The Exorcism of Clarita Villanueva
In 1953, 18-year-old Clarita Villanueva of Bacolod City hit the headlines both here and abroad. But unlike movie stars, the probinsyana became famous for what would turn out to be one of the most ‘legit’ cases of demonic possession in recorded history.
Villanueva came to Manila after her parents died. She first worked as a maid before eloping with her lover. When she found out that her partner was already married, she immediately broke off with him and worked as a dancer.
One night, while she’s on her way home after watching a late-night movie, Clarita was picked up by the police who suspected her of being a vagrant or homeless. That became her ticket to the Bilibid Prison.
After a few days, her stay in the prison turned from mundane to hellish. The young girl claimed she began seeing strange creatures who would bite her several times in different parts of her body. She described ‘The Thing’ as two terrifying creatures, with the bigger one characterized by curly hair, two fangs, and large eyes.
During the attacks, Clarita would often scream, become hysterical, and lose consciousness. But it was the bite marks that sent chills to those who had personally witnessed how the young girl struggled with what others described as “invisible vampire.”
No less than tough guy Mayor Arsenio Lacson, who visited the demon-possessed Clarita in the city morgue, claimed that he saw bite marks appear out of nowhere on the victim’s hands. Mariano Lara, the medical examiner, was scared out of his wits when he saw firsthand the demonic attacks.
He also described the bite marks as otherworldly because they’re too large, round (human bite is elliptical), and seemed to have been made by molars.
Medical experts struggled to come up with a concrete explanation. While others suspected Clarita to be suffering from insanity or a mental disorder known as ‘hysterical fugue,’ more people were convinced that it was a phenomenon that defies scientific explanation. In the end, hopelessness urged them to finally resort to exorcism to drive demons out of Clarita’s body.
Rev. Lester Sumrall heeded the call. Assisted by two other Protestant ministers, Sumrall used the power of prayers to overcome the invisible devils. The following is an eyewitness account of Clarita’s exorcism:
“…Clarita’s countenance changed. She became wild-eyed and screamed at the minister before her, telling him to go away…At intervals, Clarita was meek as a lamb and, at the prodding of the minister, said that she liked Jesus Christ. The very next moment, however, she grew violent and cursed God and told the minister to go away…After about an hour, Clarita’s face seemed to soften…At this state, the minister recited the Lord’s Prayer and Clarita followed him. ..She indicated that ‘The Thing’ went out of the window. And the three ministers sang a joyous ‘Hallelujah'”
Thanks to the sensational story of Clarita Villanueva, as much as 150,000 people who were moved by her deliverance reportedly accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
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