I grew up in the Catholic faith. It was a mixture of Roman Catholic, Spiritualism and Voodoo. Crystal balls, talking to the dead, the “evil” eye, curses, voodoo dolls, tarot reading — to name a few — were part of our culture.
It was a wee bit scary growing up. Some kids grow up with monsters under their bed — we grew up with monsters and all of the above. I remember when I first heard about the monsters under the bed — I would take a running start, “fly” into the air and onto the bed so the monster could not pull me under. I don’t remember who implanted the idea of “monsters” in my head.
We used to get “holy” water from the Catholic church and put a jar of that water along with a lemon next to the front door to ward off any evil spirits that might be trying to enter.
Going to church every Sunday was a must.
My first real recollection of spiritualism came very early in life. I couldn’t have been older than 10 years old. We were living in Chicago and my family went to visit my aunt. She lived in the projects on the 3rd or 4th floor of a large complex. In the back of this complex was a large courtyard. The residents would hang their clothes out to dry in the back porches of their apartments.
While we were visiting, my cousin was in her bedroom sitting in front of a mirror combing her hair. Suddenly we heard screaming. When we went to her room, she was “fighting” something. With fists in the air, she was punching as if she was beating on something or someone.
At first I thought it was a joke she was playing on us. But the screaming was real. After the “episode,” my mother went to her and pulled the back of her shirt up. Her back had fresh scratches from the “something” that she had been fighting.
I’ve kept this memory in my head for a long time. I don’t remember much else about it. Since that time, I’ve always believed that there is a spirit world — both evil and good.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12