I can’t prove the details of my ordeal other than through the testimony of other people involved in the events at the time, but what I’m about to share with you really happened. It is my personal testimony, not an apologetic to prove the existence of the spiritual world, including demons.
For any doubters, I think I understand where you are coming from. As I relived those tumultuous moments through writing this book I, too, found it very hard to believe that these things really happened—and I was there.
A lot has to do with my upbringing. I grew up in a small, very conservative, Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. I was taught to know and love God’s Word. But there were two things we really didn’t talk about much: the power of the Holy Spirit and demons. In other words, we didn’t talk about the spirit world; at least not in the modern-day world. The only time I remember hearing about demons from the pulpit was when a missionary from Africa came to speak at our small church. It’s not that my pastor and Sunday school teachers didn’t believe in demons, it just wasn’t their teaching emphasis. What the missionary shared was fine with them, but probably because the demons were in a far off and exotic land and not the USA; certainly not the town I grew up in. The spirit world was simply not part of our world. So I never met anyone who had encountered demons. I never heard anyone speak of spiritual warfare. Your upbringing might be quite different than mine, but there is a good chance you were raised the same way on this point of ignoring the spirit world.
Even though I grew up hearing Ephesians 6:12 quoted many times—“we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places”—I just hadn’t given much thought about demons. I wasn’t looking for them. I didn’t believe—and still don’t believe—they are under every rock and hiding in every nook and cranny. I was an average guy who was just living a normal life.
The story I am about to share is true and has not been embellished in any way to make it more scintillating and strange than it actually was. I don’t believe I’m crazy and the people around me today seem to concur. This is not a vision or a product of my imagination. It actually happened to me.
I will never forget the day Satan called…
It was the week before Halloween 1988. It figures. Isn’t that the time you would expect a story like mine to begin?
Actually I wasn’t expecting anything at all. For me Halloween was nothing more than a time for Harvest Festivals, passing out candy to adorable little kids that would troop up to the door in their cute little costumes, the occasional report of someone getting their car windows “soaped” or “egged”—but not a serious holiday with spiritual meaning. Other than some scary ads for movies on television, Halloween did not conjure up spooky feelings or dread. After all, I was a healthy, well-adjusted adult living in a flesh and blood world. Yes, I was a Christian and believed God’s Spirit lived in my heart. I believed in angels and even demons, but more on a theoretical basis than something I would ever face and experience.
I was never so wrong about something in my life.
It was a typical Thursday morning as I began my normal routine, which was to head to the production studio to begin working on announcements that would play during my segment on the radio. I worked for a radio station that was located in and part of the largest church in North America at that time. I produced all on air announcements and hosted a mid-day show Monday through Friday. The day seemed normal; production work, phone calls, short meetings, and preparing myself mentally for my mid-day air shift.
A little before 10 a.m., just minutes before I went on the air live, I remember shuffling all of the stuff on my desk into neat piles and then heading down the hall to the main studio where I would interact on air for the next three hours. We had a great news team that worked across the hall. As I opened the door to enter my studio I saw Rick the news director hang up the request line phone. I was a little surprised that he was over in the main studio and that he was answering my phone. As my friend turned around and faced me, all the color had drained from his face. You’ve heard of people going white as a ghost. I’ll never again question what that means and looks like. I literally saw someone go white as a ghost. I was taken back, and strange for me, I was speechless. I wasn’t real sure what to say to him or even what to ask him. Rick sat shaking and looked at me for a minute and then said loudly and forcefully that he had just talked to a demon on the phone.
This brought me back to my senses. Now I knew it must really be the Halloween season and someone was trying to play a joke on me. So I belted out a loud courtesy laugh, ready to give him kudos for his great acting job. He really had looked scared.
Rick just looked at me and said again, “I’m serious, I just talked to a demon on the phone and I don’t know what to do! We need to do something!”
Again, I chuckled and told Rick that it was not real; it was just someone playing a prank. Besides, I wanted to ask him, how would he know that a demon had just called him on the phone?
But Rick wasn’t joking despite my protestations. He continued to say over and over that it was a demon and that we needed to help the girl that was calling us.
As I noted before, I grew up in a very strict Independent Christian church and if there was one thing we never talked about it was the spiritual world. Of course we acknowledged the Holy Spirit, but even He was portrayed as a rather subdued character. I love the church that I grew up in but I have wondered if we shouldn’t have talked about spiritual warfare just a little bit. Spiritual victory was a matter of knowing God’s Word—not pursuing and really even avoiding areas that might lead you astray because they were more tied to emotions. Some ministers from my tradition would go so far as to say that demons, like miracles, were restricted to biblical times, but didn’t exist in the present tense.
I stopped telling Rick that I knew he was joking, but I reminded him that it was the Halloween season, we were a Christian radio station, and that perhaps the news room didn’t get prank phone calls, but we got them in the “on air” studio all the time. It was just some kid home sick from school for the day who was bored and getting into some mischief. I know when I was home as a school kid I could get into this kind of trouble. Prank calls were a staple of my growing up years. What a great place to call, a radio station. You couldn’t help thinking that maybe your crank call would make it on the airwaves.
Rick ignored my disclaimers and insisted it was a real call from someone who was in desperate trouble; someone who was under the influence of a demon. I asked Rick how he knew it was a demon. Rick, who rather than calming down was growing more agitated and upset as we talked, said that he could tell it wasn’t a human voice.
Rick had my attention by now. If he was playing a joke on me, he had taken it way too far. I knew him well enough to see that he was truly rattled like I had never seen him before. I finally concluded that he really did believe what he was saying to me. But I had never known anyone who had claimed to have talked to a demon in person much less on the phone. Not even the missionary from Africa. I wasn’t sure it was possible so my mind was looking for other explanations of what Rick might have experienced.
Rick continued to explain to me that it was not a human that he talked to on the phone. He said that as soon as he heard the voice every hair on his head had stood on end. At this point I ran out of things to say. I knew Rick was sincerely scared, but based on my life experience, I didn’t believe he had just talked to a demon. Why would a demon call my request line anyway? I am most certain there wasn’t a song in our library he would want to hear.
As we stood behind the control board, at an impasse, I tried to lighten the atmosphere with another attempt at humor. Again I began to make fun of the call Rick had received. I was hoping my levity would settle Rick down and get him to think clearly. I had never seen him upset and I was concerned. But it was time for me to go on the air and Rick was just going to have to get over the call so I could get my job done.
The request line began to ring. Rick looked at me and pointed.
“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.
This is what I experienced—and it was something I had never experienced before. The sound literally takes your breath away. In some cases, as I was soon to discover, the temperature in the room feels as though it has dropped to near freezing. That didn’t happen now, but there was no doubt this was a real spiritual encounter.
The demon stated that he was going to kill Lacey and there was nothing we could do to save her. He triumphantly stated that she belonged to Satan. He told us to stay away from her or to suffer the consequences. Lacey came back on the line and was in tears asking what was happening to her. She begged us to help her. My head was spinning. Lacey would speak and then the demon would break in to tell us we could not save her. Sometimes he would scream and yell curses and blasphemies at us.
Now please remember I was never taught much about the reality of demons, much less how to deal with a demon. I was clueless. From the recesses of my childhood memories I did remember something the missionary who had spoken at our church had said. He told us how a Christian can bind Satan in Jesus’ Name. So I did what I thought would solve the problem. I yelled into the phone with as much courage as I could muster, “In Jesus’ name you most go! I bind you in Jesus’ name.” I’ll never forget the response. It was not what I expected.
The demon in a very quiet voice said, “—you, I am going nowhere.”
Maybe I hadn’t said it with enough conviction. Maybe it took more than one time to work. So with a little more courage and in an even louder voice I repeated, “In Jesus’ Name you most go! I bind you in Jesus’ Name.”
I received the same response from the demon on the phone. That was my very best effort in spiritual warfare.
We had drawn a small crowd of colleagues to the studio by this time and the morning deejay was spinning records on air to cover for me. Sad to say there wasn’t anyone else around that had any more of a clue of what to do than I did. I didn’t realize at the time that Satan will test you to see if you really know your power is in Christ alone. I learned first hand and quickly he will intimidate you and put a fear in you so that you believe there is nothing you can do.
In this case it worked.
Lacey hung up on us but called back just a little while later. This continued all day on Thursday until late in the evening. The phone calls would last for five minutes or so. I would talk to Lacey and then the demon and then the phone would go dead.
On one of her calls Lacey shared with me that when she was younger the coven she was in had sacrificed her baby. I was stunned and incredulous, which I didn’t think was possible after all I had already heard from her. She explained that she was a “breeder” and the witches used her and other young women to bear children so they would have babies to kill and even eat during certain satanic holidays. She told me she was born to be a breeder. She had not been allowed to go out in public and had never attended school.
Later we discovered she had no birth certificate or other government identification so there was no record of her existence, much less her having been pregnant or having a baby. I was horrified by everything she was telling me. I may not have believed in demons or satanic activity before, but I did now. I was terrified but I am not the kind of guy who gives up very easily on people. And I wasn’t going to give up on Lacey—though if I knew then what I know now, I might not have kept picking up the phone.
This was the day Satan called.
I wasn’t ready for it. Maybe it’s not possible for anyone to be prepared for a jolt like this.
But God was present and working in and through me, despite my limited knowledge and feeble faith.
So I resolved that no matter what, I would continue to pick up the phone. And with God’s grace I did...
Author’s Note on Names and Places: Lacey is the real name of the one who reached out to me on my call-in line that was the beginning of this story for me. Beyond that, I have changed the names of most participants. When you read the last chapters of The Day Satan Called you will better understand my desire to protect the identity and privacy of a central character in my story. I’ve also left out place names for the same reason. The events and conversations are all true.
Excerpted from The Day Satan Called, (FaithWords, 2011). Used with permission.
Bill Scott is the founder of Free Our Family, a ministry focusing on hurting families. He has spoken at youth events, on college campuses, and started the first online crisis hotline serving over 250,000 students. Bill is also a radio station consultant, and he can be heard throughout the United States both through interviews and fundraising. He and his wife Janet reside in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Follow Bill's story online at facebook.com/thedaysatancalled.
Publication date: October 17, 2011
Recently on Halloween
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content