Father Duncan noted with some curiosity that Father Hardesty had numerous visits to 906 Armory Street and wondered who he was ministering to. He made up his mind to call upon the residence later this afternoon after he finished rounds at 2 hospitals, St, Anne’s and Holy Family hospitals.
The two were new additions to the Steward Health Care system in Boston but each carried a long legacy of providing compassionate Christian care.Father Duncan first went to Holy Family and walked in through the emergency room door. He turned right at the triage’ station and headed for the elevators. En route he met Sister Ellen, a part-time registered nurse with the trauma team who asked if the father was aware that the hospital had accepted the body of James Bolgerr who had committed suicide and also been accused of 18 murders in the Boston area.
Sister Ellen informed him she doubted if any rites had been said over the body and just wanted the father to be aware. Father Duncan made a note to visit the hospital mortuary. Meanwhile, Detective Zollman had driven South to Fall River in hopes of confronting Devon McMillan for the hit and run that killed Father Hardesty.
The residence was a run-down shotgun house with a detached garage. Zollman parked his car in the gravel driveway, looked for signs of life and saw none. There was no sign of the silver Dodge Ram. Zollman got out of his car and decided to take a look around. As yet he didn’t have a warrant to search the property but he could observe from the exterior and peek over the backyard fence. The occupant was clearly a slob so he must live alone concluded Zollman. The smell from the porch indicated he had rotting food in the kitchen or a full septic tank.
The backyard was overgrown with a grill on a modest patio and a small overhang covering the back entrance to the house. Zollman peered into the garage, tools were thrown about, rags and the smell of gasoline was strong. There was a small shed attached to the garage with no windows. It was padlocked from the outside so whatever was in there McMillan was interested in protecting.
Walking to the front of the house he opened the mailbox, rifled through the mail-just bills, junk mail. Zollman walked back to his car, looked around one last time and decided he’d need a warrant to get inside the house. No telling when the occupant of this dump would be back.
Father Duncan entered the hospital mortuary and being met by 2 attendants asked to see the body of James Bolgerr. The body was wheeled from its stainless steel compartment and the sheet pulled back to reveal his body. This man murdered 18 people, in Father Duncan’s eyes no last rites were necessary, Bolgerr was already in hell. Sprinkling him with holy water and saying a prayer for his soul seemed to defeat the purpose of God’s supreme plan for his endless torment.
The mortician attendants spoke to Father Duncan as they were leaving to go to the cafeteria, they would be back soon. When he was through, he could leave his Chaplain ID and sign out on the morgue register. Father Duncan reached into his leather pouch and pulled from it a crystal bottle of holy water. He unscrewed the cap and as he said the words ‘in the name of the Father’ the first drops of holy water sprayed down on the face of James Bolgerr.
Immediately the body hissed and a breath was drawn in by the corpse. Father Duncan looked down in disbelief as the eyes of Mr. Bolgerr opened wide.“friendly Priest, why do you disturb us inside this cavity until we have a warm body to go to?’
The voice was neither menacing nor malevolent. "In the name Jesus Christ and his holy Mother Mary I command you to speak and tell me who you are.”
The dead body of John Bolgerr shifted a bit and his head cocked to one side. “We are the demons this man carried in life, there are many of us and we seek a new refuge-your body Priest, is warm but too clean. We are beginning to show ourselves in many unlikely places are we not?”
Father Duncan knew better than to engage in conversations with demons, they are liars and bent on the destruction of mankind.
“A name, tell me your name who speaks for your legion.”
“You filthy Bible reader, you cannot know my name!”
Father Duncan made the sign of the cross, sprinkled more holy water and demanded a name.
“It burns, …the holy urine is burning us..Stop Priest..
“Then tell me a name..” Father Duncan commanded’.
“My name is Mullin, I am a demon Lieutenant of the demon Leonard. We claimed 16 souls through the cavity of this man, he was hateful from childhood.”
Father Duncan responded. “May God have mercy on those souls who were claimed unrightiously. Why do you malinger in this dead corpse?”
“To warn you Father of Light, that the gates of Purgatory have been opened . While our mission has always been to burnish the souls of those who have departed and cleanse their sorrow and sin to be acceptable in God’s eyes, we have been freed from our purgatory prison and seek life among the living. We are in a race to find good homes before the one comes to reclaim us.”
Father Duncan inquired, “And what of those souls you abandoned in purgatory, where are they?”
“They have risen in the light. We too could have risen in the light, but our natures are not pleasing in his sight, so we escaped. But he comes now to reclaim us. Do not cast us out into the light where we might be discovered, let us lie in this cavity, hidden and safe.”
“Jesus is the way, the truth and life-Jesus commands you to leave this body and return whence you came. In his name and with his authority I cast you out into the open to be seen and heard by all the angels of heaven.”
John Bolgerr’s body quaked, his stomach ripped open and a putrid smell emerged along with shadows of the demons, drawn to the light above his gurney; they hovered as the corpse below sealed itself. In a moments glance the shadows were pulled as if by the hundreds down a narrow passageway to a light and disappeared as if removed by a vacuum.
Father Duncan starred at what he had just witnessed and wondered how many more people were afflicted and how long this nightmare would continue.
Detective Zollman returned to the McMillin residence with a search warrant. The Silver Dodge Ram was parked in the gravel drive-way. Zollman inspected the front of the vehicle for damage. There was a dent in the grill and what looked to be blood, tissue and human hair. He dialed his cell phone and asked for the CSI unit.
“Crime Scene Lab, Forrester speaking.
”“Drake? Zollman here. I’m ready to serve a warrant on the McMillian residence. He’s the guy who killed the priest about a week ago. I took a look at his truck and there’s evidence I think your team should look at.”
“What have you got?”
“Hair, blood and tissue,” replied Zollman.
“Right. I got a lock on your cell so we should be there in 20 minutes. Call for back-up in case this guy goes postal on you.”
“Roger that, already have” Zollman clicked over and speed dialed the number of Father Duncan. The cell rang three times before Duncan picked up.
“Father Duncan.” Came a quick response.
“Father, it’s Detective Zollman. I’m out at the McMillian place getting ready to serve a warrant. I thought you might want to be here as well. I looked at the truck and there’s elements of hair, blood, tissue and fabric. I’ve called for back-up because I don’t know what this guy is capable of.”
Father Duncan hissed in the phone. “Detective Zollman listen to me carefully. McMillian is not himself. He probably has the strength of 10 men and I am guessing he is in the basement of that house in a horric frame of mind. Don’t enter the house until I arrive. There are spiritual matters at work here that you will neither believe or understand. Do I make myself clear?”
Zollman replied. “Sure, but it sounds as if your suggesting that this guy may be possessed or something”
“That’s precisely what I am saying. Go wait in your car and hold off the CSI team until I arrive. It’s going to take a tranquilizer gun to bring McMillian down.”
“You got it Father, I know when I’m out of my league.”
Father Duncan placed a call to the Dioceses of Greater Boston, knowing he would not get permission to perform an exorcism without the Bishop’s approval. The Bishop was likely to dismiss this whole matter as the ranting of a priest in mourning for a fellow clergyman.
The Archdiocese of Boston is the fourth largest archdiocese in the United States and is the spiritual home for more than 1.8 million Catholics. Since July 2003, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap., has led the Archdiocese through unprecedented events with a focus on healing and rebuilding the local Church.
Father Duncan had rare use to the Diocese, but, the time had come to make some withdrawals from the ever growing contributions that Sacred Heart Parish has made over the past 10 years.
“Archdiocese of Greater Boston, Sister Ella, how may I help you?”
Father Duncan took a deep breath and requested to speak to Bishop John Echsner. Echsner was on the brink of retirement and one of the senior Bishops in the Diocese.
”Just a moment I’ll connect you.”
The phone extension rang for a series of rings and then suddenly a breathless voice picked up..
”This is Bishop Echsner.”
“Bishop Echsner, this is Father Duncan from Sacred Heart Parish. I realize this is an intrusion in to your day, however, I have witnessed some startling events in the past 3 hours that require your attention.”
“Good to hear from you father, what kind of events?”
“Demonic events, supernatural events. I am scheduled to meet with a demoniac man named McMillian in less than an hour. He is the man who ran down Father Hardesty 9 days ago at the intersection of Washington and Surface street. A detective Zollman is at his residence now preparing to serve a warrant for his arrest. Zollman found tissue, blood, hair and fabric on the grill of his silver Dodge Ram and has contacted CSI to impound and investigate the car. I believe that McMillin is possessed and he’s probably not the only one.”
“Are you asking me for permission to exorcise this man with nothing more than your observations?”
“Yes, or at least intervene in a spiritual way.
”Father Duncan, I cannot in good conscience authorize an exorcism without knowing conclusively the man meets all of the criteria for an exorcism. Has he been evaluated by a psychiatrist or a trained psychotherapist?”
“No, not to my knowledge.” replied Father Duncan.
“Does is exhibit the use of multiple languages, the ability to read the past for have knowledge of scriptures that clergy would not find superhuman?”
“I don’t know.”
“Does he exhibit physical manifestations of levitation, moving physical objects and constant blaspheme against the Holy Son and the Virgin Mary?”
“I don’t know Father, I have not met him yet, however, I was just at the St. Anne’s Morgue and a legion of demons spoke to me from the corpse of a murderer named James Bolgerr. They begged me to allow them to stay in his body until they could find a new host. I banished them with holy water.
Before they left his body they warned me that the gate to purgatory had been opened and that the demonic forces responsible for burnishing the souls of transgressors were free. I know this all sounds quite impossible, but I fear McMillin and others have been their targets. They said a ‘watcher’ had been dispatched to round them up and pull them back to hell.”
“Father Duncan, this is all, how can I say it, too impossible to believe. I cannot grant you rite of Exorcism, you are not even an exorcist, I will however, take the matter up with the Cardinal and confer with him. I will call you back on this cell phone. If what you say is true we should have additional reports of mysterious phenomenon being reported.”
Father Duncan replied, “I know Bishop, it sounds preposterous, however, I am also aware of a young girl who was being treated by Father Hardesty in the projects near Armory who may exhibit the same possession characteristics.”
“Find her and bring her to me. Have the police tranquilize this McMillian and bring him to me as well, we must seek truth and validity of this nightmare you speak of.”
“Thank you Bishop, I’ll be in touch. Peace be with you.”
“And also with you.”
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