A Case Study: The Mirror / Things: Blog #1 on this Topic

Details that identify a person or a place are sufficiently altered to protect privacy.

Case studies that appear on this site fall under three categories. These labels remind us of the conduit that facilitated the event. If you practice deliverance and you keep records, these labels might be helpful to you. They are: People, Places, and Things.

Labels always overlap. For example a place may be haunted. Certain people associated with that location are affected, sometimes through no fault of their own. Things in that house or grounds point in a certain direction that may help an investigator to understand the spiritual missteps, the sin based stronghold, or the genesis of a haunting.

After the initial assessment is completed a plan can then be formulated. A team is brought together. The Holy Spirit calls the leader. This would be the person whose spiritual gift-set most aptly fits the engagement. The leader usually knows who he is.

In doing this work, in fact all work in the exercise of spiritual gifts, it is important to know our limitations. Although I can do so, I prefer not to be the leader, feeling that my own gift set lends itself best to the investigative and planning stages.


Places can be haunted. Some locations retain an aura of evil. When I use the term "aura" I mean a lingering field of concentrated energy. A demonic presence may be fixed in certain locations for reasons we don’t fully understand. This happens for a number of reasons. Two of the most common are systematic occult activity which pollutes a house or particular location. The second most common reason is that an unsaved person dies. During life this person was willingly influenced by occult practice or they were possessed by an evil spirit. The body dies and the demon presence lingers on. (More about this in future posts)

Possession by evil spirits fall into specific stages, each with its own symptoms, which I'll describe in later posts.


The conduit in this case was a thing. We would file this case under that heading.

As I drove back and forth to work at a small hospital in Iowa I traveled the same route. Each time I passed a particular house my attention was caught. This was a nice house, renovated in a slow process over the last two years. A brick wall flanked an ornamental guard house at the end of the short drive. What I "discerned" was the presence of evil.

I asked around and discovered that the house had been abandoned by a man who had held a prestigious job at a nearby company. This man had gotten a divorce and lived alone in the house until he abruptly disappeared. I wondered where the man had gone. Was he frightened by sometime? Did he return to his home state? Had alcohol or drugs fueled his behavior? Did he have any children?

For weeks, as I passed this house, I prayed for the man whose name I had learned.

Less than a year later a woman I’ll call Linda, got in touch with me. She wanted to talk about her own house. It was suddenly and inexplicably “haunted.” She and her husband felt they were being uncomfortably watched and especially as they walked from the kitchen into the main hallway. Linda’s husband, whom I’ll call Roy, saw an apparition as a reflection in the hall mirror.

Roy was so frightened by this threatening presence that from that point on, he detoured through other rooms and thus avoided entirely the passage that connected the entry with the kitchen. (Roy avoiding a particular location in his own house, as I've seen other people do in similar circumstances, and which I myself once did, is reflected in my fictional account of Woods End Farm). When I asked Roy to describe what he saw he refused, feeling there was a mandate on him not to do so. Doing so, he told me, would unleash a curse on his family. This partnering with secrets is always a mistake.

When I asked Roy why he hadn't removed the mirror himself he said, "It occurred to me, but it wasn't possible. If I even tried a worse thing would happen. I might die or have a bad accident." I felt his fear as he spoke. His words told me that a curse, transferred from the mirror and strengthened by an act of theft had impacted his thinking. This curse would need to be expelled so it would have no future impact on his health and well being and would not be passed to subsequent generations.

And so, before I returned to the house with a team to conduct a “cleansing” of the premises, I had work to do with Roy. Right away I sensed that he was not telling me the full truth. At this point we were still in, what I call the exploration phase. Freeing Roy from such fear-based bondage would be important as we moved through the preparatory phase.

Linda called to ask if I would meet her at the house and see what I “felt.”

Before I went to the house I met with Linda and her husband at the church they infrequently attended. Because her pastor had already counseled her that she was “imagining” things, I did not ask him to join us. Instead I invited the assistant pastor, whom I knew to be receptive to this work, to meet with us so that Linda and Roy would have a church-based support system after the teams involvement was finished.

I have a standard questionnaire I utilize. One of the questions reads: Has anything new been introduced into your home that coincides with the preternatural activity you have witnessed or experienced?

Linda said no, but a clouded expression flickered behind her husband’s eyes. After questioning Roy this is what he revealed.

He too had passed the house I mentioned earlier, which was also on his route to and from work. He had heard the gossip about this man and his family and actually knew more than I did. The wife bred dogs and there were kennels on the property. As her marriage fell apart she neglected these animals so that the authorities had to step in and rescue about thirty dogs and puppies.

Abuse of children and animals is a byproduct of evil persons or influence. Unhealthy or abusive control over children, or impaired or weaker adults, is something I watch for. Such behaviors may be quite subtle and not immediately obvious.

Humiliated, the wife moved away long before the divorce was finalized. In this work I am alert to those persons that evidence a hyper intolerance for criticism. The man was fired from his job. Rumor had it that, although there were many expensive furnishings, he abandoned these when he left. His wife did the same and the bank eventually sold the contents along with the house.

Roy had learned that foreclosure was imminent. On a “whim” he decided to check out the home's interior. He said: “It was as if something was both attracting and repelling me to that house. I was scared, but also excited by what I felt. It seemed like an adventure so I just decided to check it out.” I later heard from Roy that he had infrequently stolen property when there was little risk of being caught and when the circumstances seemed "right."

Surprisingly the front door was open. After walking through the rooms he took (stole) three items. A small oriental rug, a large decorative vase, and a mirror. Roy first noticed the mirror because it was covered with a tablecloth. Below the mirror were black candles that had burned down and what looked like the remains of a small animal left to rot in a brass bowl. Only later, after he'd seen the apparition reflected in the mirror, did he make any kind of a connection. As he pulled away the dusty fabric Roy was enchanted. Although there was nothing remarkable in appearance he thought the mirror beautiful and imagined that Linda would feel as he did.

Until we worked through his penchant to deflect responsibility Roy told me that he "did it for Linda."

Roy returned home with these items and told Linda that he had, "picked them up at a garage sale."


I told Roy to have the mirror valued. He then met with the appropriate person at the bank, taking responsibility for his actions. He handed them the appraisers report and a check for the mirror. He and I had already returned the rug and vase to the house. To do this we had to borrow a key from the real estate broker charged with watching the property, until it could be listed for sale. He told us that, as far as he knew, the house had never been left open.

The value of the mirror was not much, but it was important for Roy to face the consequences. In tearing down strongholds and breaking the power of curses this is important. In further preparation, Linda and Roy set aside a time to pray and confess their sins to one another and to God. I suggested the model found in Psalm 51 and gave them a hand-out I sometimes provide for this purpose. The assistant pastor guided this process, meeting with the couple afterwards for accountability and later, marriage counseling.

I then called Bill. Bill is an ordained minister in a mainstream denomination. We decided to ask four other people to join our team. Among the six of us we had the following spiritual gift-sets represented. Being deliberate and strategic about these gift-sets is important. Persons that are ill equipped and yet invited to participate, can be hurt.

1. Prophecy / Exhortation / Intercession
2. Discernment / Intercession / Deliverance
3. Discernment / Deliverance / Healing
4. Faith / Intercession/ Healing
5. Mercy / Faith / Intercession
6. Celibacy / Faith / Intercession

Bill would lead. I don’t recommend attempting such a cleansing alone. God designed us to need one another. Gifts are not static. We all have gifts, but we do not all commit to use our gifts.

The team, along with Roy and Linda, selected a date. We had already broken and sprinkled the mirror with Holy Water. We had then prayed, cast off, burned, and buried what was left in ground sprinkled with salt blessed for the purpose.

Delay gave the team time for preparation. We fasted and prayed, joining with others to send up advance prayer. Outside our small team, including our off-site prayer team, as well as Roy and Linda, little information was shared. We would not advertise the circumstances, name names, fuel gossip or share any identifying details. Privacy and anonymity are important, but there is another reason as well. Satan often uses the immaturity of others to stir up conflict that can impact the team. Far better to be circumspect which I believe is in keeping with the wisdom needed for such a task.

On the designated date the team entered Roy and Linda’s home. In this instance, it was important for them to be involved and actively take part.


You might ask why the cleansing of the property was necessary. The demonic attachment appeared to center around the mirror which was no longer present. Roy and Linda reported that they no longer had that uncomfortable "menacing feeling" of being watched.

Demons are attracted to place and have a lustful imperative to establish place. Having lost their very beautiful and perfect home in heaven they have no home (Revelation 11: 7-9; Ezekiel 28: 16, 17). In Mark chapter 5, we see a picture of the perverted, consuming need of evil spirits to establish place and to occupy, as a prize of war, a human vehicle. If they are prevented by the Holy Spirit from having full access, almost any peripheral object or place will do. In a broken world people as place, and the destruction of people, is the invading mandate from Satan to its troops. Read Mark 5: 1-13.

Although these evil spirits may not evidence their presence any longer to Linda and Roy, they may easily do so when new owners move in, and especially if any new owners unknowingly make themselves a target or participate in any occult activity, thus opening the door. It is possible for people to set up a confluence of circumstances that cause serious harm to themselves or others. So... like a good exterminator, my hope is that a similar problem would not surface on down the road.


Different denominations may practice the actual cleansing differently; utilizing an established church rite or different passages of scripture. Some denominations have no such rite. I have a dialogue / prayer sequence that I wrote that is an adaptation of the early Church rite with some changes and omissions. The Catholic rite is a proven model to follow.

There is one person in charge. That person leads the group and decides what will take place if there is a particular challenge to our presence that we did not anticipate.

As we get underway we know that the prayer team we have organized off-site will be praying as well. There has been the experience of one of these off-site prayer warriors calling later to name the specific hour, down to the very minute, when they felt a lifting and a joyous certainty of Christ’s victory over darkness.

We always open and close with a prayer of protection for all those involved, as well as for loved ones.



The house from which Roy stole the mirror was sold. The new owners purchased the land and house as a retreat for a pseudo religious group, outside the pale of traditional Christendom. Since I was never invited to pray over those premises, I didn't do so. I only go where I’m invited and sometimes God lets me know I'm not the person to be involved. Often this has more to do with some sin I've allowed into my life that I'm not fully aware of and haven't confessed.

Linda and Roy experienced no more preternatural activity in or around their home.

That there were no more problems is the only yardstick I know to determine if a cleansing was successful.

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